New Zealand's Youngest MP Hana Rawhiti Performs 'Maori Haka' In Parliament | Video Goes Viral

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New Zealand’s Youngest MP Hana Rawhiti Performs ‘Maori Haka’ In Parliament | Video Goes Viral

| Updated: January 6, 2024 14:03

Hana-Rawhiti Maipi-Clarke, 21, made history as the youngest MP in New Zealand since 1853 when she was elected to Parliament in October 2023. A video of a young New Zealand parliamentarian went viral as she delivered her first speech, performing the ‘Maori haka’ or to honor her indigenous roots. She also made waves on social media with her powerful maiden speech in December 2023, in which she vowed to her electorate, “I will die for you … but I will [also] live for you.”

Maipi-Clarke, who is of Māori descent, dedicated her speech to all tamariki Māori, the children of the indigenous people of New Zealand. She expressed her pride in her heritage and her commitment to preserving and promoting the Māori language and culture. She also encouraged the tamariki Māori to embrace their identity and not to conform to the expectations of others. “Never fit in. You are perfect. You are the perfect fit,” she said.

The young MP comes from a family of political activists and leaders. Her great-great-great-great-grandfather was the first Māori minister to the Crown in 1872, her aunt was involved in the Māori language petition in 1972, and her grandfather was a member of the Māori activist group ‘Nga Tamatoa’ that protested against colonialism and racism. Maipi-Clarke herself has been active in her community, running a Māori community garden and writing a book about healing through astronomy.

Maipi-Clarke defeated Nanaia Mahuta, a veteran MP who had held the seat since 2008, in a stunning upset. She represents the Hauraki-Waikato electorate, which covers a large area of the North Island. She is a member of the Labour Party, which forms the government in coalition with the Green Party. She has been vocal about the issues facing the Māori people, such as poverty, health, education, and justice. She has also been supportive of the government’s efforts to combat climate change and COVID-19.

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