Ma¯ori Partywants Treaty in pledge
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’’.