May 8, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

The Great Parliamentary Shut out

1 min read

Who else was surprised when the Speaker of the House came down hard against Hone Harawira this afternoon?

“No Mr Harawira, you must stop and you will not be allowed to be sworn in as the Member for Te Tai Tokerau. It is bad enough that you returned and not Kelvin, so here is a message from me, John Key and all of our mates piss off.”

Bad move Mr Speaker saying it was illegal – that word there will definitely come back to bite you in the bum.

Green MP Catherine Delahunty than stood to say that she had done a similar thing by adding the Treaty o Waitangi to the oath and the same Speaker allowed her to repeat.

So then, does that make MP Delahunty an illegal representative?

And if so, is the Speaker now in breach of his own rules?

Now who was special privileges?

Were trying to find a full copy of the opening mihi that Hone started with because some of us are just as interested in what he was about to say as others are about the fact that he was not even allowed to speak.

1 thought on “The Great Parliamentary Shut out

  1. The conflict between Hone and Lockwood Smith over the oath of allegiance has far-reaching implications. Fundamentally it raises the questions of whether the people of Tai Tokerau have the right to choose their own political representative and whether their elected representative should be allowed to stand by the principles on which he was elected.

    Hone was elected by the people of Tai Tokerau on the basis of his commitment to the Treaty. Lockwood Smith says that Hone must put the monarchy before the Treaty if he is to sit in the House of Representatives. Therefore this has now become a matter of of democratic principle which affects not only the Hone, not only the people of Tai Tokerau, and not only the Mana Party, but all people of the motu, of all ethnicities, all classes, and all political persuasions.

    If Hone is not free to abide by his own principles, and if the people of Tai Tokerau are not free to choose him as their representative, then none of us are free.

    The story of the Swiss struggle for independence from Austria tells of how the Austrian tyrant Gesler placed his hat on a pole in the market place and demanded that the people of Switzerland bow before before it. After the patriot William Tell refused to bow to a hat on a pole he was seized by Gesler’s troops and ordered to shoot an arrow into an apple which Gesler had placed on the head of Tell’s son. This story may be apochryphal but it contains at least two important truths. The first is the importance of symbols in a people’s struggle for freedom. The second is that freedom is always hard won, and the struggle for freedom brings with it sacrifice and risks for those dearest to our hearts.

    For one hundred and seventy years British monarchs have placed their Crown on a pole, and demanded that the people of Aotearoa pledge allegiance to it. When in 1860 the tangata whenua of Tuakau peacefully refused to do so, they were driven out of their homes and off their land by British troops.

    Now Lockwood Smith says that Hone Harawira must pledge allegiance to the British Queen, or suffer the consequences. He says it is “the law of the land”. It is not the law of the land. It is the law of the British crown, and it is sheer wickedness. No human being should be bound in allegiance to any other. Our duty as a people is not to the British Crown, but to truth, justice, and human dignity. If Hone decides to stand his ground in two weeks time, he will not stand alone.

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