Native Affairs - A Woman's Place

By Semi Holland

Parliament is currently conducting a review of Māori protocols after two Pākeha MPs complained about being asked to sit behind the men.

It's led to calls for Māori to modify the tikanga around the role of women in pōwhiri.

For years there's been an internal debate within Māori society as to whether or not women should be afforded speaking rights.

Tikanga Māori experts say there are valid reasons why women sit behind men and don't speak.

Semiramis Holland investigates whether it's time for change and who, if anyone should be leading the debate?