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On Tuesday, a large number of demonstrators gathered to protest against the Indigenous policies of the New Zealand government while the Parliament met for the first time since the October elections.
Protests were held in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, as well as in approximately twelve other cities and towns across the country. These demonstrations were planned and led by the Maori Party, a smaller political party that champions the rights of the indigenous people of New Zealand, also known as Maori.
Peaceful protesters gathered outside Parliament to express their opposition to the newly elected conservative-led coalition government’s policies, which they deemed as “anti-Maori.”
Rawiri Waititi, co-leader of the Maori Party, stated that Prime Minister Christopher Luxon’s recent policies would lead New Zealand back to the 1800s.
Waititi stated that our demonstration this morning was a mobilization of our community.
The government, led by the National Party, aims to reassess the Treaty of Waitangi and potentially make modifications to how this historic document, signed by British colonists and Maori chiefs in 1840, impacts contemporary legislation.
The government has indicated that there may be changes made to the Maori Health Authority, a legally established organization tasked with guaranteeing that the health system in New Zealand adequately addresses the needs of Maori people.
Luxon stated that his administration is dedicated to enhancing results for both Maori and non-Maori individuals.
Luxon stated that the Maori community has had success in previous National-led governments and will likely continue to thrive in the future.
Elected officials took their oaths of office on Tuesday following the Oct. 14 elections which resulted in the removal of the center-left Labour Party government, in power since 2017.
The Maori Party secured six out of the 123 seats in the 54th Parliament.
Takuta Ferris, a member of the political party, donned a Maori headdress and executed a haka, a customary dance or challenge accompanied by a chant, while walking across the chamber. He then made an affirmation to solidify his position in Parliament.
The Maori Party’s other legislators performed traditional songs of their Indigenous culture.
Several members of the Green Party wore keffiyehs, a traditional Arab headdress, as a gesture of solidarity with Palestinians during the conflict between Israel and Hamas.
The National Party, led by Luxon, received the highest percentage of votes at 38%. It took nearly six weeks after the election for a coalition to be formed with two other parties: the New Zealand First party, known for their populist views, and the ACT Party, known for their libertarian beliefs.
David Seymour, the leader of the ACT Party, labeled the demonstrations by the Maori Party as “polarizing theatrics” that demonstrated a lack of regard for the outcome of the election.
Seymour stated that New Zealanders voted for a government that will provide equal treatment to all individuals, regardless of their race.
He expressed disappointment when a political party protests against equal rights.
The article can be found on the Independent website.
The source is the Independent website.