Key and Cunliffe pray together at Waitangi

In a show of unity, MPs from all parties walked onto the upper marae together for the Waitangi Day Dawn Service, with Labour leader David Cunliffe following just behind Prime Minister John Key.

At the  Service, overseen by Bishop Kito Pikaahu,  Key lead the congregation in prayer thanking the nations forefathers for their “courage to come together and sign the Treaty.”

He honoured the work of New Zealand’s police, firefighters and military.

The Prime Minister paid tribute to the memory of Parekura Horomia. He said  Horomia would be remembered “for the beaming smile and the beauty of the human spirit he had”

“We pray that 2014 will be a prosperous, happy but mostly safe year,” Key said.

Labour leader David Cunliffe began his prayer asking that God bless “the young, the old, the wet and the dry” which earned chuckles from the dozens standing in the rain outside the whare.

Green Party Co leader also offered a prayer

Te Ururoa Flavell spoke in Te Reo for the Maori Party, and Mana leader Hone Harawira elected not to speak.

NZ First leader Winston Peters’ name was read out as one of the speakers, but he was not there. He later told 3 News he had not been invited to speak and had conflicting interview commitments.

Prayers were also offered from the Defence Force and on behalf of foreign diplomats.

Waitangi Day is New Zealand’s national day and commemorates the signing of  Treaty at Waitangi in 1840 between Queen Victoria and Maori, the indigenous people of Aotearoa New Zealand.


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