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Ed Sheeran

Empty seats spark treaty challenge

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Labour’s Tamaki Makaurau MP Peeni Henare is challenging his fellow MPs to show up for treaty settlement bills.

This week’s special sitting to pass the Te Atiawa, Taranaki Tuturu and Ngaruahine settlements drew hundreds of Taranaki people to the galleries but only a smattering of MPs to their green leather benches.

Mr Henare says after the uproar over New Zealand First’s tactics in September to delay the bills, it’s disappointing MPs didn’t show up.

"The wairua of the house changes with those types of bills and with the iwi and the hapu and the whanau showing up to support kaupapa like that and we should be embracing that, we should be happy those kinds of things happen and it is very disappointing to see a lack of bums on seats. We have another chance coming up next week with the Rangitaane bills and the Ngati Kahu bill so I challenge all of the MPs, as many as possible to get in for those hearings, because I know I’ll be there," he says.

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