Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi says a now-deleted tweet describing Pākehā as an "archaic species" was written by someone else.
The deleted tweet, screenshots of which have been published online, discusses Caucasians, a term used to describe white people, and their "active assimilation agenda".
The tweet, according to screenshots, says: "Pay them no attention, their archaic species is becoming more extinct as a new Aotearoa is on the rise."
It comes after former Auckland Mayor John Banks was sacked as a fill-in radio host by Magic Talk in January following an exchange with a caller who referred to Māori as "Stone Age" people.
Newshub contacted Waititi to confirm if he wrote the tweet, as it appeared to have been posted to his Twitter account, after screenshots of it surfaced online.
"There is no story here," Waititi replied to Newshub.
But the Māori Party co-leader has since addressed it in a series of tweets, saying it was someone else who wrote it, who did not understand the message he was trying to get across.
"It has come to my attention that a tweet was made yesterday that was not in character. You would be right. This post was made by someone else who has misunderstood my messaging," Waititi said.
He said the message he wanted to convey was that he supports Māori, Pākehā and all other ethnicities in New Zealand living and thriving together, in commitment to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi.
"A new Aotearoa is on the rise. Tangata Whenua (Māori) + Tangata Tiriti (all other ethnicities who are committed to a tiriti centric Aotearoa) = the Aotearoa I believe in fighting for," Waititi said.
"Everyone has their place in Aotearoa, but let's not forget our individual obligations to Te Tiriti and the true meaning of partnership."
Waititi, MP for Waiariki, said the "lesson of the day" is to do his own tweeting from now on.