Parliament should embrace equality for women

January 4th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

’s Speaker, David Carter, has sought a review of Maori protocols at after two senior MPs were asked to move from the front row for a welcome ceremony to visitors.

He said he wanted to “modernise” the protocols. “Parliament needs a protocol that is modern and acceptable to a diversified Parliament.”

Parliament’s longest serving woman MP Annette King and her Labour colleague Maryan Street were asked to move from the front bench during a powhiri at the start of the Youth Parliament several months ago.

That prompted the Speaker to begin a process to review protocols that were put in place 15 years ago with the oversight of the Wellington iwi, Te Atiawa.

On a marae, the protocol is set by the host Iwi. They can set whatever rules they want (and of course bear any criticism of those rules). But in Parliament, the rules should be set by Parliament, and they should and must embrace equality. It is offensive to women MPs to be told during Youth Parliament they can not sit on the front bench during the powhiri.

Ms King and Ms Street came in late and when they sat on the front row alongside the Speaker, they were asked to shift by Kura Moeahu, who assists Parliament’s kaumatua, Rose White-Tahuparae.

“They were asked to move and I thought that was embarrassing to them,” Mr Carter told the Herald.

He had had feedback from other MPs.

“I have initiated the discussions with Te Atiawa and I haven’t had feedback from those discussions. But the matter won’t rest. I intend to follow it up in the New Year. I want Te Atiawa to talk to other iwi so that we can modernise protocol but do it in a way that respects Maori tradition,” Mr Carter said.

It sounds like the Speaker is determined to get change, which is excellent.

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63 Responses to “Parliament should embrace equality for women”

  1. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    Beyond satire

    “Parliament needs a protocol that is modern and acceptable to a diversified Parliament.”

    I just love it when the politically correct get tripped up trying to appease different politically protected groups with contradictory demands.

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  2. kowtow (7,581 comments) says:

    A while back when this country was called New Zealand it would have been wrong for the wimmin to be told to move……however all parties ,but Labour in particular are anxious to have the country called Aotearoa and to push biculturalism as well as the undefined principles of the Treaty into our constitutional arrangements…….

    ….as such fuck off ,you can’t have it both ways,sit at the back with the rest of us second class citizens.

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  3. Jack5 (4,568 comments) says:

    Why don’t Maori women tell the shamans to get stuffed? There are a lot of very able, strong Maori women. I don’t understand why they put up with it.

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  4. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Isn’t this Maori protocol rubbish over the top. Now we see the most dysfunctional and broke council in the country costing already overtaxed ratepayers more for advertising and printing jobs, descriptions, and conditions in Maori. I suppose these positions will be for 3 days a week with 5 days’ wages.

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  5. MT_Tinman (2,984 comments) says:

    I agree this needs changing.

    Why should bloody sheilas be able to get away from the christ-awful wailing and gnashing fellas are forced to endure?

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  6. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    Isn’t the solution just to consider all people that use “Ms” a bloke? Then Ms King and Ms Street can sit at the front.

    And why can’t we define all Kiwis as Maoris? It’s discrimination to deny people the right to consider themselves men, Maori, or feminists if they so choose. Surely, the bro-effect is communicable?

    I certainly hope a few men apply to fill the women quotas that Labour will be using to have a well balanced marriage of men and women parliamentarians. Time to break the glass ceiling – I really think men can do nearly as good a job at being a women, if only they are given the chance.

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  7. Rex Widerstrom (5,253 comments) says:

    Kowtow (in his inimitable way) raises a very salient point. You can’t pick and choose which parts of cultural traditions you honour and which you don’t. I agree with acknowledging NZ’s Maori heritage; I also agree with equality in Parliament and elsewhere (if there should be any hierarchy, it should be between elected and List MPs (and yes, the use of “elected” is deliberate)).

    But Maori culture is patriarchal in terms of marae protocol, and Maori people have not opted to change that. So you either take the baby with the bathwater, or throw them both out. All the Speaker should be asking local Maori, and MPs, is which of those two options they prefer.

