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Hone’s right

Written By: - Date published: 11:19 pm, July 14th, 2011 - 124 comments
Categories: hone harawira, Parliament - Tags:

You’ve gotta love Hone Harawira’s style. By refusing to use the right words in his oath, Hone exposed the ridiculousness of our representatives swearing allegiance to a Queen on the far side of the world and calling on the aid of a deity that only 50% of us believe in. Lockwood Smith had no choice but to evict Hone because he has to act within the law and the oath is law. It’s the law that needs to change.

As a good materialist, I don’t really get the point in oaths and rote speeches and all the other sentimental, outdated bourgeois symbolism that permeates Parliament. Why does there have to be a Protestant (and xenophobic) prayer at the start of each sitting? Why is there a guy whose sole job appears to be carrying a big golden mace, putting it on a table then, sitting in the corner? Why the oath? Why the whole day at the start of each Parliament where they pretend to select a Speaker (in fact, appointed by the government) and then follow him to listen to a speech (written by the government) from the sovereign’s representative (chosen by the government) about what ‘her’ government will do this term?

I don’t see why Harawira or any MP should have to give any oath, much less the one in the legislation. I’d prefer if they just got on with it. And if they do have to give an oath, couldn’t it just be whatever words (less than 100) to the effect of: they are who they are meant to be, they’ll do the job they’ve been elected for, they won’t break the law in doing it, and whatever other values matter to them personally? Wouldn’t that make a lot more sense?

Update: Actually, it is Lockwood’s fault. It used to be you could say your own oath and then the legal ‘proper’ one. But Lockwood, who also changed practice so that he gets to parade through the main doors of Parliament with the mace-bearer behind him, changed the rule so that only the official oath was acceptable from the outset. I/S explains:

No symbolic dissent is permissible. While cloaked in petty legalism, at its heart this is about cultural supremacy, and in particular the supremacy of Smith’s dead white male monarchist culture over the new New Zealand culture which has been growing here for the last 40 years.

To claim that it is somehow “disrespecting Parliament” to symbolically refuse to take the affirmation in its proper form (and then do it) is an exact reversal of the truth. It is disrespecting Parliament, disrespecting our democracy, to forbid it. And it is disrespecting the people of New Zealand to try and erase our differences and enforce a monolithic culture upon those who represent us.

Of course, even the old practice was unsatisfactory. There’s no logical reason why a properly elected representative of the people of New Zealand shouldn’t be allowed to sit in Parliament on their behalf unless he says a certain set of words to a certain other person.

Update 2: Hone’s attempt to swear his oath. Trevor Mallard sought Parliament’s leave for Hone to be allowed to swear the legal oath, having said his one. National vetoed that.

124 comments on “Hone’s right ”

  1. Lockwood Smith had no choice but to evict Hone because he has to act within the law and the oath is law

    Actually, he didn’t. The law says that Hone has to swear or affirm. It doesn’t say that he only gets one chance per day, or that he can’t say anything else first. Those bits are entirely the creation of Lockwood Smith.

    In the past, MPs (including Hone) have made exactly these sorts of statements, then having made their point, said it “properly”. Smith should have followed that practice. Instead, he made an arse of himself, and our Parliament, by trying to stifle dissent and erase diversity. What a twatcock.

    • Zetetic 1.1

      noted and updated.

      teach me to accept the basic facts of the story as reported in the msm.

    • burt 1.2

      It doesn’t say that he only gets one chance per day…

      That’s weak, really weak. He refused to follow the protocol, let me guess you think parliament should have been completely dragged to a standstill while Lockwood Smith repeated the request to use the correct protocol until such time as Hone decided parliament was a bigger institution than himself..

      What drugs are you on I/S ? Bet you’re not brave enough to post that BS on your own site and allow comments !

      • Zetetic 1.2.1

        give me a reason why Hone saying a correct set of words to Lockwood matters. Why it matters more than the people of TTT having their duly elected representative in their nation’s Parliament.

        • Idiot/Savant

          give me a reason why Hone saying a correct set of words to Lockwood matters. Why it matters more than the people of TTT having their duly elected representative in their nation’s Parliament.

          Well, it doesn’t. Cthulhu won’t rise from the deep and eat you just because you failed to swear to obey him, the invisible floating teapot won’t fall on your head, and the great bearded skyfairy won’t strike you down with lightning. Neither is this a situation where truth is important, where we want to be able to stick people with an immediate administrative crime if they’ve misled us (which is what statutory declarations are for). The value here is purely symbolic, a reminder to MPs that they have a serious job to do and that they should commit to doing it. But in that case, the actual words don’t really matter so much; you should be able to write your own (if you care) write your own, and the electorate can judge you on them.

          As for the current oaths, they’re simply a relic of feudalism, and need to be swept away.

