A New Zealand lawmaker, Rawiri Waititi, was removed from parliament for performing Maori haka dance during a debate about indigenous rights.

The co-leader of New Zealand's Maori Party interrupted while Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern was taking questions from lawmakers on Wednesday, accusing the country's opposition party of "racist propaganda and rhetoric," reported CNN.

The speaker, Trevor Mallard, told him to be seated. Instead of following the order, he broke into the haka, a traditional dance accompanied by a chant.

"Order. The member will now leave the chamber," Mallard told Waititi, as reported by The Guardian.

The interjection happened while Judith Collins, the leader of the right-wing opposition New Zealand National Party, was quizzing Ardern on indigenous sovereignty.

"Over the past two weeks, there has been racist propaganda and rhetoric towards tangata whenua [New Zealand's indigenous population]," Waititi said during his first point of order on Wednesday. "That not only is insulting, but diminishes the manner of this House."

Responding to him, the Speaker said that he felt nothing out of order had been said during the debate. "I'm asking the member to make sure that if he has a point of order, it is a fresh and different one," the Speaker said.

"Fresh and different point of order, Mr. Speaker," the Maori Party co-leader replied. "When it comes to views of indigenous rights and indigenous peoples, those views must be from indigenous people ... they can't be determined by people who are not indigenous," he said and criticized a "constant barrage of insults" toward the population.

Waititi's microphone got turned off. "The member's mic is off so he will resume his seat," the Speaker said. In response, he started performing the haka. After the dance, he was ordered to leave.

This is the second time this year that Waititi has been asked to leave the parliament. In February, he was ejected for refusing to wear a necktie. He said that it suppressed indigenous culture.

About 15% of New Zealand's population is made up of Maori people.

In February, Ardern's government made announcement regarding plans for a national syllabus on Maori history. The country's first indigenous female foreign minister, Nanaia Mahuta, was appointed last year.

Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi
Maori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi speaks to media during the opening of New Zealand's 53rd Parliament on November 26, 2020 in Wellington, New Zealand. The opening of New Zealand's 53rd Parliament marks the start of the new three-year Parliamentary term. It is the first time Members of Parliament will meet as a Parliament. Photo by Hagen Hopkins/Getty Images

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