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  8. Longknives (4,390 comments) says:

    “as such fuck off ,you can’t have it both ways,sit at the back with the rest of us second class citizens”

    My thoughts exactly! Either get rid of all this embarrassing pandering to Maori culture or play the game….

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  9. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    On a marae, the protocol is set by the host Iwi. They can set whatever rules they want (and of course bear any criticism of those rules). But in Parliament, the rules should be set by Parliament…

    The spectacle of Parliament inventing rules for a powhiri would be an amusing one for me, but Maori might struggle to see the funny side. Do you really not see what a farce it would be, trying to have a “Maori” ceremony with the bits non-Maori might find offensive removed? It would be like wanting to have prayers with the religious bits removed – what would be the point?

    [DPF: You both assume that there is one protocol for Maori and also that customs can not change. How strange for a so called progressive. Several marae do not banish women to the back, and frankly even if they did, I'm quite happy to say they should get with the times. Culture is not stagnant and is not an excuse to discriminate. By that measure women should not be allowed to work, because up until 100 years ago it was culturally inappropriate for them to do so.]

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  10. Longknives (4,390 comments) says:

    “And why can’t we define all Kiwis as Maoris?”

    Will Chris Finlayson write me out a massive cheque?
    Maybe to ‘appease’ my family Taniwha or something??

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  11. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    Who needs this powhiri crap?

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  12. Jack5 (4,568 comments) says:

    Rex Widderstrom posted at 2.58:

    You can’t pick and choose which parts of cultural traditions you honour and which you don’t

    I disagree.

    New Zealand doesn’t honour the Maori cultural traditions of slavery or cannibalism, nor Western cultural traditions such as witch burning and trial by torture, nor Indian traditions such as suttee, nor Chinese traditions such as footbinding.

    All cultures decide all the time what part of others’ cultures they will honour, and how far they will go in this.

    If a state museum such as Te Papa-Disneyland lets it be known it doesn’t want women who are menstruating to enter a display gallery it’s honouring a cultural tradition, while at the same time it will be refusing to follow another cultural tradition which might require it to tap on the head with a mere those menstruating visitors who ignore the first cultural tradition.

    One sleeping cultural tradition clash which the animal rights fanatics are sure to raise forcefully soon is the way that animals must be slaughtered to provide halal and kosher meat respectively for Muslim and Jewish New Zealanders. This clashes with Western cultural traditions on the least-cruel ways to slaughter animals.

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  13. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    Do you really not see what a farce it would be, trying to have a “Maori” ceremony with the bits non-Maori might find offensive removed? It would be like wanting to have prayers with the religious bits removed – what would be the point?

    What makes you think that some Maori don’t find it offensive and would want it changed?

    I think if we want to keep these ceremonies, they have to be moved into the 21st century. Or be dumped.

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  14. OneTrack (2,564 comments) says:

    I vote dump them. On a marae, yeah, ok. Everywhere else – no thanks.

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  15. Brendan55 (1 comment) says:

    Agreed with David here. 2014 should be the year women finally achieve equal rights within the New Zealand House of Parliament.

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  16. Joanne (177 comments) says:

    I’d like to see Kura Moreahu move Judith Collins, Hekia Parata or Paula Bennett. I would hope they would tell him to go away or they would leave the ceremony.

    The tradition is on the marae where there would be some heated discussion and aggression and a lot of the tradition was to physically protect women. There is very little need if any need of that now.

    The issue is the powhiri has been taken outside the marae to a non-traditional Maori setting, so those rules don’t really apply.

    My personal opinion is that it give Te Atiawa a sense of importance. That Kura Moreahu had no need to tell the MPs to move and that it made him feel important. It was Maori one-upmanship.

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  17. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    eszett pontificates

    What makes you think that some Maori don’t find it offensive and would want it changed?

