Bill to entrench Maori seats

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

Thank you for your submissions.

On 5th September Parliament voted to move the Bill for consideration by the Maori Affairs Select Committee.

The vote was as follows:

National Party: 56 opposed; ACT Party 1 opposed

Labour Party: 46 in favour; Green Party: 8 in favour; NZ First: 9 in favour



Please submit against Labour MP Rino Tirakatene's Electoral (Entrenchment of Māori Seats) Amendment Bill that would require a 75 percent majority of MPs to dis-establish the Maori seats. The continued existence of these seats is absurd. Consider this:
• 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.
• The 2017 election, that brought to Parliament 29 MPs with Maori ancestry, 22 of whom came in on the general roll, show that those with Maori ancestry are perfectly capable of being elected without the need for the Maori seats.
• Indeed, even without those elected in the Maori seats, Maori MPs constitute over 18 percent of all Members of Parliament. People of Maori descent are now about eight 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.
• The original purpose of these seats having expired suggests not the entrenchment of the seats, but their abolition.
• Remember, 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
needs 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 % majority to pass, but which would need a 75% majority to get rid of it.

Submissions closed Friday, 14 December 2018