We have started 2022 with the reminder that our “team of 5 million” is yet again being called upon to unite in the protection of our vulnerable and achieve the best outcomes for all New Zealanders.
Since 2016 Hobson’s Pledge has been advocating exactly that message –New Zealanders are one people.
We fight for unity and equality before the law for the "team of 5 million".
Ironically, our opponents misconstrue this message to allege that any discussion challenging the practice of differentiating New Zealanders based on ancestry or race is taboo.
We can't let our opponents succeed in shutting down the defence of equality for all using labels of 'racism'
In 2022 New Zealanders must be afforded a voice to freely and openly discuss social policy, legislation and systems without fear of reprisal and accusations of racism.
If Kiwis can't have constructive discourse on important issues we will never achieve better outcomes for anyone. The answer is not always more government money and increased intervention.
The speed with which the Government is forcing us down the path of separatism makes it difficult to refute the conclusion that the He Puapua agenda is being implemented by stealth. It's time this vale of secrecy was removed and that's what Hobson's Pledge will be ensuring in 2022.
More so than ever before, we cannot allow our nation to be further divided based upon what sound like lofty ideals but which actually serve only the narrow interests of a minority who claim to represent all Maori. So often there is a lack of accountability or transparency in the delivery of these race-based initiatives.
The investment in social policy is often skewed by statistics being used to support a conclusion rather than to illuminate the issue. For example, 99.53% of Maori are not in prison but we are reminded constantly of the proportion of the total prison population that is Maori. Based upon these statistics ethnicity does not pre-determine your likelihood of going to prison.
If the objective is to justify separatism and secure the funding to maintain these policies then this agenda works perfectly. Failure to deliver is almost expected and throwing more money at the solution is always justified.
Generally, New Zealanders have been unwilling to challenge the concepts of co-governance and equity of outcome for fear of the labels that are targeted against anyone that speaks out. Even without our opponents using the smear of 'racism', these conversations aren't easy.
But the narrative of victimhood and the poor outcomes that are cited as justification for separatism must be scrutinised. The blind acceptance of bad social policy justified by reference to unequal outcomes will fail all of us, particularly those who actually have the greatest need.
This social experiment of affirmative action, positive discrimination and separatism has failed wherever it has been implemented.
We cannot encourage and support better outcomes while telling some New Zealanders that they cannot achieve on their own merit and through their own capability due to events that unfolded nearly 200 years ago.
Here at Hobson's Pledge, we've spent the summer planning how to respond to the challenges this Government poses. We're full of energy, urgency and have big plans for the year ahead. We are confident that with your continued support, 2022 can be the year that we change the narrative and stand up against racism in all its forms.
It is not an exaggeration to say, as Don did in his pre-Christmas letter, that we fight for the soul of New Zealand.
Thank you for your support.