    Well if they do want it changed then it will be changed and if they don’t want it changed it wont (or shouln’t be)

    And if you don’t like the way they do things then don’t fucking attend and if you don’t mind and want to go then go and play according to the customs of those who are putting it on.

    For sensible people this isn’t hard, it only silly moderns who get confused by all this crap

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  18. MH (624 comments) says:

    Follow the Len Brown protocol.

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  19. Akaroa (535 comments) says:

    When I read about this – the forced removal of two Members of our Parliament to seats deemed to be of lesser prominence at the behest of, or to placate, Maori – I sighed to myself and wearily breathed, “Not again”.

    There are so many issues here that I just don’t know where to start.

    Well, what about two members of our Parliament – who have been duly elected by the voters and who have been afforded certain Party status meriting front bench positioning – being shoved back on the whim of a group that – as far as i am aware – has absolutely no standing or formal authority to demand such a move. It was a welcoming ceremony for visitors, for goodness sake!

    OK, be polite to visitors by all means – (who isn’t? – but not as far as turfing MPs out of their allotted seats?. Sorry, our place, our rules prevail.

    I may be wrong, but I think that these days a lot of this Maori protocol is barely tolerated by a lot of people. (What about the Maori ‘challenge’ of visiting VIPs?. Cringe-worthy imho.) It just needs a few incidents like this to start to harden up the general public’s attitude and erode their tolerance of customary Maori protocol and practice.

    Tell me, somebody, why is it that your everyday Maori is almost always a straight up, likeable guy/gal – but that when ‘protocol’ comes up the picture changes. Beats me!!l

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  20. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    Well if they do want it changed then it will be changed and if they don’t want it changed it wont (or shouln’t be)

    And if you don’t like the way they do things then don’t fucking attend and if you don’t mind and want to go then go and play according to the customs of those who are putting it on.

    For sensible people this isn’t hard, it only silly moderns who get confused by all this crap

    Really, Andrei? Is it not possible for you to contemplate the fact that “the Maori” are not one homogenous group with one single opinion? Could it be that very much like everyone else there may be different opinions within that group?

    Just like, say e.g. some orthodox christians are kicking and screaming when they are dragged into the 21st century from the antiquated views, some Maori may resist while others may actually do the dragging.

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  21. Manolo (13,315 comments) says:

    Ah, the delights of Stone Age “culture”.

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  22. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    Is it not possible for you to contemplate the fact that “the Maori” are not one homogenous group with one single opinion?

    eh?

    e.g. some orthodox christians are kicking and screaming when they are dragged into the 21st century from the antiquated views

    eh?

    Nobody has to be dragged kicking and screaming anywhere – this is where so called progressives are totally messed up – they want OTHER PEOPLE to conform to WHAT THEY (the PROGRESSIVES) DICTATE TO BE RIGHT.

    e.g If you’re an Orthodox Christian, you go along with the Church and its teachings and customs – and if you don’t like it – well there’s always the Anglicans, its a free country, nobody makes you be an Orthodox Christian and nobody makes you attend an Orthodox Church so there no need to drag me or anybody else kicking and screaming into the 21st century as it is defined in Liberal pathology

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  23. Monique Angel (251 comments) says:

    Annette King and Maryan Street should have told Kura Oeahu, and Rose White-Tahupara to frig off and stop the time wasting as King and Street were there to represent the other 4 million New Zealanders. where was their backbone?
    FFS. It was the Youth parliament, even.

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  24. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    You sound very much kicking and screaming to me, Andrei.

    Yes, you can do whatever you like in your church, Andrei, and when you are left behind when everyone else moves on, well so be it. No loss there.

    But this is parliament that we are talking about, and as such we all have a say in what is done there and how it is done.

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  25. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    These powhiris are really annoying. They tend to be almost mandatory at the state school my sons go to, and so I’ll have to do the email to the principal again on how it’s a religious ceremony that I don’t want my youngest son attending. And then I’ll have to go into the school to “quietly” remove him from the school for that period, for to do so in any other way would be offensive.

