Indigenous New Zealand lawmaker censured for haka protest

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand (AP) — An Indigenous New Zealand lawmaker was thrown out of Parliament’s debating chamber for performing a Maori haka in protest at what he said were racist arguments. Rawiri Waititi’s stance came after ongoing debate among lawmakers about the government’s plans to set up a new Maori Health Authority as part of sweeping changes to the health care system. Some conservative lawmakers have said the plan is separatist. Waititi, the co-leader of the Maori Party, said those arguments amount to racist rhetoric. In February, Waititi won a battle against wearing a tie in Parliament, ending a longstanding dress requirement that he described as a “colonial noose.”

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