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Racism, middle NZ and Māori

Written By: - Date published: 9:36 am, August 22nd, 2016 - 141 comments
Categories: Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats, national, racism - Tags: , , , ,

John Roughan had a thoughtful but misguided piece in Saturday’s Herald:

Has ‘middle NZ’ made no progress?

…I watched Seven Sharp’s item on the resigning Mayor of New Plymouth with a certain sadness. The poor fellow has had enough of the isolation and abuse he has received since he attempted to set up seats on his council for a Maori electorate. I don’t know Taranaki well but it appeared the country’s post-colonial project has yet to reach at least one of its extremities.

Hosking’s reaction was quite different. The problem, he declared, is that the man is out of touch with middle New Zealand. If Maori want to be on councils they can stand for election like everyone else. Simple as that. He said it with the stone cold certainty of all his pronouncements.

Is he right? I had a sinking feeling that night that he must be. Hosking is only one man and was speaking from gut instinct but he rules the ratings on breakfast radio and prime time television these days and you don’t do that without a very good gut instinct.

The idea that “ruling the ratings” makes Hosking’s voice the law is deeply flawed – might as well turn over ethical standards to talkback radio and social media trolls.

I felt sad, ineffably sad for the country.

Yeah me too, but then I remembered that Mike Hosking doesn’t speak for me, or for any number of other “middle New Zealanders”. So I cheered up, and worked out that Roughan’s main mistake in this article is his deeply “rose tinted” view of National’s interactions with Māori.

It is 25 years since Jim Bolger and Sir Doug Graham brought the National Party in behind Treaty settlements, nearly eight years since John Key formed an enduring partnership with the Maori Party.

Tinted out of this brief history is the Orewa speech racism and the divisive Iwi/Kiwi campaign.

I have dared to think that conservative opinion has come around to accepting Maori have a distinctive place in our affairs and that we are better for it. That’s Key’s view. Though strictly he didn’t need the Maori Party’s parliamentary votes, he wanted them in his ministry because, he said, “I just thought it would make us a better government.”

Likewise the idea of an “enduring partnership with the Maori Party” is as rose tinted as it gets. The MP is a pragmatic electoral buffer for Key. And while it is quaint to find someone these days still prepared to take Key at his word, actions speak louder. Key’s “enduring partnership” has presided over an increase in poverty, health problems and homelessness that hits the Māori and PI communities hardest (do they care?). It has lied to and ignored Māori over representation on the new Auckland council; ignored and weakened Māori / Iwi input on issues like privatisation and housing; made a mockery of consultation with Māori over the TPP; revealed double standards on Waitangi day; stayed silent while Māori input was removed from Auckland’s unitary plan; and much more.

In short, I don’t accept Roughan’s conclusion that “middle NZ” has recently become racist because Hosking says so. There is a strong racist streak there, and Hosking represents it, but it has always been there. In seeking to understand and remedy it we should start with the actions of governments and leaders, not with the words of blowhard media constructs.

141 comments on “Racism, middle NZ and Māori ”

  1. vto 1

    I think you will find more extremeness in bigotry at the extremes i.e. bottom New Zealand and top New Zealand. Less so middle New Zealand..

    .. but, you know, ‘middle’ is such an easy unthinking target isn’t it

    • One Anonymous Bloke 1.1

      The post-Orewa bounce for the National Party belies that statement.

      Scratch the surface of those who demonise the poor…

      • Colonial Viper 1.1.1

        That was then; the reaction against such racist positioning now would be harsh, as Labour found out with both the F&S legislation and its Chinese focussed stance last year (and that was despite the fact polls showed that Kiwis agreed with the substance of the foreign ownership issue that Labour was raising).

        As for casual middle class racism, the Australians set the standard.

        • One Anonymous Bloke

          As harsh as the reaction to Andrew Judd? It would be nice to think so.

    • weka 1.2

      There is a new set of tools for understand the middle vto, that includes concepts of the ‘radical centre’, or the ‘extremen centre’. Middle NZ as a cohort of reasonable, mild people is a myth.

      “…I think you will find more extremeness in bigotry at the extremes i.e. bottom New Zealand and top New Zealand. Less so middle New Zealand..”

      Are you referring to class there? I don’t think that’s what is intended.

    • Siobhan 1.3

      Fair point.

      As a child I went to a North Shore school, and a large number of people who married into the family came from places like Remuera and then Warkworth and now Havelock North. ‘Top’ NZ I guess.
      They were NEVER racist.
      Because they were too polite.
      And because Maori were simply not part of their world.
      But should a Brown face walk around their suburbs..well the neighbourhood watch clicks straight into action. They might as well have a GPS and a flashing light attached to their forehead.

      Personally I think racism is equally spread…its just expressed and felt differently by different classes.

  2. Sanctuary 2

    “…I think you will find more extremeness in bigotry at the extremes i.e. bottom New Zealand and top New Zealand. Less so middle New Zealand..”

    There seems to be an appalling level of racism in provincial NZ, if Hawkes Bay is any guide. The white population have brainwashed themselves into now seeing brown people as a dehumanised enemy within who need to be vigilantly policed and punished.

    Sample two conversations recently was first a question asking why the Hasting District Council has such a huge debt and the answer was a very angry “because they spend it all on the bloody Maoris”. When pressed, apparently this makes the Maori to blame for everything from extra money required to clean up graffiti, to “handouts”.

    Second was a relative giving me a red in tooth and claw bloody tirade on Maori petty thieves and criminals who sit on their arse collecting the dole in Maraenui, making their women have kids to farm benefits and why should he have to pay for those lazy bastards he has to get up at 5.30am every morning for work etc etc.

    These are tribal Labour voters I am talking about!

