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Indigenous politician defies protocol and performs powerful haka in the parliament

It was considered a breach of protocol as they were first supposed to swear an oath to King Charles III.

Indigenous politician defies protocol and performs powerful haka in the parliament
Cover Image Source: YouTube | Now This News

Recently, a video of a 21-year-old, Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, a New Zealand parliamentarian, went viral where she performed the traditional "haka" or "war cry" in the parliament, per The Independent. Surprisingly, she is not the only person who has performed haka. On December 5, MP Rawiri Waititi also performed a ceremonial haka and pledged allegiance to his indigenous ancestors. It was considered a breach of protocol as they are first supposed to swear an oath to King Charles III before induction, reports Now This News.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Rawiri Waititi MP (@rawiri_waititi)


 

In the video posted on YouTube, he can be seen saying, "According to Maori practices and values, I will perform my functions and duties and exercise my powers in accordance with the Treaty of Waitangi. I, Rawiri Waititi, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to our mokopuna (descendants)." He then performs the "haka" or "war cry" in the parliament. Later, he also swears his oath to King Charles III. "I, Rawiri Waititi, solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to his Majesty King Charles III."

The incident happened on the same day as thousands of Maori citizens and their allies organized mass protests in Wellington, New Zealand. Last year in October, the country's parliament changed from NZ's center-left Labor Party to a coalition of three right-wing parties. The new government had spoken about its plans to "wind back the use of Maori language, review affirmative action policies and assess how the country's founding treaty document is interpreted in legislation," as reported by Reuters.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Te Rawhitiroa Bosch (@rawhitiroa)


 

Six lawmakers who belong to the community pledged their descendants to Tikanga or Maori practices and the Maori version of the Treaty of Waitangi, reports NBC News. The treaty was signed in 1840, which states that the British and Maori reached a consensus to govern New Zealand. However, the English version differs and there is a debate if Maori ceded sovereignty. Waititi told the local media that Harehare was another name for Charles, which was used by two party members. However, it is said that it can also translate into something objectable or offensive.


 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Te Paati Māori o Aotearoa (@maori_party)


 

Hana-Rawhiti is the youngest MP to be elected to the parliament in 170 years who made an emotional speech on December 12. She told The Independent, "We have arrived. We are here. We are sailing. We are navigating, just like our ancestors once did, in the biggest ocean in the world." Rawhiti has been representing her party as an MP since the 2023 general elections in New Zealand. She is the youngest lawmaker since James Stuart, elected in 1853 when he was 20 years old.


 
 
 
 
 
View this post on Instagram
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Te Rawhitiroa Bosch (@rawhitiroa)


 

She performed haka at the beginning of her speech and said, "I will die for you but I will [also] live for you. I truly feel like I've already said my maiden speech outside the steps of Parliament last year for the 50th anniversary of Te Petihana." She added that she dedicated that speech to her grandparents. However, this one is for "all our children," as reported by Waikato Herald.



 

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