Democracy is not "Pakeha nonsense"

The childish, petty, hysterics we've all had the misfortune of witnessing in the last week in New Zealand politics highlights the importance of a democracy that provides Kiwis with the ability to vote politicians out come election day. 

It is fundamental that those with the power to make important decisions on our behalf are aware that they are just one election away from being cast out by the people. 

The Green Party are in quite a pickle with the petulant dramas and name calling centring around Elizabeth Kerekere. She has finally decided to pack up her toys and quit the Green Party, calling them racist on her way out. Ironic, given one of the accusations levelled at her was that she calls everyone racist when she doesn't get her own way.

A rumour was circulating that Kerekere might pop up for the Māori Party, but she told the media that she bumped into John Tamihere, and he didn't offer her anything 😬

Then she ruled out going to the Māori Party...before telling other media that "The Māori Party has told her the door is open". Who knows. 

Of course, while this was all going on, Labour’s Meka Whaitiri provided a further distraction from the issues important to New Zealanders (you know, things like putting food on the table, accessing health care, and surviving economic despair) and announced her defection to the Māori Party.

She shot a 'racism' accusation across the bow, saying that the Māori Party provides a voice for Māori women without being censored. Pretty awkward for Labour, seeing as they only recently announced that their Cabinet had the highest number of Māori on record.

In summary, Meka Whaitiri accused Labour of silencing Māori women, Elizabeth Kerekere called the Greens racist, Marama Davidson called the entire political system racist, and we still can't get anyone to tell us what 'racism' is!

The Labour/Green/TPM circus of silliness afforded Christopher Luxon a perfect opportunity to announce that the National Party will not work with the Māori Party. It was a statement that was a long time coming, with Hobson’s Pledge first calling on the National Party to rule out working with them in March last year. Better late than never!

If there was any doubt that the Māori Party was only interested in sensationalising and shocking, listening to their party president John Tamihere doing the media rounds would erase it. No solutions. No aspiration to improve outcomes. No intention to deliver anything.

Using taxpayer-funded media platforms, Tamihere has been promoting only radical ideas about water ownership, control, and separatism. Classic example of someone elevating his position by standing on the backs of vulnerable and in need.

Last month, in his interview with Tuku Morgan on Waatea News, he made it clear what is on the Māori Party's extreme agenda:

“Here’s my view, to what extent do you have a conversation with the power generators on the Waikato to say, hey times up, there’s got to be a levy here. That’s got to be coming surely?” 

You can listen to the interview here. You have to hear it to believe it.

Today, in The Press, Tamihere explicitly lays out the demands the Māori Party will take to coalition talks:

  1. Quit 'Five Eyes'
  2. Introduce a Capital Gains Tax
  3. Penalise landowners for not occupying houses
  4. Remove GST from food

But, funnily enough, he excluded any mention of water ownership and charging levies. Do we believe the Tamihere who speaks to Māori media or the one who speaks to mainstream media? 🤷

Just to hammer home the contempt for democracy, in the same Waatea News interview mentioned above, Tuku Morgan stated: 

“Once again, people will continue to hide behind this tyranny of the majority, this Pakeha democracy nonsense, and minimise the significance of the treaty. The Treaty promised us partnership and that is exactly what we are getting.”

Pakeha. Democracy. Nonsense. How do I get a seat on Elon Musk's first rocket to Mars? 

Interesting how Mr Morgan was quite fond of democratic process when Tainui attempted to remove him as iwi chair ten years ago. Despite an outpouring of anger over his performance, he secured a narrow victory when it went to a vote. At that time, he was quick to confirm his right to the position because there had been a vote and seemed happy with how democracy worked in his favour. Watch him discuss the matter here.

It is time people like Morgan and Tamihere realised that being Māori doesn't give them the right to speak for all Māori. The Māori Party is not representative of all Māori. Just look how low it polls!

Many Māori, including yours truly, are tired of the nation being distracted by these self-serving individuals who have demonstrated a total lack of interest in the important issues.

Internal disagreement between iwi, hapu, and whanau has always existed. The suggestion that co-governance assures us of peaceful agreement and smooth “waters” is a total joke. Tuku Morgan and Nanaia Mahuta - both important figures from Waikato-Tainui - agree on many radical ideas of co-governance, but are far from in agreement on other matters.

There is no single Māori opinion. We are individuals, and most of us don't vote for the Māori Party.

As part if our campaign to defend democracy we have put together some videos discussing the issue - you can view the first one here.

It is only through the protection of our democracy that we can be assured that our rights as individuals will be respected, regardless of our ancestry, and that our elected Government is held accountable.  

On May 4th we announced our defence of democracy and this will be the cornerstone of our work leading up to the election. Whether they call it co-governance, partnership boards, or “mahi tahi” make no mistake it is all founded on removing democratic rights and equality of citizenship.

It is racist and patronising to promote the idea that Māori are so helpless that we need to be treated with special rights in order to get ahead. It is simply not true. 

It is also racist and undemocratic to suggest that if you are not Māori, proportional representation is a negotiable commodity. Not a right. A nice to have.

You can help us push back against racism by signing our open letter to Minister Kiri Allan.

New Zealanders deserve much more than being spectators to the petty and childish antics of our current Government.