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Maori Party supports foreign business over working Maori

Written By: - Date published: 11:55 am, October 21st, 2009 - 26 comments
Categories: ACC, maori party, privatisation - Tags:

It is a reflection of the schizophrenic nature of the Maori Party that one day they’re professing to care about poor Maori who are apparently missing out on their ACC entitlements and the next day they’re backing privatisation of ACC, which would lead to even worse outcomes for those Maori, because it might be a business opportunity for the wealthy Maori elite.

What we know from overseas is that private injury compensation results in:

  • lower reporting of accidents (businesses have a direct financial interest in encouraging under-reporting by their staff)
  • longer waits for compensation and treatment while cases wind through the courts
  • smaller payouts
  • more claimants denied compensation
  • more spent on administration (ie lawyers, claims deniers)
  • more spent on advertising between competing providers
  • about 10% of levies disappearing as profits
  • higher overall cost to society (untreated injuries, uncompensated victims, higher levies, higher cost of running the court system, profits going to overseas owners)

Who gains from privatisation? Big business, most of it foreign owned. Who loses? Ordinary working New Zealanders – Maori and non-Maori alike – who miss out on compensation.

If that’s what the Maori Party wants, if they are happy to endorse a policy from ACT, then we know they have completed the transition to being a party of the Right – standing for the wealthy elite, not ordinary people.

Herein lies the fundamental problem of a politics of identity that’s divorced from class analysis. Turia and Sharples appear to have no interest in addressing inequality and exploitation, they just want to give the exploiters a browner face.

26 comments on “Maori Party supports foreign business over working Maori ”

  1. gitmo 1

    “Who gains from privatisation? Big business, most of it foreign owned.”

    Maybe not according to your previous post ?

    EMA busts another privatisation myth

    Perhaps the first steps in the ACC kerfufle is for those on the political right and left to agree on which parts of ACC could do with tidying up before the battle regarding competition in the work account/privatisation is fought.

    • Eddie 1.1

      That was my post, but anyway. He’s clearly referring to the big Aussie insurers. Though I’m sure there are some big businesses who’ll use it as an opportunity to collaborate with insurance companies to pay lower levies and deny their employees cover.

    • roger nome 1.2


      The problem is ACC is in fine shape – National have created the “crisis” through a dishonest reporting of the accounts.

      Another victim of the MSM’s incompetence i see…

  2. roger nome 2

    Can anyone tell me just one significant thing that the Maori Party has achieved for Maori through being in this agreement with National? They just seem to fold on everything.

    But is this due to lack of will, or class based factors – i.e. Maori aren’t a homogeneous group – they’re stratified by, among other things, class, so different Maori have different political interests.

    Does the fact that all Maori Party MPs belong to the relatively moneyed class, mean that they’re prone to represent their own interests, rather than their constituency’s? From my point of view, the answer is a resounding yes (with the exception of Hone Harawira perhaps)

    • You’re onto it Rog. Despite the thousands of words expended on this here and at Kiwi Politico about the right of ‘Maori’ to self determine, the Maori Party’s real world performance demonstrates the difficulty with an ‘identity politics’ model.

      As a working class (freelancer) pakeha, Rodney and Shonkey certainly don’t represent me, anymore than Maori Party MPs represent a hell of a lot of Maori.

  3. Principessa 3

    I don’t disagree with you, but your use of the word Schizophrenic is in poor form. Please amend it.

    • snoozer 3.1

      I appreciate your heart is in the right place, Principessa, but the word has a commonly used non-medical meaning just as ‘cancer’ or ‘death’ do, and this post clearly isn’t trying to denigrate people afflicted with schizophrenia.

      its other use is defined they thefreedictionary.com as:
      “Of, relating to, or characterized by the coexistence of disparate or antagonistic elements.”

      here’s a few examples from the Herald of using the word in that context:

      “The weather was schizophrenic and so was the play”
      “The house is somewhat schizophrenic but I like that it has such a history”
      “Cheeky Watson was the talk of Port Elizabeth, the schizophrenic coastal

      • Principessa 3.1.1

        It is clear from what the author has written that he means “split personality” or “two-faced” would be more appropriate, and schizophrenia has nothing to do with split personality. I believe the term is incorrect.

        • George D

          Principessa is right. Using mental illness as a pejorative to attack the Government with is not okay. It’s the exercise of a form of privilege that has real negative effects on those with mental illness. I don’t think that was the poster’s intention, so it should be changed.

