Thursday, July 14, 2011


Hone Harawira was meant to be sworn in as an MP today, following his victory in the Te Tai Tokerau byelection. Instead, he was prevented from doing so by the Speaker, and ejected from the House. As a result, the people of Te Tai Tokerau have been deprived of their representation.

This is simply bullshit. There has long been an accepted practice around this: MPs get to make their statement (swearing allegiance to the Treaty, or to the people of New Zealand, or whatever), then they jump through the legal hoop and redo their affirmation in the proper form. If you review the footage of MPs being sworn in after the last three elections you'll see a fair number of MPs doing this. Contrary to the Speaker's assertion, that is not "breaking the law". The affirmation is given. And what matters is that it is given, not what is said beforehand.

Lockwood Smith has behaved like an arse in this matter. He deserved the disorder that ensued. Our Parliament does not deserve this sort of white supremacist bullshit from its Speaker; he should apologise and swear Harawira in immediately.