We watched Parliament this afternoon. Bill English moved a motion on behalf of the Prime Minister relating to the Pike River coal mine tragedy. All who spoke today spoke from the heart, and in a way which dignified the memory of the miners who died in the mine explosion.
One speech demands further attention. Te Ururoa Flavell spoke last, on behalf of the Maori Party, after Jim Anderton and Peter Dunne. He spoke entirely in te reo Maori. Our knowledge of te reo is rudimentary at best, but we were able to understand most of what he said. At the conclusion of his korero Flavell led the House in the waiata - Whakaaria Mai (accompanied by the rather magnificent voice of Dr Lockwood Smith) and closed with a karakia. To say that it was incredibly moving is an understatement. We're getting pretty cynical as we age, but there was mist in our eyes at the end. Here's the moment, courtesy of In the House:
It is a rare day that Parliament is wholly united. However those in the House today have honoured the memory of those who lie in the Pike River mine.