UPDATED 3.30pm: Prime Minister John Key says he does not agree with Labour leader David Shearer's suggestion of moving the New Year's Honours to Waitangi Day - a step he says would politicise the system.
Mr Shearer has used his visit to Waitangi to propose the move, saying it would help ensure Waitangi Day was a genuine day of celebration rather than protesting.
Mr Key said Honours were to recognise the achievement of individuals.
``If we move that to Waitangi Day, it will politicise the process and move the focus of attention completely away from those individuals to whatever grievance is the grievance du jour of that Waitangi Day. And I don't think that honours those people we are trying as fellow New Zealanders
to honour for what they have achieved.
Mr Shearer said former Prime Minister Norman Kirk had made Waitangi Day a national holiday in 1974 ``to give us a full sense of nationhood''.
``We haven't lived up to that. It's become a day of jostling and protest and we focus on that rather than the great things about our country.''
UPDATED 1.39pm: Titewhai Harawira has accused kaumatua at Te Tii Marae of being ``women bashers''.
She made the remark after leaving the whare this morning following Prime Minister John Key's powhiri which was delayed by 40 minutes because of a stand-off over whether she or another kuia, Ani Taurua, would bring on the Prime Minister.
She claimed not to know why there was a delay despite standing in the middle of tense negotiations beforehand.
Mrs Taurua had been the marae's choice and Mrs Harawira had been asked to stand aside.
``It was just a delay about discussions with the trustees... I really don't know and I'm really not concerned,'' Mrs Harawira said.
Asked whether she had spoken to Mrs Taurua and if the showdown was an embarrassing spat, she said: '' No there's been no fights. It hasn't been about the kuia.''
She rejected a suggestion that the Harawira family were bullies.
``I really don't want to respond to that rubbish, I'm here about the Treaty and that sort of violent discussion is not part of that.''
When it was put to her that even as late as last night she was not wanted by the trustees, she said: ``I have no idea, you'll have to take it up with those women bashers''.
UPDATE 12.30pm: Mr Key told the people at Te Tii Marae that he would continue to turn up each year regardless of what they threw at him.
He also set out what effectively amounted to a challenge to them not to waste the chance of getting his ear.
Speaking after being welcomed on this morning, Mr Key ended his speech by reminding them he had pledged in 2006 to return to Te Tii each year while he was Prime Minister while other politicians avoided it.
He said that since then some years had been smoother than others and last year he had been shouted down by protesters when he tried to speak.
``I don't control the process. Ngapuhi and the people of this marae control this process ... You in the end will decide what the point of the day looks like. I'll keep turning up. You can decide what you do with it.''
He said he believed it was a valuable opportunity for discussion and stood by his commitment.
``How will history judge me? History will judge me well because I come back year after year.''
He also urged the iwi involved in the Te Hiku collective to sort out their differences and move toward a settlement, saying it would inject as much as $200 million into an area that greatly needed it.
UPDATE 10:51am: Prime Minister John Key has been welcomed onto Te Tii Marae amidst pushing and shoving.
The Northern Advocate reporter Lindy Laird was at the lower marae and said Mr Key had been welcomed about 10.50am - nearly an hour later than scheduled.
Veteran Maori activist Titewhai Harawira and another woman have been told to sort out their differences over who escorted John Key onto a Waitangi marae, or he would not be going there.
Marae trustees chose another kuia, Ani Taurua, to escort the Prime Minister onto the marae, but self-appointed VIP escort Harawira turned up as well as Taurua to perform the role this morning.
In the end Titewhai walked the Prime Minister to the steps of the marae when Ani Taurua made it to the front with the help of a Maori warden.
There was jostling and shoving and Mr Key looked uncomfortable.. Eventually Mr Key made in it into the marae.
Earlier marae elder Kingi Taurua has told the two women to sort out the matter or Key will not be going at all.
Harawira was with the wife of her MP son Hone, and other family members, while Ani Taurua has her whanau beside her.