Waitangi Day organiser praises Don Brash for his speech despite being heckled by protesters

Source: 1News

Despite there being over 40 speakers at the Te Tii marae in the Bay of Islands yesterday the majority of media attention was on Don Brash and what he would deliver.

TVNZ’1s Breakfast talked to the Waitangi Day organiser Reuben Taipari about whether or not he should have invited him back after mud was thrown at his face in 2004.

Taipari praised him for his return, “He [Don Brash] saw the hurt and the pain and the anger and I must congratulate him and admire him for making the attempt so thank you Don.”

Yesterday Mr Brash was mercilessly heckled by protesters and audience members while making a speech at Waitangi.

Mr Brash was speaking on the lower marae where media were not allowed to film, but an audience member posted a brief clip of Mr Brash speaking on Facebook.

One woman can be heard shouting, "It's not affirmative action, it's justice!"

Earlier Mr Brash said that he was very impressed by the fact he'd been invited to the event, but that he wasn't sure what the reaction to his speech would be.

"I accept most invitations to speak and this one was particularly significant, I thought, the chance to come back to Waitangi.”

Among the 40 speakers was controversial Destiny Church founder Brian Tamaki.

The issues on the table for discussion included climate change, education, incarceration problems, constitutional problems and indigenous rights.