Te Pāti Māori Walk Out Of The House After Being Denied The Right To Speak
Te Pāti Māori Co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi have walked out of the House after being denied the right to speak as Co-leaders in the Address in Reply debate.
“We were shocked and deeply disturbed to learn that we would not have an opportunity, as all other party leaders had, to speak in the Address In Reply debate in response to the Prime Minister’s agenda – the Speaker didn’t even allow our Point of Order to be heard,” said Māori Party Co-leader Rawiri Waititi.
“Our Māori people clearly expressed a view that their liberated, unapologetic voice should be heard, not suppressed. These rulings are offensive to us because they represent oppression of the tangata whenua voice.
“No other party can give a unapologetic Māori response to the Prime Minister’s agenda,” said Mr Waititi.
“This is yet another example of the Māori voice being silenced and ignored, something our people know all too well. We have walked out of the House to enable us to talk directly to our people about our vision and kaupapa as Te Pāti Māori,” said Māori Party Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
“Despite following the rules of the House and seeking a suspension to the Standing Orders, we were still denied our ability to speak in this critical first Parliamentary debate.
“It’s unacceptable that we are being prevented from responding to the Prime Minister’s agenda for the next three years – we are the only tangata whenua party in this place and our voice must be heard on the policies that affect us,” said Mrs Ngarewa-Packer.