Chris Lynch

ACT MP Karen Chhour has responded to the Maori Party’s “divisive outbursts.”

Co-leader Rawiri Waititi  said yesterday, ‘It’s now time for us to step comfortably into our rangatiratanga and to not give too much to this Pakeha Government with their Pakeha Budget for their Pakeha economy.’

Karen Chhour said “Rawiri Waititi and the Maori Party’s regular divisive outbursts are incredibly disappointing – they’ve permanently lowered the standards of debate in our Parliament, and I feel sorry for them.

“It is deeply disappointing is how little they have been held to account for this disgraceful behaviour. Instead, some media seem to think it’s a good idea to give them a platform to spout their abhorrent and divisive messages.

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi holding his tie aloft to symbolise a noose during his maiden speech in Parliament, Wellington. 03 December, 2020. NZ Herald photograph by Mark Mitchell NZH 04Dec20 – RGP 05Dec20 – Rawiri Waititi makes his maiden speech. PHOTO / FILE WGP 05Dec20 – Rawiri Waititi BTG 05Dec20 – Rawiri Waititi makes his maiden speech. PHOTO / FILE

“First, this Government has more Ministers with Maori ancestry than the Maori Party have MPs.

“Second, there’s no such thing as a Pakeha budget. This is a budget for all New Zealanders.

“Has Waititi forgotten that the Budget funds charter schools, an initiative that will help children underserved by the state system, and which the Maori Party has traditionally supported?

“Has he forgotten that it fixes the hole left by Labour in the pharmaceutical budget, ensuring all New Zealanders continue to have access to life-saving treatments?

“Waititi and the Maori Party chooses to see everything through a racial lens. We used to call that racism. But the institution that’s meant to hold politicians accountable is turning a blind eye to his behaviour.

“The Maori Party is bringing shame to our Parliament, and neglecting the very real challenges faced by those who are struggling. New Zealanders deserve better” Chhour said.

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