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Maori Party Revisits Oaths and Affirmations

Tariana Turia
Maori Party Co-Leader | MP for Te Tai Hauauru

15 July 2011

Maori Party Revisits Oaths and Affirmations

The disturbance that erupted in Parliament, yesterday, when Hone Harawira attempted to rewrite the Parliamentary Oath has prompted the Maori Party to review the legislative amendments it has designed to introduce oaths and affirmations more inclusive of New Zealand's distinctive identity.

“We can be proud that taking the oath in te reo rangatira is now an established part of parliamentary protocol” said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party.

“Our stance has always been, that we believe that not only should the oath be able to be sworn in te reo Maori, as the official language of Aotearoa, but that we should also have the opportunity to swear allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the founding document of our land”.

“My colleague, Dr Sharples, first introduced this proposal in the House on 19 July 2006.

"We subsequently introduced a Supplementary Order Paper on 29 March 2007 which essentially inserts the words “I will uphold the Treaty of Waitangi” / “Ka whakaungia e au te Tiriti o Waitangi” across a range of oaths and affirmations”.

"I support the right of any member to pledge allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi - it is, after all, the Treaty that provides us with the foundations for our Parliament today".

“Last night I wrote to the Speaker, seeking his advice on how we can expeditiously progress this matter – but I would think it may also be an issue of interest to the Constitutional Review being led by Dr Sharples and Hon English”.

Additional Information
1. Statute now enables Māori language equivalents for all of the statutory oaths to be prescribed by Order in Council. The first member to make an affirmation solely in Māori was Tariana Turia, on 27 July 2004, when she was sworn in as the Co-leader of the Maori Party / MP for Te Tai Hauauru. McGee, David, Parliamentary Practice in New Zealand, 3rd ed, Dunmore Publishing Limited, Wellington, 2005

2. "The Māori Party is introducing a Supplementary Order Paper to be discussed along with the Oaths Modernisation Bill when that bill next comes before this House. Amendments will be introduced to include Te Tiriti o Waitangi in all oaths and affirmations Hansard 19 July 2006, Dr Pita Sharples.

ENDS

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