    The weird thing about provincial NZ is how freaking angry everyone is and how suspicious they all are of each other, weaponised dogs lurk behind every second high suburban fence. It really is dysfunctional, but they all think they live in paradise. Also, even weirder, is the cognitive disconnect. When you cautiously mention the massive social impact of generational unemployment, low paid soul destroying rural labouring, lack of opportunity and the hopelessness of learned dependency all being huge problems for provincial poor (read Maori) they’ll all agree readily something needs to be done. As long as it doesn’t involve giving those bludgers anything… You end up just shaking your head.

    • BM 2.1

      The weird thing about provincial NZ is how freaking angry everyone is and how suspicious they all are of each other, weaponised dogs lurk behind evvery second high suburban fence. It really is dysfunctional, but they all think they live in paradise.

      NZ pre 1984, deeply suspicious of anyone remotely different.

      Even though he caused a lot of hardship you can at least thank Roger Douglas for opening up NZ to new ideas and broadening the minds of many of NZ citizens.
      Unfortunately as you have experienced this cultural awakening didn’t quite extend to the smaller towns who remain locked in some 1970’s time warp.

      • weka 2.1.1

        Yeah, nah, I think smaller, conservative communities don’t go to so much trouble to hide their racism as the bigger, more sophisticated places do.

        I was heading into adulthood by the time Douglas got his hatchet out and I remember NZ being a fairly progressive place before then. We’d even been allowing women to vote for a decade shy of a century.

        • Sanctuary

          I think that decades of relative and absolute wage decline, the collapse of local news services, the constant withdrawal of government services and shuttering of local industries, and growing poverty have impacted the provinces very hard, and led to a certain closing of the mind as people find making a living in a middle class precariat that exists cheek by jowel with the underclass a relentless struggle.

          A place like Napier or Hastings does have a really bad petty crime problem driven by an underclass that is largely Maori. When you work sixty hours a week on $20 an hour having some recidivist layabout criminal from a family of well known criminals (and remember, everyone knows everyone in small town NZ) pinch your lawnmower or bicycle in your fourth minor act of burglary in ten years does really, really piss you off because you worked HARD for that mower or that nice bike.

          The social, intellectual, demographic and economic problems of the emergence of an abandoned provincial underclass is completely ignored by our Auckland based middle class media and Wellington based middle class bureaucracy. The third world parts of provincial NZ is as foreign as a Barrio in Rio for Duncan Garner, Mike Hoskings and Paul Henry and the rest of our aspirationally dominated media. And they care about as much.

          My view is large swaths of provincial NZ have completed the journey to a third world social and cultural outlook and now have a matching economic structure and crime profile, and thus they now present unique issues that demand urgent government attention.

          • weka

            Good analysis, thanks.

            (nvertheless I still disagree with BM that Douglas brought enlightenment to the masses, but that’s a different conversation).

          • Garibaldi

            Dead right Sanctuary. Trouble is the only attention they get is incarceration. We had the chance to invest/educate time and time again but inclusiveness is not the New Zealand way, and the expense of it being done properly was always a bridge too far.

          • RedLogix


            My view is large swaths of provincial NZ have completed the journey to a third world social and cultural outlook and now have a matching economic structure and crime profile,

            100% agree. We lived in Masterton for five years before making our way over the ditch. And not on the flash side of town either. So what you are writing about here is our lived experience.

            Some of the stories we heard and things we saw would make most people’s ears and eyes bleed. I’ve never repeated them here because frankly I don’t think some of you would believe me. Having said that, what we found (and I credit this more to my partner than me) is that by not pretending to be someone you aren’t, by not judging them, and not putting up with too much bullshit – that while these people are in so many ways total shit-magnets – you will discover they can be astoundingly generous, loyal and decent given half a chance.

            In truth trying to negotiate with a bunch of staunch dudes, accompanied by a circling pack of pitbulls (usually named Diesel or Chopper), plus various unseen weaponry on their persons, did actually scare the crap out of me. But my middle class fears were just that. In reality it was them protecting me.

            What I do know is that coming over smug and morally superior really doesn’t help. Really not. So lectures from people who live in warm, safe houses with plenty of good food and books doesn’t cut mustard.

            The critical factor which turns their lives around is jobs; jobs for the young men especially. Jobs that teach them self respect and give them some meaning. Jobs that mean they can form a stable family and hope for a better future for their kids. And yeah a fair bit if the time they’ll blow it. They’ve been shit-magnets all their lives and the habit of it is hard to shake. Some of the time I just wanted to kick some sense into them.

            But there are leaders in these places, people who’ve grown up, crawled out of the sewer and made it. Some of them are making a real difference in their towns. What the left could do more constructively than anything else is to spend time listening to these people.

            • marty mars

              Jeeze mate – crawled out of the sewer? shitmagnets? You going all Aussie on us now?

              Everyone’s self esteem or self validation could do with constant maintance and enhancement imo not just the scum suckers living in the sewers ☺

              • RedLogix

                Well marty I’m using the exact terms they used about themselves. These people are not without self-awareness. They know their lives have been a struggle from before they were born.

                In their experience every time something good looked like happening for them, the rug gets pulled out from under. So yes it feels like you’ve been a magnet for this all your life. Being able to name it is the first step in being able to confront it.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Neoliberalism helped close down the rail yards, the factories, forestry, timber mills, paper mills and the meatworks that Maori and Pasifika all used to make very good incomes from working in the regions.

                  All gone thanks to successive neoliberal free market worshipping governments.

                  The white collar professional types who inhabit our political parties nowadays have no idea or care about this history. And why should it; they are part of a class which has coped fine despite (or because) of it. But it has shaped our regions and continues to shape our regions.

                  • RedLogix

                    Here’s the thing CV … both of us would still prefer to live in Masterton than say Lower Hutt or Wellington. Because while all these things are true about how successive govts have gutted the economic life of our provinces … there is still better access to community than there is in the cities.

