Asia-Pacific

Maori MP Hone Harawira refuses Queen allegiance

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Media captionSupporters in the public galleries sung as Mr Harawira left the chamber - Footage courtesy NZ Parliament TV

A Maori MP has been thrown out of New Zealand's parliament for refusing to read the oath of allegiance to Queen Elizabeth II.

Hone Harawira began reading his own oath in Maori, which instead swore allegiance to the Treaty of Waitangi - New Zealand's founding document.

The parliamentary speaker stopped him and told him to leave the chamber.

Mr Harawira said he was disappointed to be ejected, and promised to take the oath next month.

"To have the speaker of the House deny the treaty as part of my affirmation is a signal of exactly where we are and where we go as a people," he told the New Zealand Herald.

He said there had been "scope for the oath of affirmation to proceed", and criticised the speaker for not letting him continue.

The Treaty of Waitangi is the agreement signed by the British government and Maori leaders in 1840.

It has been the source of controversy ever since, because the Maori and English versions appear to differ on key points.

In the English version, the Maori leaders ceded full sovereignty; but the Maori version has the word translated as "governance".

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