Wednesday November 22, 2017   Last updated 02:36AM

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Poroporoaki marks Maori Party departure

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The Maori Party is no longer in parliament but it did not just slink off to lick its election wounds.

A poroporoaki was held yesterday to farewell MPs and staff and look back at the contribution they made.

Co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell says the ceremony was a sign of how much the party had changed the institution over the past 12 years, with many kaupapa Maori elements now a normal part of how the House functions.

This includes changes in the way MPs swear allegiance and a powhiri for first time MPs in the Maori affairs select committee room.

Mr Flavell says he wasn't counting on leaving just yet, so yesterday's event had to substitute for a valedictory speech.

"One of the key influencers in parliament set it up that we would go back in to have our poroporoaki and final karakia for those of us leaving so we had all the Maori Party there and it was an open invitation to other MPs so it was a good opportunity for us to have poroporoaki as we do when you leave a place, to have poroporoaki and karakia and that is a tikanga that has been introduced now for first time MPs and people wanting to have karakia on their first day arriving at parliament through to when they leave at the end," he says.

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