Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox says New Zealand has voted for a return to "the age of colonisation".
Her party was wiped from Parliament at Saturday's election, with Labour enacting a clean-sweep of the Māori electorates. The Māori Party, which Ms Fox leads with Te Ururoa Flavell, only won 1.1 percent of the vote - well below the 5 percent threshold required for parties without an electorate MP to enter Parliament.
"New Zealand has spoken, so I guess that's exactly what New Zealand wants," Ms Fox told The Hui on Sunday morning.
"They want to go back to the age of colonisation, where the paternalistic parties of red and blue tell Māori how to live."
- NZ Elections 2017: Live Results
- 99 percent counted and it's all down to Winston Peters
- Greens extend olive branch to NZ First
The Māori Party has been a part of the Government for the past nine years, propping up the right-leaning National Party and its ally ACT. Ms Fox accepted that "of course" might have been a factor in voters deserting the party.
"[But] if you want to actually do something instead of just dance about and pretend you're gonna do something, then you have to realise how you're going to do that in a pragmatic way, no matter who the Government is."
Despite rising homelessness and Māori still languishing near the bottom of health and housing statistics, Ms Fox defended the Māori Party's record in Government - saying without them, there wouldn't be hundreds of millions of dollars being spent on emergency housing and free doctor's visits for under-13s.
"How's Tamati going to fix [problems affecting Māori] sitting on the cross benches in Opposition, or underneath Winston? Seriously."
Ms Fox said she's worked harder than any "waste of space" Labour MP, and "obviously hard work does not get rewarded in this country".
She'll keep up the fight for Māori from outside of Parliament.
"Don't worry about Marama Fox. Marama Fox is - here's the thing. I don't give up fighting for our people… I do not accept that our place is at the bottom of everybody's steel-capped boots. I don't accept that's where we live."