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.
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.