It’s interesting that we can waste time on debating if neckties should be banned in Parliament but no one bats an eye when the Māori Party were banned from talking in Parliament.
The symbolism of the Māori Party storming out of Parliament last week was lost on most commentators and condescendingly written off as the Māori Party not understanding the standing orders of Parliament.
I beg to differ.
What the storming out was really about is how the Māori Party interpret their role in Parliament.
They don’t see themselves as merely another minor Party, they see themselves as the political embodiment of the other Treaty Partner, and as such, demands the respect of the other Treaty Partner.
This confidence in their Tino rangatiratanga swager will infuriate the Pakeha establishment, but for Māori, it will set a benchmark of respect in the ongoing dialogue of the Treaty.
The Māori Party are looking like a resurgent political force, not a Party confused by Parliamentary standing orders.