    All this Maori religious stuff has turned into the defacto state religion, and people treat it like it’s just cultural, but it’s more than that.

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  26. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    Very funny, Lucia, you of all people complaining about religion. ROFTL

    But I agree with you on a lot of stuff there, the whole getting rid of evil spirits thing is annoying. Can we then also get rid of prayer in parliament too please?

    BTW, in what way is a powhiri a religious ceremony? Genuine question, I always thought of it more of a welcome ceremony.

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  27. V (668 comments) says:

    So many of these ceremonies these days, can’t they just film one and play it back as required. Save the taxpayer a bit of money in the process.

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  28. doggone7 (675 comments) says:

    Ah, a new year and the Speaker is determined that people will get a fair go in the house!

    I’ll believe that when I see it.

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  29. Andrei (2,499 comments) says:

    But this is parliament that we are talking about, and as such we all have a say in what is done there and how it is done.

    we all?

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

    You are too funny for words – not Wellington iwi, Te Atiawa, apparently. In a “modern and diversified Parliament” there is no room for “diversity” of opinion as to where women should sit during a powhiri.

    Diversity actually means total conformity in this context

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

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  30. nasska (10,611 comments) says:

    Game, set & match to Andrei. :)

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  31. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    lol, andrei, you are now just being a bit hysterical, aren’t you? Maybe a ha ha too many there?
    Doesn’t surprise me though that a conservative, who’s greatest worry is how to hang on to his outdated, misogynistic traditions would defend another conservative, misogynistoc tradition.

    So if I understand you correctly, you don’t like the powhiri and you don’t like to change it either? Even the discussion is a red flag for you.

    Funny how you complain about conformity, because you are the one who wishes everyone to conform to your views.

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  32. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    Eszett,

    Yeah, well, I don’t want my kids involved in pagan religious ceremonies, whatever their type.

    It’s very hard to get an official explanation and translation of the powhiri, so I had to rely on sources that may or may not be trustworthy as to what the nature of the powhiri is. This site explains it: Powhiri.

    There are aspects that I (as a person who believes that supernatural and preternatural stuff exists) find disturbing. Such as:

    As the ceremony progresses also, the tapu or sacredness surrounding manuhiri is removed, and they become one with the tangata whenua.

    and

    The tangata whenua will perform the haka powhiri, a chant and dance of welcome, during which the manuhiri are symbolically drawn onto the marae (sacred courtyard).

    and

    Then the manuhiri move across the marae to hongi with the tangata whenua. The hongi is a gentle pressing of noses, and signifies the mingling together of the sacred breath of life, and the two sides become one.

    and

    The powhiri concludes with the sharing of kai or food, called hakari. The food removes the tapu or sacredness from the manuhiri, so that the two sides may complete the coming together. As in all cultures the sharing of food also signifies a binding together.

    Now, a lot people might consider all of this to be just symbolism, especially if you don’t believe in anything except the physical reality, therefore none of this really matters.

    Except, Maori are very sensitive about all of this being done properly, including having women not sit in the front.

    As a religious person, I recognise another at work when I see it.

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  33. nasska (10,611 comments) says:

    Now you know the feeling of dread we atheists feel when your priests start waving smoke boxes around & chanting gibberish Lucia Maria. :)

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  34. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    Nasska,

    Oh I know!

    That’s why it’s not enforced. You don’t have to attend if you don’t want to. Freedom of religion and all that.

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  35. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    There’s enough females in the place, & work places, as it is……kitchens around the country are empty.

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  36. nasska (10,611 comments) says:

    The Geneva Convention would prevent compulsory attendance Lucia Maria.

    But to be fair I’ve only attended two Catholic services. The first was a wedding & that was mercifully brief. The other was a funeral many years ago…… that of a workmate who didn’t have much truck for the church but was the only son of parents were religious cranks.

