March 11, 2022
Sovereign protest distorts tikanga
Green MP Teanau Tuiono says anti-vaccination protesters have a distorted view of tikanga Māori.
Hapū around the country have had to fend off groups thinking they can use marae as a place to regroup after being cleared from Parliament grounds.
Many have also flaunted symbols of Māori sovereignty at their protests, like the Tino Rangatiratanga and He Whakapūtanga flags.
Mr Tuiono says many subscribe to the ideas of the sovereign citizen movement and believe their interpretation of the common law overrides government statutes.
“It’s about individualism and being able to do your own thing. That is not tikanga Māori. Tikanga Māori for me is all about the whānau, it is about the hapū and then those connections to iwi. It’s about our collective responsibility to each other. That is not what these people are doing. The see the word sovereign and think it’s indigenous sovereignty but your individual sovereignty is completely different to our indigenous people’s rights which are collective,” he says.
More than 50 people arrested around Parliament last week appeared in the District Court at Wellington yesterday and pleaded not guilty to trespass and obstruction charges.
Most appeared by video link because they refused to wear masks.
They were remanded until April and May for case review hearings.