A leader of New Zealand’s Maori Party was ejected from a House of Representatives session on Wednesday, May 12, after accusing National Party lawmakers of “racist” rhetoric and launching into a performance of the haka.
Co-leader Rawiri Waititi asked House Speaker Trevor Mallard for “guidance and advice” over what he described as “racist propaganda and rhetoric” toward the indigenous people of New Zealand. Waititi later called a point of order and continued to say that the country’s indigenous people have been subjected to a “constant barrage of insults,” according to a transcript of the meeting.
Mallard cut Waititi off as he called for order multiple times and then said Waititi’s microphone was muted. Waititi began to perform the haka, prompting Mallard to announce that Waititi would “now leave the Chamber,” according to the transcript.
Reports said Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Green Party member of parliament Teanau Tuiono also left the House in solidarity with Waititi.
According to local media, New Zealand’s National and ACT parties “have been attacking the government over what they call a ‘separatist agenda,’ focusing questions in the House on the proposed Maori Health Authority; the document He Puapua, which advises on Maori realizing self-determination; and reform at the Department of Conservation.” Credit: New Zealand Parliament via Storyful