Maoris get more say than anyone, actually


Our friend Warwick Hughes draws our attention to a section of the AR5 which features the Maoris. Not New Zealanders, note, but Maoris.

In it, the IPCC expresses particular concern for Maoris, who, they predict, will be disadvantaged by the progressively worsening effects of anthropogenic global warming. They claim that Maoris’ “choices and actions continue to be constrained by … inequalities in political representation.”

Warwick raises his eyebrows at this and asks whether climate change is a hot topic in Maori society. But the allegation of inequality is so far from true that we can only jeer. In reality, the Maoris have automatic, unelected representation on public and private bodies throughout the length and breadth of New Zealand.

Nobody else gets into government with no effort, nor do proper democracies decide these matters according to the candidate’s race. But here we are, the world’s most flexible democracy: capable of describing outright racism as a fair go.

The most prominent example is the four Maori seats in the Parliament, introduced temporarily in 1867 to overcome the probable reluctance of Pakeha electors to vote for unknown Maori candidates. But Maoris also enjoy the unique right, at all levels of governance, to be consulted on public projects great and small. It’s a consideration that should not be contingent upon one’s race.

Independent Maori Statutory Board

Concerning the Auckland Council, which two years ago amalgamated the eight former local bodies, most electors would have been content to have our representatives elected in open competition, but the Maoris (or at least the Maori elite) outsmarted the rest of us at that game. They set up the Independent Maori Statutory Board to advise the Council and sit — and vote — on the most important 16 council committees. The members are not elected by registered Auckland electors, but simply appointed by a small number of local Maoris in a mysterious process that’s far from transparent.

Well, perhaps it is transparent, but I can find only this, from the Board’s web site:

The Board was appointed by the iwi [tribe] selection body. The Minister of Maori Affairs invited Mana Whenua [customary authority] groups in Auckland to select a person to be its mandated representative to the iwi selection body. The selection body developed its own process and procedure for appointing the members of the Board and were established only for the purpose of appointing members to the Board.

Not very illuminating. The local Maoris don’t use any democratic process to choose their representatives and, by definition (“established only for the purpose of appointing members”) don’t use that process for anything else. Why don’t they tell us what they do?

While the Maoris insist on “democratic” rights to their own representation, they don’t use democratic practices, nor do they want the same level of “democracy” for all the other races living here.

This is legislated racism. It is deplorable. The right of Maoris to have these privileges is not based in the nepotism they openly practise, nor in any perceived superiority over other races due to might, prowess or intellect, but in their claimed position as “tangata whenua” — man of the land.

Yet who is not a man of the land — some land, somewhere? To be born and raised in New Zealand, to till the soil and raise crops, to bury one’s forefathers here — what does this omit? How can one remain a foreigner after all that?

Those simple practices have made tangata whenua of millions of us who are not Maori and are not considered Maori, even though they fully qualify as tangata whenua.

But without that magic Maori-coloured skin (or, in modern parlance, DNA), those special democratic privileges for the “people of the land” are prohibited. We cannot set up our own organisation, pick our own people and have them debate the issues and vote on the action to take, can we?

Oh, wait. That’s what democracy means. We set up a committee and vote people on to it. Those people represent our interests on the committee and take action. They’re not there forever, so if they displease us we can vote them out of office. Simple. Why do the Maoris need anything else?

Not a single person anywhere did not spring from the soil, does not win maintenance from the soil and will not eventually return to the soil. The emphasis the Maoris and their shiny-eyed, socialist sympathisers place on their “special” relationship with the earth ignores the special relationship we all have with the earth, even if we don’t call the earth a placenta (which Maoris do — it’s the same word).

We all live from the earth. Dry your eyes and look with a cool gaze on this paradise we inhabit. We are all indigenous peoples.

Institutionalised racism is out of step with modern life, undemocratic and unjustifiable; it’s a bullying approach to reason, as barbaric as taking slaves and as stone-aged as eating one’s enemy.

But it’s readily destroyed — we don’t need force of arms. All it will take is the will of the majority.

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10 Thoughts on “Maoris get more say than anyone, actually

  1. Andy on 12/01/2013 at 4:52 pm said:

    David Brewer’s comment on Warwick’s blog says all that needs to be said.

  2. Huub Bakker on 13/01/2013 at 8:10 pm said:

    Richard, tsk, tsk! The plural of Maori is Maori; you should know this.


    • How very correct of you, Huub (but thanks for bringing it up)!

      I am, of course, speaking English and not Maori: cf. the plurals of Australian, Greek, Spaniard, Briton, Scot, American, Mongolian, New Zealander, Kiwi (the persons and the birds), Belgian, Kenyan, etc.

    • Andy on 13/01/2013 at 8:28 pm said:

      Don’t forget the sheep, our iconic imported mammal.

      They ain’t no sheeps out there.

    • You have found a linguistic similarity between Maoris (which in Maori are Maori) and sheep which is otherwise unjustified. You surely don’t want us to infer a connection with the tiresomely endless Aussie jokes about Kiwis and sheep?

  3. Clarence on 14/01/2013 at 2:16 pm said:

    Why didn’t David Wratt and other NZ representatives amongst IPCC authors correct this obvious slander of our country?

    Is this sentence a fair indicator of the standard of veracity throughout the AR5?

    Some 15% of New Zealanders have the right to choose whether they wish to vote on the general electoral roll (which does not guarantee one-person-one-vote nationwide) or on the Maori roll – which does offer that guarantee. That extra dose of democracy is available only to those of Maori descent in some (unspecified) degree.

    A nitpicker (such as are commonplace within IPCC commentators) might allege that non-Maori are “constrained by … inequalities in political representation”. Turning this reality on its head is just wrong.

  4. What about the Moriori?

    Moriori are the indigenous people of the Chatham Islands (Rēkohu in Moriori, Wharekauri in Māori), east of the New Zealand archipelago in the Pacific Ocean. These people lived by a code of non-violence and passive resistance (see Nunuku-whenua), which led to their near-extinction at the hands of Taranaki Māori invaders in the 1830s.

    I guess they don’t get much of a look in as indigenous peoples as the Maori killed most of them, although there are still a few around with very distinctive facial features

  5. Gary on 14/01/2013 at 4:35 pm said:

    Has the UNIPCC got a section on how all this Global Warming affects Santa?

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