Deputy Labour leader Kelvin Davis tells Māori ACT MP Karen Chhour she needs to leave 'her Pākehā world'

Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis has told a Māori MP she needs to leave "her Pākehā world".

The ACT Party's Karen Chhour said Davis has attacked her mana. 

She was raised in state care and was taking on Davis, who is the Minister for Children, in the House on Wednesday when he made his comment.

"What the Member needs to do is cross the bridge that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi from her Pākehā world into the Māori world and understand exactly why, how the Māori world operates," Davis said.

Chhour is Māori and her iwi is Ngāpuhi. 

"I'm a Māori woman and I'm a proud Māori woman," she told Newshub later on Wednesday.

Davis also said it is "no good looking at the world from a vanilla lens".

Chhour said, "attacking somebody's mana like that just because they disagree with you is unacceptable".

Speaking to RNZ after his comments, and reminded that Chhour is Māori, Davis doubled down. 

"I know. She whakapapas to Māori. But she was raised in a Pākehā world. She needs to cross the bridge that is Te Tiriti o Waitangi so she gets to understand her Māori world better."

Chhour told Newshub that as a child of state care, she feels like Davis should take her lived experience seriously and would like an apology.

"It feels like if you don't agree with us, you're not a real Māori, or you're not Māori enough, or you don't have the mana of a Māori, and I find that quite hurtful," she said.

Davis sent Newshub a statement that said: "I absolutely acknowledge Karen's whakapapa and hope my comments did not cause her personal offence."

One word missing from that statement was "sorry".