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ACT’s ugly racist face exposed

Written By: - Date published: 11:51 pm, February 28th, 2010 - 57 comments
Categories: act, maori party, racism, rodney hide - Tags: , ,

There’s a nasty strain of racism that runs deep in ACT these days, since the socially conservative types like Rodney Hide, John Boscawen took over from the social and economic liberals like Roger Douglas. Anti-Maori racism is the dog-whistle that underlies their ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric.

In it’s entire history, ACT has had just two non-Pakeha MPs – they make National look diverse.

Until now it’s something that everyone been able to turn a blind eye to. No longer.

According to TVNZ, at the ACT conference former Deputy Leader and head of the extremist rightwing ‘think’ tank, the Centre for Political Research, Muriel Newman launched into a racist tirade that amounts to ‘bloody bludging Maoris’. She attacked the Maori Party for promoting ‘Maori privilege’ and blamed Maori for their high rate of poverty.

Incredibly, Hide backed up this racist has-been saying that Maori have a culture of dependency. See, in the ACT worldview the fact that there’s poverty isn’t an inevitable outcome of an unequal and inequitable economic system; it’s the fault of the poor for being lazy bludgers. Hide is saying that Maori are morally deficient and to blame for their higher rate of poverty and benefit use.

How will the Maori Party react? Will Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples happily work with this man? Will Hone Harawira vote alongside a racist party for a government that has done nothing for his people?

57 comments on “ACT’s ugly racist face exposed ”

  1. infused 1

    One nation

  2. felix 2

    Yeah, they’re not even trying to hide it anymore. A quick scan through the Kiwiblog comments (many of the most vocal ones are ACT rather than Nat supporters) on any post will tell you where the ACT party’s heart truly lies.

    “Corporatism” is only part of the puzzle.

  3. tc 3

    Wow Act are racist…..shock horror, the MP will react in a consistent manner so far….what’s in it for us, evaluate that and maybe issue one of those meaningless ‘they’re entitled to their position’ statements.

    The MP have rolled over on far more important issues, like legislation, to get too heated up about more rantings from outside the cosy world of the beehive…they’ve learned to be relaxed/comfortable and sloppy all at the same time quite nicely so the trinkets will keep flowing in return for votes.

    You gotta hand it to the Nats…..they look like peacemakers sitting between these 2 dysfunctional minor parties whilst getting Wodney to sellout akl and MP to use whanau ora to privatise the primary health org’s……briliiant politics.

    So ACT/MP get to cop the flak and Nat’s hope to remove MMP on the back of such behaviour…….nice work, those crosby textor bills are worth it.

  4. tc 4

    Watch the Nat’s try and look all innocent between ACT and the MP….shrug the shoulders and go..’that pesky MMP….you can fix that NZild in 2011..’.

    Meantime we’ll get wodney to sellout akl and the MP to create a privatised primrary health care delivery, get it called racist then adopt it across the whole sector in the interests of OneNation…….oopps we privatised the whole sector…..damm that pesky MMP….bit sloppy of us but we’re relaxed about the outcome.

  5. millsy 5

    ACT wants to turn the clock back to the 1850’s. Where the rich enjoyed the trappings of an oppulent lifestyle, and the poor were crammed into filth, squalor and poverty (and of course, you could be hanged for stealing a piece of bread…a wet dream for the SST).

    A good lark would be to hire some 1850’s costumes from the local operatic society, dress up and go down to the next ACT conference, and should shout ‘got any spear change guv” at the arriving delegates.

  6. Regrettably this is totally predictable. MMP does this, some parties go for the extremist minority sector in the hope that the 5% or so of the population who are idiots will go for them. I hasten to add that the Greens are the direct antithesis of this.

    Peter Dunne failed to become the leader of the christian gun slinging deer hunting fringe. It looks like Hide is going for the CCD racist minimalist state sector of the population.

    They are toast if they do not succeed in cementing this sector. I hope they are toast no matter what.

    The next Cabinet meeting should be fun. Just as well that John Key is relaxed about it.

