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Te Pāti Māori announce military neutrality as new transformative defence policy

Te Pāti Māori Co-leaders Rawiri Waititi and Debbie Ngarewa-Packer are announcing a transformative defence and foreign affairs policy which asserts the Mana Māori Motuhake and Tino Rangatiratanga of tangata whenua in Aotearoa at their Party’s AMG today.

“In 1987 Aotearoa declared that we were nuclear free. Te Pāti Māori now declares that Aotearoa must be militarily neutral, a Switzerland of the South Pacific” said Rawiri Waititi.

“We must asset our Rangatiratanga and Mana Māori Motuhake. In doing that, we must assert our own Foreign Policy and Military requirements. We will no longer have our sovereignty determined by others, whether it is in Canberra, London, Washington, Beijing or Moscow.

“We will no longer be a political football in the wars of imperial powers. We will no longer act as a Pacific spy base for the Five-Eyes Alliance” said Waititi.

“As indigenous people, we should not fight other indigenous peoples on their whenua. We should not be involved in the killing of innocent people. Rather, we should always stand alongside indigenous peoples in their fight for their sovereignty over their own lands” said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.

“We will continue to fund a defence force but this must be a support force for the Pacific, for our Polynesian world. With the extreme weather events of the last few weeks, we’ve seen just how important it is that our defence force is focused on responding to threats to our own people.

“This is Rangatiratanga and Mana Māori Motuhake in action. We have determined a Māori-centric foreign policy and a Māori-centric defence policy shaped for us and by us without selling or trading our mana, but just simply asserting it” said Ngarewa-Packer.

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“Even though the Pioneer Battalion and the Māori Battalion gained Māori significant kudos, on their return from the first and second World Wars, it gained Māori nothing else. Our services were honoured by us not receiving any allotments to returned services housing or farms. Our services dispensed in Korea, Malaya, Vietnam and Afghanistan achieved nothing for us as a people” said Waititi.

“The time for war, killing and imperialism is over. Now is the time for peace and sovereignty for tangata whenua and indigenous peoples around the world. Aotearoa must be friends to everybody and enemies to nobody” Ngarewa-Packer said.

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