                    And the adage about small town life that everybody knows everybody’s business cut’s both ways. It can also mean people are better connected.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Indeed. I lived and worked in Masterton for a year. Nice town, friendly people, got to know lots of nice peeps and it wasn’t difficult to do so. I was younger then though and didn’t really value small town life as much, but nowadays I can really appreciate what it is like to live in a small community.

                • Doesn’t ring true for me, shitmagnets and all, and I’m sure that’s how you remember it so please don’t be too offended.

                  • RedLogix

                    A while back you made reference to a JMG post he wrote about the The Rescue Game. While we may often disagree, I’d offer that this was an essay which left an impression on us both.

                    The core question it poses is; do liberals really want to change the lives of people for the better? Or is it just a social game we play at?

                    CV and I would say that too often it is. Despite ‘good intentions’, despite often good ideas and lots of hard work by good people in the left … the role of the ‘victim’ class is to essentially remain victims. In my experience the moment you let them out of that box, the moment you listen to them and respect their agency … limited as it may be at this moment in time … the more probable it is they will find their own feet.

                    • I have just reread that essay – so good.

                      I don’t agree with your idea of the central idea of it.

                      I suppose the model puts you in as the persecutor and me either victim or rescuer and thus everything you say is further evidence of your persecutions. It has some merit this model but it is just a model and humans are complicated. I did think about my role quite a bit the first time I read the essay and I did conclude I do sometimes slide into a role.

                    • RedLogix

                      Too often is a political context we talk about the ‘underclass’ (along with the inevitable racial context it has in this country) as if they were some disembodied blob. In Greer’s model we allocate the ‘underclass’ as the role of ‘victim’, Tory capitalist bastard, right wingers as ‘persecutors’ and us nice wet liberals as the ‘rescuers’. And Greer then explains in excruciating, sometimes darkly funny detail, how all this plays out.

                      And because there are only three roles allowed in the game, if you aren’t obviously a victim, and you aren’t playing by the approved rescuer rules … then you must be a persecutor. And because people willing to play persecutor for long are always in short supply, anyone who vaguely fits the bill will do.

                      Well ultimately it’s all bullshit, and the ‘victims’ never see any benefit in the slightest. Because they weren’t intended to. I think if you get to the last few paras of JMG’s essay this is what he’s saying. That ultimately the whole game is rigged to ensure nothing ever actually changes.

                      And it won’t until we dismantle the roles and shut down the game. And then have the guts to let these people take control of their own lives. It’s why so many Maori who’ve moved to Aus have seized the chances they found here and are doing pretty well for themselves. Far, far better than if they’d stayed at home buried under a burden of low expectations.

                    • I don’t think they are buried in low expectation at all. Empowerment is happening here everyday all the time for many Māori. Oz is not all that.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      And because people willing to play persecutor for long are always in short supply, anyone who vaguely fits the bill will do.

                      Any white male who doesn’t use approved contemporary languaging and jargon, please put your name down.

                  • Sanctuary

                    I grew up in Napier, my family has lived there since the 1850s and I love my home province. But at the moment large parts of it are a third world backwater.

                    The twin towns (Napier and Hastings) I grew up in had two huge freezing works, a big cannery, a couple of large manufacturers, a port with well paid jobs, a brewery, a gas works, a local bottling plant, two large tanneries, a big local fishing fleet and fish processing plant, a timber processing mill, two thriving local newspapers, a fertilizer factory, a cement works, a big government presence, two good sized hospitals, a big Rothmans cigarette factory, etc etc. The jobs were quality jobs with good pay. It was by all measures a successful, and crucially a diversified, economy.

                    Our cul-de-sac where I grew up was egalitarian NZ personified. I remember our neighbours were a Maori freezing worker, a middle manager at the cigarette company, a shop owner, a self employed brick and block layer, an accountant, a wharfie, a tannery worker and a teacher.

                    It’s almost all gone now. In just fifteen years (1984-1999) my lovely province was gutted.

                    Manufacturing, gone.
                    Freezing works, gone,
                    the cannery is a shadow of it’s previous self.
                    Bottling plant, gone
                    Brewery, gone.
                    Local papers, gone.
                    Rothmans, gone.
                    Napier Hospital, gone.
                    Government, gone.
                    Local fishing fleet and processing, gone.

                    We still have a paper mill, the fertilizer works, one, smaller, tannery, the port is downsized. Jobs, where they were replaced, were with low paid service sector jobs in tourism and few in viticulture.

                    The destruction of the provinces is a big driver in the growth of Auckland. Talented young people have no future in Hawkes Bay anymore. All that is left is the old, the angry, the fearful, those who were the losers, and a capitalist class who largely make their money from exploiting poverty.

        • BM

          NZ being a fairly progressive place before then

          As long as you liked beer, rugby and didn’t look like one of those bloody pooftah, you on the TV, mate.

          What a gloriously progressive place NZ was back then, truly the golden years of NZ culture.

          • weka

            You obviously weren’t paying attention BM if that’s all you saw.

          • joe90

            What a gloriously progressive place NZ was back then, truly the golden years of NZ culture.

            In my provincial city multiple live music venues, fine dining establishment[s], speed, figure, and roller hockey skating clubs, inter-business twilight sporting competitions, ladies bowling clubs, a vibrant surfing/surf lifesaving community, a motorcycle road racing club, bridge, amateur repertory, art, floral and film societies in my city have either been relegated to a shadow of their former or closed down since the advent of the new New Zealand.

            We’ve been slowly but surely strangled.

          • RedLogix

            While NZ always did have a pretty wide underbelly of intolerance, snobbery and mean-mindedness, there was more than this.