      • Vicky32 1.2.2

        For once, and I hope it’s only once, I agree with you Burt. You’ll be flamed of course, as no doubt so will I, but so be it.
        Hone is the ‘twatcock!’
        Zetetic – several points. Where do you get your 50% figure from? Dawkins’ site? Nobody has to swear an oath, they can affirm which is not the same thing. It may interest you to know that there are multitudes of Christians, and for all I know, Muslims, who are against the swearing of oaths.

  2. Jenny 2

    As always the media give this story the worst possible spin.

    The fact that they do this with every story on Harawira or the Mana Party could be seen as a compliment.

    What are they so afraid of?

    Why is Harawira from his position in parliament seen as such a threat to the status quo?

    Could he really make some changes?

    I suppose we will just have to wait and see.

    Thanks Zetetic for giving a more balanced view.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Could he really make some changes?

      He could persuade others that changes could be made and that would effectively end the authoritarian government model that NAct want to keep.

    • burt 2.2

      Of course, even the old practice was unsatisfactory. There’s no logical reason why a properly elected representative of the people of New Zealand shouldn’t be allowed to sit in Parliament on their behalf unless he says a certain set of words to a certain other person.

      More balanced …WTF – So it’s good enough to have certain words that need to be said to get married, give evidence in court, become a doctor, a priest, a police officer, a lawyer… the list goes on… But it shouldn’t be necessary to take office in parliament ???? What utter trash.

      • Lanthanide 2.2.1

        Initially Stuff’s headline and tagline was something neutral, saying that Hone was refused to be sworn in.

        Now the Stuff headline and tagline reads this:
        “Hone Harawira’s crazy return
        First his cloak falls off, then Parliament’s Speaker refuses to swear him in.”

        Clearly it’s sensationalist bias. I’ll also note that the headline for Labour’s CGT unveiling is now:
        “Hodge-podge tax grab”

      • Zetetic 2.2.2

        “So it’s good enough to have certain words that need to be said to get married, give evidence in court, become a doctor, a priest, a police officer, a lawyer”

        I didn’t say that. I don’t see why they need a set oath either. It’s just ritual that affects nothing in the real world.

        Besides, what words do you need to say to get married?

        The law says:

        3) During the solemnisation of every such marriage each party must say to the other—
        (a) “I AB, take you CD, to be my legal wife or husband”; or
        (b) words to similar effect; or
        (c) in the case of the solemnisation of a marriage in accordance with the rules and procedures of a specified body that require different words to be used as a marriage vow than those set out in paragraph (a), those words.

        So, you can say anything, really. ‘It’s you and me, babe’ works under (b).

      • Jenny 2.2.3

        What a Jackass you are burt, even the the New Zealand Herald, after you read past the slanted intro, recounts the actual facts of the matter. Completely different to the impression created by you and others that Harawira is an isolated and out of control dingbat.

        Harawira’s attempt to make the oath in his own way, was not out of line and/or unprecedented.

        What actually was unprecedented was Lockwood Smith’s singling out of Harawira for doing something others have done in the past and been unremarked for.

        He (Harawira) said others in the past had included the Treaty of Waitangi in their oaths and were allowed to retake the appropriate oath at the time so he was puzzled as to why it was rejected this time.

        The full oath was included at the end of his statement, but the Speaker had not allowed him to finish.

        “There was scope there for the oath of affirmation to proceed, he chose not to let that happen. That’s something perhaps he needs to think about, particualrly given he has allowed numerous others to affirm in
        different ways in the past.”

        He would abide by the rules to administer the oath when he was allowed
        his second attempt the next time Parliament sits after the recess – on
        August 2.

        “It was about affirming my allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi, to the people of Waitangi, to Maori generally and to those in society who are

        New Zealand Herald

        The lack of respect, was that shown toward the Hon. Member for Te Tai Tokerau, MP Hone Harawira by the speaker of the House Lockwood Smith. I sincerely hope that Lockwood Smith is on his best behaviour from now on. And that the Honourable democratically elected member for Te Tai Tokerau and house leader of the Mana Party does not have to suffer this sort of disgraceful singling out from the speaker of the house ever again.

        It is Lockwood Smith who has brought discredit to the House, and I hope other MPs have the courage to state it. (Especially if it ever happens again.)

        • William Joyce

          Lockwood did not single Hone out.
          Hone had been told, when he approached the speaker before hand, that whether it was right or wrong, the law prescribed the oath/affirmation.
          Hone took the risk that he would be “disciplined” and that’s what happened.

        • Vicky32

          “It was about affirming my allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi, to the people of Waitangi, to Maori generally and to those in society who are

          So, like Aunty Tariana (I used to work with one of her family members), Hone thinks that everyone who is not Maori can get screwed? Charming…

      • travellerev 2.2.4

        “I do” would suffice me. The people of TTT said “we want him to represent us” and that should be enough.

  3. Adam 3

    Hey, it was a pretty good attempt by Lockwood to make sure the Labour tax package wasn’t the top story, don’tchathink.

  4. vto 4

    Man you fullas talk some shit.

