Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi’s questions in House may have breached Parliamentary rules

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi may have breached Parliament’s rules by making comments about court proceedings.

During Question Time in Parliament on Wednesday, Waititi raised a supplementary question, referring to a matter before the courts.

ACT leader David Seymour responded, saying Waititi had “speculated that a particular individual has name suppression and is guilty of heinous crimes – both of those are in contempt of court and due to the long tradition of comity between this House and the courts, to make such statements are deeply disorderly, bring the House into disrepute, and should face very severe consequences”.

“I can’t believe, frankly, what I’ve just heard – the tikanga of this house is well known and should be respected.”

Speaker Adrian Rurawhe said he would go back and “look at everything that’s happened in Question Time today”.

“I’d like everyone to calm down, thank you,” he said. “I have … allowed questions, supplementary questions to be asked – including [by] the the member himself on this very question today that have been out of order – almost completely out of order.”

We can’t talk about what Rawiri said under the privilege of Parliament.

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But we can make some speculative guesses that remain well inside the draconian legal powers that would rip me to pieces if I re-quoted Rawiri.

In short, shit just got real.

What Rawiri is doing here is making a very clear statement that Jacinda’s rules of kindness engagement are no longer respected.

This is going to be a rough election and a political battle whose stakes are so high, any and all tactics are on the table.







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