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What price is the oath of allegiance?

What price is the oath of allegiance?

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, whose racist email nearly ended his parliamentary career, may have misled Parliament when he affirmed his loyalty to the Queen, according to media commentator Graeme Hunt.

“All MPs must affirm or give an oath of allegiance to the Queen and her successors under law. This is not mere lip-service to the Crown. Mr Harawira made this commitment and he has a duty to honour it.

“He is entitled his Maori sovereignty views, and even his racist views, but they sit uncomfortably with an affirmation of loyalty to the Crown. An MP cannot be a beneficiary of a single-nation Westminster political system while actively seeking to undermine it. Mr Harawira, by his actions and views, is doing that.

“Mr Harawira can apologise all he likes but there are some views a person can’t take back. Let him be a proponent of Maori sovereignty and a hater of pakeha, if that is his wish, but he should not sit in a Parliament committed to serving all New Zealanders in a single nation.

Hunt said republican MPs would also need would also need to be mindful of their oath of allegiance.

“It is possible for a republican to sit in the House of Representatives and be loyal to the Crown provided his or her actions to bring about constitutional change are within the letter and spirit of the law.

“However, it is difficult to believe that Mr Harawira, as efficient as he might be as an electorate MP, will ever be reconciled to anything other than Maori sovereignty. If that is the case then his publicly declared allegiance to the Crown means little and he should pack his bags and leave Parliament.”


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