            Here’s one of my memories. Our usual Scout group fund raiser was a bottle drive; but we had missed a few years so when we started on the Saturday morning we were overwhelmed by the sheer volume of glass people had stashed away in sheds, back porches and garages. It was a wonderful, giddy madness tearing around the suburb, knocking on doors, all sorts of people greeting us ( in various states of dress), showing us around the back to their stash, then packing and hauling boxes out onto the street. Loading trailers, and then riding on them to the next stop.

            By Sat afternoon is was plain one day was not enough, so we cracked on into the Sunday. More and more families, dads with trailers and vans joined in. People just turned up at the yard we were using that used to be a bread factory at the junction of Market and Gt South Rd. As the day went on the yard filled higher and higher. Food turned up from nowhere, and it had turned into a sort of huge neighborhood party. I still recall the mix of sausage sizzle, sweat and the smell of stale beer bottles everywhere. We worked late into that summer evening to get everything sorted and stacked. The brewery trucks came early the next morning to get the yard cleared, and we made some good money at it.

            Now there is nothing special about this memory. Except for this; it was community in action. Whole families, dads who had time and energy to make it happen, mums who weren’t always working and made themselves part of it. Sisters who weren’t glued to social media and didn’t mind getting their hands dirty. Working class, middle and reasonable well-off families working alongside each other because it was fun and taught us boys how to be men.

            OK so by itself it’s not much. It’s only a snip, but this is what we lost; that we could trust each other.

            • In Vino

              We lost the life in most of those socially beneficial clubs and activities when we lost the 40-hour week, and the largely work-free weekend.
              Once again, the ‘flexibility’ idea was used to bugger up a socially healthy system. With too many people being forced to work long hours at low rates, those clubs and activities suffered.
              We now have iphones etc, but we lost our social health long before iphones and the net.

              • RedLogix

                I see it vividly with all the tramping clubs; most of the active members are in their late 60’s and 70’s because they’re the only ones with the time to do it anymore.

                That’s not to say there aren’t young people in the hills anymore. There are and it’s especially good to see how many young women are out there on their own account, footing it as equals with the blokes. But they’re not doing it in clubs anymore.

                And totally missing in are any families in the clubs.

                • In Vino

                  Socially destructive effect of destroying the weekend for so many people that families and clubs do not get time for members to sustain things, let alone build them. Sick society, produced by guess who.

      • Stuart Munro 2.1.2

        Before Roger Douglas we left our doors unlocked.

        NZ will not be right until he and his accomplices are punished.

      • Gabby 2.1.3

        Now, just deeply suspicious of everyone. Thanks Rodge.

  3. Pat 3

    even if you accept there is a “middle NZ” you must also accept that its views are across an almost endless spectrum…..as with all stereotyping it serves little purpose.

    • The lost sheep 3.1

      ‘Confirming’ prejudice is the main purpose of stereotyping.

      The commenters here at TS are at least as guilty of using it for that purpose as any other community I’ve had anything to do with. The log in thine own eye etc!

      • One Anonymous Bloke 3.1.1

        Who is hurt by these awful hate crimes you describe?

        • The lost sheep

          You would see a a hate crime in a babies smile OAB.

          • One Anonymous Bloke

            In fact, I’m dubious as to whether hate speech should be criminalised at all. I think social opprobrium is a more appropriate response.

      • weka 3.1.2

        rofl. Seriously lost sheep, can you not see the irony of making a statement about what confirming prejudice is, and then writing a comment that tries to confirm your own prejudices? And then telling others to look at the log in their own eye. Priceless.

        (hint, not everyone on ts thinks or acts the same, so best not to make out they do).

        • The lost sheep

          You don’t think any commenters on TS use stereo typing Weka?
          Not when discussing ‘Middle NZ’ or ‘Capitalists’ or ‘Right Wingers’ or ‘MSM’ or ‘National Party Voters’ or ‘smaller more conservative communities’, eh.

          By the way, I hope you have changed your mind about a Predator Free NZ now that the Green Party has come out so strongly in favour of it. The taonga tax is a brilliant idea!

          • weka

            Everyone uses generalisations. If you want to point out specific comments that use stereotyping, have at it (start with your own if you like). Or even specific commenters that do that alot. I just pointed out the irony of you ascribing something to a group of people that meant you were doing the same thing you were ascribing to them.

  4. Bill 4

    I’ve mentioned before, by my admittedly somewhat limited experience of other countries, that NZ is by far the most racist I’ve encountered, yes?

    A lot (though not all) of what forms that opinion is necessarily anecdotal in that it’s drawn from social interaction/observation – but a fair bit of the shit I’ve encountered really has rocked me back on my heels.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 4.1


    • Karen 4.2

      Australia was the most racist country I ever lived in. It was really blatant whereas in NZ I have found people are a bit more circumspect about expressing racist views.

      I think racism is strongest in provincial NZ, but there is no question that racism is alive and well throughout this country.

    • RedLogix 4.3

      I’d also suggest that racism is almost universal. It’s just that often the undercurrents of it, in any given setting, are hard for outsiders to detect.

      • Bill 4.3.1

        I’d be tempted to say that the opposite is true.

        Those undercurrents usually show up on the surface of the culture one way or another. Thing is, a lot of it is passed off as normal by those of that culture.

        Throw-away example. In the early to mid nineties here in NZ, there was an ad shown regularly on TV that (from memory) had a whole pile of pakeha women enjoying some bbq or some such. The only male in the ad that I recall was a Maori guy in the kitchen who was chastised or corrected or some such by one of the women for using the wrong washing up liquid. I think maybe she gave him a bottle of the advertised brand. Maybe you remember the ad?

        Anyway, I’ve still no idea why the bloody thing was aired even once, never mind regularly.

  5. DFool 5

    I see the latest twist in the National/Maori/Maori Party relationship is the pivot towards recognition of the NZ Wars per the handing back of Rangiriri last week, extra and outside of any formal Treaty Settlement, and the drumbeat for a new public holiday. Watch the relationship get shored up by handing back a bunch of other battlefields currently in public ownership via the Crown/DOC to Maori outside of the Treaty settlement process, and the designation of a second half of the year public holiday to assuage the rest by breaking up the big gap between public holidays in that time of year.