    Hone is boring

  5. Parliament is a facade behind which the Aussie banks and US pension funds and Chinese state banks observe their own oaths – loyalty to profits. Undermining the authority of parliament to expose its real role is good. Important changes in history always happen outside parliaments. But having someone pissing on the inside to get it into Hansard for the record is good.

  6. Deadly_NZ 6

    Yeah but Lockwood is a NAT a one eyed biased NAT. What happened to Blinglishes lying to parliament?? swept under the carpet, like everything else. I’ll be glad to see him go

  7. alex 7

    Lockwood’s face when Harawira’s supporters wouldn’t stop singing was priceless!

    Hone just took the whole thing like a boss. Managed to stay completely unruffled and calm.

    • Jenny 7.1


      They ignore you.

      And then,

      When they can no longer ignore you.

      They mock you.

      And then,

      When they can no longer mock you.

      They attack you

      And then,

      You win.

      Mahatma Ghandi

      Congratulations to Harawira for keeping his composure during this disgraceful and disrespectful treatment from the Speaker of the House. The harder the fight the sweeter the victory.

      • higherstandard 7.1.1

        Was that before or after he dropped his cardy ?

        The only thing that would have been higher farce would have been if he slipped over and broken his arm.

        • chris73

          I wonder how much ACC he could have claimed?

          • higherstandard

            Surely not nearly enough to cover all the raping and pillaging the white mofos have been doing.

            • travellerev

              I’m glad you two have found each other. Now how about you to just bugger off or add something of value to the discussion once in a while.

  8. NickC 8

    I guess it’s all based on our constitution where, at least in theory, the supreme authority is not the people, or even the parliament but the Queen. Hone has to swear an oath to the Queen because constitutionally he is her ‘subject’.

    It’s something we’ll have to live with until we become a Republic.

    • Can’t be soon enough for me!

      • Bob 8.1.1

        It will never happen, if NZ does become a Republic, you can say ‘Goodbye’ to any more Treaty claims.

        The Treaty was signed between The Federated Chiefs AND the CROWN. IF the Crown no longer has any input into NZ, then it will not be liable for any further claims…

        Cant we all just get along?

    • Lord Zealand 8.2

      Which Queen? The Queen of New Zealand or the Queen of the United Kingdom? How can Liz2 be both? How can she swear at her corronation to represent, defend etc the people of the UK AND the people of NZ? (AND a whole bunch of other competing nations?) What if it comes to a conflict of interest between those nations? Who’s Queen will she be then? How can she defend the rights of New Zealanders and then get Jonny Rotten to dis our butter 1952 styles? It just can’t be legal or lawful.

  9. Great post, up until the updates, agree entirely.

    No qualms with Harawira acting like a dick to make a point, so long as people have no qualms with Smith throwing him out for not following the rules (laid down in statute and by the Speaker). In saying that I don’t think they way he acts is the best way to achieve anything, he is within his right to act however he wishes if he’s willing to face the consequences.

    Smith did have a choice – he could have allowed Harawira to do it again properly, or he could have thrown him out. Both I think are within the boundaries of the law and parliamentary rules. Which one you think is the proper course of action probably depends on your views of Mr Harawira.

    Were Smith’s actions unreasonable? Probably, sometimes (as shown in the past) flexibility and less adherence to strict rules can be helpful. But were his actions a demonstration of his white supremacy, stifling dissent and erasing diversity? I don’t think so – the law, if anything, is to blame. And if Smith is at fault for enforcing that silly law, then every Parliamentarian before him who have not revoked that law are also white supremacists.

    It’s interesting to note what McGee says in Paliamentary Practice in New Zealand:

    While any person taking an oath or making an affirmation is expected to do so in good faith, the oath or affirmation of allegiance is not a promise to refrain from advocating a republican or different system of government. It is a promise of allegiance to the Sovereign established according to law. It is perfectly consistent with the oath for a person to hold views favouring an alternative form of constitutional arrangement, always provided that any change that they support is to be effected lawfully. (Advocating unlawful change to the constitution would be a crime in any case). Nor is a breach of the oath or affirmation in itself a crime.

    What’s wrong with following the law, and facing the consequences if you don’t?

    • What’s wrong with following the law, and facing the consequences if you don’t?

      Nothing at all.

      I thought an MP should set an example and follow the law, so there should not need to be consequences.

      • travellerev 9.1.1

        No, an MP should represent the people who voted for him. If they feel the law sucks he is there to see the law changed. he is most definitely not there to submit to the law to be an example to his people to do the same. That would be a dictatorship.

        • Secret Squirrel

          There’s a huge difference between trying to get a law changed within our democratic system and trying to circumvent existing law.

          MPs should abide by our laws, and try and change them if they see fit.

        • William Joyce

          he is most definitely not there to submit to the law to be an example to his people to do the same.

          I’m sorry, travellerev, that is exactly why he is there. It is role to demonstrate that the way to change the process is to be part of the process.
          He has undertaken to be part of the system that sets the rules. He would expect that any rules he set (eg. tobacco laws) would be followed even if the tobacco companies disagreed.
          Hone is never more happy than when he is opposing something. He is not a team player – it is not in his nature.
          As such he has created a rod for his own back by choosing to be part of the system.

