Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says it's "pretty pathetic" her party had to call for a task force into a video that made threats against Māori when there should be a coordinated response process already in place.
In late May, the police launched an investigation into the "highly distressing" video that contained hate speech and threats against Māori, with a white supremacist threatening to kill Māori and target marae. The video was uploaded to YouTube one Sunday evening, but taken down the next morning. Police then arrested a 44-year-old man in June and he was charged with making an objectionable publication.
The arrest came after the Māori Party lodged an official complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority, accusing police of double-standards when dealing with death threats made against Pākehā and Māori. The party was unhappy with how police had dealt with the video.
The party then called for a joint task force between the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS) and police to investigate anti-Māori hate speech.
Ngarewa-Packer says it's "pretty pathetic" that she and co-leader Rawiri Waititi had to call for the task force when there should already be a coordinated response ready to go.
"It's like, what have you got in place? When someone threatens thousands of Māori, 150 marae, is there a little lever or something that triggers an action and says, 'Oh, whole lot of Māori have been threatened, we're going to make a task force, we're going to make sure this doesn't happen'," she told The Hui on Monday.
"It was pretty pathetic that two little MPs in Te Pāti Māori had to do that, and what it has shown is a huge gap that exists still in this country.
"We have nothing in place for tangata whenua."
There are two things Ngarewa-Packer says she would like to see. The first - there needs to be "absolute seriousness taken" when there are hateful or violent attacks towards Māori. The second is there needs to be a better-coordinated response.
"I think what we've seen is a lack of connect between NZSIS and the police, a coordinated approach across the country," she says.
"So what we want is that [when something] happens, this triggers this response, this triggers this roll out of response in a cohesive way, so that if someone's done something from Papamoa and someone's done something in Christchurch, we have one group coordinating it all, not five or six who don't talk to each other."
Made with support from Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air.