Delahunty “political correctness gone mad” on Maori protocol modernisation

Green MP Catherine Delahunty has written a letter to the editor regarding the Speaker’s request for Maori protocols in Parliament to be “modernised”. She said:

…I was shocked…by the assumption that Parliament has the right to dictate Maori protocol.

If the Speaker pursues this review as described relationships with manawhenua could be damaged.

Delahunty wants Parliament to modernise it’s own traditions rather than “debate tikanga which belongs to tangata whenua”.

Why not both?

This is in response to a news report and an editorial.

Speaker calls for Maori protocols to be modernised

Parliament’s Speaker, David Carter, has sought a review of Maori protocols at Parliament after two senior women 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.”

“I think Parliament needs to be in a position where it actually over time develops its own protocol under guidance from Te Atiawa and other iwi,” Mr Carter said.

An NZ Herald editorial supports this in Speaker’s look at Maori rules overdue

Over the years, there have been several instances in which Maori protocol has collided with women’s rights. In such cases, there is always a temptation to seek the path of least resistance. To hope, in effect, that belittled women will bow to cultural sensitivity and not make a fuss about it.

On most occasions they have opted against the fuss, with the result that nothing much has changed. Full marks, then, to Parliament’s Speaker, David Carter, who has been moved to seek a review of Maori protocols at Parliament and made it clear he intends to “modernise” them.

What should take precedence, Maori tradition or modern equality?

An example of why I fear a @nzlabour @nzgreens coalition. This really is “political correctness gone mad” 

I’d be happy for both Parliamentary traditions and Maori protocols associated with Parliament to be modernised. What suited Maori and Westminster two hundred years ago does not always fit with our modern secular world where equality is important.

NZ Herald:

The Speaker probably hopes that Te Atiawa will hear his concern and take the initiative in devising a protocol for powhiri at the nation’s capital. All iwi should take an interest in the review. This is an opportunity for Maori to make a statement that would resonate far beyond the precincts of Parliament. It would demonstrate the culture has the confidence to be modernised.

As Carter says, “Parliament needs a protocol that is modern and acceptable to a diversified Parliament.” 

And what is modern and acceptable to a diversified, multicultural, secular  New Zealand.

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