  10. As an Irish socialist republican and a proud member of the Mana movement, i was proud of Hone today. We’re in Aotearoa, not Westminster, and pledging Alleigance to the kaupapa of this country’s founding document, rather than an archaic and parasitical monarch is logical in 2011. And in Te Reo, or NZ Sign- both also official languages of this nation. However, as a revolutionary, today’s drama plays well to Mana’s constituency- the working poor, benificaries and Maori who do not vote, never mind vote Labour or Green. Its the Fuck You vote we’re after, and this is rock and roll. After Gerry Adams was elected to his West Belfast seat in the early 80s, the more that Sinn Fein MPs abstained from the parliamentary charade, the more seats they won 😉 We want to see more of our People’s MPs on the pickets, occupations and streets as the fight against the Nats deepens in the years to come, and I long to see Annette and John Minto join Hone’s side in November, pledging their alleigance to the workers and poor of Aotearoa, swearing on a tino flag and the Communist Manifesto 🙂

  11. Jenny 11

    Update 2: Hone’s attempt to swear his oath. Trevor Mallard sought Parliament’s leave for Hone to be allowed to swear the legal oath, having said his one. National vetoed that.


    Trevor Mallard, Lion of the House.

    A principled and courageous stand by the Lion of the House.

    • higherstandard 11.1

      +74 comedy gold

        • higherstandard


          • travellerev

            Another incomprehensible abbreviation. I’m sure it makes sense to you but to me? Neh

            • higherstandard

              Bit like 9/11 then.

              • Funny you should mention 9/11. Here’s a a problem:

                This is a link to a still of the South tower. The top is keeling over. Law of motion says it should follow the path of least resistance and topple too the ground alongside the rest of the tower… but it doesn’t! Here is a link to a video of the collapse. The top crumbles in mid air into a pyroclastic flow and disappears into what just before was the path of most resistance… but isn’t any more as it magically transforms into a pyroclastic flow too. Total collapse time? 11 seconds!

                See the problems here? Spontaneous pulverisation, violated laws of motion and free fall speed of a solid steel framed building into pyroclastic flows.

                Has nothing to do with the tread of course but then neither does your glib remark.

                • freedom

                  rev, we could build a time machine, put HS in a safe place to watch the show and he/she still would refuse what his/her own eyes saw. Put HS in the basement blast an hour before a plane even hit and HS would still refuse to accept anything had happened. Because, like all good robots, if it is not stated in the official story it did not occur. Some people will forever cling to the official story because independant critcal thought is not one of their lifeskills.

                  In HS’s defense, i believe HS has accepted that WTC7 did actually collapse.

                • higherstandard

                  I suspect reverse vampire involvement.

                  • Jenny

                    Jenny’s corollary to Godwin’s Law.

                    Formulated for the 21st C. (The original was formulated in 1990.)

                    “That in any on line discussion of a contentious issue. No matter what the subject, sooner or later, at least one pair of opponents will divert the thread by being drawn into taking up different positions on 9/11.”

                    • freedom

                      i put this over on another thread but slap my butt and call me matilda if it doesn’t snuggle in cosylike right here as well

                      “Those who are able to see beyond the shadows and lies of their culture will never be understood, let alone believed, by the masses.” – Plato

            • freedom

              on that subject any friggin idea what this is meant to say ? :]

              Hone’s right

    • Mallard is another cock sucker who has been well and truly informed about peak oil, once we had several phone conversations via his parliamentary cell phone, he hung up on me twice (after ringing me)
      Admittedly I had revved the arshole up the previous week by leaving a stack of peak oil info in his home letter box back in 2001, with
      Wanted a politician with a backbone
      Happy Christmas reading you gutless trough feeder
      written on the outside of the pack, guess his daughters didn’t like it? 😉
      he is a wanker of the highest order

      • johnm 11.2.1

        Hi R.A.
        Ultimately despite your frustration with such persons as Trevor Mallard you will be more effective and respected by refraining from personal insult. If we wish to get people onside with us we must hold the high ground! An accusation of cowardice in the face of peak Oil and appropriate policy to address it is legitimate.but leave out gutter insults.

