Māori Party's Rāwiri Waititi kicked out of parliament for performing haka

He was protesting alleged 'Māori bashing'

Māori Party's Rāwiri Waititi kicked out of parliament for performing haka

Māori Party MP Rawiri Waititi was kicked out of a parliament hearing yesterday after performing a haka to the opposition. Waititi was asked repeatedly to sit down after he rose several times to criticize what he dubbed ‘Māori bashing’ in parliament. After refusing to back down, Waititi went on to perform a haka until he was finally told to leave.

During the heated debate, Waititi claimed that NP leader Judith Collins was pushing out “racist propaganda and rhetoric towards tangata whenua”. The fallout follows weeks of conflict surrounding new governmental policies – including the Māori Health Authority promises. Waititi claimed that some of the positions of the conversative NP representatives were separatist.

This isn’t the first time Waititi has clashed with chamber officials. Earlier this year, Waititi was denied the chance to speak in parliament after refusing to wear a necktie – part of the strict chamber dress code. In a tense exchange, Waititi was rebuked by speaker Trevor Mallard who insisted that only MPs wearing suitable attire could speak to the house. Waititi replied that he was wearing “Māori business attire” – dubbing the tie a “colonial noose”.

“It’s not about ties – it’s about cultural identity, mate,” Waititi added as he walked out of parliament.

Waititi’s expulsion and subsequent debates around unnecessary dress codes led to an overhaul of government policy – ties are no longer required for male MPs.  

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