Yesterday, the MPs were sworn in. After the section ‘pledge true allegiance to Queen Elizabeth the Second, her heirs and successors, according to law’, some of the Maori Party MPs (reading the oath in Maori) inserted, ‘and the Treaty’. They were asked to repeat the allegiance without the reference to the Treaty.
Hone Harawira went one better and read a totally different oath that made no reference to the Queen. Instead his pledged to do his best for the iwi and hapu of his electorate and the Maori people. They didn’t bother wasting their time trying to get him to say the correct oath.
Good on him I reckon, all this anachronistic rubbish at Parliament yesterday and today is such a waste of time, and completely alien to the real world. Hone’s oath is far more relevant.
But will he keep it?
Will Hone vote for National/ACT’s tax legislation cancelling the currently legislated tax cuts for low income workers? If he does, he will putting up tax disproportionally on Maori. Disgracefully, the Maori Party refused to take their turn to talk on the first reading of the tax bill last night but voted for that first reading. Looks they are going to support a law without having the pride to explain why they back it. One might expect that spinelessness from Turia but Hone made an oath – he should tell the people how he is keeping it by increasing their taxes and voting for a tax cut for the wealthy.
Will he vote to remove workers’ rights for the first 90 days? If he does, he will be putting at risk the livelihoods of Maori workers, many of whom are vulnerable workers in industries that will exploit the no rights period.
Will he vote to suspend the ETS? Putting the burden of paying our Kyoto liability on all taxpayers, including Maori, rather than the big, predominantly Pakeha-owned companies and farms that do most of the polluting. Will he vote to renege on the Maori people’s commitment to environmental guardianship?
Will he vote to remove community and Maori input into development decisions?
Will be speak up when National/ACT attacks beneficiaries? Will he be heard when National/ACT fails to put up the minimum wage?
I hope that Hone will be as good as his word.