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Labour MP says 'it isn't as simple' as just inviting Judith Collins to speak at Waitangi

Labour MP Peeni Henare says if Judith Collins wanted to speak at Waitangi she should have led her National Party onto the lower marae.

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After the National leader suggested the decision was sexist, the Labour MP said she should have led her party onto the lower marae to speak.

Yesterday, Collins and her deputy Shane Reti both expressed disappointment that she wasn't allowed to speak at a Parliamentary pōwhiri ahead of Waitangi Day tomorrow.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was allowed to speak but Collins was not.

"It's actually all about all women, wahine toa, who wish to be able to be able to have their say," Collins said.

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1 NEWS political reporter Maiki Sherman says Collins not being allowed to speak on the marae at Waitangi wasn’t about her being a woman. Source: Breakfast

"And that's really important - we've spent so much time talking about racism, let's just think about sometimes, every girl gets a chance too."

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Judith Collins says not being allowed to speak at Parliamentary pōwhiri in Waitangi was sexist

However, this morning on Breakfast, Henare said it wasn't as simple as just offering Collins the opportunity to speak.

"It's clear that Jacinda is our prime minister, she's been afforded that opportunity to speak here to give her kauwhau to our people," he said.

"But from a Ngāpuhi perspective, as a person who sits on the Ngāpuhi taumata, it isn't as simple as just offering her the opportunity to speak, there are processes for us to go through.

"If Ms Collins wants the opportunity to speak, perhaps she should have led the National Party onto the lower marae."

Watch Peeni Henare's full interview on Breakfast below.

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The Labour MP also explains why Matariki becoming a public holiday is special for the entire country. Source: 1 NEWS