Well what a busy last couple of days I’ve had in the House. Yesterday after supporting International Worker’s Day (May Day), I decided to attack the Māori MPs in National in my General Debate.
The main reason I did that was because they have showed very little support for a fine man and good Māori advocate, Nuk Korako, who resigned because he was basically sick and tired of the zero support he would get for Māori issues.
I called some of the National MPs useless and singled out Jo Hayes, Simon Bridges, Dan Bidois and Paula Bennett – I make no apologies for calling them useless. When you’re in the Chamber, particularly in the General Debate, it’s all on and you take no prisoners. That’s how it’s always been and you can either handle it or not.
Paula Bennett took offence at what I said and is now trying to play the race card and the bully card – this from a former Social Development Minister who waged war on beneficiaries and in my view, worked against the interests of her people.
She is trying to spin the line that I don’t think she’s Māori which is not what I said in my speech – I said some days she’s Māori and some days she’s not, and that’s an undeniable fact.
However the reality is that Paula is Māori by virtue of her whakapapa and the argument isn’t whether she is Māori or not, the argument is actually has she ever advocated for Māori; has she ever taken a pro-Māori stance or a Kaupapa Māori stance – and the answer to that is unequivocally no.
And she needed to be called out for that, and I have no regrets about what I said about her or the other National MPs.
So here’s a video of question time and my general debate speech is in the comments section below. What do you think?
Willie Jackson is the Minister of Employment