    One hour, fortyseven & a half minutes of my life that I will never get back. From then on if a deceased is a Catholic I develop flu & send flowers. :)

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  37. wiseowl (751 comments) says:

    It’s high time all this poewirry crap was done away with.
    This country is New Zealand. It is not morriland. Things have changed and in 2014 it is time to get rid of this crap and work as one.
    Kiwis for NZ. Stop the racist crap and aparthied shit that National have embraced.
    Time to grow up.

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  38. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    All this Maori religious stuff has turned into the defacto state religion, and people treat it like it’s just cultural, but it’s more than that.

    As others have observed, when not complaining about evil secularism you theists complain that the country is not secular enough.

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  39. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    Wat,

    Err, no. I doubt you’ll be able to find any comment from me about “evil secularism”, as I consider secularism to be good, not evil.

    Church and state need to be separated.

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  40. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    Nasska,

    Well, you have my sympathies. You must have got the full Requiem Mass.

    Next time you could also wait outside in the car and pop into the foyer and give your condolences when it’s finished, and maybe no one will noticed you weren’t there. That way you can be involved in the burial and the snacks and nibbles afterwards.

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  41. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    A secularist wants secularism, a Catholic appreciates Catholicism.

    It’s silly to say because a Catholic is a Catholic, they surely shouldn’t mind Sharia law or the elevation of the Maori Religion over our Christian heritage, introduced in the interests of “fairness” and “equality”.

    It’s only Liberals (big L) that think fairness is pandering to everyone. In practice though, such Liberals are ultimately only tolerant of Liberalism.

    That being said, it actually remains a Christian friendly concept to support secularism for governance. This idea is not at odds at all with Christianity. It is not the role of the Church to act as Caesar. That has been clear from the very first days (“render unto Caesar what is Caesars”) . As a Christian, I support the continued separation of Church and State.

    [so Lucia’s comment that the secular state school engage in Powhiri’s and that is a bad thing, is a perfectly reasonable statement
    for her to make. Read my opening lines again.)

    Our society sprung from a strong Christian heritage. It has secularised along the way (partly to the credit of Christianity – another debate for another time). So on that basis, it is reasonable for the Christian to want to preserve those aspects of our heritage. Parliament is busy secularising, but has, in its progressive foolishness, started pandering to Maori religion (calling it culture, but they are inseparable). Situations like this demonstrate very clearly that the Christian and liberal (small L) concepts of equality are at odds with the Maorification of our society. It could be argued that the Maorification comes at the expense, rather than coexistence of the Western cultural traditions. This is because progressives want to forget their past and change the narrative.

    Whilst I am happy for a secular system of governance, that doesn’t stop me advocating for the preservation of our Christian heritage. I also respect the Maori’s fight to advocate for the preservation of their own culture. I wish we cared as much for ours as Maori do for theirs, and the ongoing fusion of the two to make something distinctly NZ isn’t necessarily a bad thing – but situations like above call mockery to our own values, which I have no problem declaring are morally superior. Moral Relativism is another disease of the progressive mind.

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  42. Warren Murray (271 comments) says:

    I thought parliament was sovereign and set its own procedures, protocols, etc. Now, it seems to be subordinate to Te Ataiawa. Doesn’t seem right.

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  43. MH (624 comments) says:

    unless he was properly tattoed and attired pre European style then his suggestions should have been ignored or alternatively the Head Protocologeist could have warned the gathering prior, as part of good manners. Then it would have been a discretionary decision to challenge and make a scene or accept the procedure and then seek a review later. It was not so long ago we had segregated audiences (male/female) watching A Clockwork orange.

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  44. itstricky (1,535 comments) says:

    As a religious person, I recognise another at work when I see it

    And so, naturally, being a religious person you would also be happy if the school held mass but not if they held a powhiri. And so the legacy of the righteous continues. Maori culture is part of the country. If you do not like it take your kid out of class and quit complaining about it. That is what I would do for bible studies.