    Not that I necessarily disagree with the battlefields handover as long as there is adequate resourcing, committment to public access, improving the on-site experience, education and advocacy stuff etc, but I am suspicious of the timing and the motive.

    • Ad 5.1

      Turning Matariki into a public holiday would be a pretty easy sell now.
      Somewhere in August. With bonfires.

      • weka 5.1.1

        Matariki is a seasonal holiday, it needs to be at the right time of year (which isn’t August).

        • Ad

          Went to the celebrations.
          Felt like this month but time clearly just slid by.

          • weka

            Matariki as a constellation disappears in May. It reappears late May or in June and the celebrations are usually tied to its reappearance, and/or related moon (eg the nearest new moon).

        • Corokia

          Employers ( National voters ) would kick up a stink if a new holiday was introduced. I’m guessing they will rename Queen’s Birthday weekend ( probably after the current monarch passes on)

      • marty mars 5.1.3

        Nah you stick to fake Xmas and the Easter bunny bub.

        The problem with this idea is that most have zero idea except for their commando comic level thoughts about what it all means. And no I’m not interesrting in explaining adda

    • weka 5.2

      Another way to look at that is what is important to Māori that some of them would still support National?

      Much of the left discussion on ts about the Mp basically frames them as greedy (limo meme) or traitors (National’s policies are the Worst for Māori, real Māori vote left), and completely ignores the fact that Māori are their own people with their own rights, politics etc. We (Pākehā and Pākehā dominant communities) still have this idea that Māori should be assimilated by now, and that their politics should match ours. Yet we still spend precious little time listening to Māori about their own reality or what they want, or engaging politically on their terms, and that my friends is a form of racism.

      • Leftie 5.2.1

        “National’s policies are the Worst for Māori” don’t you think so Weka? A number of “real Maori” I know vote for Winston Peters, and IMO a vote for the Maori party IS a vote for National. The Maori party, that do not speak for all Maori, are sell outs. They voted in favour of National’s legislation to sell off state housing that is making people homeless.

        • marty mars

          You write foolishly – what votes have the laboured party made with the gnats over the last few years. Are they sellouts and YOU who support labour are a sellout too aren’t you?

          • Leftie

            Haven’t the Maori Party supported more of National’s legislative changes than Labour and other opposition parties have done? The Maori Party continued to prop up the Nats even when National sold off water rights when they flogged off NZ’s revenue generating power companies. I support a Lab/Green/NZFirst coalition does that make me a sell out? If you support the tory Maori party, does that make YOU a sell out too?

            • marty mars

              Oh so ‘more’ is the line now. If you support labour which has voted for gnat legislation then by your reckoning you are a sellout.

            • weka

              Your inability to address the points is getting boring Leftie. All I hear from you is that the Mp is bad, and Māori are wrong for voting for them, and anyone who wants to discuss this out of that box just gets the same old rhetoric that doesn’t go anywhere useful. You are completely missing the point, intentionally I think.

              • Leftie

                It is my own opinion that the Maori party are sell outs Weka. I have even said why. Aren’t I allowed an opinion? When did I say Māori are wrong for voting for the Maori party?

              • Chris

                I don’t think it’s intentional, Weka.

                • Leftie

                  You wouldn’t know Chris.

                  • Chris

                    I’m looking out my window, gazing at the trees, taking a break from having tapped away on the computer for the last two hours, pleased with the outcome, coffee in hand, comedy from Leftie on the screen – life can’t get much better than this.

                    • Leftie

                      I wish it was like that for the thousands of Kiwis who are homeless and drowning in poverty Chris.

                    • Chris

                      Yes. You need to take your sideshow to the streets so that everyone can enjoy your comedy.

                    • Leftie

                      Aren’t you lucky Chris that you can point and laugh at others, whilst looking out your window, gazing at the trees, taking a break from having tapped away on the computer for the last two hours, pleased with the outcome, coffee in hand… but for the many Kiwis already on the streets and living in cars, no amount of comedy is going to make their lives any better, will it? I don’t think showing a lack of compassion and empathy is anything for you to be so smug about Chris.

                    • Chris

                      You don’t know how funny your comedy on here is. Enough to brighten anyone’s day.

                    • Leftie

                      Not the homeless, Chris.

        • weka

          “National’s policies are the Worst for Māori” don’t you think so Weka?

          I think that’s for Māori to decide, not the left movements that are generally Pākehā dominant. That’s my point (which I think you have largely missed).

          A number of “real Maori” I know vote for Winston Peters, and IMO a vote for the Maori party IS a vote for National.

          What’s a “real Maori”?

          Again, my point is that Māori can choose who they vote for, and understanding why they make those choices is not being well served via most left wing analyses.

          The Maori party, that do not speak for all Maori,

          yes, obviously. Nice straw tane there.

          are sell outs. They voted in favour of National’s legislation to sell off state housing that is making people homeless.

          Again, that’s a traditional left wing analysis that denies Māori their own voices in left wing spaces. I’m resisting that institutional racism here on ts.

          I get it. You hate the Mp and want them gone. I’m just pointing out that it’s not up to you, and that morally and ethically we, on the left, have responsibilities under Te Tiriti here.

          • Leftie

            “National’s policies are the Worst for Māori” don’t you think so Weka?

            I think that’s for Māori to decide, not the left movements that are generally Pākehā dominant. That’s my point (which I think you have largely missed).”

            Obviously Maori did decide, and that’s why most Maori didn’t vote for the Maori party and Labour won 6 of the 7 Maori seats. So what did I miss?

            You’re the one who originally wrote “real Maori” Weka. You tell me?

