The older people of Tauranga are threatened by a movement of treaty support and government initiatives created to uplift Māori in honour of the Treaty of Waitangi.
That is how Rawiri Waititi, co-leader of the Māori Party and Waiariki MP, views a recent incident in the city where loud shouting and jeers met a woman greeting an audience in te reo Māori at the launch of a new ratepayers' group.
"They're threatened," Waitit said. "It's an older community. Tauranga is very similar to Christchurch - people are going there to retire and they are the ones with the old ideas.
"But their mokopuna (grandchildren) are different."
In an exclusive interview with NZME, Waititi stated his belief that "racist" incidents were a result of the Tauranga's population demographics.
"That is a generation. And that generation, whether they like it or not, their mokopuna are going to be different.
"Their mokopuna are going to grow up informed, intelligent, strategic, and they will be worldly, they will have an understanding of language and an understanding of culture.
"Those within the 60s, 70s and 80s hold a different view of the way this country should be without acknowledging the injustice or the unfair treatment of indigenous peoples."
Approached for a view on the generational comments, Tauranga Grey Power president Jennifer Custins declined to comment but said the organisation was apolitical.
Waititi believed any "racist" incidents in the community were being fuelled by the "racist rhetoric and propaganda" that had come from Parliament and the opposition.
In May, Waititi was ejected from the House after taking aim at what he called "racist" rhetoric following the National and Act Party attacking the Government over what they call a "separatist agenda".
The parties focused questions in the House on the proposed Māori Health Authority, the document He Puapua which advises on Māori realising self-determination, and reform at the Department of Conservation.
Tauranga National MP Simon Bridges said Waititi's comments were "overly broad and simplistic".
"Racism is wrong but having valid concerns about where Labour is going on all things Māori is entirely understandable. I am Māori and I am concerned."
Bridges said the Labour Party felt "wrongs in the past" needed "co-governance" in all areas, including health, education and government, to make it right.
"This sort of approach will in the end always fail because at its core it's undemocratic and inconsistent with our growing multiculturalism."
Waititi told NZME words such as "separatism" and "apartheid" had no place in New Zealand, despite them being used in question time in Parliament.
He felt pākehā were scared they would be treated by Māori as pākehā had treated Māori, and that was where these terms had originated from.
"People just need to rest assured that we're not like that and we will not treat people like that. We want to grow this country together."
What was making racism more prevalent, was the uprising of those he labelled "tangata Tiriti" — Treaty people or pākehā that acknowledge the Treaty — they were also speaking up and pushing back against the "old ideologies of 'old Zealand"'.
"When we talk tangata whenua, tangata Tiriti — both belong through the relationship (of the Treaty). It's a beautiful concept because you belong here, because my tipuna said, 'yes, come'.
"It's okay to have two peoples on this great nation by acknowledging the mana of both through the relationship of the treaty."
Māori had held their part of the bargain by the establishment of government, Waititi said. Now it was only right that initiatives honouring the founding document took place.
"Of course it is going to create this angst in the older generation but the new generation can see Aotearoa hōu, they can see this new Aotearoa on the rise which is a Tiriti-centric Aotearoa.
"I think our country has to be mature enough now to stand up, including tangata Tiriti, to say, 'it's unacceptable and that is not the future for my people, my kids, it's not the future for our country'."