Nationwide day of action against the government’s assault on Te Tiriti

Nationwide day of action against the government’s assault on Te Tiriti

The Māori Party, Te Pāti Māori, has announced plans to protest new Government policies seen as breaching principles of the Treaty of Waitangi. The party calls for nationwide demonstrations Tuesday morning coinciding with Parliament’s swearing-in ceremonies in Wellington.

Te Pāti Māori decries the oath of allegiance to the British monarch which incoming MPs must take, arguing this symbolically subordinates indigenous rights granted through the Treaty of Waitangi in 1840. The party urges “Tangata Whenua [people of the land] and Tangata Tiriti [people of the Treaty]” to join nonviolent resistance against Prime Minister Luxon’s 100-day plan enacted without adequate Māori consultation.

“We owe no allegiance to the genocidal legacy of the British Empire or colonial rule placing Parliament above our mana [prestige],” said party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer. She contends the protests represent rising multi-ethnic demands to honor the Treaty of Waitangi and end marginalization of Māori communities.

The Terrace Tunnel blockade aims to spotlight what critics label the new Government’s discriminatory agenda. Te Pāti Māori further promises escalating peaceful demonstrations if its grievances go unaddressed.

However, some detractors argue the party should express opposition through proper parliamentary processes, not civil disruption aiming to delegitimize New Zealand’s constitutional order. Government officials also note they plan discussions with Māori leadership about adjusting policies to respect cultural heritage.

Te Pāti Māori representatives counter that nonviolent resistance has long advanced indigenous rights causes globally when institutional channels fail. And protests may proceed safely with advance coordination, they say.

The mounting feud signals stormy political divides ahead. But both sides share hopes that unity and equality may prevail between Māori and Pākehā [European-descent] New Zealanders through good faith reconciliation efforts respecting all Kiwis.