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Māori politicians cautious about President-elect Trump

By Eruera Rerekura – Eru.Rerekura@tvnz.co.nz | @erurerekura

Published: 6:35PM Thursday November 10, 2016

  •  (Source: Te Karere)
    MP Peeni Henare - Source: Te Karere

While American citizens are either celebrating or commiserating about their newly elected president, here in Aotearoa, Māori politicians say people have every right to be concerned.

Labour MP Peeni Henare compared Donald Trump to Adolf Hitler because of Donald Trump’s racial discrimination against Muslims and Mexicans.

After watching the US election coverage on Wednesday night Henare told Te Karere he was gobsmacked and didn’t expect Mr Trump to win by such a margin.

“Ohorere marika nei. Me te mea nei e āhua rangirua ana; he aha nei nā ngā hiahia o te whenua o Amerika? He aha nei nā te mahere, te huarahi kei mua i a rātou, otirā kei mua i a tātou?” Hei tā Henare.

Māori Party co-leader Marama Fox told Te Karere that she didn’t welcome the decision, but perhaps one small positive upshot was Mr Trump’s opposition to the TPP.

“Kāore au e hiahia kia tuku mihi 'coz kei te rerekē rawa atu ōnā kōrero; kāore he paku tautoko i te hunga iwi taketake o te ao. Engari, hika, kei runga i a ia kua whakakorengia te TPP,” hei tā Fox.

Green Party co-leader Metiria Turei also agreed.

“Yes, that is a good thing that's coming out of the result – (although) Hillary Clinton also opposed the TPPA,” Ms Turei said.

But for Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis who’s been leading campaigns about violence against women, it’s Mr Trump’s sexually deviant behaviour towards women that disturbs him the most.

“He tangata whakaiti wahine, he tangata tūkino wahine, he kaiwhāwhā wahine,” hei tā Davis.

Ms Turei said that women and ethnic groups also had a right to be concerned.

“I think it's dire for women, it's dire for people of colour and certainly for the indigenous community in the US - I think it's a real problem for them.”

Ms Fox believed that Donald Trump’s campaign was based on hate politics which was also starting to emerge in New Zealand.

“Kua kite mātou i a ia e poipoi nei i taua pukuriri i roto i te tangata kua puta rātou ki te pōti. Ā, kua kite mātou i taua pukuriri i roto i England mō te Brexit, ā, i a mātou i tēnei i roto i Aotearoa nei.”

In the end Labour’s Tāmaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare had a word of caution:

 “Kia mataara tātou!”

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