Racial profiling for the RWC

Written By: - Date published: 7:22 am, August 10th, 2011 - 27 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, racism - Tags: , ,

I posted recently on how NZ took another step closer to “third world” status with the decision to clear beggars off the street for the RWC (in Palmerston North).  When it comes to undesirables we want them “out of sight out of mind” while the rugby crowd are in town.

That was bad enough, but now we learn that there are plans to go ahead with full scale racial profiling, and specifically target “drunk Maori”. I’m not making this up:

‘Drunk Maori’ to be targetted at World Cup

Wellington bar owners say drunk Maori will be specifically targetted during the World Cup, by a 50-year-old law that has been pulled from the archives by police and the city council.

The law allows Maori wardens to enter bars and remove drunk or violent Maori.

Many bar owners say it is a shameful, racist law and the Government now wants to take a look at it. …

“I can’t get my head around it and it is a racist law and I think it should be changed, and I can’t understand it’s still in the legislation,” says Wellington bar owner Jeremy Price.

Another bar owner, John Coleman, is just as worked up. “It’s disgraceful, disrespectful and racist I can’t believe that they’re doing this,” he says. …

Lots of countries have daft old laws still on the books, there are any number of humorous web pages devoted to mocking them. Not many countries drag out these relics and start applying them again. By all means crack down on drunkenness – drunk Aussies, drunk Germans, drunk Swedes, drunk English, even (perish the thought!) drunk Pakeha. But racial profiling for the RWC? What sort of message will that send about New Zealand when international media get hold of it?

27 comments on “Racial profiling for the RWC”

  1. EagleWarrior 1

    does the Sale of Liquor Act not already make it illegal for someone to be drunk on a premises? Regardless of race?

    If someone is drunk in a club, or has become drunk then that club should be fined according to law.

    I can imagine the bar-owners argument now “I didn’t refuse to serve Rangi a beer because I was waiting for the Maori Wardens to do it.”

  2. rosy 2

    ok….. so what do the ‘one law for all’ people think about this racist law?

    • EagleWarrior 2.1

      Im not sure they care. According to Ansell, the latest example of unfairness is how having an equal amount of Pakeha and Maori on the constitutional review committee somehow means that Pakeha are going to be held to ransom.

      We are all equal, only some are more equal than others.

      • James Stephenson 2.1.1

        As a “one law for all” person, I don’t have enough information to comment.

        If as Anthony has portrayed it, only Maori are being targetted for drunken, violent behaviour then I’m as appalled as anyone else. If however, the police believe they have a specific problem with dealing with a specific type of “customer” and that the Maori wardens are a more effective way to deal with it, then I don’t have a problem.

        As long as the law is the same for everyone, I’m not bothered if we need to change the application of it for different situations.

        • felix

          “As long as the law is the same for everyone, I’m not bothered if we need to change the application of it for different situations.”

          Ladies and gentlemen, step right up and see right inside this fascinating specimen of a human mind! You can see the contradictions at work right in front of your eyes!

          Be quick before it closes again.

      • Situationist 2.1.2

        Awesome, since i’m equally both maori and pakeha, does that mean if i was on the committee i would have to hold myself to ransom?

  3. Gosman 3

    It quite deplorable. I’m amazed that the lefty greeny led Wellington City council is willing to resort to this sort of thing.

  4. Colonial Viper 4

    Looks like NZ remains a far uglier place with far deeper under currents of racist authoritarianism than we might have thought.

    That’s certainly the vote ACT is targetting.

    • Gosman 4.1

      Yet The Welington City council is led by a lefty green.

      BTW what is Ms Celia-Brown’s position on this subject. I presume she fought this tooth and nail in council meetings?

  5. higherstandard 5

    I’d prefer that the Maori wardens are instructed to proactively tazer anyone who is drunk or boisterous at Wellington pubs and after that they can sort out the parliamentary buildings.

  6. Tigger 6

    Interesting that the barowner doesn’t want Maori wardens in his bar…I suspect that’s where the real racism is.

