“The Prime Minister needs to show some leadership and discipline Deputy Labour Leader Kelvin Davis for his race-based slurs against ACT MP Karen Chhour,” says ACT Deputy Leader and Whip Brooke van Velden.

“I have this morning written to the Prime Minister in my role as ACT Party Whip about Davis’s comments that Karen Chhour views the world through a “vanilla lens.”

“ACT Leader David Seymour will also raise these issues with the Race Relations Commissioner. Our caucus will not stand by and allow this sort of attack. It’s not only offensive to Karen, but to all New Zealanders.

“Karen is a proud Māori woman of Ngāpuhi descent. The Minister’s comment attacked her world view, mana, and race rather than the issue at hand.

“Karen was raising important issues around contracts involving Oranga Tamariki. Instead of taking issues around our most vulnerable children seriously, Davis launched a personal attack.

“I would hope that the Prime Minister would agree that no person should be judged by their identity, but rather by their words and actions.

“A similar event occurred in the past week in the UK Parliament. MP Rupa Huq was suspended from the Labour Party after she spoke about fellow MP Kwasi Kwarteng saying, “superficially he is a black man” and “if you hear him on the Today programme, you wouldn’t know he’s black.”

“The difference in these two cases is that UK Labour Leader Sir Keir Starmer forced his MP to apologise for these comments. Our Prime Minister needs to do the same.”

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