Yesterday, New Zealand politicians paid their respects to the Queen at Parliament. 

Greens co-leader Marama Davidson used the opportunity to hold the royal family to account for their colonialist legacy, while other politicians chose to admire the Queen.

In her speech, Davidson recognised the many people that admired the Queen’s dignity and strong work ethic, as well as the Māori that held a special relationship with her.

"[But] we cannot ignore the oppression of Māori as very real and continuing," she said. 

Davidson said that the Queen was aware of how indigenous people around the world feel about the monarchy.

“[The Queen] was never ignorant of the responses around the world to the monarch imperial agenda that her long post represented … She knew what she was a part of.”

Davidson went on to say that the Queen’s passing had overshadowed Te Wiki o te Reo Māori and the historic 50th anniversary of the Māori language petition being presented to Parliament.

Due to Parliament not sitting for the rest of the week in recognition of the Queen’s death, a debate in which politicians were due to speak about protecting te reo Māori was postponed.

“This was a once-in-a-50-year opportunity for us to herald something that was at risk of being completely wiped out by a colonial plan that was linked to the reign of Queen Elizabeth's father, King George.

“I am today still doing the work to reclaim my own native tongue as the result of violence towards my grandmother when she was but a child. 

“I know that this legacy would have surely horrified the Queen,” she said.

“The question of what her service was in aid of is certainly a legitimate one.

“And yes, a question for this very time.”

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Rawiri Waititi said that he acknowledges the anger of indigenous people, but now is not the time to vent it. 

"Our tikanga is clear, we must give people time for whānau to grieve their losses.”

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