Māori politicians support Standing Rock Sioux indigenous rights

By Heeni Brown

The Standing Rock Sioux tribes have the support of the United Nations. Here in New Zealand, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs says the issue is a domestic matter for the US authorities.But that hasn't stopped Māori MPs from giving their support to the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

New Zealand First MP Pita Paraone isn't turning his back on the Sioux nation of Standing Rock.

“If I didn't support this, then what planet am I on?”

He says Māori will be keeping a close eye on attempts to block the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline very closely.

“They'll be looking at the process they've taken and how decisions were made.”

Green Party MP Marama Davidson says, “This is a dirty pipeline. It will be carrying dirty oil. Indigenous tribes for a long time have always made sure to protect the environment and land. So here is our support from all the way here in New Zealand.”

Māori MPs for the Green Party have already uploaded a video on Facebook. 

Māori party co-leader Marama Fox says, “We strongly support them in their stance. We support them because they own the land and they should be telling the government their needs.”

Labour MP Adrian Rurawhe says, “Do you think that Māori would even have a pull when it comes to trying to persuade the American government in stopping a $3.8 billion dollar pipeline? I think what we can do is give moral support around this and ideas about how to interact with government."

Labour's Māori caucus says the US Government needs to respect the Standing Rock Sioux tribe.

Labour MP Kelvin Davis says, “The government needs to come up with energy sources and economic benefits that agree with the indigenous people. Perhaps there are other ways but their government shouldn't be looking at just one option.”

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