Māori set example for the kind of government we want to be - Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says we should turn to Maoridom for an example of the kind of compassion and ethics the Government should show.

"I want to be a Government that brings back manaakitanga", she said. Manaakitanga is a concept central to the Māori worldview, meaning to show respect, generosity and care for others.

"For that, we should turn to Maoridom and see the work that was done in Kaikōura, Christchurch and Te Puia. Where there was need, maraes opened their doors and responded to the need of the people," she said.

"That is the kind of Government we want to be."

The speech was made after the Government was welcomed at Rātana.

The Rātana movement is both a religious and pan-iwi political movement with ties to the Labour Party that go back to the 1930s when leader TW Rātana signed an agreement with Michael Joseph Savage.

The Ratana Temple.
The Ratana Temple. Photo credit: Lloyd Burr/Newshub.

November 8 this year will mark 100 years since Rātana received a vision that began the movement.

At the ceremony, Ms Ardern was asked to sit on the Rātana side of the paepae - a significant gesture not extended to former Prime Minister John Key.

Rātana speaker Andre Mason also gifted a name for her baby: Waru. That translates to "eight", short for Te Waru o Noema, November 8, a reference to the date of T W Rātana's vision.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern.
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters, Minister for Regional Economic Development Shane Jones and Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern. Photo credit: Newshub.

That call to unity - a symbol that "we are on the same side" - was echoed in Ms Ardern's speech.

She said the bond formed between the Rātana movement and former Prime Minister Michael Joseph Savage "wasn't a moment in history. That was a call to action for the Labour Party from that day going forward.

"Like Te Tiriti [the Treaty], it's a living commitment… that we must carry forward with us every day with our actions and our words."

Ms Ardern said she believes the Government's obligation to Te Tiriti will not be fulfilled as long as tamariki are living in poverty and Māori are overrepresented in unemployment and prison statistics.

Opposition leader Bill English is due to make a speech at Rātana this afternoon.

Newshub.

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