    This stinks of a beat up. I know Maori wardens who do fantastic work and, frankly, I want them out there looking after people and having the ability to go in and deal with problems.

    • Colonial Viper 6.1

      NZ Police do this work in bars. Tell me why Maori Wardens should now do so just for the RWC. Are the authorities afraid that “drunk Maori” are going to scare away the nice white paying tourists. Looks and smells like racism to me.

      • James Stephenson 6.1.1

        Perhaps because they can acheive a result quietly without any “You can’t tell me what to do, you honky pig!”, scuffles or handcuffs?

        • Colonial Viper

          But NZ Police do that work TODAY! And have done every day for YEARS now!

          • James Stephenson

            Sure, but what is the demand vs resources equation going to look like post-match in Wellington?

            The more I think about it, the more this looks like a pragmatic way to bolster police resources. Dealing sensitively with Maori in these circumstances is the Wardens’ specialist subject, isn’t it? It would be better all round if they could give the Maori Wardens the power to remove anyone, but realistically the chances of a “fuck off, you’re not a proper policeman” are pretty high…

    • rosy 6.2

      Not a beat-up – If they can have Maori wardens remove, say, a 50-y.o. Maori accountant from a bar so to stop him from having that 10th whiskey, where are the student wardens who have the right to remove 18 year-olds so they don’t have that 10th RTD? This is wrong on so many levels. Patrolling the streets and looking out for trouble is one thing, but giving power to specific groups (apart from the bar manager or the police) to remove specific ethnic groups from a bar is something else altogether.

      • Colonial Viper 6.2.1

        Won’t be just from a bar, it’ll start happening at any venue where there is alcohol.

        • Tigger

          Maori wardens have had this power for a long time. I admit my experience in this area is purely personal, based on Maori wardens and those they’ve had to ‘remove’ but I know of few problems and many benefits.

          Anyway, the police will happily target certain ethnic groups anyway without all this hue and cry. And in at least one case of a friend of mine, targetted him, dragged him and out kicked him around…

  7. Bill 7

    Since NZ doesn’t have identity cards; and since being Maori is not predicated on ‘how much Maori blood you have in you’, like in the U. States for example, where to ‘be’ or ‘designated’ or ‘recognised’ as Cherokee or whichever indigenous culture requires 25% (or whatever) ‘Cherokee blood’, then the whole thing would be impossible to implement.

    A pale skinned red head person can be as Maori as the dark skinned, dark haired person next to them. Maybe even more so. Being Maori is largely about self identification, or culture here. Not appearance.

    Which means attempts to enact the law would impact on all (young?) brown skinned people; not Maori.

  8. randal 8

    clean clean clean for gene!

  9. EagleWarrior 9

    Taken from my blog:

    If this was an initiative by the Maori Wardens with support from Maori organisations (Runanga, iwi health providers etc.) to help change Maori attitude towards drinking then I would have a clearer opinion. But because this is a suggestion by the council and the police, I can’t help but feel that this is another form of institutional rascism, (conscious or not I’m not so sure) given that there are already laws that put the onus on bar-owners to remove drunk persons and to serve responsibly.


    • freedom 9.1

      This call obviously came from the planners of the RWC. Here is a newsletter on the topic from 2010. This is not a recent development but a quietly discussed operation with obvious long term planning towards implementation. Why it was not declared as such is how suspicions begin to fester and motives are questioned. Having wardens at the games, the transport hubs and on the street is one thing. Empowering wardens to patrol inside bars is not a smart move. All bars are already well covered by the Right of Admission in all licences and is backed up by the bar’s own security. The Police are already assigned duties to private premises and as always are there when required by the operator. It is not the job of Wardens to patrol private premises.


  10. McFlock 10

    Option A: Actually fund enough police officers and licensing inspectors to keep bars in line over the RWC (and fine the arse off non-compliant managers and licensees);
    Option B: Send largely powerless Maori Wardens in to assess bars on the fly.

  11. a maori 11

    Lol, racial profiling. That is exactly what it is. Believe it or not this has been around for the last decade already, I’ve noticed it.

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