Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi performs haka in Parliament, ordered to leave

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi performed a haka and was kicked out of House today after tensions rose following questioning between the Prime Minister and Opposition leader. 

"Over the past two weeks there has been racist propaganda and rhetoric towards tangata whenua," Waititi told the House. 

"That not only is insulting to tangata whenua, but insults the mana of this House."

National Party leader Judith Collins was questioning Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern today over the  He Puapua report — a report on the UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples in Aotearoa — and the incoming Māori Health Authority.

Collins asked Ardern if she "in any way accepts the view in He Puapua that New Zealand has two spheres of governance: Kāwanatanga sphere that represents the Crown and the Rangatiratanga sphere that represents Māori"?

Ardern said she saw that as a reflection of the basic principles of the Treaty of Waitangi, adding: "It is 2021. I think New Zealand generally accepts that we have a relationship between the Crown and Māori that does make us unique. 

"I don't think we should be afraid to make further progress in the way we build and improve that relationship."

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer then asked Ardern if she thought Collins' "continued attack on Māori is racist". 

Speaker Trevor Mallard did not allow the question due to wording and it being outside the Prime Minister's responsibility. 

Later, Ardern said what Collins "characterises as separatism, I characterise as partnership". 

Waititi interrupted the questioning, asking for the Speaker's advice over "racist propaganda and rhetoric towards tangata whenua". 

"When it comes to views of indigenous rights and indigenous peoples, those views must be from those indigenous peoples for the indigenous rights of our people, who cannot be determined from people who are not indigenous."

He added: "If we find this attitude acceptable in this House, the constant barrage of insults to tangata whenua, then I find this House in disrepute." 

Mallard told Waititi to resume his seat.

Waititi remained standing, and preformed a haka in the House while his party co-leader stood with him. 

"He will leave the chamber," Mallard said. 

Waititi continued, walking out of the chamber afterwards with Ngarewa-Packer, followed by Green MP Teanau Tuiono, Stuff reported. 

"New Zealanders should expect to have a national conversation without being shouted down and called names," Collins said later today. 

She called claims of racism a "lazy categorization, and I will not stop asking in Parliament about any constitutional changes the Government might be making".

"Parliament is about asking questions, there are clearly major changes going on and New Zealanders need to know... This is not talking about Māori. It's about constitutional changes the Government is clearly talking to Māori about and other New Zealanders need to know."

Earlier this month, Collins  gave a speech to party members  suggesting the Government was introducing "separate systems of governance" for Māori, and also accused Labour of sneaking through recommendations of the  He Puapua  report, which she labelled a "divisive" document. 

Last week, Waititi made a point of order in Parliament wondering "why two pākehā women are talking about Māori issues" as Collins questioned Ardern about freshwater rights.

Yesterday, Collins, a former police minister, said she had seen "no evidence" of systemic racism in the police force.

"There are some people who have racist views in all areas of life. I have seen in the police, as their minister, I've been very proud of the work they have done, around any accusations of that."

Ngarewa-Packer said that "it does exist", while Waititi said "the more you ignore it the more you support it".