Entrenched Maori seats a political absurdity

Te Tai Tonga MP Rino Tirikatene’s Electoral (Entrenchment of Maori Seats) Amendment Bill will, if passed, require a 75 percent majority in Parliament to disestablish the Maori seats.

Consider these absurdities:

  • The need for these seats disappeared in 1893, when New Zealand became the first nation in the world to grant universal adult suffrage. The 1986 Royal Commission on the Electoral System recommended the abolition of these seats.
  • There is no evidence that people of Maori descent currently derive any benefit from this anomaly.
  • In 2017 22 people of Maori descent were elected to Parliament on their own merit, and without the need for racial preference.
  • People of Maori descent are now about 8 generations removed from those on whose behalf the Treaty of Waitangi was signed 178 years ago. Common sense shows the need for these seats has long gone but here we have a serious attempt to entrench the seats for ever. It is farcical to suggest that in another 178 years descendants of that time will still have this entitlement. This is a genealogical absurdity.
  • The original purpose of these seats having expired suggests not the entrenchment of the seats, but their abolition. All New Zealanders, irrespective of their ethnic origin, should have the same governance and property rights – as were guaranteed to people of Maori descent under the Treaty.
  • The views of the academic “elite” which has been encouraging this separatist agenda need to be re-examined against the test of good old common sense
  • It is a gross absurdity to promote a bill needing a 50.1 percent majority to pass, but which would need a 75 percent majority to get rid of it.


Please submit against the proposal to entrench the Maori seats in Parliament


GO HERE:  https://www.parliament.nz/en/pb/sc/make-a-submission/document/52SCMA_SCF_BILL_78108/electoral-entrenchment-of-m%C4%81ori-seats-amendment-bill

Submissions closed December 14, 2018

Peter Shirtcliffe