  7. Clarke 7

    The solution to ACT is to change MMP to disallow electoral coat-tailing. This would stop Rodney bringing his toxic brethren into Parliament in the first place, and turn him into a bald equivalent of Peter Dunne.

    Given that the referendum on MMP in 2011 is in two parts, this looks like a very achievable goal.

    • Rich 7.1

      I think so, but people seem to have the delusion that if you get 20,000 votes concentrated in a single town or suburb, that’s somehow “better” than getting 70,000 votes spread over the whole country.

  8. jerm 8

    Did you read the second half of the article, going off topic a bit so should probably wait for open mike but…

    “The party also says there is a high chance it will stop the Emissions Trading Scheme coming into force.

    Leader Rodney Hide called the scheme one of the greatest scandals in the history of science.

    He says nowhere else in the world has a comprehensive Emissions Trading Scheme and that New Zealand should dump it before we incur huge costs.”

  9. PeteG 9

    the fact that there’s poverty isn’t an inevitable outcome of an unequal and inequitable economic system; it’s the fault of the poor for being lazy bludgers.

    It couldn’t be some of both could it? Are most Maori in poverty and/or are lazy bludgers? Have some of them managed to do ok for themselves and their whanau?

    And the hard facts are Maori are over represented in crime statistics, ignoring (or not mentioning) that won’t make it go away.

    • Marty G 9.1

      It’s not ignoring the facts. The debate is over cause.

      The Right sees poverty and its symptoms (like crime) as moral failing on behalf of the poor.

      The Left doesn’t believe in this simple ‘good and evil’ view of humanity but sees us as complex creatures whose behaviour is highly influenced by the environment and system they live in. Poverty is inherent in capitalism. Peoples displaced by colonialism have higher rates of poverty.

    • pollywog 9.2

      Its not about race, it’s about culture. It’s always about culture. In this case eurocentric vs polycentric.

      See, I knew there was a logical reason why euro unemployment was at around 4% and polynesians inclusive of maori was around 20.

      It’s cos we’re all lazy bludgers with a handout mentality, not because dominant euros tend to hire within their own culture. A culture that traditionally, economically and educationally is still biased in thier favour.

      And how disgusting that the Maori party have to lie in political bedship with the festering putrescence that is the act party. Turia should have sent a busload of her cuzzies round to crash the conference party and sung waiata as they spoke.

      On the flipside. I think iwi dont do enough to support their young maori mothers. Rangatira as chiefs of their tribe are bound by duty to look after their mokopuna as taonga, not fob them off to winz to get on the benny. I wonder if many young urban maori women even know who their rangatira are or the process by which they can gain an audence and express their concerns ?

      As for maori/polynesian crime. I know for a fact having experienced it numerous times as a youth that police will more than likely prosecute us on misdemeanours where as they’d let fair skinned youth off on a warning.

  10. BLiP 10

    Thanks Epsom. I’m lovin’ it – how about you?

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      I’m really hoping that they’re learning their lesson that voting for rodders is bad for them. Most of that lesson will be coming from the supershitty.

  11. vto 11

    Is it only maori who can talk about maori issues? Well yes obviously. Otherwise one is apparently racist. This racist assessment of racism has been going on for ages.

    ha ha ha ha ha, what a joke. Knee-jerks abound.

    Compare treatment of racist Harawira on here couple months back with this now. ha ha ha ha ha.

    I will leave you hypocrites to it. what a joke. the entire race debate descended into farce some time ago. well done on continuing the tradition.

    • Marty G 11.1

      I was very critical of Harawira and still am on his attitudes to race.

      It’s not a matter of non-Maori not being allowed to talk about Maori issues. It’s a problem of saying racists things about Maori.

    • The Voice of Reason 11.2

      Jeez, VTO, you obviously didn’t read the posts or comments about Harawira.

      There was a vigourous debate about his racism, which, from memory, boiled down to Labour supporters being liberally appalled at his bullshit, some Greenies being strangely supportive of it and the rest just hoping it would cause the Maori Party to implode. It was a fascinatingly diverse response to a complex issue of class, race and politics, which was not mirrored on any other blog.

