This is a public statement on behalf of Māori leadership across Aotearoa addressing the statements of Te Pāti Māori co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, calling for the ambassador of Israel to be expelled.
Her statements were not based on fact concerning the current situation regarding the conflict between Hamas terrorist organization and the state of Israel.
Ms Packer has made strong claims against the Israel Defence Force, accusing them of a hospital strike that took the lives of citizens of Gaza. This is not true. The IDF and the American intelligence have reviewed all footage including recordings of Hamas militants speaking of a misfire.
The overwhelming evidence shows that the cause of the strike on the hospital in Gaza was a result of a missile fired by Islamic Jihad terrorists.
Even after the evidence and statements have been released, Te Pāti Māori still maintains its false claims. Their irresponsible actions have spread misinformation, incited ill-feeling against Jewish communities who have been targeted and intimidated, and their families and livelihoods endangered.
We, as Maori leaders, do not support the views of Te Pāti Māori and co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
We call on Te Pāti Māori to retract their statements against Israel, calling the Ambassador of Israel to be expelled.
We call on the media to correct the false claim.
We stand by Israel and support her right to defend her territories and citizens.
We condemn the acts of terrorism committed by the Hamas terrorist organization.
We, as a body of Māori leaders, stand by Ambassador Ran Yaakoby and his family, committing to pray for them. We pray for the state of Israel. And for the Jewish communities who are grieving the loss of their loved ones. Our heart goes out to you all.
Tawhiri Littlejohn, Nga Puhi Me Ngati Whatua
Dr Sheree Trotter, Te Arawa
Apotoro Rehita Kereama Pene, Ratana Leader, Ngati Whatua
Kaumatua Te Hurihanga, Ngapuhi, Te Aka Matua
Kaumatua Rangitukehu Paora, Ngati Awa
Hon Alfred Ngaro, leader New Zeal
Brad Haami, Ngati Awa, Māori adviser and Indigenous academic
Richard Nahi, Ngapuhi, Te Aka Matua
Jacqueline and Wally Te Huia, Nga Puhi Me Ngati Whatua
Lorinda and John Pereira, Ngapuhi, Ahu Whenua Navigations Ltd.