< May 2019 newsletter

National Party MPs support institutionalised racism

National List MP Jo Hayes, a member of the Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing submissions on the entrenchment of Maori seats, is pushing for National candidates to stand in the Māori seats.

"Māori need special treatment because colonisation actually occurred for them, now we are seeing the results of that and it needs to be fixed," said Hayes.

"The only way we can fix that is targets, certain types of funding. So key areas to lift outcomes in education and health. So we can foot it alongside non-Māori who get everything. So we can have equal standing." (Emphasis added)

Ms Hayes will have a lot of trouble convincing other New Zealanders of the merits of her argument. For instance, in 2017 Chapman Tripp estimated the Māori economy to be worth over $50 billon. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade also revealed that this includes the ownership of a significant proportion of assets in the primary sectors: 50% of the fishing quota, 40% of forestry, 30% in lamb production, 30% in sheep and beef production, 10% in dairy production and 10% in kiwifruit production.

Ref: The Maori Economy, a paper produced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (2018).

Senior National Party MP Judith Collins has come out in support of Ms Hayes. She too wants to see the party drop its objection to running candidates in Māori seats, as does former Māori vice president of the National Party, Sir Harawira Gardiner.

Media Coverage

Stuff: National MP Jo Hayes keen to stand in Māori electorate

Waatea News: Hayes keen on Maori seat run

Waatea News: Collins counting on Māori seat bid

Waatea News: Gardiner keen to harvest Māori seat votes

Waatea News: Pressure on for Nats to drop Brash set legacy

While some are campaigning for the entrenchment of the Maori seats, many other New Zealanders believe they should be abolished altogether. Canterbury University law lecturer Professor Phillip A. Joseph writes in an essay on why the Maori seats should go - available at NZCPR by clicking HERE

‘Reverse discrimination and racial separatism’ …

‘This essay has depicted the Maori seats as a form of reverse discrimination and a symbol of racial separatism. The principle of equality is axiomatic to the rule of law and is a fundamental civil right, “in a substantial sense the most fundamental of the rights of man”. No ethnic group other than Maori is guaranteed separate parliamentary representation. The separate seats inflate Maori parliamentary representation (19 percent of the parliamentary seats) relative to the national Maori population (14 percent of the New Zealand population).’ Philip A. Joseph, New Zealand Business Roundtable, 2008

For further reading on the issue, see also ‘The truth about the Maori Seats’ by Jeremy Sparrow

The Susan Guthrie speech presented in 2014 to a public forum on whether New Plymouth should have separate Maori wards, explains the dangers of institutionalising separate political representation. Ms Guthrie said:

“In my view it is impossible to show convincingly that the Treaty supports Maori aspirations to have unique political rights, that New Zealand should move away from democracy”.

Please click HERE to read the full text.

Go back to the May 2019 newsletter


No place for democracy in Ngāi Tahu grab for political power

Oral submissions on the bill to entrench Ngāi Tahu seats on Environment Canterbury were heard by the Māori Affairs Committee last week – and those who watched the proceedings report that there were considerably more presentations in opposition than those in support. Continue reading

Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill

On April 15, some of us attended the Maori Affairs Select Committee hearing in Auckland to support those presenting oral submissions in opposition to the Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill. While more of the submitters at the hearing in Auckland spoke in favour of the bill than against, we were heartened to hear from Dan Bidois afterwards, (Dan is one of the National MPs on the committee), that the majority of the written submissions opposed entrenchment. Continue reading

Have your say on the push to entrench Maori seats

Rino Tirikatene, who represents Labour in the Maori seat of Te Tai Tonga, is fighting to entrench the Maori seats, whereby a vote of 75 percent of MPs would be needed to get rid of them. Continue reading

Democracy Action oral submission to Auckland Council re: designated Māori seats

Oral submission to the Auckland Council Governing Body on 2 October 2023 Good morning your worship Mayor Brown and Councillors. Thank you for this opportunity to share our views on the council’s proposal to introduce designated Māori seats. I am here representing Democracy Action – a group of citizens advocating for the protection of democracy and equality of citizenship. Continue reading

Auckland Council rejects Māori seat proposal

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Kāpiti Coast Council proposes Māori ward

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Aucklanders' views to be sought on Māori wards

Following preliminary engagement with iwi and urban Māori in 2022, Auckland Council will shortly be asking Aucklanders for their feedback on whether they support - or do not support - the introduction of a dedicated Māori seat/s on Council. Public consultation will run from 21 August until 24 September. Continue reading

WDC joins the shameful councils debasing our democratic governance systems

Waikato District Council has unanimously given support for Māori representation on its principle Council Committees after the October 2019 local government elections. Mayor Allan Sanson said that the Waikato District Council – Waikato Tainui Joint Management Agreement (JMA) committee had made this a priority, saying the move has been "a long time coming". Continue reading

No to designated seats for Ngāi Tahu representatives on CRC

Last month we celebrated as the Canterbury Regional Council Ngai Tahu Representation Bill was voted down in parliament. Following this welcome news, hopefully many have written to Simon Bridges, Winston Peters and David Seymour to show appreciation for their stand, and to congratulate Shane Jones and Nick Smith for their speeches against the bill, as reported on RadioNZ, available HERE. If you have not done so, it’s not too late, we are sure they’d love to hear from you. Continue reading

NZ First vote yes to Bill seeking to entrench Maori Seats

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Have your say on the push to entrench Maori seats

Submissions close on December 14th. Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikātene, the sponsor of the bill, wants to make it more difficult to abolish the Maori seats by ensuring any changes will need the support of 75 percent of MPs rather than the current simple majority. He is actively appealing to Maori through the Maori media to make their views known, see HERE and HERE (Radio Waatea). Continue reading

Hastings District Council joins the Hall of Shame

A big thank you to those who contacted Hasting District councillors to encourage them to vote against the proposal to enable four members of the Maori Joint Committee to sit and vote on the council’s four standing committees. Unfortunately, enough councillors (10-4) felt able to turn their back on democracy by appointing unelected Maori to all committees.  Continue reading

Good News - designated seats for Ngāi Tahu voted down

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