      The Standard is not a hive. There are many different views expressed here from those on the left, which is reflective of the nature of the movement down the years. Sometimes that diversity has been a practical weakness, but mostly it strengthens the rigour of the debate. Something that is not mirrored on the right, where the argument du jour appears to be how much can we get from the poor to pay for our crisis.

      • pollywog 11.2.1

        “Labour supporters being liberally appalled at his bullshit,”

        It wasnt bullshit though was it ? It was the truth in no uncertain terms.

        • vto

          The truth as much as most all racists scream some form of truth.

          • pollywog

            Race is a false construct. Racists don’t exist. There’s only culture and cultural supremacists. Cultures to which people of all ethnicities can ascribe to irrespective of their “race”.

            The sooner we all understand and internalise that, the better of we’ll be. Every mention of race reinforces the lie.

            Senator (Howard ‘the fountainhead’ ?) Roark from Sin City…

            “Power don’t come from a badge or a gun. Power comes from lying. Lying big and gettin’ the whole damn world to play along with you. Once you’ve got everybody agreeing with what they know in their hearts ain’t true, you’ve got ’em by the balls.”

  12. PeteG 12

    The Left doesn’t believe in this simple ‘good and evil’ view of humanity…..
    …Poverty is inherent in capitalism.

    Before capitalism? During Communism?

    And isn’t “The Left” a simplistic label? I have left bits and right bits but my body is mostly in the middle.

    • Marty G 12.1

      Yup, poverty exists in other systems as well.

      It is inherent in capitalism.

      Yup, Left and Right are simple labels but they work. This isn’t an essay.

      • PeteG 12.1.1

        Ok, “exists” in other systems and “inherent” in capitalism.

        What do Left/Right labels work at doing? Promote ‘good and evil’, ‘with us and or against us’? Simple divisiveness. Politically it ignores the fact that most Labour voters are centrist with left-ish leanings in more things than right-ish leanings. Framing a battle with little common ground seems unnatural. Should partisanship remain inherent in politics?

        • Bright Red

          Left and Right provide the fundamental spectrum to understand political idelogies. Nearly everyone’s ideology can be characterised as left or right and it is informative.

          We know that if a person is rightwing they will believe in the same general set of ideas and the same for the left.

          “Should partisanship remain inherent in politics?”

          partisanship is inherent in politics. Politics is the debate over the question over how society organises itself and distributes its resources. Different groups have different objectives that underlie their answers to that question, and groups naturally want to win the power to provide answers the question that suit their objectives.

  13. vto 13

    Speaking of Harawira, wtf is the story with him promoting illegal means of protesting? Why don’t we all do that ay? If something isn’t going our way we should just rip shit and bust. Forget law and order. Just lay into everyone and everything. Smash things up, Threaten people. Fuck the law.

    Seriously, this man lives on another planet.

    [lprent: Like Whale? ]

    • Pascal's bookie 13.1

      Hone Harawira thinks civil disobedience is sometimes legitimate?

      The wonders, and well I never, etc.

    • vto 13.2

      Like many nutters lprent. Some significant difference when the promoter is an MP. Imagine if whalefool was an MP..

  14. “What do Left/Right labels work at doing?”

    Distracting….oooh look over there !

    • Mach1 14.1

      Distracting .oooh look over there !

      Or here, which just makes my nut ache.

      Being neither a religion nor an ideology, the body of opinion termed conservatism possesses no Holy Writ and no Das Kapital to provide dogmata.

      Also, Mr P Wog, I reckon you’ve pretty much summed up all that is wrong.

      On the flipside. I think iwi dont do enough to support their young maori mothers. Rangatira as chiefs of their tribe are bound by duty to look after their mokopuna as taonga, not fob them off to winz to get on the benny. I wonder if many young urban maori women even know who their rangatira are or the process by which they can gain an audence and express their concerns ?

      I have serious WTF moments when I see the way the most vulnerable and valuable, kids and young women, are treated by those who should know better.

      • ditto 14.1.1

        i also have wtf moments when i see comments like yours which wipe out all young men as irrelevant, or worse.

        you should know better

  15. Santi 15

    The first step towards solving an addiction is admitting you have it. It’s 100% correct to say a great number of Maori are hooked on benefits, so nothing new in that remark.

