From chatter on various social networks, it’s clear that most were not expecting Hone Harawira’s swearing in to be “run of the mill” but most were shocked none the less to see the newly elected Te Tai Tokerau MP being ejected from the House of Representatives where he was to be sworn in as a Member of Parliament for New Zealand’s newest political force, the Mana Movement.
So what actually happened?
Initially there was confusion about just why he was kicked out, some felt it was because he was using te reo but that was quickly quashed, the Oaths Modernisation Bill made changes to how oaths were taken in New Zealand.
This changed the following:
- It amends the parliamentary oath to include loyalty to New Zealand and respect for the democratic values of New Zealand and respect for the rights and freedoms of its people;
- It amends the citizenship oath to include loyalty to New Zealand, and respect for the democratic values of New Zealand and respect for the rights and freedoms of its people;
- It provides a Maori version of each oath. The Act provides that using a Maori equivalent of any of the oaths set out in that Act shall have full legal effect;
- It amends the Act to prescribe a Maori language version of the words with which an affirmation must begin.
What Harawria said:
“I, Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, that I will be honest and forthright in my efforts to advance the rights of the people of Tai Tokerau, that I will do my utmost to help all Maori people become full empowered citizens of this land and that I will do whatever I can to reduce inequalities in this country, so that all may one day be proud to call Aotearoa home.”
The correct oath (in English or Te Reo):
“I, [name] swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors, according to law. So help me God.”
“I [name] solemnly, sincerely and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second, Her heirs and successors, according to law.”
In 2005, Hone had sought to change this amendment to allow for bearing allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, but his amendment was not allowed. In the last few years, Australia has amended their oath and it does not include bearing allegiance to the queen.
Instead, Hone swore allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and as a result was asked to leave the chambers of Parliament.
See what actually took place: