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Will National cave to threats from Hide?

Written By: - Date published: 10:31 pm, August 19th, 2009 - 85 comments
Categories: national/act government, supercity - Tags: , ,

An email leaked to 3News suggests that Rodney Hide is holding the government to ransom over denying guaranteed Supercity representation for Maori.

The email – reportedly from a senior National Party MP and sent to the whole caucus – reads, in part:

Clearly we are at a crossroads. The ACT party has threatened to end its relationship with National if we allow Maori seats on the super city. Despite multiple arguments in support, its mind cannot be changed.

Consequently I believe the issue is too far reaching and too important for a party presently sitting at 1 percent in the polls to decide alone.

The question remains: Will National have the guts to do what’s right or simply cave to threats from Hide?

85 comments on “Will National cave to threats from Hide? ”

  1. Andrei 1

    The question remains: Will National have the guts to do what’s right or simply cave to threats from Hide?

    Since when was apartheid right?

    Since when was racism right?

    • Lew 1.1

      Since when was adhering to a treaty racism or apartheid? It’s a contract, if you want to look at it in such terms, as ACT would if it were internally consistent.


      • Andrei 1.1.1

        In consideration thereof Her Majesty the Queen of England extends to the Natives of New Zealand Her royal protection and imparts to them all the Rights and Privileges of British Subjects.

        I don’t think this means separate representation – I think it means they have the same rights as everybody else with regards to both standing and voting.

        • Lew

          Oh, easy. That’s because you’re looking at the wrong bit.

          Ko te Kuini o Ingarani ka wakarite ka wakaae ki nga Rangitira ki nga hapu ki nga tangata katoa o Nu Tirani te tino rangatiratanga o o ratou wenua o ratou kainga me o ratou taonga katoa.

          That’s the relevant bit. Not in English – contra proferentem applies.


          • Eddie

            Lew – awesome knock down.

            Poor saps like Andrei don’t know the first thing about law of treaties, he probably thinks the Treaty of Vienna is a sweetie.

          • Pete

            Andrei may want some aloe for that burn.

            Shame how he exposes how unedjumacated the kids are these days… I know what’ll fix that – literacy and numeracy standards!!!1!1!!

          • bobbity

            Lew’s quite right, but to make it fair we should ensure that all the non Maori seats on the super city should be held by representatives with no Maori lineage and who disregard any effect on Maori when voting.

            As an aside who really gives a toss when whoever gets voted onto the council will immediately give themselves a pay rise, increase the bureaucracy and proceed to put the rates up while providing the same or less in terms of service to the long suffering ratepayer.

        • burt

          same rights as anyone else… how racist is that!

          Ha… equal rights unless they are black is unacceptable when it describes less rights for brown skin people but we all just nod quietly and agree when it is describing extra rights for brown skin people.

          Apartheid, only bad when white people impose it… how fucked is that !

          • Maynard J

            What are you trying to say?

            Fewer rights for people who have been historically disadvantaged is ok, but you protest that we want to accord more rights to those people, in line with an agreement.

            Indeed, very odd.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    Hide was interviewed on One News just now, and left no doubt. He will quit if there are Maori seats. Unequivocal.

    (the e-mail was from Tau Henare, BTW)

  3. Nick 3

    If Key wants racist and apartheid seats he can appoint Sharples as LG Minister and Rodney can take a walk. Pretty simple really.

    Yes, the email was from Tau and is a beat-up. He sent it to caucus then gave it to 3 News. It was hardly “exclusively obtained” by TV3.

    Another thought, aren’t the Maori Party quiet on this issue. I wonder why that is? Could it be they are opposed to apartheid in politics?

    • gobsmacked 3.1

      The Maori Party MPs hold Maori seats. They want to keep them. So don’t get your hopes up. Their voters will not let them keep quiet on this.

      The Maori Party and ACT are diametrically opposed. One will win, one will lose.

      The warm fuzzy fantasy is over. To govern is to choose.

    • Lew 3.2

      Perhaps it’s that they can do maths.

      • Tigger 3.2.1

        No, Turia has come out slamming Hide now (I am no fan of either of them but at least Hide’s going to die in a ditch over what he believes in – gotta give him credit for that…).

        I love this quote from the MP “Ms Turia pointed to the recent 3News poll, which showed 45 percent of people in Auckland supported the separate seats.”
        Without the full figures (yes, I know there could be don’t knows etc) you could be forgiven for thinking that 55% didn’t support the seats…which is kind of the majority Turia…and we know you like the people to get their way (I mean, that’s why you voted down the Civil Union legislation – because you wanted a referendum on it and would abide by the majority’s decision…).

        • Lew

          Oh, the maths they can do is 58 + 5 = 63 = government. Hide and ACT have no power, because if they take their toys and go home, the only thing which changes is that the māori party become more important to the government.

          Nobody loses. Except Rodney.


  4. gingercrush 4

    Its certainly opened up a can of worms. One really has to wonder why a member of National would release that email. And its rather clear to me that it was a deliberate leak by that National member. Can’t say its a good week for National. With what should be a good week with several ministers in Australia has been turned into a disaster.

    We have a pathetic fight amongst board members over the President. An idiot MP with a dodgy past that should have resigned the minute he went into surgery (though I do think Labour’s evidence is very shady and I find it very unlikely any charges will be made or even a prima facie case made) and now this issue. National sure knows how to make good weeks go bad. Good for them they’re not on their second or third term.


    As for what Key should do. I would have the maori seats (of which I actually completely disagree with) and get Hide to resign that portfolio and give him some patsy one that he can play with. If he thinks he can threaten this Key government he should think again. Oh and as it now turns out to be Tau Henare. We don’t need the likes of him in parliament. Get rid of him.

    I don’t think that will happen but it should. The only real issue is that while this government is popular and I still maintain it will get a second term and rather easily. The last thing National needs is to find themselves in a position where they have to go early into an election.

    • bobo 4.1

      Gingercrush you often make a how Key is a political mastermind , how did anyone in their right mind back someone for party president with all the “baggage” this one has which goes back to early this year. Wira Gardiner must be thinking did he step in something not to get the vote..

      I agree with you on Tau and i’m sure the Nats are starting to see the virtues of a strong leader like Clark in her first term of running a tight ship. No way will swing voters change to Labour over this but look how the public reacted negatively when Winnie demanded the treasurer position from Boldger in the 90s and compare it to now with Hide starting to wag the dog. This shows Hide’s inexperience of actually being in government and the art of compromise which is needed to accomplish anything in politics, he must fear spanner in the works a Maori seat would have in the possible dismantling of the supercities assets.

    • GC

      Makes you realise what an accomplished and adept PM Helen Clark was.

      Key’s basic problem is that he is not in control. I get the strong impression he is not even aware of what is happening, whereas Helen would have been aware, would have consulted, would have discussed with advisers, and would have made a decision and moved onto the next issue,

    • The Voice of Reason 4.3

      Good analysis, GC.

      The President thing is an echo of Mt Albert; best candidate gets dumped in favour of a lightweight who can’t hack it. Tau Henare’s email was most likely leaked by someone on the dry right of the caucus in an effort to force Key to can the Ak maori seats. Nobody in the caucus seems to give a damn about the Maori Party anyway, but there are plenty who like Rodders and if it’s a choice between the two, the door to the servants’ entrance swings both ways.

      As for getting rid of Tau, where would he go? He’s been in most parties already. Perhaps he could take up with the Maori Party? After all, they are losing a smug, unprincipled right winger when Tariana waddles off at the next election, so he’d fit right in.

      • Pascal's bookie 4.3.1

        “Tau Henare’s email was most likely leaked by someone on the dry right of the caucus in an effort to force Key to can the Ak maori seats.”

        I dunno, I suspect this makes ditching the seats harder. It would be seen, and reported, as a backdown to ACT and a snub to the mP. Keeping the seats will be seen as standing strong in the face of attempted dog wagging by Mr 1%.

        Key’s goal is to avoid looking like a right winger, his base has no where to go other than ACT, (and they are safe C&S votes for National, so what does Key care?), but if he loses centrist voters he’s toast. Centrist voters don’t like Hide or ACT.

  5. Nick 5

    The Maori Party are deadly quiet on this considering the select committee is due to report back any day now. The answer why this is so, is that they don’t support apartheid.

    • gobsmacked 5.1

      Nick, you’ve answered your own question.

      The Maori party believe the select committe is going to rule in their favour. So they wait for the report. They get to be on the side of the angels, with cross-party backing.

      Hide sees the select committe going against him. So – old politcal trick – he gets in ahead of them.

      He’s trying to bounce John Key.

    • Lew 5.2

      Nick, why would they be raising a ruckus before the committee reports back? They’ve made their wishes known. Now they wait and see.

      Say what you like about Pita and Tariana, they at least understand how much (little) power they have in this particular shotgun marriage.


    • Lew 5.3

      GS, right on.


    • Sorry Nick

      Turia on Morning report this morning makes it explicitly clear that they (the Maori Party) continue to support Maori seats.

      It is not apartheid.

      Apartheid is the minimising of the representation of part of society based on race. What is happening here is the exact opposite.

      • singularian 5.4.1

        Try and rewrite it any way you want Mickey.

        Apartheid – any system or practice that separates people according to race, caste, etc

        source – dictionary.com.

        • Lew

          Singularian, since the crown willingly agreed to grant tangata whenua a hand in running the show, if they now want to renege on that I think treaty law (a form of contract law) provides for substantial compensation in remedy of the breach.

          So the question is: what price democracy? And the secondary question: do you really want to get into that argument?


          • Draco T Bastard

            I actually think democracy (one vote each) takes care of that treaty agreement. Tangata wnenua do get a say in running the country with their votes – the same as everyone else.

            Things have changed since 1840. NZ, at that point, wasn’t a democracy and so that part of the treaty made sense in that respect. Now that NZ is a democracy that part no longer applies and the Maori seats really are racist.

            • Lew


              I actually think democracy (one vote each) takes care of that treaty agreement. Tangata wnenua do get a say in running the country with their votes the same as everyone else.

              Well, no. The Crown agreed to guarantee the rights of tangata whenua. The government (acting as the crown) has a responsibility to guarantee that tangata whenua will not be prevented from exercising these rights by the ordinary politics of the day (as the Royal Commission suggested it would).

              Things have changed since 1840. NZ, at that point, wasn’t a democracy and so that part of the treaty made sense in that respect.

              If you want to reform the treaty, you need to do so with the full consent of all parties to it (or their antecedents). Think very carefully about whether you want to renegotiate this deal now.


            • Draco T Bastard

              If you want to reform the treaty, you need to do so with the full consent of all parties to it (or their antecedents).

              Renegotiation is possible but it would be a delicate process and certainly not something to be rushed into. I certainly wouldn’t support the the original treaty being thrown out in the trash unilaterally by the government ATT. The point is that renegotiation is needed because we have institutionalized racism because of it.

              PS, the word you were looking for is descendants. It would be difficult, and pointless, to talk to their ancestors who weren’t part of the treaty 😛

            • Lew

              DTB, bah, you’re right : )

              I agree that renegotiation would be the best thing – but, damn, that treaty was a generous offer, so until a better offer is made I can’t see Māori going for it. I can’t see any government ever offering more than a tiny fraction of what the words ‘tāonga katoa’ and ‘tino rangatiratanga’ guaranteed.


          • singularian

            Sorry Lew, I’m not quite sure what you thought I was saying above so I will try to be clearer.

            Racially based seats are a form of apartheid. I don’t want that in my country.

            That’s not to say that the Treaty shouldn’t stand in some form but to use it as a wedge to introduce racially based policy of any sort is just plain wrong.

            Racism just encourages more racism.

            • Lew


              Leaving aside your misuse of the term ‘apartheid’, the point I’m making is this: the treaty is a recognition of fundamental differences between tangata whenua and tau iwi, and an effort (mostly futile) to provide a diplomatic framework which would prevent either from riding roughshod over the other, without which tangata whenua could simply have slaughtered the settlers to a man and gone back to their ordinary lives until the next boatload of hapless fools arrived. Because the treaty and its provisions were the doing of tau iwi – the treaty was drafted by them, and the Māori seats established under a Pākehā parliament. If there is any separation imperative, it is not the doing of Māori; and indeed, it is pretty well known that the seats were a tactic to give the natives some token representation which would give a nod to their rights but no actual power. Since the treaty and the Māori seats are creation of Pākehā accepted by Māori in the nature of agreement, it follows that if Pākehā want to do away with them, then Pākehā must offer something in consideration for the breach of the agreement. It’s all well and good to say you don’t want them, but the problem is that Hobson et al. agreed to them, and the crown remains bound by that agreement.

              So, the questions again: what consideration, and do you really want to go there?


            • RedLogix

              without which tangata whenua could simply have slaughtered the settlers to a man and gone back to their ordinary lives until the next boatload of hapless fools arrived.

              What magical force field do you think was surrounding Aoteoroa keeping out the modern world? Even if your putative slaughter had taken place, the next boatloads would have arrived better armed. Even if they had won a few battles, the advent of machineguns and technological warfare would have overwhelmed the Maori in the end.

              Indeed this was a lesson they already knew. As Michael King pointed out, with the aid of even comparatively primitive muskets, Maori had managed to slaughter 40% of their own people between 1800 and 1840. This has to be one of the deepest genocides of recent history. Moreover a least a handful of Maori chiefs had visited Australia, the US and Europe and had brought back first hand intelligence about the size and potency of the European world.

              In many ways the Treaty was a great deal for BOTH sides. Much has been made of the settler’s motivations. But it was never all one-way traffic. The Chiefs were keen to sign it for several reasons. One was to to bring an end to the devasting tribal warfare that made pre-1840 NZ such a lawless and dangerous place. Another was to gain protection from the American slavers (recall that Victoria alone in all the world had extended all her subjects protection from slavery), and another was centered in the fond hope of cementing in place their rights and sovereignty as tribal leaders. And finally to establish their legal rights vis-a-vis the unstoppable settler influx.

              All these were perfectly decent and valid reasons to want to sign the Treaty. We forget how, in those times of difficult travel and communications, how rapidly a majority of Chiefs were gathered and persuaded to sign to this radical document. Imagine trying to achieve a similar consensus today!! Clearly there were strong positive motivations on both sides to conclude a deal.

              Moreover it is often goes unmentioned in all the handwringing around the perfidy of the Crown’s betrayal of the Treaty, that Maori males were the first indigenous peoples granted suffrage anywhere in the world, the first to participate in a democracy, and unlike most other peoples in their position, always enjoyed, at least in principle, the same legal protections and rights as their colonisers.

            • Lew

              RL, of course they knew – this is why they signed. And I’m agreeing with you – tangata whenua weren’t living a charmed life here, before or after Hobson, and they recognised that a circuit-breaker was needed. The treaty was a good deal on paper, and was hugely more beneficial to tangata whenua than most of the counterfactuals. I’m not criticising the settlers’ intentions with the treaty – I’m criticising their adherence to its terms. I don’t subscribe to the notion that Hobson was trying to dupe the rangatira who signed – but I think it’s crystal clear that insufficient consideration was given to enforcement mechanisms.

              What I’m arguing for is the implementation and policy derived from it to match the spirit and letter of the agreement made – not to say that tangata whenua should get more than what was offered, just that what was offered and accepted was a hell of a freaking lot.

              Anyone wanting to renegotiate that agreement now needs to come to the table with some pretty big inducements. I, and I think most tangata whenua, would welcome them doing so.


            • Draco T Bastard

              Tell me Lew, would you agree with the statement:
              Democracy confers sovereignty upon the people(s) of a nation.

            • Lew

              Tell me Lew, would you agree with the statement:
              Democracy confers sovereignty upon the people(s) of a nation.

              I do agree, yes. Although ‘confers’ is an odd choice of term. Who confers what upon whom?


            • Draco T Bastard

              Well, I suppose “confers” is possibly the wrong word but I couldn’t think of a better one. The idea that I was trying to get across is that sovereignty in a democracy isn’t held by a single person such as a king or governor or chief but by the people(s). If this is true then tino rangatiratanga is guaranteed under a democracy it just isn’t guaranteed to the chiefs as required under Te Tirity O Waitangi.

              As I said above, things have changed from the time that Te Tirity made sense but I also think Maori wouldn’t be losing anything by having the treaty updated (renegotiated) to the new paradigm.

            • Lew


              The idea that I was trying to get across is that sovereignty in a democracy isn’t held by a single person such as a king or governor or chief but by the people(s). If this is true then tino rangatiratanga is guaranteed under a democracy it just isn’t guaranteed to the chiefs as required under Te Tirity O Waitangi.

              I see what you’re getting at, but there’s a difference between providing for something (that is, setting up a system where x is nominally achievable) and guaranteeing something (setting up a system where x is nominally achievable and then taking additional measures to ensure it is achieved).

              As I said above, things have changed from the time that Te Tirity made sense but I also think Maori wouldn’t be losing anything by having the treaty updated (renegotiated) to the new paradigm.

              I think this is a question of implementation. I certainly don’t think Māori would be averse to the idea, but they would want a great deal more buy-in from Pākehā than currently exists with the treaty, and levels of Māori trust in governments are (were, until very recently) extremely low, which is a huge barrier to goodwill.


            • Draco T Bastard

              (setting up a system where x is nominally achievable and then taking additional measures to ensure it is achieved).

              We do that anyway but it’s not a rock solid guarantee and there’s always a few people who are out to game the system. Uncertainty is a part of life.

              but they would want a great deal more buy-in from Pākehā than currently exists with the treaty,

              I honestly think you’d get that buy-in if it was a fair and equal system that was being negotiated.

              IMO, now is the time to start though as we’re coming to the end of the treaty settlements. If that finishes without renegotiation taking place people will think it’s closed and finished when it isn’t because the things that made sense 170 years ago but don’t today will still be there waiting to bite.

              And, yes, I really believe that means NZ becoming a republic.

  6. Nick 6

    Gingercrush, you don’t understand. There won’t be any early election as even if Hide goes (which he won’t) ACT will still honour its support agreement with National.

    • gingercrush 6.1

      I don’t believe there will be an early election. Though in politics you have to accout for everything. I was merely saying that in some worst-case scenario an early election would be a disaster.

      I don’t think National particularly wants Maori seats. TV 3’s poll showed a 45/44 split in favour of them. Suggesting some National voters would be comfortable with there being Maori seats but likely the 44% against is made up of mostly Act and National voters. In an ideal world National wouldn’t have Maori seats and its an area I am in agreement with. But I actually think National should dodge the bullet and have Maori seats and get Hide away from local government.

  7. Nick 8

    Derek, that was almost four months ago.

    Hide got in, as GS says, weeks, if not months ago in a conversation with the Prime Minister. That is before the select committee process even started. It is Tau playing bounce or chicken, not Hide.

  8. Nick 9

    VOR, My understanding is that Tau sent his email directly to TV3. It wasn’t leaked by a “dry” Nat.

