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Friday, July 15, 2011

Lockwood's double standard against Hone

New oath call after Hone stunt
Hone Harawira's supporters were at Parliament in force yesterday hoping to see him sworn in. Photo / Mark Mitchell
The Maori Party will push for the Treaty of Waitangi to be included in Parliament's oath after the Speaker kicked Hone Harawira out of the House for defying the formal oath.

The Mana leader was due to be sworn into Parliament again yesterday after winning the Te Tai Tokerau byelection, but was ejected for reading his own version of the affirmation, saying in Maori that he pledged his allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi, the people of Tai Tokerau, Maori and the dispossessed.

Speaker Lockwood Smith refused to go ahead with the swearing-in, ordering Mr Harawira to return on another sitting day when he was prepared to take the oath set out by law, at least a fortnight away.

Dr Smith told MPs he had not made his decision lightly, but he had warned Mr Harawira beforehand that the oath had to be given according to law.

Please explain the double standard here? Other members have been allowed to add or subtract from the oath in the exact same manner as long as they end with the correct affirmation EXACTLY what Hone was doing - why is it okay for others but not Hone?

As I/S over at No Right Turn so brilliantly puts it...

As previously noted, our Parliament has long had an accepted practice for dealing with this. MPs make their statement, then they do it again "properly". This respects the diversity of MP's views, while ensuring that the law is complied with. But suddenly, out of the blue, Smith has changed that practice, and is now requiring that MPs be sworn in in the legal form from the outset. No symbolic dissent is permissible. While cloaked in petty legalism, at its heart this is about cultural supremacy, and in particular the supremacy of Smith's dead white male monarchist culture over the new New Zealand culture which has been growing here for the last 40 years.

To claim that it is somehow "disrespecting Parliament" to symbolically refuse to take the affirmation in its proper form (and then do it) is an exact reversal of the truth. It is disrespecting Parliament, disrespecting our democracy, to forbid it. And it is disrespecting the people of New Zealand to try and erase our differences and enforce a monolithic culture upon those who represent us.

The double standards Lockwood use here to deny the leader of a Political Party from being able to interpret the oath in their way, while completing the legal necessity of the affirmation as it is written in law are disgusting.



At 15/7/11 8:04 am, Blogger merleneshedlock said...

Thanks for sharing your observation, for some of us, we realize 'something' ain't right, just have to find the language? lol

At 15/7/11 10:56 am, Blogger Fern said...

Re disrespect: Mr Speaker's mispronunciation of the everyday word waiata as wai-ah-ta annoyed me intensely and I'm not even Maori.


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