    You may not like it, but it’s accurate.

    • IrishBill 15.1

      “Hooked”? That’s right Santi, benefits aren’t how people who can’t get jobs pay to feed and house themselves they’re like a heroin addiction, a lifestyle choice gone bad. If only they had the will power to beat their addiction.

      The first step to solving the problem is to identify what it is in the real world rather than in your odd interpretation of it.

      • PeteG 15.1.1

        I’d call it more of an affliction than an addiction, and not just with Maori – there is a national epidemic in people using the state to fund easy lifestyles. There are many using benefits for this (and many that aren’t). Just as there are many income earners who avoid paying their fair share of tax.

        Many beneficiaries think they are entitled to get whatever they can from the state.
        Many income earners think they should avoid paying as much tax as possible.

        Both groups are using taxpayers (ordinary people) to fund their lifestyles. And both groups unfairly taint their wider groups with that abuse.

        Some people do need state assistance. Mostly it should be temporary while they sort their situation out. The best way to more generously help these people out is to eliminate the abusers, then people in need will be better off and the country as a whole will be better off.

        And Maori as a whole will be better off.

        • SPC

          Without full employment ending benefit abuse and making support temporary is nonsense rhetoric.

    • Bill 15.2


      Two words.

      Vacuous materialism.

      You got it yet? Want more? Getting there? Kind of keeps on collapsing in on itself dunnit? Vacuous fashion, obsolescence, shiny bauble advances in technology, bigger, faster, sleeker junk, crap and garbage?

      But has that stopped you? ‘Course not!

      It’s the measure of your life. Eh, Santi?

  16. SPC 16

    It is only fair to say not everyone in ACT wants to buy into an ACT vs MP fight.

    “Muriel Newman – who strode up and did the utterly impossible – made the previous speaker Alan Gibbs look positively moderate, caring and electable. Just for Tau Henare I shall obtain a copy of her speech as it doesn’t seem to be online yet. She reminded us with her from speech notes and inability to answer questions from the floor why there was an advantage to losing all those MP’s once upon a time.”


  17. SPC 17

    Without full employment, ending benefit abuse and making support temporary is nonsense rhetoric.

  18. SPC – I was appalled by her speech. And blablabla that’s saying a lot isn’t it?

    When a copy is available online I will post more on it of course as I don’t wish to misquote her with specifics.

    Plus I have to see it published to quite believe it.

    Needless to say there is a reason Muriel is a FORMER MP of ACT….

    • lprent 18.1

      Yeah one would hope that current members of Act and their MP’s are not such nutbars.

      Of course I mainly deal with Act supporters as either trolls (who usually are that nutty) or as people I know from business, who seem to have that strange Rand hubris that thinks if they were dropped in the jungle with just a knife that they wouldn’t just die without the support that has always propped them up. Basically I tend to avoid the latter until they grow up.

      Problem is that most of the current Act MPs seem to look like nutters to me. Boscowen seems to have a permanently angry streak that he visibly has to control when you see him speak – every time he is challenged. Garrett – ummm well he is simply weird. Rodger full of schemes that just won’t work…

      Katie, I think that you’re a bit optimistic…

      • Cactus Kate 18.1.1

        Pot, Kettle, Labour Party and their list….

        Everyone involved in politics is weird in their own way. You would have to be a certain level of insane to volunteer your time or money to organisations that sit around and talk all day with a very real chance that 99% of your work will never either be recognised or valued in policy or progress?

        The only difference with being an MP is that you get paid for it.

        • lprent

          Ummm, so that leads to the question about political bloggers……. Like you and me.

          The nice thing about being a programmer is that I can do this during microbreaks while I wait for code to cook in the compiler

  19. PK 19

    “Hide backed up this racist has-been saying that Maori have a culture of dependency. See, in the ACT worldview the fact that there’s poverty isn’t an inevitable outcome of an unequal and inequitable economic system; it’s the fault of the poor for being lazy bludgers.”