  9. Walter 10

    While I see Hide out, and Maori seats in as a win-win. It’s probably not going to happen. National/Act won the election on the promise to their mates that they could buy Auckland’s assets – I’m sure they already know who is getting what. The Maori seats put these sales at risk.

    I guess there is the possibility that Nat/Act will be as willing to shaft their backers as they are to shaft Aucklanders – let’s hope so.

    • rave 10.1

      No they don’t. There’s no way a couple of Maori seats will stop the sell off of Auckland.
      Maori seats are a diversion. Hide is getting worried about the privatisation plans taking a big hit. He looked sick and bereft of arguments under a little bit of heat from John Campbell last night.
      He thinks that if we all fall around getting excited about the Treaty, then his mates profits are safe.

  10. Nick 11

    Walter, I’m getting Cornwall Park and Aotea Square. A mate of mine is getting New Lynn library and Trusts Stadium Waitakere.

    What are you getting?

  11. gobsmacked 12

    Audrey Young has a useful blog post in the Herald this morning.

    The full text of Tau Henare’s e-mail, and a reminder that ACT’s position of “principle” on Maori seats … turns out to be have been very flexible after all.


    On the wider implications, I wonder –

    Do National really want to “own” the Auckland Super City issue? If Hide resigns, then a Nat MP will become Minister of Local Gov’t. A poisoned chalice?

    Key will want to leave that in Hide’s hands. Too many Auckland voters to put at risk …

  12. Walter 13

    Nick – I’m getting shafted

  13. Nick 14

    ha ha Walter. Nice retort!

  14. DeeDub 15

    Wodney looks like a Rhino caught in the headlights at the moment . . . and apparently he’ll have to see a vet for a sore tooth very soon.

    Stressed much Wodders?

  15. no leftie 16

    “Apartheid is the minimising of the representation of part of society based on race. What is happening here is the exact opposite.”

    And the other races, where does that leave them? Where are the Korean seats, the Indian ones, Chinese, South African – not to mention all the other Polynesians who came on later waka.

    Sounds like some serious minimising to me.

    Yes I hope National grows some balls and tells the racists there will be no representation on the super council based on the colour of your skin.

    One person one vote – works for me.

    • Lew 16.1

      NL, let me know when you find that treaty those folks signed with the crown guaranteeing them a piece of any action.

      And if you want to go ‘one person, one vote’ then we’d better start distributing election paopers to school students, and kindy students too – or are they not people? And what about the fact we have two votes? And what about corporations and such, who are people under the law?

      Try to get your story straight, honestly.


      • r0b 16.1.1

        Raw “one person one vote” democracy falls to the “two cannibals and a vegetarian voting on what’s for dinner” straw argument (“the tyranny of the majority”). There have to be other considerations in a workable democracy, such as protecting minority interests.

  16. no leftie 17

    Holding one race above another, or others, is racism – what part of that don’t you understand?

    Did racism suddenly become OK?

    Ask those who were denied the vote for generations because of the colour of their skin if one race should have more electoral power than others is a good thing.

    • Lew 17.1

      NL, there are several grounds upon which your claim is wrong. The one you’re most likely to understand is that the Crown agreed to grant special rights and privileges to tangata whenua in recognition of their eminent domain in 1840, as a condition of being able to settle here without fear of being slaughtered en masse by a superior force of defenders fully prepared and equipped to repel an invasion.

      That was the deal: you get to live here, we get guaranteed rights. The Crown figured that was a fair go, and after generations of failing to hold up their end of the bargain, they’re now being asked to do so, to a tiny fraction of the extent which full adherence to the treaty would require.

      See also my question to Singularian: since the crown willingly agreed to grant tangata whenua a hand in running the show, if they now want to renege on that I think treaty law (a form of contract law) provides for substantial compensation in remedy of the breach.

      So the question is: what price democracy? And the secondary question: do you really want to get into that argument?

      Well, do ya, punk?