        • Robert Atack

          I know John
          But I also know of people who are very very ‘polite’ with the bastards – one example is Derek Wilson he is a gentleman, yet has been ignored way longer than me, he is about to post out 500 copies of this essay http://oilcrash.com/articles/wilson08.htm to every politician, most mayors, heads of govt departments and universities, in a 27 page booklet with Blind Spot and Albert Bartlett’s lecture on growth in an envelope built into the back cover, I supplied him the 500 DVDs (at cost) At 89 he shouldn’t be fucking around with these pointless actions, but he had to give it one LAST go.
          He has also donated hundreds of copies of his book to school libraries and other learning institutions http://oilcrash.com/articles/holocsts.htm
          So I would rather treat the front bums as the arsholes they are and be ignored, than show them respect that they do not deserve and still be ignored. I never set out to make the scum change anything, I have only been sending information to the shit heads, so I could say to people “I have sent then this information and they ignored it … at the cost of every New Zealander”
          I’ve pasted links to all the information I’ve sent them in the past on this blog, but it has been removed, so I will just add this one http://oilcrash.com/articles/you_tube.htm as sample of my efforts … that were ignored …. and that last time I wasted breath or money on the useless scum.
          So to sum up
          They have never received any respect from me, as they have never earned it.
          They are a lying bunch of psychopaths, without a conscience, so incapable of an honest thought
          They are utter con artists who would walk over their children’s graves to get elected
          The only difference between them and Hitler is he is dead
          and the only difference between them and a bucket of shit is the bucket.
          Lucky for me we live in a ‘free’ country, but I am sure I will become one of the ‘disappeared’ soon enough. The brown shirts will have to shut us down soon.
          Did you see the front page of this morning Compost? ‘You have been warned’ …. with Homer Simpson’s head above the article 😉
          Oh and how many meetings and long discussions have you had with any of them, because you are one of the many that have treated them way better than they should have been, I think out of respect for yourself as anything else.

  12. The Voice of Reason 12

    Stuff are showing a far more balanced view this morning with this headline:
    Banned Harawira still getting paid.
    That really gets to the heart of the issue, eh?
    BTW, does swearing to God and Queen mean that atheist or republican MP’s first act in Parliament is to lie to the House?

    • toad 12.1

      They don’t have to do the God bit but they do have to do the Queen bit, so an elected MP who is a republican is required by law to lie to the House in order to sit in it.

    • Vicky32 12.2

      BTW, does swearing to God and Queen mean that atheist or republican MP’s first act in Parliament is to lie to the House?

      Oh pity the poor persecuted atheists! AFAIK, they can affirm, but so many of them would rather be martyrs… 😀

  13. kriswgtn 13

    What deity did shonkey swear allegiance too?

  14. The lying bastards swear an oath, then turn around and fuck us over, get over it, they are all just utter scum.
    Yes even Hone is full of it.
    They hide the truth from us all, and themselves, purposely avoiding becoming informed about the real issues we face – PEAK OIL being the most relevant.
    It is all bullshit.

  15. higherstandard 15

    Hone once again showing that he cares about nothing apart from Hone, Lockwood should have ignored him.

    Ship of fools.

  16. millsy 16

    Hone show himself to be an idiot yet again.


    Cannot see how this helps the people of Te Tai Tokerau.

  17. Adele 17


    Stop wrapping your words in phrasing that suggest you actually ‘care’ for the people of Te Tai Tokerau. Return to your vegetative sleep.

    • chris73 17.1

      I didn’t read into his phrasing that he (Millsy) cares for the people of Te Tai Tokerau. I read into it that he thinks Hones actions arn’t helping the people he represents.

      And I agree with his post

      • Adele 17.1.1

        Well, I am fairly sure that Hone will be far more beneficial to the peoples of Te Tai Tokerau than the likes of pale, stale, males (whomever coined this phrase is brilliant).

  18. freedom 18

    i am betting that most people slanging Hone have not read the speech he was going to read. A speech that fiited Bastille Day perfectly. A speech that, if Hone means it, shows a new and dedicated effort to return the Parliament of New Zealand into the hands of its people. All of us.

    And for those with eyes, the intantaneous response from the Speaker, who is not fluent in Te Reo, shows this was a premeditated expulsion that suggests the Government knew full well what the subject of the speech was.


  19. William Joyce 19

    Hone should have no problem swear allegiance to the Queen.
    Regardless of the republic/monarchy issue….under the Treaty he treasures, he got the rights (and responsibilities of) a British subject.
    The crown is a Treaty partner and that mean the Queen of New Zealand.
    As an aside, I’m with David Lange, why ditch a monarch who costs us so very little (and is unavoidably cemented in our history by the Treaty) in return for the cost of changing over and the extra costs of looking after a President.
    Besides, who would you want as a president?
    President Richard Prebble?
    President Michael Fay?
    President Alison Holst?
    President Paul Henry?

    • Akldnut 19.1

      Errr… hello are you all there? You said it but cant think it out, do you really think that this treaty is one that he treasures when it obviously only worked for one side.
      It’s being used because the only path to recourse to date has been through the treaty.

      QEII is a treaty partner – not master that you must swear an oath to, his only alliegence is to the people of TTT, his family, his people and the people of New Zealand.

      • travellerev 19.1.1

        Couldn’t have said it better myself!

        • KJT

          Hone is right. His allegiance is to those who voted him in and as an MP to the people of NZ.

          The oath is an anachronism which should be long gone. Like hereditary royalty!

          Impressive speeches from Hone, Norman, Goff and Cunliff recently.

          Real aspiration for everyone.

