The Press

Ma¯ori Partywants Treaty in pledge

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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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