      • Lew 17.1.1

        Rereading this bit:

        you get to live here, we get guaranteed rights

        … I should make clear that the ‘you’ relates to tau iwi and the ‘we’ represents tangata whenua – not ‘NL’ and ‘me’, since I’m tau iwi as well.


    • Mike 17.2

      Ask those who were denied the vote for generations because of the colour of their skin if one race should have more electoral power than others is a good thing.
      So we need to abolish the Epsom electorate?

  17. NickS 18

    By Cthulhu…

    To everyone using the Apartheid label, please realise you’re trying to marry a dictionary definition, to the causal definition, which is of course, the terrible situation that happened in South Africa with the constant, brutal repression of Blacks, and other people of colour by the white Afrikaans minority. Please then proceed to notice the lack of Maori’s repressing your lilly white arses and using you as virtual slave labour, but also that the lot of Maori in NZ is generally not that bloody good if you’d even bother to look at the stats. Which means that by using the Apartheid label, you’re being not only disingenuous, but also massive f**ckwits.

    • singularian 18.1

      Bullshit Nick, just because it doesn’t suit your political leanings doesn’t mean it’s not true.


      Fuck me, are you thick?

      catchpa – crisis

    • Draco T Bastard 18.2


      • NickS 18.2.1


        Quoted for truth.

        And @singularian The Stupid, It Burns.

        Basically, please explain why using the term apartheid is preferable, to just using the more “apt” term racist, which while still a loaded term, doesn’t carry at all the inhumane baggage of apartheid. Not that I view the situation with the Maori seats as racist, since NZ has legal obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi, which is why the seats managed to even exist instead of being killed off by the courts etc.

        Also, I’m one of those evil secular humanists, which means I’ll vote for what ever party tends to care about not only people in NZ, but also the lot of the rest of humanity. Which leads me to thinking that people who use the term apartheid to describe a situation in which one ethnic group isn’t getting thoroughly abused and ill-treated by another ethnic group, as morons without a sense for human suffering, nor a sense of history.

        • roger nome

          I got an idea – let’s all go to nick’s place and hold a vote on who gets to control the tv. Nick, you’ll get your own vote, and all us lefties will get one each too – fair’s fair huh?

          • Lew

            How about we hold a vote about whether to kill half of his family members, crap on his floor and dig holes in his front yard too.

            And that’s just for a start. There’s no limit to the potential of this majoritari… erm, consensus.


            Captcha: ‘white’. Heh.

            • NickS


              I take it you missed the “evil secular humanists” bit in my post? Because it directly contradicts saying that I’m for simple majority consensus in democracy…

            • NickS

              Wait, sarcasm meter’s broken again, so it’s under-determined to if you’re taking the piss out roger or not…

            • Lew

              I’ll just admit I thought nome was addressing the other Nick.


            • NickS

              Yeah, I really should use another screen name, ’tis the curse of the ’80’s when “Nick/Nicholas” was far to popular a name…

          • NickS

            @roger nome

            I can see where you’re coming from, though I should have made it clear I don’t have a problem with the Maori seats, let alone any of the other stuff that are often grumbled at like treaty settlements and scholarships, which can be defended from a humanist perspective.

            This is does somewhat come across in my above post per;

            Not that I view the situation with the Maori seats as racist…


            Also, should have made it clearer I was using singularian etc’s POV to show that the use of the term apartheid was pretty much irrational, when under their POV, racist also matches, to illustrate the stupidity of using the term apartheid. Rather than holding to it etc.

        • singularian

          OK Nick, you’re right.

          Obviously you and Lew are far more advanced in the intelligence department than me.

          I’ll just slink away to some dark korner of the interwebs now and you can have a little victory dance on your WIN. cue hearty back pats and smug assertions of superiority.

          Also, I’ll get right on to Dictionary.com and tell them their definition of apartheid is wrong because….well….Nick says so.

          Do you even listen to yourself?

          • Lew

            Singularian, there’s no cause for triumph when the victory is against opposition such as this.


