Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi has been ejected from New Zealand’s Parliament for doing a haka in protest against questions by the Opposition about race-based policy.
Opposition conservative National Party leader Judith Collins was asking Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern about her views of the He Puapua report, which provides recommendations to the government about how it can give effect to Māori self-sovereignty under the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi.
Waititi called on the Speaker of the House Trevor Mallard to intervene on what he called “racist propaganda” against Māori in the House.
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Mallard ruled the views expressed in the House did not reach an inappropriate standard.
He warned Waititi when he raised another point of order that relitigation would put him at risk of expulsion from the House.
Waititi said views on indigenous rights should only be determined by the indigenous tangata whenua – which he followed up with a haka.
He was expelled from the House.
Green MPs Marama Davidson (co-leader) and Ricardo Menéndez backed Waititi’s action with Davidson tweeting support for the “calling out [of] the absolute ongoing racist comments” by Collins.
Kia ora @packer_deb and @Rawiri_Waititi for calling out the absolute ongoing racist comments from Judith Collins in the House just now. This House absolutely deserves better than a narrative that harms tangata whenua communities and damages a pathway for true Tiriti justice.
— Marama Davidson MP (@MaramaDavidson) May 12, 2021
Solidarity with @packer_deb & @Rawiri_Waititi for challenging racism in the House and reminding us that how we discuss policy can result in real harm to the communities we serve.
Thankful to @MaramaDavidson + @jamespeshaw for challenging these racist narratives on our behalf.
— Ricardo Menéndez (@RMarchNZ) May 12, 2021
This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.