Māori Party Asks QEII for Divorce to Heal Colonial Wounds
Among celebrations for the 70th anniversary of the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II, the Māori Party has proposed New Zealand’s “divorce” from the British Crown to heal wounds left by the colonisation of native people, although the movement has currently little support, Rocio Otova reports for bilingual US Spanish-English newspaper, La Prensa Latina.
The claim of the Māori Party is related to Te Tiriti o Waitangi, signed by the British Crown and Māori leaders 182 years ago to guarantee the protection of the territorial rights of indigenous peoples, Otova reports.
“If we consider our founding pact as a marriage between the tangata whenua and the Crown, the treaty is the child of that marriage. It is high time that the tangata whenua take full custody,” said Rawiri Waititi, co-leader of the Māori Party, which holds two of the 121 seats in parliament.
Tom Roa, an expert in indigenous studies at the University of Waikato, said that “the inconsistency of having a head of state domiciled on the other side of the world.”
“I identify with the feeling that much of what has afflicted the Maori people comes from the effects of colonisation,” Roa said about Elizabeth II.
Original article by Rocio Otoya, La Prensa Latina, February 16, 2022.