          • RedLogix


            Maybe you haven’t yet worked it out that racism is only a bad thing when white people do it. /irony off

            Probably apartheid is not the right word to be using. It really refers to a legal system of exclusion and discrimination that by design disadvantages one racial group vis-a-vis another.

            A much broader and applicable word is racism, which covers wide range of sins, ranging from the personal and explicit, to the systemic and implicit. The underlying driver of racism is founded in the notion of one race being inherently superior to another, and even when not openly expressed, often plays out in many subtle and demeaning ways.

            Allocating political power based on race is in itself neither apartheid, nor racist. Although obviously it has have the potential to become so. New Zealand does have to face a very real and freighted Constitutional debate around the Treaty and where and with whom sovereignty lies. (And recall part of the MP coalition arrangement commits National to just this before 2010).

            We need to enter this debate with good will and honourable intent on both sides. Flinging the mud is not going to be useful.

          • NickS

            What RedLogix said, because I’m as tired as hell…

            Also, dictionaries are not the be all and end all of definitions, else I’d be a very happy biology student, not having to deal with 26 different concepts of what a species is, (though there where only 4 mentioned in class). Which makes evolutionary biology, and philosophy of biology, rather “fun” at times and then there’s the stuff with defining science…

            And just to be an arse, under your definition of apartheid then, is Israel an apartheid system?

  18. jarbury 19

    Well question time should be interesting today. We have three questions on the issue:

    1) Hon ANNETTE KING to the Prime Minister: Does he agree with the reported comments attributed to Hon Tau Henare on the issue of Māori representation in Auckland that “I believe the issue is too far-reaching and too important for a party presently sitting at 1 percent in the polls to decide alone’?

    2) PHIL TWYFORD to the Minister of Local Government: Will he resign as a Minister if Māori seats are included on the Auckland Council?

    3) Hon SHANE JONES to the Minister of Māori Affairs: Does he stand by his statement “It’s definitely a sort of inherent sort of institutionalised racism, in that you’ve accepted one way of doing things, and not respected another cultural norm. They have no right to do that and we will oppose that. I’ll oppose that as a Minister of New Zealand’s government’ and does he think that opposition to the Māori seats on the Auckland City Council is an example of “institutionalised racism’?

    Going for all sides of the issue is good thinking from Labour.

    • felix 19.1

      Good Qs. I wish the Prime Minister would show up now and then to provide some As

      But then he is the Minister of tourism…

  19. no leftie 20

    Here’s the question that should be asked.

    “Should your electoral representation be based on the colour of your skin?”

    Yes or no?

    • Lew 20.1


      “Should your electoral representation be based on the colour of your skin?’

      Moot, since it isn’t. There are plenty of light-skinned Māori, just as there are plenty of dark-skinned tau iwi.

      Please try to sharpen your game. There’s no argument on this thread so far which I haven’t won a hundred times before. It’s tiresome. Is this the flower of redneck youth? How sad, it’s looking almost as tired as Labour.


    • Con 20.2

      No, but no-one’s suggested that. Being Maori and being brown are different things; there are plenty of pale Maori and dark-skinned Pakeha. “Maori” and “Pakeha” are not races but ethnicities.

  20. roger nome 21

    Should complex issues be reduced to stupidly reductionist questions, yes or no? Fox News anyone?

  21. no leftie 22

    Can’t answer the question eh….too hard I guess.

    I’ll stick to easy ones next time like 2+2 or which way is up?

    You couldn’t quite summon the courage to say YES YES YES.

    And the delusions of grandeur Lew about winning hundreds of times before are very entertaining. I’m sure if you say it enough times it will become true(in your own mind at least).

    Anyone else out there got a non-answer…..or be brave and voice a real opinion.

    “Should your electoral representation be based on the colour of your skin?’

    • Lew 22.1

      NL: ok, I’ll bite.

      No, it shouldn’t. Not that this has any bearing on the NZ situation. So what’s your point?


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