            “The Maori party, that do not speak for all Maori,
            yes, obviously. Nice straw tane there.”

            It’s a fact, isn’t it?

            “are sell outs. They voted in favour of National’s legislation to sell off state housing that is making people homeless.

            Again, that’s a traditional left wing analysis that denies Māori their own voices in left wing spaces. I’m resisting that institutional racism here on ts.”

            Are you denying the fact that selling off state houses, that the maori party voted in support of, is causing homelessness? and since when is a fact like that institutional racism?

            I am not denying it’s up to the people who they vote for, I never said it wasn’t, but clearly the majority of Maori do not trust the Maori party given they retained only 1 Maori seat out of 7.

        • adam

          Jeez leftie you are letting your inner bigot shine.

          So white fella is a real Māori not a plastic Māori? Or is a plastic Māori a real Māori in resin?

          Is a MOZZIE a real Māori?

          Do real Māori have to speak Te Reo?

          So would say a vote for Winston is a vote for national…

          • Leftie

            I didn’t coin the phrase “real Maori” Weka did in her original post. Didn’t you understand what the “quote” marks meant Adam?

            • weka

              Leftie, go read my original comment again. I was saying that ‘real Māori’ is a meme that some on the left use as part of their implication that the Mp are traitors. I don’t believe in or use the meme myself.

              I’m getting to the point where I think you are basically incapable of understanding anything that doesn’t fit with your limited political view. As I said, it’s boring now. It’s not that you aren’t entitled to your opinion, it’s that the general ethos of the place is to facilitate debate not just keep saying the same thing over and over again.

              Like the last time we had this conversation, I’ve soon gotten to the point where I realise you have no intention of engaging in the points I raised, yet you keep replying to them with the same old. Please stop. There is plenty of space here without you having to keep replying to my comments with things that don’t make sense in the context I am raising.

              • Leftie

                I know Weka, reserve that lengthy explanation for Adam. I was responding to Adam’s abuse and was not replying to your comment, thought that was clear. And in regards to replying to your other comments here I have engaged with the points you have raised.

                • weka

                  You appear to think that I used the term ‘real Māori’ in a way that I didn’t. That needed correcting. If you talk about me and do so in a way that misleads people about what I say, then it’s likely that I will reply.

                  • Leftie

                    You put it context as did I. Adam got the wrong end of the stick and abused me for it. Telling him where it originated wasn’t mean to mislead anyone.

      • DFool 5.2.2

        I dont think its unreasonable to, while acknowleding the desires of Maori to take ownership of these special places, question the timing and motivation of the Government in facilitating the hand over of places that are significant to both Maori and Pakeha. Pakeha are stakeholders in these battlefields too, even if they have, en mass, no desire to engage as such.

        The Government can wash their hands of these sites of ‘hurtful history’ and score a win with Maori that costs them nothing, if not saving them money by getting rid of Public Conservation Land that they have no desire to to manage properly and appropriately budget for, and which they are, if you look at the big picture of National’s relationship with the environment and the Conservation estate, are actively and ideologically opposed to. It also may end up further marginalising the NZ Wars by making them solely a Maori concern.

        • marty mars

          Interesting points. I can’t imagine anyone fooled by the gnats and their motivations.

          This history is waiting to be unlocked and Māori can do that inclusively I believe.

        • weka

          Fair points DFool, and I agree that National’s motives aren’t to be trusted and that it’s possible to point them out (thanks for doing so in an even handed way).

        • Chris

          Just like Whanau Ora. Publicly and superficially it’s about passing ownership and control back to Maori but privately and substantially it’s about what fits with the ideologically driven agenda.

  6. Guerilla Surgeon 6

    I used to be a historian. I spent some years of my life looking at old documents and newspapers and the like. Middle New Zealand has pretty well always been racist. As has top New Zealand and bottom New Zealand, but maybe not quite to the same extent.

  7. Keith 7

    Got to love Roughan’s mid 20th Century navel gazing moments.

    RNZ rules the ratings not Hosking, he is a poor distant second and a cock to go with it. He is as polarising if not more than Key so his kind of people are getting on the outer edges of reality anyway.

    And yes I had to laugh with irony over Nationals “enduring partnership” with the Maori Party. Talk about take the piss, don’t make me laugh John. Their endurance has taken them down to one elected MP and partnership, well if you mean they know their place then yes it’s a immoral National Party type of partnership.

    Andrew Little is quite right to want to stay away from that lot, a party that hand in hand has overseen the rapidly rising inequality in this country, homelessness, housing non affordability and a standard of living that is going backwards. And lets not mention the sundry corruption that is the stock and trade of this government. Although if Little was a disingenuous liar he would do a deal with them because they are easily exploited, National has proven that. But the fact is National saw the Maori Party coming and have used and abused them. They are now but a shell of a party albeit now with the Maori Kings backing but I guess that was entirely predictable with Tuku lurking in the immediate background.

    • Leftie 7.1

      Well said Keith. It was always National’s aim to get rid of the Maori seats, but John key found that he needed it.

      The Maori King is a white man’s creation, it was created to appease whilst the crown took the land. It never united the tribes, many felt that it didn’t speak for, or represent all Maori.

      • marty mars 7.1.1

        No it is NOT a white man’s creation. It was a response to the intolerable, a Māori response.

        • Leftie

          Maori didn’t create the “Maori King” for all Maori, the colonial governing power did that. That’s why I called it white man’s creation.

      • Karen 7.1.2

        Leftie, you really need to do some research into Kīngitanga. It was an attempt to create a united Māori voice in order to stop further loss of Māori land, and was certainly not a “white man’s creation” except in the sesnse that had Pākehā not colonised New Zealand then it would not have happened.

        • Leftie

          You said the same thing, but said it better than I did Karen. Maori didn’t create the “Maori King” for all Maori, the colonial governing power did that. That’s why I called it white man’s creation.

