Peters renegs on Maori seats referendum pledge

New Zealand now has a government described by The Australian newspaper as a coalition of the losers put together by New Zealand First leader Winston Peters, who promptly reneged on his campaign pledge for a referendum on whether or not to continue with separate Maori seats.

Hobson’s Pledge members were delighted when Mr Peters added a binding referendum on Maori electorates to his numerous bottom lines during the election campaign so are disappointed that he failed to follow through.

With the Maori Party out of Parliament and National out of government, the good news is that the nine years of race-based social engineering wrought by Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson is at an end.

But the damage has been done, with racially selected boards and committees embedded in local authorities around the country and iwi participation written into the Resource Management Act.

In addition, Mr Finlayson has signed off more than $2.5-billion in treaty settlements during his reign of error, while the annual outpouring of grievance at Waitangi Day and the new Land Wars Day shows that little, if anything, has been settled.

Whakatane wants Maori wards?

The Whakatane District Council is the latest council seeking to add three new Maori seats.

Maori TV says that feedback has been sought from iwi, hapu and the community, as if iwi and hapu were somehow separate from the community.

The Whakatane mayor, Tony Bonne, said it was unfair that Maori seats are determined by a general vote in local government, according to Maori TV.

Whakatane district, which extends from Ohope Beach, west past Pikowai and south past Lake Waikaremoana, currently has a mayor and 10 councillors.

Hobson’s Pledge opposes separate Maori seats in local bodies because:

  • Election results show that there is currently no impediment to anyone of any ancestry being elected to any council.
  • Claims that Maori seats would increase Maori voter engagement have been shown to be incorrect.
  • The only reason the question of Maori seats in local government rears its ugly head periodically is a requirement under Section 19 Z of the Local Electoral Act 2001


IRD’s psychometric testing a treaty breach?

The chilling words “Treaty breach” were included in a statement by the Public Service Association, which is taking the Inland Revenue Department to the Employment Court over its plans to use psychometric tests on employees reapplying for their jobs.

The Inland Revenue is planning to cut the number of its staff by around 30 per cent by 2021 as part of its business transformation plans.

Erin Polaczuk, PSA national secretary, said the move was offensive to long-serving staff and may breach both Treaty of Waitangi obligations and the department’s compliance with the State Sector and Human Rights Acts.

We have scanned the treaty and various lists of treaty principles to see how the treaty breach claim may be made, with little success.


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Authorised by C. Costello, Hobson's Pledge Trust, Suite 311, 184 Symonds Street, Auckland 1010, New Zealand.