          If they follow up with action, we may have a future after all..

      • William Joyce 19.1.2

        the only path to recourse to date has been through the treaty.

        Yep, ergo the value he places on it.

        QEII is a treaty partner – not master that you must swear an oath to

        Depends on the translation you use. As the law stands (and until it is changed by people elected to parliament eg. Hone himself) he is obligated to abide by the law.

        his only alliegence is to the people of TTT, his family, his people and the people of New Zealand.

        No, it’s not. Perhaps in his ideal world but not in reality.
        If he wants things to change then he needs to stop being Hone, take a deep breath, and take up his role as the member for TTT and negotiate with others who share his view to get the law changed. That’s what he is there for.
        Besides, he and his family would be the first to trash me (and possibly violently) if I behaved inappropriately on their marae.
        You play by the rules of the whare and you don’t disrespect the whare.

  20. Bill 20

    Is it worth reminding people that Britain has never had a Catholic PM?

    The monarchy is the outcome of an elite power struggle centred on whether subjects should swear allegience to and recognise the Pope as God’s earthly incarnation or the King/Queen as God’s earthly incarnation.

    So far, so much nonsense.

    But the sectarianism embodied by both institutions is alive and well and has real world consequences.

    Surely swearing allegience to either camp is morally questionable not to mention being a clear indication of a lack of intellect, no?

    • William Joyce 20.1

      I seem to remember Richard Prebble (yes, I’m washing my mouth out) remarking that when he first entered the house it was obvious that it could be divided on sectarian grounds – those raised and educated either  RC or C of E.
      As to the wider picture you paint – there is no doubt that we inherited a system that is plagued by the echoes of past attitudes and conflicts.
      I hope that as part of the constitutional review that we declare ourselves to be a secular state.
      However, it is in the nature of human to give weight to ideas and events through symbolism and ceremony.
      Instead of a prayer at the start of Parliament we may still have an affirmation that embodies the ideals that we expect all activities of the house and it’s members to conform to.
      We will probably still have some form of “swearing in” that will be legally binding, prescribed by statute and that Hone will have to adhere to.

    • Jilly Bee 20.2

      Did Tony Blair convert to Catholicism whilst still PM or was it after he stood down?

      • After, according to Wiki:

        Blair tendered his resignation on 27 June 2007and his successor, Gordon Brown assumed office the same afternoon.

        On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair, who in 1996, had been reprimanded by Cardinal Basil Hume for receiving Holy Communion at Mass despite not being a Catholic, in contravention of canon law,had converted to the Catholic faith, and that it was “a private matter”. He had informed Pope Benedict XVI on 23 June 2007 that he wanted to become a Catholic. The Pope and his advisors criticised some of Blair’s political actions, but followed up with a reportedly unprecedented red-carpet welcome, which included Cardinal Archbishop of Westminster Cormac Murphy-O’Connor, who would be responsible for Blair’s Catholic instruction.

      • Vicky32 20.2.2

        Did Tony Blair convert to Catholicism whilst still PM or was it after he stood down?

        It was after…

        • Jilly Bee

          ‘On 22 December 2007, it was disclosed that Blair, who in 1996, had been reprimanded by Cardinal Basil Hume for receiving Holy Communion at Mass despite not being a Catholic, in contravention of canon law,had converted to the Catholic faith, and that it was “a private matter”.’

          I’d really love to expand this conversation but I fear this is not the appropriate ‘thread’. I’ve had experience with the medieval thinking by the RC Church with a family member and her best friend several years ago, which really upset me.

  21. Ari 21

    If MPs are taking oaths, I’m more than happy for them to write their own. In fact, doing so is the only way to properly symbolise our multicultural traditions and heritages in New Zealand, to protect securalism and freedom of religion, (people who believe things that don’t involve a god shouldn’t have to give reference to any type of god) and to end the colonial imperialism in our parliament’s traditions.

    This sort of bigoted appeal to tradition is exactly the type of reason I’d like to ditch the monarchy altogether.

  22. My take on the events are

    “Hone was able to get the headlines and give his speech outside – some supporters have been turned off by the stunt politics – I know it doesn’t really do much for me personally – and other supporters are “yeah right on-ing” – but no doubt the goal was achieved of highlighting the issue as evidenced by the call now from Turia for the wording of the pledge to be incorporated in the constitutional review – and how that must hurt a bit. National and smith the speaker, got to show their authority and power so their supporters are satisfied. Labour announcment still got cut-through and the pledge incident didn’t deflect from their positioning, plus it offers reinforcement of goffs message that Hone isn’t reliable. So, overall everyone is happy!”


    Onwards and upwards for Mana.

  23. DavidW 23

    What everyone seems to be missing is the principle that when MPs are conducting the affairs of Parliament and the Government of teh country they should be doing so with the interests of the country and people od NZ as a whole, not just some small slice of them and to hell with the rest. Listen carefully to the prayer that preceeds each day’s sitting sometime.