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  45. itstricky (1,535 comments) says:

    It’s high time all this poewirry crap was done away with

    Rubbish. Get with the times Mr Wise. Stop sounding like a bitter old man and start embracing the unique. What was before is not always best for the future. If it were we would all look and sound exactly the same. Boring.

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  46. wiseowl (751 comments) says:

    Piss off tricky dicky.
    You’ve contradicted yourself.
    Get with the times heh.It’s the ancient bullshit that needs to be put into perspective.
    Stop looking backwards and and embrace whats real mate.
    And you miss the point .We, ie New Zealanders, are NOT fuckin Moori. It’s time to stop bending over backwards to this race based diatribe and move forward as Kiwis.

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  47. Lucia Maria (2,202 comments) says:

    Itstricky,

    If you do not like it take your kid out of class and quit complaining about it. That is what I would do for bible studies.

    Um, yeah, that’s what I said in my comment that I do. I take my kid out of class.

    Though, Bible Studies should not be part of the state school curriculum, either.

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  48. itstricky (1,535 comments) says:

    Um, yeah, that’s what I said in my comment that I do. I take my kid out of class. Though, Bible Studies should not be part of the state school curriculum, either

    Can you remind me then, what were you complaining about?

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  49. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    Complaining? Oh, you mean expressing an opinion.

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  50. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    On a blog, of all places!

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  51. itstricky (1,535 comments) says:

    <Get with the times heh.It’s the ancient bullshit that needs to be put into perspective. Get with the times heh.It’s the ancient bullshit that needs to be put into perspective

    I bet that is what all the French and Spanish and what ever culture you identify with say as well. Let us drop our thousands of years of heritage. Yep drop it all because it means nothing and is worthless. If you don’t like it don’t do it. Otherwise leave it alone.

    Ps. Have you ever wondered to yourself why you deliberately misspell/mispronounce names/nouns eg powhiri/itstricky?

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  52. Kimble (4,375 comments) says:

    Our society sprung from a strong Christian heritage.

    Christianity was around for a pretty long time before our society sprung from anything. The fact that Christianity was the dominant cult during our tribes ascension is merely an accident of history.

    Its natural to want to believe that the ordinary human decency seen in the rules of your society mirror those espoused by your cult, and the religious are already predisposed to believing in predestination, but the idea that our modern society has to thank a particular cult for its existence is most politely described as quaint.

    At some point in the not too distant future, barring the resurgence of religious authoritarianism (or possibly in spite of it), the concept of a Christian, Jewish, or Muslim ‘God’ will be viewed as backward as the historical belief in dragons, elder spirits, and all other (now discarded) gods like Zeus and Odin.

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  53. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    Lucia Maria (1,844 comments) says:
    January 4th, 2014 at 6:58 pm
    Eszett,

    Yeah, well, I don’t want my kids involved in pagan religious ceremonies, whatever their type.

    Well I sure hope you don’t celebrate Christmas with a Christmas Tree and Easter with Bunnies and Eggs.
    Wouldn’t want you kids involved with such pagan traditions.

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  54. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    Our society sprung from a strong Christian heritage.

    Our society also sprang from a strong feudal heritage, a strong slavery heritage, a strong genocide heritage and a strong imperial conquest heritage. None of them are good things to base our society on now.

    NB: it’s “sprang” from. Our society also has a good strong English language heritage, with the verb form of which spring, sprang, sprung is an example going back to the Old English of the first millennium AD. If we’re valuing our heritage, let’s do it properly. It springs, it sprang, it has sprung.

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  55. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    [DPF: You both assume that there is one protocol for Maori and also that customs can not change. How strange for a so called progressive. Several marae do not banish women to the back, and frankly even if they did, I'm quite happy to say they should get with the times. Culture is not stagnant and is not an excuse to discriminate. By that measure women should not be allowed to work, because up until 100 years ago it was culturally inappropriate for them to do so.]

