Madam Chair, it pleases me no end to be able to stand up and say "Madam Chair".
Thank you so much for stepping into this role. You honour us all in our country. Thank you, Madam Chair.
This is my first speech in this, the 52nd Parliament, and I rise with hope, with my colleague Jan Logie and all of the Greens and our Government. And I rise especially with a huge sense of responsibility, an acute awareness of the responsibility that we all have now to restore some of the dignity to the people, the rivers, and the progressive values that were eroded over nine years of the former National Government. I'm aware that working together we will do this—we will do this. We have a clear plan and we have had those visions for some time now.
I have a particularly huge sense of responsibility to continue to drive the kaupapa Māori political aspirations that the Greens have always shared and have always supported tangata whenua and iwi with. We want to both work with our Labour and New Zealand First colleagues and also keep pushing and holding to account gently our Government colleagues when we know that the Greens have got some specific plans that we need to keep pushing on.
I am so proud to see Te Reo make it on to our agenda—make it on to our Government agenda—Te Reo in schools. The Greens are incredibly proud that we have put that on the party political agenda and certainly on the campaign political agenda to support the work that has happened for many years to ensure that all our tamariki, universally, have access to Te Reo in schools. I was proud on Sunday just gone, Mr Speaker—Madam Speaker. See, we're going to get there—we're going to get there. I was proud to announce that I will launch and put back into the members' biscuit tin the bill to initiate a day for Parihaka—Te Rā o Parihaka Bill. This is about claiming the injustices of our country but also celebrating the incredible commitment, the solidarity with the Parihaka descendants and community to nonviolence in the face of Crown acts of repression and aggression.
I'm really looking forward to working with the Hon Nanaia Mahuta, Minister Nanaia Mahuta, on things like wahakura, where for such a reasonable cost we can make sure that we say to every tamariki who arrives to us: “We welcome you. We welcome you with wahakura”, a woven baby pod that would also play a massive role in awesome regional economic development for weaving and for organisations who are already trying to provide these pods for us. I will keep pushing for Māori wards. The bill that was drawn just this year was voted down, but I know I will keep speaking for the establishment of Māori wards.
I congratulate Ngāti Whātua Ōrākei and Ngārimu Blair for their opposition to the east-west link, which I am proud that the Greens oppose and which I am proud that this Government has done away with. It was hella expensive. We can do better. I'm really proud that we stood up to that.
I am particularly proud on where we are going in this Government. Seeing Uncle Mr Speaker in the House last night with the beautiful baby Heeni and seeing our breastfeeding mamas and our babies in the House was about understanding that this House is supposed to be a House of Representatives. It is supposed to reflect our community and our society in all parts of it, and it also understanding that absolutely we can make, and will make, essential decisions because we are reflective of who we are as a country.
Madam Speaker, thank you for this opportunity to speak. We are heading in the direction where our families, our rivers, and our progressive values have a strong voice, and the Green Party in particular will continue to advocate for an understanding that realises that our social, our economic, our cultural, and our environmental well-being all depend on each, all are connected to each other and are reliant on each other. Thank you, Madam Deputy Speaker.