          • Karen

            Sorry Leftie, you have misinterpreted what I said.

            Kīngitangi was created by Māori and not the colonial government. My reference to colonisation was just to explain that Māori were responding to a situation that had been created by colonisation.

            • Leftie

              Apologies Karen. But my understanding is that the Maori King was not created by all Maori. Ngāpuhi for example, certainly don’t see the king as being representative of them. My kuia told me that the Maori King was a white man’s creation, that’s how she put it and that’s why I wrote it.

          • Gabby

            Some Maori created the Maori king for some Maori.

    • weka 7.2

      What if the Mp hold the balance of power after the next election? Should Labour refuse to have anything to do with them?

      • Stuart Munro 7.2.1

        It’s a tricky one.

        Lesser of two evils isn’t always the path the best outcomes.

        But assuming the answer were yes – what about the opposite case? Labour Greens (& possibly Winston) have a solid majority. I’m told the political reality is that coalitions always contain the minimum number of members, but democratically the Mp should be included if they can work constructively.

        I’m not sure Labour’s position will not be determined by a historical expectation of Maori seats – for all that the Mp’s participation in the Key kleptocracy hasn’t exactly covered them in glory.

        • Leftie

          That was a really nice reply there Stuart Munro.

        • dukeofurl

          Labours cold shoulder to the MP is because it feels its the traditional representative of Maori. The party vote in those electorates ( and presumably the same for maori enrolled in general electorates) shows they have a basis for believing that.
          National has withdrawn from contesting the Maori electorates at all, its happy for the MP be its ‘wing’

        • weka

          Not really following you there Stuart. Are you saying that if the Mp held the balance of power Labour should not form govt?

          If L/G have a majority, then I have no problem with the Mp being on the cross benches given their history (and an argument could be made that they would do better there anyway). My question was more about whether the left are cutting off their nose to spite their face re the Mp.

          • Stuart Munro

            Shall we say that the assumption that Labour Green Mp should form a government is open to question. Actually I imagine they could work together quite comfortably on many issues – but there is a reflexive mistrust on the one side due to the QMS/Sealord/Foreshore, and on the other due to possibly invidious compromises with the Gnats, and claims of radicalism.

            There is a similarity with Labour’s historically competitive stance to the Greens that might suggest such issues are not insuperable (and not constructive). But some Maori claims are potentially disturbing to middle NZ, and the electoral math might not indicate a pre-election alliance, though a commitment to explore one after the vote seems not out of place.

            • weka

              I’m pretty much talking about the Mp supporting a L/G govt on C and S and holding the balance of power ie if that support was the only way a left wing govt formed. I don’t see any pre election deals or even the Mp being part of govt.

              I think lefties need to consider this possibility, given this is a reasonably likely scenario amongst others.

              • Stuart Munro

                Agreed – the door should be open and the worst negative campaigning avoided. But I would add that this should be the case irrespective of the need to form government, or the cynicism gets a little thick.

                • weka

                  True, and lets hope that common sense prevails on that score. I guess it maybe applies here in ts too, where some lefties need to be prepared for what will happen if they spend the next 18 months slagging off the Mp. And what will happen during the election campaign?

                  • Anne

                    If, and when, the Maori Party admit it was a mistake to join the NAct govt., then I might have more respect for them. As it is, the Maori Party has done more “slagging off” of the Labour Party in the past 7 to 8 years than Labour has the Maori Party. The latest example of course being the childish refusal to support Helen Clark’s bid for the top UN job.

                    I’m glad they have chosen to be part of the Opposition Inquiry into homelessness etc., but I guess it would have looked very bad indeed if they had refused to take part.

                    • weka

                      Yeah, that doesn’t really address the question though Anne. What will you do if the Mp hold the balance of power?

                    • Leftie

                      Anne, I wondered if the motivation of taking part in the inquiry is to lessen the criticism of the Maori party supporting National selling off state homes. I don’t see how the Maori Party can absolve themselves from that. Phil Twyford has said that it is causing a lot of heat in the inquiry.

                    • Chris

                      “If, and when, the Maori Party admit it was a mistake to join the NAct govt., then I might have more respect for them.”

                      Will that require the Maori Party to renounce the nats as the “Pakeha elite”? Or simply that it was wrong to apply a “it’s-better-to-be-in-the-tent-than-outside-of-the-tent” approach to deciding to form a government with the nats?

                      “As it is, the Maori Party has done more “slagging off” of the Labour Party in the past 7 to 8 years than Labour has the Maori Party. The latest example of course being the childish refusal to support Helen Clark’s bid for the top UN job.”

                      Surely it’s not a matter of who slags off who the most? If that were a yardstick we’d end up with all sorts of weird outcomes. The Maori Party particularly under Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples were angry after the Foreshore and Seabed palaver and showed that anger indeed. Fair enough, too. But hopefully Labour’s learned that lesson now, and if they haven’t they flamin’ well ought to have. There are signs the Maori Party is heading forward under new stewardship (thawing relations with Mana etc) and I hope that continues. And choosing not to voice support for Helen Clark at the UN may or may not be a hangover from F & S days but if it is then fair enough, especially if she still thinks the law change was a good one. Who the heck could think that someone who thought Labour’s F & S legislation was good law could think they were a good pick for that UN job? Clark’s reaped what she’s sown.

                      “I’m glad they have chosen to be part of the Opposition Inquiry into homelessness etc., but I guess it would have looked very bad indeed if they had refused to take part.”

                      I don’t think the Maori Party’s participation is because of political expediency. To the contrary, the nats are probably annoyed about it. I think it’s a sign that the Maori Party just might be re-thinking the viability of its relationship with the nats, regardless of the outcome in 2017. This is especially so given how the gradual increase in opposition from the Maori Party to nat policy shown by the new personnel. There’s no reason why this can’t continue.

