Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


The Mapp Report: Maori Protocol

The Mapp Report

Maori Protocol

Members of Parliament regularly get invited to school occasions, especially openings for new buildings in their electorates. We are invited in recognition that we are elected representatives of the people, and of course attendance is expected. Such an occasion also provides an opportunity for the member of parliament to meet the school community and participate in support of the event.

This was exactly the position Judith Collins was in last week. She naturally accepted the invitation to one of her local schools, and in the nature of these things was looking forward to being part of an occasion, which celebrated a substantial new improvement to the primary school in Papakura.

To her surprise she was seated in the second row, behind all the men present. No explanation for this was given to her.

The reason of course was the traditional protocol for a powhiri. Powhiri have become part of public ceremonies in New Zealand. In some cases a powhiri brings people together and supports the dignity of the occasion. However, in other cases it can dominate proceedings. For example, in North Shore there was an instance at the commencement of motorway works which involved 40 minutes of speeches in Maori in a 50 minute proceeding, where very few people present were Maori or understood te reo Maori. All this does is actually make people less tolerant of Maori culture.

In contemporary New Zealand, Maori culture is part of our nationhood. But in a modern democracy, equality is the most fundamental value, ensuring that all citizens have equal treatment. Public occasions and public institutions should reflect this. If that requires the adjustment of protocol to enable the values of equality and hospitality to be expressed that should happen.

In the past I have seen women such as Dame Cath Tizard (a former Governor General) being given a special place to sit in recognition of her office. A sensible adjustment is required so that the values of a state occasion and Maori culture can be balanced.

It is after all quite a different situation at a marae where one is a guest and should accept the protocol of the place. Marae are not public places in the same way as a school or other government institutions.

Judith Collins has challenged our country, including Maori, to think about how Maori protocol at public occasions can be expressed in a way that does not clash with our deeply held convictions of equality. The Maori Party also recognises that this is a serious issue to be investigated. We now have an opportunity to find a reasonable solution to these issues, and promote greater unity within our country.

Dr Wayne Mapp

Visit my website for more information at:


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Mayor of Auckland: Alert Level Change Welcome News

Mayor Phil Goff says the government’s decision to move Auckland to Level 2 from 6am on Sunday will be welcome news for all Aucklanders.
“Moving strongly and quickly to contain this outbreak has once again proved effective in stopping the spread of community transmission and I thank all the Aucklanders who have followed the rules of Level 3 over the past week,” he says... More>>


Earthquakes: Tsunami Activity – Cancelled

The National Advisory issued at 2:48pm following this morning's earthquakes near the KERMADEC ISLANDS REGION is cancelled.
The advice from GNS Science, based on ocean observations, is that the Beach and Marine threat has now passed for all areas... More>>

Joint Press Release: Dirty PR Exposed In Whale Oil Defamation Trial

Three public health advocates are relieved that their long-standing Whale Oil defamation trial against Cameron Slater, Carrick Graham, Katherine Rich and the Food and Grocery Council has finally concluded and they are pleased that the truth has come out... More>>


Government: Next Stage Of COVID-19 Support For Business And Workers

The Government has confirmed details of COVID-19 support for business and workers following the increased alert levels due to a resurgence of the virus over the weekend... More>>


Maori Party: New National Executive

This morning the Māori Party confirmed their new National Executive including Che Wilson, Fallyn Flavell, John Tamihere and Kaiarahi Takirua: Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer... More>>

Government: Balanced Economic Approach Reflected In Crown Accounts

New Zealand’s economic recovery has again been reflected in the Government’s books, which are in better shape than expected.
The Crown accounts for the seven months to the end of January 2021 were better than forecast in the Half Year Economic and Fiscal Update (HYEFU)... More>>

Covid-19: Auckland Back To Alert Level Three After One New Community Case Revealed

Auckland will move to alert level three for a week at 6am tomorrow morning after two new Covid-19 community cases announced this evening could not be directly linked to earlier cases, the Prime Minister has confirmed.
The rest of the country will move to level two.... More>>

NZ Initiative: New Report Highlights How Our Housing Crisis Could Worsen If We Don’t Act Now

If New Zealand politicians thought the housing crisis in 2020 was bad, the worst is yet to come, warns a new report by The New Zealand Initiative. In The Need to Build: The demographic drivers of housing demand , Research Assistant Leonard Hong ... More>>




InfoPages News Channels