March 11, 2021
Maori Party silenced over police questions
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi says the way he was denied a question in parliament yesterday was an example of how racist systems support other racist systems.
The Waiariki MP was cut off by Speaker Trevor Mallard after he objected to the way his supplementary question about police profiling and photographing tamariki Māori was answered.
He says the Māori Party only has four supplementary questions a week and a primary question every two or three weeks when parliament is sitting.
"We can ask questions on behalf of Māori in a way no other Māori in that House can ask because they are tied to party lines. It is our job to ensure an authentic Māori voice is heard and I think yesterday was a prime example of silencing the Māori voice in this particular space," he says.
Rawiri Waititi says the question he was blocked from asking was whether the Police Minister would agree to a Royal Commission into racial profiling of tamariki Māori, the anti-gang Operation Tauwhero and the excessive use by police of pain techniques against Māori.
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