16 May 2014

Iwi wants to keep powhiri protocols

11:05 pm on 16 May 2014

A leader of Wellington iwi Te Atiawa says the tribe would reconsider its relationship with Parliament if it drastically changed protocol to allow women to speak in powhiri.

A review of Parliamentary protocol is in progress after some female MPs felt the current kawa, which belongs to local iwi Te Atiawa, belittled their status.

The head of Labour's Maori Caucus, Nanaia Mahuta, said the review was about recognising women as equals in the House, which could mean giving them an opportunity to speak in powhiri, or the less formal welcome, the whakatau.

But Wellington Tenths Trust chair Morrie Love said he was not keen on any drastic changes to give women speaking rights.

He said if that were to happen, the iwi should review its role in Parliament.

Mr Love said if changes to protocol were happening generally in Maoridom, then the iwi would look at it but the changes were not for Parliament to lead.

Listen to more about how Maori elders are clinging to prohibiting women from speaking in powhiri, on Insight on Radio New Zealand National after the 8am news on Sunday.