    Actually, I assume that there is no “national” protocol for Maori and it’s not Parliament’s place to invent one, which are entirely reasonable assumptions. I also assume that customs can and do change, but it’s not Parliament’s place to tell Maori what protocol a powhiri needs to follow. As for whether it’s a good idea to preserve traditions from earlier times for no good reason, Parliament’s hardly the body to be lecturing anyone on the subject. If it wants to play the game of token gestures for Maori, it has to actually make the gestures, not quibble about them.

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  56. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    What makes you think that some Maori don’t find it offensive and would want it changed?

    Nothing at all. I just don’t think Whitey gets a say in it.

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  57. flipper (3,533 comments) says:

    If Carter scrubs this powhiri nonsense he will be taking a major step toward the 21st Century (at the moment the Parliament is stuck in the late 19th).

    The real tragedy is that King and Street (say, as a homosexual, is she make or female????) agreed to move. Clark was moved to tears some years back , if I recall correctly, over the same issue.

    So far as I am concerned, Maori may do what is legally correct in their own houses.

    Parliament is the House of all New Zealand – of all races and cultures. Ensure that principle is both enshrined and preserved.

    .

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  58. OneTrack (2,564 comments) says:

    “If Carter scrubs this powhiri nonsense ”

    He wont. Finlayson et al will have a little chat and the matter will quietly disappear again. If it came to a vote, even Street and King would bow down. Race trumps gender.

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  59. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    @PM: On Sprung: Guess you spranged me on that one.

    As for the “our society sprang from a strong genocide/slavery heritage” line of argument, I think you break several types of logical arguments. That aside, if Whitey doesn’t get a say in how women are treated in parliament (versus the marae), it becomes understandable how our rich heritage, built on christian values and secular governance is being so easily given up by the progressives. Apparently, some cannot even discern the significance of having slavery in our past, and rejection of slavery in our heritage.

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  60. Psycho Milt (2,246 comments) says:

    Sorry for the pedantry, I was made well grumpy by a newsreader saying ‘swum’ instead of ‘swam’ and the nerve was obviously still raw. NZ journalists should be fluent in English – instead we get “journalists,” whose profession is writing but can’t write.

    Re heritage, I don’t think Parliament can seriously expect to invite Maori in to do some ceremony as a token gesture, and then pick and choose items out of it as though it were some kind of a la carte menu.

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  61. ZenTiger (425 comments) says:

    @PM – Perhaps. Inviting in a Priest to do a blessing, but then forbidding him from doing the full necessary exorcism would be a bit on the nose, although I’d expect lashings of holy water might at least leave burn marks on some of the front benchers. I was under the impression though that the protocols varied across Iwi and could be set.

    The addition of a hungi (Hāngi) pit in the centre of the chamber should also be considered. When sittings go long into the night, a feed of kumara and wild pig might help better decision making. Ideally, big enough to roast the occasional list MP that starts a speech with “I represent the people of NZ”

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  62. Dave_1924 (90 comments) says:

    This is so simply to solve.

    Parliament as we have it here in NZ is modelled on the Westminster tradition from the UK.

    As such Maori protocol has no sway on who sits where. This I understand is in the writ of the Speaker to determine as guardian of the Houses rules and protocols.

    As such the Speaker should TELL Te Atiawa they are in Parliament as guests to perform a welcome and as such his rules apply. Which means no discrimination against woman.

    Frankly a number of elements of Maori cultural practice are out of date and need to change – and the treatment of woman on marae is a primary example [and yes acknowledge the treatment is different tribe to tribe, with some tribes not applying the Woman to the back protocol]

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  63. eszett (2,331 comments) says:

    Nothing at all. I just don’t think Whitey gets a say in it.

    In Parliament? What makes you say that? David Carter initiated the whole thing, is he not whitey enough for you?
    In fact a lot of “whitey” say in this all.

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