Maori Party’s Rawiri Waititi kicked out of House for protesting National’s ‘racist propaganda’ in Parliament with haka

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi was kicked out of the House after protesting the National Party’s rhetoric on racial issues with a haka.

The National Party has launched in the past two weeks an attack on the Labor government for a so-called “separatist agenda,” targeting the government’s Maori Health Authority proposal among other policies that seek to fulfill the responsibilities of partnership in the Treaty of Waitangi.

Collins and his MPs have worked to build the separatist record through questions in the House over the past two weeks, to the frustration of the Maori party.

Collins continued the case again on Wednesday afternoon. Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, in an interjective question, asked Ardern for advice on whether “Collins’ continued attack on the Maori was racist?”

Maori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi in the House.

ROBERT KITCHIN / Tips

Maori party co-leader Rawiri Waititi in the House.

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President Trevor Mallard dismissed the issue as it was beyond Ardern’s responsibility.

After Ardern answered another question from Collins, Maori Party co-leader Waititi stood up to “seek advice” from the President.

“Over the past two weeks there has been racist propaganda and rhetoric against tangata whenua, which not only insults tangata whenua, but diminishes the mana of this House,” Waititi said.

Mallard said that while certain views may cause discomfort, it was his responsibility to let a “wide range” of views be aired in the House.

Watiti rose again – to Collins’ audible exasperation – to raise another point of order that he had promised to be “fresh and different”, as the Speaker required under the Rules of Parliament.

“When it comes to views on indigenous rights and indigenous peoples, those views must come from those indigenous peoples for the indigenous rights of our people. They cannot be determined by people who are not indigenous.

“We find this thing, this attitude acceptable in this House, a constant barrage of tangata whenua insults, so I find this House in disarray.”

Told to sit by Mallard, Waititi enters the middle of the house and started a haka, followed by Ngarewa-Packer who gave a pūkana towards Collins, as Mallard ordered Waititi out of the house.

Ngarewa-Packer and Green MP Teanau Tuiono left the House in solidarity.

Waititi told the House that the National’s continued Maori “bashing” incites racism on social media and Parliament should not be broadcasting it.

“It has instigated venomous racism against the Maori, because of this kind of propaganda and rhetoric – we won’t stand it anymore,” Waititi said.

“It has nothing to do with the closure of the National Party. I am sure that the National Party has many policies according to them which benefit Aotearoa. But the Leader of the Opposition has consistently denigrated the Maori to gain the votes of her Pakeha constituents. That’s all it is.

Ngarewa-Packer said the issue was about the dignity of the House itself and the Speaker should intervene.

“It is not fair that the President did not have the courage to stop racism in the House,” Ngarewa-Packer said.

The party had contacted National about it in recent weeks about it, Waititi said.


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