By James Perry of Whakaata Maori
Hana-Rāwhiti Maipi-Clarke has doubled down on her accusations that political parties’ rhetoric during the election campaign has emboldened the behaviour of some, including those she alleges ‘invaded’ her home recently.
Talking to teaonews.co.nz, Maipi-Clarke said the rhetoric against Māori, LGBTQ+ and young people had increased recently, and called for Māori members of those parties to stand up and call out racist attitudes.
“Sort your party out! Kei te tino pēhi koutou i a tātou te iwi Māori.”
(Sort your party out! You are really putting down all Māori.)
Her comments come days after she revealed her Waikato home had been “invaded” in an alleged politically motivated act. It has landed the 21-year-old Te Pāti Māori candidate in a political clash with NZ First leader Winston Peters and Act leader David Seymour.
Peters, while appearing on The AM Show on Monday, disputed the dialogue over an alleged home invasion at Maipi-Clarke’s property last week.
‘Not a home invasion - Peters
“Sorry, first of all, it’s not a home invasion for a start. That description is wrong. The second thing is we’ve all had that. We’ve had all sorts of things done to us over the years. This is not new... I’ve had my house trashed on the outside,” he said.
Maipi-Clarke told Te Ao News her home was broken into on two separate occasions recently, and personal belongings photographed. Asked if she was at home on either occasion, she admitted she wasn’t. However, she said some of the personal belongings photographed and left in her mailbox included confidential medical reports.
On another occasion, when her fence was allegedly vandalised, members of her whānau were home.
“I rongo, i āhua kite. Kua hoatu ēnei momo kōrero ki ngā pirihimana.”
(They heard it happen, and some caught a glimpse as well. We have passed on all this information to the police.)
Police have confirmed a burglary investigation is under way.
Maipi-Clarke says she remains undeterred by the incidents and is determined to keep campaigning in Hauraki-Waikato and for the party. At 21, she could become the youngest MP in 170 years, since James Frederick Stuart-Wortley was elected in 1853 at age 20 and seven months.
“Engari e āwangawanga ana au ki te kite i te mata o aku mātua, i te kitenga o ēnei momo mahi ki ahau me tōku whānau. Kei te tino mataku rātou.
“Engari kua kaha rangona, kua kaha kitea, kua kaha rongo i te tino akiaki o te iwi Māori. Koirā te tino hihiko i roto i ahau kia haere tonu.”
(But it was upsetting to see the concern on my parents’ faces when they could see what was happening to me. They are scared. But I have felt, seen and heard the outpouring of support by Māori. That is what is keeping me motivated to stay the course.)
Seymour calls for collegiality
Seymour, also speaking on The AM Show, accused Te Pāti Māori of politicising the incidents, and cautioned against attributing political leaders’ comments before the investigation’s conclusion.
“Yes, some of those we could’ve linked to other parties but I think what we need is for every politician to be collegial, to join together in condemning any kind of political violence that has no place in our society and our democracy and certainly not two weeks before an election, and actually work to have an honest and healthy dialogue about the future of our country,” he said.