- Date published:
1:16 pm, August 25th, 2009 - 18 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack, democratic participation, john key, local government, maori party, Maori seats, national/act government, same old national, slippery - Tags:
I’m surprised that the Maori Party have rolled over so easily on the issue of Maori seats on the Auckland council. I will be even more surprised if the Maori people follow suit. Because they have every right to be angry. Remember what Key said of the Hikoi?
The hikoi was sparked over the dumping of the Maori seats from the Auckland super city proposal – in contrast to a Royal Commission recommendation. Mr Key was asked on TV One’s Breakfast show what he thought about the protest and the disruption it would cause.
“Obviously people have a right to protest and we respect that,” he said. “(But) I can’t help but wonder if they are a little bit ahead of themselves.” The right forum to raise concerns was through the parliamentary process, he said. The select committee soon to start looking at legislation setting up the council would consider the issues raised by the protest, Mr Key said. It would look at the governance structure, how councillors were elected and issues around Maori representation.
“I don’t think the hikoi of itself will make any difference really…we are going to go through the select committee process, that’s not a white wash we are actually going to listen to what happens there. We are trying to work on getting an outcome that works for everyone.”
Ngati Whatua spokesman Ngarimu Blair has criticised the Government for not allowing democracy to run its course. He said Maori had followed the democratic process – going through a Royal Commission which recommended Maori seats, then going through the select committee where Mr Blair claimed 90 per cent of submitters had supported Maori seats. Yet the Government had made a decision on Maori seats before the select committee process was finished.
“We have participated in the democratic process and done everything we were asked to. We are disappointed that the crown didn’t hold up its end. All that we can ask is that they at least follow their own processes.” But he said Ngati Whatua were glad they at least knew the Government’s views now rather than continue a “masquerade” of consultation.
Before the select committee process was even finished. That’s not a even a white wash, it’s just naked contempt.