                    • Anne

                      leftie @ 8:01pm

                      No reply button so hope this gets into right place.

                      Phil Twyford has said that it is causing a lot of heat in the inquiry.
                      Not quite sure what you mean there.

                      The Maori Party has lost a lot of ground in recent years because of its close association with National. Since Maori figure prominently in the poverty and homelessness measures I imagine it had little choice but to be involved in this inquiry.

                      I agree with your view of the Maori Party at 7:50pm. Btw, there are plenty of people who read this blog site who will be taking notice of what you are saying. 🙂

                    • Leftie

                      Thank you Anne, for your reply. Phil Twyford was saying last week on Waatea 5th estate that the Maori Party’s support of National selling off state housing is causing heat in the inquiry on Homelessness.

                      Tonight’s episode is worth a watch. I have posted a link on the Cross Party thread, but here is the link for you.

                      Waatea 5th estate “Homelessness in NZ” 22 8 16

                      <a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w03eJWUHjYk

                      I thought Marama Fox sounded like a propaganda ad for the National party, but it was an interesting debate. Phil Twyford revealed that Labour, Greens and NZ First have been working together behind the scenes. I thought that was excellent.

                    • Chris

                      You two should get a room.

                  • Leftie

                    Is that directed at me Weka? I don’t trust the Maori party, imo a vote for the Maori party is a vote for National, and I think the Maori party deserves the criticisms, just like you think Labour deserves the slagging off that they get. It’s just my opinion, nobody takes any notice anyway, so what are you worried about, that you don’t want me criticizing the Maori party through to the next election? My hope is that the Maori party with it’s National party cabinet club fundraiser dinners won’t be needed and are gone, if not, I will just have to suck it up that that is the way it is. It’s politics.

                    • weka

                      Not at you in particular Leftie. More the long term Mp-bashing that I’ve seen on ts along the lines of Turia being greedy and making her decisions based on getting a limo. I have no problem with people criticising the Mp (or Labour), but that’s different than just bashing them.

                      I don’t think Labour deserve slagging off, and have quite often spoken out against that. Criticising things they do, that’s a different story.

        • Chris

          The Maori Party isn’t in coalition with the nats because they agree with nat policy. They’re there because they believe positive change for Maori is better achieved from within government. Whether you think that what this requires the Maori Party to do is akin to a sell out depends on whether you agree with the Maori Party on how positive change for Maori is best brought about.

          I disagree with their position on why they’ve chosen to be part of government. Key et al have taken advantage of them in many many ways for very little in return.

          That said, and despite the Foreshore and Seabed debacle, I think the Maori Party themselves would believe they’d be more at home within a Labour coalition. And the current personnel within the Maori Party seem to be signalling there’s change afoot on this front, for example by warming up relations with Mana. There are other indicators also.

          So I wouldn’t be ruling the Maori Party out of a possible left coalition because they happened to believe their better-to-be-in-the-tent strategy was the way to do things. I’d be writing the Maori Party off if they truly believed in nat policy.

          • Anne

            The Maori Party isn’t in coalition with the nats because they agree with nat policy. They’re there because they believe positive change for Maori is better achieved from within government.

            They’re there because the upper echelons of the Maori Party saw themselves as the Maori elite and therefore it was appropriate to join hands with the upper echelons of the Pakeha Nat. Party who see themselves as the Pakeha elite. The huge irony is that neither is ‘elite’ in any sense of the word.

            If positive change for ordinary Maori had been achieved there might have been a case to answer, but Maori overall have seen bugger-all from eight years of a NACT/Maori Party coalition.

            • Chris

              “They’re there because the upper echelons of the Maori Party see themselves as the Maori elite and therefore it’s appropriate to join hands with the upper echelons of the Pakeha Nat. Party who see themselves as the Pakeha elite.”

              Not sure what you’re saying there. Is it that the Maori Party will only go with the nats because it sees only the nats as the “Pakeha elite”? Or would the Maori Party still agree to be part of a Labour coalition because that scenario would then point to the Labour Party representing the “Pakeha elite”?

              If it’s the former I don’t think that’s correct.

            • Leftie

              Well said Anne.

            • marty mars

              And yet labour begat the Māori Party and Mana formed from that.

              • Anne

                Yes marty mars I know. But you can’t say Labour had any influence over the formation of Mana.

                I’m glad you brought up the reason for the MP’s existence. I don’t bear Tariana Turia or the Maori Party any grudges whatsoever over their stance on the F&S legislation. I admit I bore a grudge at the time but with the benefit of hindsight…

                However, the Labour govt. found itself in a very tricky situation and it was not self-inflicted. They took legal advice from the Crown Law Office which was, apparently, adamant that legislation be set in place to avoid any chance of Maori taking ownership of public coastal land and beaches. I know from a former Labour MP at the time how much that govt. agonised over the decision and its consequences. The sad part is: I think the advice was likely wrong.

                It is to Tariana’s full credit that she no longer bears a grudge and can sympathise with the situation the Clark govt, found itself in. Imo, it’s time the current Maori Party leadership did likewise.

                • Chris

                  “It is to Tariana’s full credit that she no longer bears a grudge and can sympathise with the situation the Clark govt, found itself in. Imo, it’s time the current Maori Party leadership did likewise.”

                  I don’t think the issue is about whether the current Maori Party bears a grudge against Clark’s F & S legislation. But whether they do or do not hold that grudge doesn’t matter. I think the current Maori Party correctly sees that the future for Maori is not about being in government with the nats. The current Maori Party probably sees the F & S time as about teaching Labour a lesson. They’ll never forget what Clark did, but now it’s time to get the show back on the road. Let’s not dismiss the Maori Party just because they decided to show Labour some tough love.

              • Chris

                That’s bloody humans for you.

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