On Tuesday night, TV1 News hosted the Kaupapa Maori debate, bringing together Maori representatives from Labour, ACT, Te Pati Maori, National, Greens, and NZ First.
The most striking point of the debate was the difference of opinionevidenced by those jostling for political relevance. These diverse opinions from Maori representatives demonstrate the importance of democratic protection for every individual in New Zealand.
If we believe activists that co-governance of New Zealand would provide a single cohesive voice for Maori, how come Willie Jackson, John Tamihere, Karen Chhour, Marama Davidson, and Tama Potaka couldn't all agree on a single issue raised at the debate?
This debate should leave no doubt that the pathway to decision-making under the co-governance strategy would be fraught with costly delays and conflicts.
It is only through the ballot box that everybody’s voice can be heard.
Hobson’s Pledge has spent the last seven years advocating for the recognition that New Zealand must safeguard the democratic voice of each and every New Zealander, regardless of their ancestry.
Silence is deafening for Maori seats in Auckland
Auckland Council’s call for submissions on the establishment of Maori wards also demonstrates that efforts to differentiate representation based on race hold more importance for bureaucrats than for ratepayers.
NZ Herald: Auckland Council: Majority give ‘thumbs-down’ to Māori wards as council submissions close
With only 10,000 submissions from a council responsible for a third of the population of New Zealand, the vast majority oppose race-based representation. It appears that not even Maori have engaged in this process. Perhaps they recognise that the nearly invisible Independent Maori Statutory Board delivers more cost than benefit, making more race-based representation an unnecessary burden.
Confusion on the Maori Roll
As the voting papers are being distributed, it has been brought to our attention that those who were encouraged through a determined advertising campaign to register on the Maori roll are now aware of the impact.
Although 5,371 voters moved onto the Maori roll, 4,674 moved onto the general roll. As voting papers arrived we have received feedback it is a surprise for some that being on the Maori roll means they are not able to vote in their local electorate.
It has also been noted that for Maori roll voters there is an average of 3.8 candidates per seat but in the general roll there is 7.2 candidates per seat.
The shifting between rolls and the varied political opinions from Maori voters demonstrates that democratic rights are an individual right. This would appear at odds with the Maori Party’s 2021 Policy that would commit ALL Maori to the Maori roll.
Notable in this article is that Hobson’s Pledge's call for equality before the law and the protection of our democracy is supported:
“Māori do – and should – have the right to be represented by whomever they wish to be represented by. Some 4,674 voters made a conscious choice to move from the Māori roll to the general roll: is it fair to make their choice invalid?”
Protecting the rights of ALL, regardless of when we or our ancestors arrived in this country, demands that we make it clear that any candidate seeking your vote should know your bottom line. Tell them at: www.bottomline.co.nz
PS If you missed out on bumper stickers last time, we have done a second run! We'll send you a set of 4 in exchange for a donation. Click here to order.
Authorised by: Hobson’s Pledge, Suite 311, 184 Symonds Street, Auckland 1010