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Condemnation Of Te Pati Maori Co-leader Debbie Ngarewa Packer’s Reckless Statements

The Indigenous Coalition For Israel condemns Te Pa ti Ma ori leader, Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s use of the provocative chant “From the River to the Sea, Palestine will be free”. This is known to be a call for the annihilation of the Jewish state, which is the stated goal of Hamas.

Ngarewa-Packer continues to use the chant, even after the Jewish community of NZ has made clear the traumatising effect of these words on their community. The Ma ori Party co-leader also propagates the false accusation that the Jews are colonisers when they have in fact held ahi kaa status in their ancestral land for over 3000 years.

Ngarewa-Packer’s stance is an insult to thousands of Ma ori supporters of Israel and the long history of Ma ori-Jewish friendship. Many of the Ma ori prophetic movements that arose in the 19th century and early 20th centuries, including Ringatu , Iharaia, Pai Marire, the Parihaka movement, and Ratana, were inspired by the biblical Israelites and even emulated many of their religious practices. The bones of some of our ta ne lie in Israel, where they fought and died to help free the land from Ottoman oppression. Ma ori Queen Dame Te Arikinui Dame Te Atairangikaahu had great affection for Israel and welcomed many Israeli ambassadors to Turangawaewae Marae. In recent years Israeli ambassadors have been welcomed onto other Marae around the motu.

All people of goodwill are concerned for the Palestinian people. To lay blame for their plight entirely upon Israel is morally bankrupt, when it is Hamas that started this war with the brutal murder of hundreds of innocent civilians. It is Hamas that continues this war and holds 137 civilians in captivity. It is Hamas that callously uses its own people as human shields. Hamas could have peace tomorrow, if it were willing to renounce its goal of annihilation of the Jewish state.

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Further, Nga rewa-Packer's comparison between Ma ori and Palestinian experience is deeply misguided. It minimizes the suffering of the Palestinians and implicates Maori in an ideology that many Wind repugnant.

The people of Gaza live under the repressive rule of Hamas, a radical islamist terrorist group, whose leadership is rife with corruption. Hamas allows no free and fair elections or free media; political opponents are persecuted and sometimes executed; women, LGBT, and the handicapped face discrimination; freedom of religion is restricted; student demonstrations are violently suppressed; child marriage and honour killings are practiced.

The plight of Palestinians and Maori could not be more different.

We call on Ngarewa-Packer to desist from misusing this painful Middle Eastern conWlict for her own political purposes and from bringing shame on our people by aligning with a depraved and genocidal regime.


Dr Sheree Trotter

Tapuika Ngati Moko, Tu hourangi, Ngati Whakaue

Hon Alfred Ngaro

Cook Islands

Bradford Haami, Nga ti Awa
Moana Tipa, Ngai Tahu, Kati Mamoe, Ngati Kahungunu
Pastor Mina Acraman, Ngati Whakaue, Te Arawa
Kariana Black-Vercoe, Te Arawa
Kaumatua Te Hurihanga, Nga puhi, Te Aka Matua
Richard Nahi, Nga puhi, Te Aka Matua
Pastor Tawhiri Littlejohn, Nga puhi Me Ngati Whatua, Te Aka Matua


Directors: Hon Alfred Ngaro and Dr Sheree Trotter

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