    Is there some mathematical proof showing that poverty can only be due to an unequal and inequitable economic system? Why can’t other factors be involved?

    Hide isn’t the first to identify the culture argument, I thought that had long been a criticism of welfare policies. It may or may not be correct, but it seems bizarre that you can simply attribute poverty to an inequitable economic system. That seems to be based on the idea that people are all born as equal tabula rasa as set out in Steven Pinker’s book ‘The Blank Slate’. That mistaken view of human nature underpinned a number of horrendous marxist interventions to create a utopia by remaking society. In reality poverty can be caused by a number of factors, including culture, education, motivation, and natural ability.

  20. PK 20

    **In it’s entire history, ACT has had just two non-Pakeha MPs – they make National look diverse.**

    Ironic that you’re condemning them in this sentence, then a couple of paragraphs later you’re wondering how the exclusionary and non-diverse Maori Party will react. Pot >>> Kettle?

    ***Anti-Maori racism is the dog-whistle that underlies their ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric.***

    Right. So if you take a certain focus on crime/law/order issues you are necessarily dog-whistling?

    • felix 20.1

      Who said anything about necessarily? It was pretty clear this remark was directed quite specifically.

  21. PK 21

    “Who said anything about necessarily? It was pretty clear this remark was directed quite specifically.”

    Yes, it is quite specific but lacks any supporting evidence. How does it underlie their ‘tough on crime’ rhetoric? There is no explanation given – so I assumed it was implied that simply by focussing on crime issues they must be dog-whistling.

    • felix 21.1

      The reason for a dogwhistle is that it can’t be proved, but the dogs hear it just the same.

      And so do I. I know a racist when I hear one and I don’t have to prove it to you or anyone else. But you go ahead and assume. Good boy.

  22. PK 22

    “The reason for a dogwhistle is that it can’t be proved, but the dogs hear it just the same.

    And so do I. I know a racist when I hear one and I don’t have to prove it to you or anyone else.”

    So you can tar people as racists by claiming that they are dog whistling (which is unprovable) and then claim you don’t have to prove anything – you just *know*. Genius. I can see why this ‘dog whistling’ smear is so popular.

    • felix 22.1

      I never said you have to agree with me dipshit, just that I don’t have to prove anything to you.

      I can’t help that your obsequiousness and subservience to your masters makes you come here and demand proof for things you don’t comprehend, and neither do I care.

  23. PK 23

    “I never said you have to agree with me dipsh*t, just that I don’t have to prove anything to you.”

    Where did I say I had to agree with you? I’m saying that it is an excellent smear tactic as you apparently don’t have to prove anything.

    ***I can’t help that your obsequiousness and subservience to your masters makes you come here and demand proof for things you don’t comprehend, and neither do I care.***

    a) if you make an allegation intended to make someone or something look bad, you normally provide some evidence.

    b) if you don’t care then don’t comment.

    • felix 23.1

      Not too bright are you little fella?

      The clear implication behind your comments is that I should meet some standard of proof or not say anything (actually in your last comment it’s explicit). If I were to meet this standard of proof then you would surely have to agree with me.

      You don’t have to acknowledge the existence of any dogwhistling. I don’t care if you can hear it or not.

      I can hear it. I’m probably just smarter and more perceptive than you though.

  24. PK 24

    ***The clear implication behind your comments is that I should meet some standard of proof or not say anything (actually in your last comment it’s explicit). If I were to meet this standard of proof then you would surely have to agree with me.

    You don’t have to acknowledge the existence of any dogwhistling. I don’t care if you can hear it or not.***

    No, if you were as smart as you apparently believe you are you would have realised my last comment was explicitly responding to your comment that you didn’t care.

    My comment regarding proof relates to the original post – again I shouldn’t have to explain this to someone as intelligent as yourself. And yes, providing some supporting evidence is generally useful in getting people to agree with you.

    In terms of the casual insults, your smug posturing reminds me of this comment by Roger Ebert about Ethan Hawke’s character in ‘Reality Bites’:

    “And Troy is a self-centered prig who is not half as clever as he thinks he is.”


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