“Racism, in any form, should have no place in our elections.
“Leaders, whether it is within your iwi, your whānau or of a political party, have a responsibility to call out racism and race-baiting and publicly condemn it.
“Race-baiting for votes is not new here in Aotearoa. But this election, the dog whistling and the outright public displays of racism from political candidates have increased to unacceptable levels.
“We need to draw a line in the sand, put an end to this divisive style of politics because Aotearoa, we are better than that.
“We support the position taken by the leader of the Labour Party, Chris Hipkins, calling for the end to race-baiting and racist comments in our country’s election campaigns.
“We acknowledge both the Green Party and Te Paati Māori for their anti-racism positions and respect the words of Kiingi Tuheitia Pōtatau Te Wherowhero IIV, who, at his Koroneihana called for political parties to stop using Māori people as a political football.
“It is racist to call for Māori, elite or not, to be cut out and buried.
“It is racist to abuse wahine Māori at candidate debates for speaking te Reo.
“It is ignorant to call the signing of te Tiriti a ‘wee experiment.’
“And it is ignorant to think you have a right to erase te Tiriti from legislation and rewrite it in your own words.
“Māori deserve better from the people who want to lead our country.
“So we are calling on Christopher Luxon, the leader of the National Party, to condemn the racist comments made by NZ First candidates, to condemn the race-baiting policies of the Act Party and commit himself to representing all of us – including Māori.
“We look forward to his response.”
Dame Naida Glavish; Ta Herewini Tanetoa Parata; Ta Mark Solomon; Archdeacon Ngira Simmonds, chief of staff, Office of the Kiingitanga; Tukoroirangi Morgan, chair of Te Arataura; Bayden Barber, chair of Ngati Kahungunu; Katie Murray, Te Runanga o Te Rarawa; Professor Margaret Mutu (Ngāti Kahu, Te Rarawa and Ngāti Whātua); Te Huia Bill Hamilton (Ngāti Kahungunu, Ngāti Raukawa, Ngā Rauru); Terrence (Mook) Hohneck, Ngāti Manuhiri; Peter Lucas Jones, Te Aupouri; Pania Newton, Te Ahiwaru Trust; Hurimoana Dennis, chair of Te Puea Marae; Tony Kake, CEO, Papakura Marae; David Leteli, CEO, BBM Motivation; Tania Rangiheuea, CEO of MUMA; Bernie O’Donnell, Nga Whare Waatea, chair of MUMA.