How Te Pāti Māori MPs swore allegiances during Parliament opening

  • 05/12/2023

Te Pāti Māori MPs have refused to swear the oath to King Charles alone during Parliament's official opening.

The swearing-in of MPs at the opening of Parliament took place on Tuesday. It happens when a new term of Parliament begins.

New Te Pāti Māori MP Tākuta Ferris swore his allegiance to mokopuna. 

Before walking to the clerk for affirmation, Ferris stood for a whaikorero. He swore his allegiance to mokopuna and said he would exercise his actions in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi. 

Ferris then performed a stirring haka, before walking to the clerk to swear the Parliamentary oath to King Charles.

Tākuta Ferris.
Tākuta Ferris. Photo credit: Newshub.

Ferris entered Parliament thanks to him winning the Te Tai Tonga seat in October's election.

His activism in Parliament comes amid increasing tension, with Te Pāti Māori involved in protests across New Zealand earlier on Tuesday against the Government's policies affecting Māori. 

Later in the swearing-in ceremony, Te Pāti Māori MPs Mariameno Kapa-Kingi and Takutai Moana Natasha Kemp also swore their allegiances to both Te Tiriti o Waitangi and King Charles. 

Mariameno Kapa-Kingi.
Mariameno Kapa-Kingi. Photo credit: Newshub.
Takutai Moana Kemp.
Takutai Moana Kemp. Photo credit: Newshub.

Hauraki-Waikato MP Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, during her initial whaikorero, referred to the Māori King.

Rounding out the Te Pāti Māori MPs to be sworn in were co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi.

Maipi-Clarke. Photo credit: Newshub.

Both Waititi and Ngarewa-Packer also refused to swear the oath to the British monarch alone, the late Queen Elizabeth, when they first entered Parliament in 2020.

Following the swearing-in of MPs, National's Gerry Brownlee was elected as House Speaker. Former Speaker Adrian Rurawhe was also nominated by Ngarewa-Packer but he didn't accept the nomination.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
Debbie Ngarewa-Packer. Photo credit: Newshub.
Rawiri Waititi.
Rawiri Waititi. Photo credit: Newshub.

Waititi subsequently congratulated Brownlee, saying he hoped to maintain a good relationship with the National Party veteran.

Prime Minister Christopher Luxon and Labour leader Chris Hipkins also both thanked Brownlee for stepping up to serve New Zealand.

Watch the video.