3 Sep 2012

'Too early' for Treaty oath bill

7:15 pm on 3 September 2012

A direct descendant of a Ngati Hine ancestral chief who signed Te Tiriti o Waitangi says it is too early for the Government to consider a bill where public officials can swear allegiance to the treaty.

The proposed legislation, sponsored by Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell, has been drawn from the ballot and is set to be debated by Parliament.

Last year, Mana Party leader Hone Harawira was ousted from the Debating Chamber for trying to swear his allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi when being sworn in as an MP.

Pita Paraone, a former New Zealand First MP and an uri whakaheke of Ngati Hine chief Te Ruki Kawiti, says he is not opposed to the Maori Party's idea.

However, Mr Paraone feels it is premature to consider the bill at present, saying the debate should instead focus on New Zealand's constitution.