    Now I know that this principle is probably the single most important thing if we want an effective rpresentation. Decisions should be for the greater good but that seems to be something that Hone and others like Chris Carter have spurned not only by their words and voting but by their prolonged absences from the house and refusal to take part in the governance of the country while they are being paid top do so. Hone in fact has openly disputed any wider allegiance other than to the people who voted for him.

    Frankly if he was to never be seen again the country would be a better place and might even stand a chance of creating some unity rather than the toxic divisiveness that he promotes.

  24. mik e 24

    I thought they would they would have just let Hone just go and take his seat as he,s done enough swearing.

  25. jackal 25

    Oaths and affirmations in Maori

    (1) If a te reo Maori equivalent of any of the oaths or affirmations set out in this Act is prescribed by regulations made under section 30A, using that te reo Maori equivalent has the same effect as using the oath or affirmation set out in this Act.

    So he’s allowed to say the Oath/affirmation in Maori. This is what Hone said:

    “I, Hone Pani Tamati Waka Nene Harawira, swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, that I will be honest and forthright in my efforts to advance the rights of the people of Tai Tokerau, that I will do my utmost to help all Maori people become full empowered citizens of this land and that I will do whatever I can to reduce inequalities in this country, so that all may one day be proud to call Aotearoa home.”

    Right to make affirmation instead of oath

    (1) Every person shall be entitled as of right to make his affirmation, instead of taking an oath, in all places and for all purposes where an oath is required by law, and every such affirmation shall be of the same force and effect as an oath.

    (2) Every such affirmation shall be as follows: ““I, A B, solemnly, sincerely, and truly declare and affirm,”” and shall then proceed with the words of the oath prescribed by law, omitting any words of imprecation or calling to witness.

    So he’s allowed to make an affirmation to his people and the treaty, as long as he does not invoke evil or call to witness. The law requires that after any such affirmation, the Oath is given. The Oath is not required prior to the affirmation, therefore Lockwood is wrong in his contention that Hone was acting outside of the law.

  26. dodger 26

    Are you also critical of Karakia being used at functions when perhaps 50% of those present haven’t signed up to Maori beliefs?

    • The Voice of Reason 26.1

      No. It’s not compulsory to sing along, whereas the affirmation of subserviance to the German pensioner who appears on our TV every Xmas day apparently is.

      • travellerev 26.1.1

        German pensioner. I like. Ours is too (Dutch)

      • dodger 26.1.2

        What’s your reaction to those who ignored the speaker by singing? I assume you would not support someone ignoring marae protocol?

        • travellerev

          I’m not an historian but I venture to say that if and when it happened there usually was a reason and it quit frequently ended in conflict.

          Perhaps there is a reason for all these rituals. They are there to express something in a ritualised way and if there are problems to break that ritual is the easiest way to make that known.

          there are two reactions to an event such as the breaking of a ritual.

          If there is a good reason such as a ritual should be followed to express equality and commitment to service to the people but is not perceived as such and both parties are equally committed to equality the ritual should be amended but if there is one party who wants the ritual to stay the same because it confirms their “superiority” there could be conflict.

          I bet you I know what the reaction to the breaking of this “Government swearing in” ritual will be.

        • felix

          Yeah. Some days it just seems like this whole fucking world is ganging up on the White Man dunnit?

      • Akldnut 26.1.3

        TVoR – that is so true.

        • The Voice of Reason

          Cheers, Akldnut. And, vicky32, speaking of juvenile, here’s some public schoolboys’ take on Queenie reviewing the troops on a state visit to West Germany. It’s from 1965, so it’s not like I’m the first person to have made this point.
          And don’t mention the war. I mentioned it once, but I think I got away with it.

          • Vicky32

            That is precisely my point, Voice of Rand… You sound exactly like an octogenarian of Irish descent, grumbling about how when you were young, these Krauts knew when they’d been beaten, dammit! 
            Bigotry is bigotry. Public school boys (or in your case, private, assuming you’re a New Zealander) are not immune to it. In fact, a case can be made that the upper middle classes are much more likely to be bigots than we dumb bennies…
            I can’t see videos sorry though I am assuming your link was to the supremely boring Fawlty Towers.) We bennies are too stupid to know how to click links, and too poor for broadband, aye?

            • The Voice of Reason

              Why would the Irish care about the Germans? I thought the Republic was neutral in WW2. Voice of Rand is good though. I once owned a Rush album, so yeah, I’m a Randian. Had to sell the LP though. The drumming was pants.
              As for your broadband difficulty, I have a solution. Vote Labour. Then the first 5k of your income will be tax free and you’ll be able to afford it.
              And good guess on the Basil. What gave it away? Was it my quoting the show and you knowing the script? It’s boring, but you know all the best bits? Do I detect the smell of burning martyr?

              • Vicky32

                Why would the Irish care about the Germans?

                As for your broadband difficulty, I have a solution. Vote Labour. Then the first 5k of your income will be tax free and you’ll be able to afford it.

