The Coalition Government’s Waka Jumping Bill is bad for Māori representation and is an affront to democracy, National’s Māori Development spokesperson Nuk Korako says.
“Our Māori MPs across the political spectrum have a duty not just to their party, but to act in the best interests of Māori and this Bill prevents them from doing so.
“MPs must have the opportunity to represent their constituency to the fullest extent which may require them to stand against their party’s leadership where it is warranted – this Bill prohibits that.
“Healthy debate is important in any democracy but the Government clearly fears that its shambolic policies and ill-conceived legislation require them to legislate their MPs into line.
“One only has to look at recent history where Dame Tariana Turia crossed the floor to try to vote down the flawed Foreshore and Seabed Act. Under this Waka Jumping Bill, she would be out the door for doing the right thing by Māori.
“The silence of Labour’s much-touted Māori Caucus is deafening - they should be vehemently opposed to this Bill but have once again shown that when it comes down to it Māori can’t rely on them for representation.”