Why I'm joining Hobson's Pledge

Just a quick note to introduce myself as the newest member of the Hobson's Pledge team.

A quick bit about myself: I am a husband, dad, and proud New Zealander. I have ancestors from Niue, England, and Tonga, and I hail from the iwi, Te Āti Awa, and the hapū, Ngāti Raukawa. My kids are all that plus mixed with Chinese heritage. Multicultural!

I have worked with at-risk young people and communities for 20 years and have fought for equality in various contexts.

Like many Kiwis I've been watching the downward spiral of race relations in New Zealand in horror.

We live in one of the greatest countries on Earth with a proud history of democracy but now we find ourselves with different rights and representation based on if we have Māori blood.

I have Māori blood. I don't want this racist separatism.

Don and I go way back. We first met at a school in South Auckland where he was helping to empower the families and youth in our low-income areas. Since then, I have seen his work with Hobson's Pledge evolve over the years into a massive movement based on the simple idea that all Kiwis should have the same rights and representation. Nearly 150,000 Kiwis are signed up to Hobson's Pledge's supporter list.

I'm joining the Hobson's Pledge team because this is not the New Zealand I grew up inThe apartheid-style policies that have been implemented by recent governments have shocked me and then angered me.

I'm also joining because I have had enough of media and politicians acting like all Māori are on board with the extremism of Te Pati Māori.These extremist groups are attempting to rewrite history.

The recent Tūrangawaewae, Kīngitanga, and Waitangi events have shown that anti-equality groups will subject Kiwis to division, deception, manipulation and gaslighting.

We have a battle ahead to overcome what I consider to be a broken fourth estate.

They aren't going to report on this fairly.

They aren't going to be honest and say Hobson's Pledge stands for equality.


They will print dramatic headlines and call us all racists.

I'm not going to take it lying down. I'm joining the team at Hobson's Pledge to stand up for justice, democracy and equality.

I don't care what your skin colour is or who your ancestors were. I will stand with you. Shoulder to shoulder and heart to heart.

He iwi tahi tatou. We are one people.

I'll be in touch soon.

Elliot Ikilei

P.S. If you feel as strongly as I do and want to contribute to the fund to fight for equality in New Zealand, click here.