The Press

Ma¯ori Par­ty­wants Treaty in pledge

- Politics · Elections · Celebrities · Elizabeth II · New Zealand · Elizabeth I of England · Royals · Waitangi

The Ma¯ori Party is push­ing for the pledge MPs make to the Queen to be changed to ac­knowl­edge the Treaty ofWai­tangi. The two co-lead­ers of the party spoke min­utes af­ter of­fi­cially be­com­ing mem­bers of Par­lia­ment and con­firmed they would put for­ward amem­ber’s bill to change the oath or af­fir­ma­tion so it ac­knowl­edged the Treaty. Ev­ery MP is re­quired by lawto swear an oath or make an af­fir­ma­tion to New Zealand’s head of state, Queen El­iz­a­beth II, as well as her heirs and suc­ces­sors. They can use te reo Ma¯ori for this and swear on a doc­u­ment other than the Bi­ble, but the oath or af­fir­ma­tion it­self is set in law. Ma¯ori Party co-leader RawiriWait­iti is­sued a wero, or chal­lenge, in the House be­fore his af­fir­ma­tion, men­tion­ing the Treaty of Wai­tangi, which is not ref­er­enced in the of­fi­cial oath or af­fir­ma­tion. Waititi said it­was about a ‘‘push­back’’ to a sys­tem that ‘‘keeps our peo­ple on bended knee to a sov­er­eign who we never gave sovereignt­y to’’.

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