Te Pāti Māori calls for NZ to insist on Israel-Gaza ceasefire, ‘absolute peace’

Te Pāti Māori's co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer
Te Pāti Māori's co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer . . . . "We have failed horrifically to do anything proactive since the beginning [on Gaza]." Image: RNZ

RNZ News

Te Pāti Māori wants the incoming and outgoing governments of Aotearoa New Zealand to use the country’s strong international voice to insist on an urgent ceasefire between Israel and Gaza.

And they say the government should be prepared to “kick the Israeli ambassador out” if the fighting does not stop and humanitarian aid corridors into Gaza are not opened.

“I’d like anyone in the government to come out loud and clear in the condemnation of the killing of thousands of innocent people in Palestine,” Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer told RNZ Morning Report today.

“We’ve got a history in Aotearoa of indigenous people in a colonial context and I am deeply upset as Te Pāti Māori on the absolute failure of our [country’s] leadership and our foreign policy which talks about a values-based approach.

“We talk about supporting a peace-based approach and the two-state solution but we have failed horrifically to do anything proactive since the beginning.

“And we have seen the contradiction in [contrast to] how we have been with Afghanistan and Ukraine in the recent past.

“What we need to see is Aotearoa take a strong stance on the killing of innocent people.

‘Not two-sided’
“It is not a two-sided situation here [in the war on Gaza]. We only have one side living under military occupation and we need to be much stronger on what we have called for — absolute peace and allowing humanitarian aid in.”

Outgoing Foreign Minister Nanaia Mahuta declined RNZ’s request for an interview, citing the constraints of the current caretaker government provisions.

While National — which also said no to our request to speak to their foreign policy spokesperson Gerry Brownlee — referred to Prime Minister-elect Christopher Luxon’s statement that the government should be speaking for all New Zealanders on the situation.

Pacific Media Watch reports at least 3785 people have been killed in the bombing of Gaza and 81 in the Occupied West Bank and 12,493 have been wounded — including 2000 children and 1400 women.

Since the surprise Hamas attack on southern Israel on October 7, at least 1403 people have been killed, including 306 soldiers and 57 police.

Hamas is reported to be holding 203 civilian and military hostages.

This article is republished under a community partnership agreement with RNZ.

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