      • QoT 3.1.2

        Seriously, snoozer, that’s a weak argument when it’s used to defend “gay” and “lame” and it’s even weaker for “schizophrenic”. If you (editorial) weren’t using it to say “akin to the stereotypical assumptions made about people with schizophrenia” then it would be meaningless.

        And using Granny Herald, that bastion of progressive thought and unbiased reportage? Seriously?

  4. randal 4

    of course the maori party supports foreigners. I heard hone harawira supporting noise in the house under urgency this morning. supporting noise is supporting infantilism, chop shops, indulgence in crap vehicles, wasting overseas funds on heaps for the fatboys and stainless steel for their defining activity which is making noise to make up for their littleness. all goes together rather neatly doncha fink.

  5. the sprout 5

    i must admit i really was surprised to hear Turia saying there are advantages for Maori in privatising ACC. i mean, i expect those kinds of lies from NACT but i never expected the Maori party to come out so openly in favour of a policy that promotes the interests of the powerful at the expense of the powerless.

    is this attributable to false consciousness, tactical support for NACT, ignorance or just intentional lying from Turia?

  6. tc 6

    The only surprise is how long it took and how blatant the sell out is as going into colition with NACT means at some point your soul is up for grabs.
    Unless of course that soul floats on a moral stock exchange available to the highest bidder which it appears to.
    Good points about the demographic separation among maori and it’s not as simple as one party for one people, as long as NACT favour the big iwi (especially those with fishing/business interests) it’s just another group like the solo mothers/accident victims that you play the %’s with.
    Aren’t crosby textor doing a fine job running NZ unlimited.

  7. roger nome 7

    Nah sprout – i think it’s as simple as the fact that Turia’s actually just pretty right-wing, and Pita Sharples is a softy.

  8. Andrew 8

    A shambles of a decision from the Maori Party. If you are interested join the Save ACC Facebook Group. The email addresses of all Maori Party MPs have been posted to encourage everyone to contact them and tell them what you think.

  9. BLiP 9

    Trying to understand where the Maori Party is coming from is a bit like herding cats, In one part, the Maori Party election policy states:

    We will simplify employment legislation, ensuring a focus on family friendly practices. We will hold employers accountable for preventable workplace related deaths and injury.

    . . . does this mean the Maori Party want to abolish ACC altogether and return the right to sue? Or, given its policy on Entrepreneurship and Enterprise:

    Streamline the funding distributed by the Ministry of Economic Development to create a Community Development Bank. The Bank will make small loans to whanau and family businesses to incubate and rollout new products and services.

    . . . does it want to get into the insurance business itself?

    Given the Party’s stated policy on the environment and its subsequent behaviour in the House, who knows what any of it means these days. What a betrayal.

    • Ianmac 9.1

      I think the “small loans” has been tried in I think in India and elsewhere, whereby, usually women, are given starter finance to set up tiny business like bike puncture repair, or making ornaments. Small amounts. Minimal interest charged. Been very successful I hear. Same thing I think.

  10. tc 10

    Turia’s/Sharples level of ability matches JK’s…….mediocrity and self interest to the fore and having watched a fair bit of MTS plenty of maori don’t give a toss for either side of politics…..apathy rules…ok ?

  11. Bill 11

    Slightly off topic, but this jumped out at me from the linked article….”White people, for example, make up about 70 per cent of the US population, and 62 per cent of those are in the bottom quintile. Progress in fighting racism hasn’t done them any good; it hasn’t even been designed to do them any good.”

    Which makes for stirring up racist sentiments a bit like shooting fish in a barrel…or some other better fitting metaphor.

  12. John Dalley 12

    Any one seen Hone lately?

  13. Leopold 13

    No one seems to have commented on this bit o’ news:


    While it is understandable the she does it for her health (though it didn’t seem to have done David Lange much good), that she gives as a reason her determination to hold on to her comfy seat and pay in Parliament, is depressing – Don’t expect any left swing with MP for the next coupla elections….

  14. tc 14

    Slogan for MP in 2011….Selling out…..FORESHORE

    • Craig Glen Eden 14.1

      Nice Tc pretty hard to say otherwise.

      This however is no surprise, some of you are probably about now realizing just why they were considered by Helen as the last cab off the rank/stand. If you have ever had a conversation with Turia it is indeed like talking to someone who is unwell. She smiles constantly at you and not a word or sentence makes much sense.
      I feel really sorry for the Maori who have been sucked in by the branding, the same as Key sucked in non Maori I guess, I just hope that its only once.

      We all like to dream on a nice sunny day.

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