Ngarewa-Packer TikTok claims ACT is 'anti-Māori baiting anō' 

By Kelvin McDonald
ACT List MP Simon Court.  Photo / Parliament TV

Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer has taken to TikTok to suggest the ACT Party has been involved in 'anti-Māori baiting again' in parliament.

During question time on Tuesday, ACT List MP Simon Court directed pātai to Local Government Minister Nanaia Mahuta over Te Mana o te Wai statements - concerned with the health and wellbeing of waterways - and whether they granted mana whenua more influence than other groups in Three Waters reforms matters.

One particular question by Court, however, grabbed Ngarewa-Packer's attention.  She used it as the basis of her TikTok video.

Under the title 'ACT anti-Māori baiting ano' followed by a rolling eyes emoji, Ngarewa-Packer, aka @whaeadeb, posted a parliamentary video of Court asking the question: "Are spiritual beliefs, such as the existence of a taniwha on a bend in the river, permissible subject matter for Te Mana o te Wai statements, and, if so, why should taxpayer-funded entities be required to give effect to spiritual beliefs?"

@whaeadeb Anti-Māori baiting ano! #stopracism #spirituality #indigenous #māori #Aotearoa ♬ Funny Song - Cavendish Music

But it is what Ngarewa-Packer did next that has earned her a 'mic drop' moment as far as one TikTok supporter was concerned.

With a text banner that read 'Spiritual beliefs given affect by tax payers' and accompanying 'Funny Song' TikTok music, she rattled off images of Easter Bunny carrying baskets of chocolate eggs, Santa Claus riding a sleigh pulled by a reindeer, and assorted Happy Boxing Day and Easter Monday images.

Source / TikTok

Her TikTok video has been viewed more than 21,000 times, and has received upwards of 2,000 likes and 200 comments. 

Approached for comment, Court told Te Ao, “The Māori Party seems to misunderstand how public holidays work. No taxpayer money goes into Christmas or Easter. The public holidays are paid for by employers.”