Winston Peters upsets Te Ururoa Flavell over Māori jibe

Te Ururoa Flavell
Winston Peters has upset Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell after he accused him of "hiding behind his Māori language".

Winston Peters has upset Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell after he accused him of "hiding behind his Māori language" for using Te Reo to answer a question in Parliament.

Mr Flavell was answering questions from Labour's Kelvin Davis in a mix of te reo Māori and English when Mr Peters made the comment.

Speaker David Carter told Mr Peters the comment was "absolutely out of order" and told him to withdraw and apologise, which he did.

But that wasn't the end of it, Mr Peters asking: "How are the people of this country out there, this close to an election, going to know what the answer was?"

NZME reported Mr Peters later said the "business of politics is communication, and deliberately doing what he did, in my view, is just not acceptable".

"He should explain to the people in Hokianga and Moerewa and elsewhere who can't speak Māori what his promises are to them.

"I know what his game is here and you guys can excuse it, but it's just not acceptable."

During the debate, House leader Gerry Brownlee said there were translations.

Mr Peters said there weren't any translations for the radio broadcast.

"It is an official language, it can be used and will be used by members who choose to do so," said Mr Carter.

Mr Flavell told Newshub on Thursday morning he was disgusted at Mr Peters' behaviour.

"The sad part is he's a senior politician, a senior statesperson of this country, been around for some while, this does not set a good scene in Parliament - it's unacceptable.

"For him to say that a person is hiding behind their language is way out of order - it's hugely disappointing. It's wrong, it's inappropriate - especially in this day and age."

Mr Flavell also took to Twitter, writing: "I use my Māori language in parliament. Winston says 'stop hiding behind Māori language'. I answered the damn question, no value to him."

NZN / Newshub.

 

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