May 03, 2019
Blood and bruises in parliament Māori spat
Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare believes National deputy-leader Paula Bennett is being too sensitive about what she sees as attacks on her Māoriness.
Ms Bennett, who has Tainui links, has accused Labour MP Willie Jackson of racism for his attack on Māori in the National Party.
In the Wednesday general debate Mr Jackson said some days Ms Bennett knows she’s Māori, some days she doesn't.
He also suggested Northcote MP Dan Bidois needs to go back to Italy", and list MP Jo Hayes “ wouldn't have a clue".
Mr Henare says while whakapapa Māori is undeniable, the question is whether people contribute to Māori society.
"I’ve always known that Paula Bennett has Māori whakapapa as does Simon Bridges and many others in parliament but there is a difference when you start looking at whether you are kanohi kitea when it comes to progressing and supporting and speaking for Māori kaupapa," he says.
Being Māori is more than a classification or blood quantum.
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