                And good guess on the Basil. What gave it away? Was it my quoting the show and you knowing the script? It’s boring, but you know all the best bits? Do I detect the smell of burning martyr?

                I was referring to a New Zealander of Irish descent – they whinge like champions, (witness Kathryn Ryan on RNZ) – not anyone born in Ireland… the average of Pakeha of Scots descent can’t compete there, much to my surprise (my family is of Scots descent, and the loathing of the Kiwi-Irish-Scots for anyone not just like them is legendary, especially as it concerns Europeans!
                Don’t be such an ever-loving prat, VoR, I have always been and will always be a Labour supporter.
                As for Basil, it’s been repeated on NZ TV 50 000 times, ad nauseam. Of course I know it, I’d have had to be living in a cave not to. I don’t know what your martyr remark is meant to mean, but I am sure you’re sooooo proud of it. Get a grip!

              • felix

                Rush = Randians? I had no idea.

                Know what you mean about Pert though. Frickin twinklefingers.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  Yep, it’s sad fact Felix. Not just wannabee prog rockers, but teenage philosophers too. As well as ridiculously complex drum solos Peart is responsible for most of the lyrics and he’s regularly written from an objectivist point of view. There’s a whole album dedicated to Rand, which I recall caused much derisory laughter in the NME at the time.
                  Though to be fair, I gather the band have moved away from their adolescent infatuation with the right and now often play free concerts for good causes. The music’s still rubbish though.

          • William Joyce

            I think in that the German connection, despite in breeding, is less relevant today as it was in the day of Edmond Blackadder, Samuel “wobble bottom” Johnson and The Prince.
            The wars of the 20 century have created new problems for the lady….
            Her Maj : Oh those pesky destitute Euro relations – titles but no money
            Aide      : Ahem, mam, are you referring to your husband?

      • Vicky32 26.1.4

        whereas the affirmation of subserviance to the German pensioner who appears on our TV every Xmas day apparently is.

        Spiteful and juvenile. I don’t need to point out to you that she’s as much German as Key is Austrian! (Less so in fact…) Would you be so bitchy about her if she was a he? I suspect not… Grow the **** up!

  27. Windy.City.Struggler 27

    A lot of people died during the English Civil Wars to assert the will of the people through parliament. There may have been an accommodation during the Restoration, but the principle remains.

    Hone’s argument is not with parliament – of which he is a member – but with outdated and increasingly irrelevant symbols of authority.

    There are many implications for Maori if people swear allegiance to Te Tiriti O Waitangi. For one, the Maori King movement was a reaction to the status of Queen Victoria.

    If the role of the British monarch in Aotearoa is changed, what then of Kingitanga ? There are vested interests among both Pakeha and Maori.

    Seriously, Hone and Mana Maori have done us all a service.

  28. The conflict between Hone and Lockwood Smith over the oath of allegiance has far-reaching implications. Fundamentally it raises the questions of whether the people of Tai Tokerau have the right to choose their own political representative and whether their elected representative should be allowed to stand by the principles on which he was elected.

    Hone was elected by the people of Tai Tokerau on the basis of his commitment to the Treaty. Lockwood Smith says that Hone must put the monarchy before the Treaty if he is to sit in the House of Representatives. Therefore this has now become a matter of of democratic principle which affects not only the Hone, not only the people of Tai Tokerau, and not only the Mana Party, but all people of the motu, of all ethnicities, all classes, and all political persuasions.

    If Hone is not free to abide by his own principles, and if the people of Tai Tokerau are not free to choose him as their representative, then none of us are free.

    The story of the Swiss struggle for independence from Austria tells of how the Austrian tyrant Gesler placed his hat on a pole in the market place and demanded that the people of Switzerland bow before before it. After the patriot William Tell refused to bow to a hat on a pole he was seized by Gesler’s troops and ordered to shoot an arrow into an apple which Gesler had placed on the head of Tell’s son. This story may be apochryphal but it contains at least two important truths. The first is the importance of symbols in a people’s struggle for freedom. The second is that freedom is always hard won, and the struggle for freedom brings with it sacrifice and risks for those dearest to our hearts.

    For one hundred and seventy years British monarchs have placed their Crown on a pole, and demanded that the people of Aotearoa pledge allegiance to it. When in 1860 the tangata whenua of Tuakau peacefully refused to do so, they were driven out of their homes and off their land by British troops.

    Now Lockwood Smith says that Hone Harawira must pledge allegiance to the British Queen, or suffer the consequences. He says it is “the law of the land”. It is not the law of the land. It is the law of the British crown, and it is sheer wickedness. No human being should be bound in allegiance to any other. Our duty as a people is not to the British Crown, but to truth, justice, and human dignity. If Hone decides to stand his ground in two weeks time, he will not stand alone.

  29. The_Watcher 29

    At the end of the day, Lockwood is a tosser who tried to make an example out of Hone. He failed miserably and instead boosted Hone’s reputation amongst the far left, socialists and republicans.

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