Thursday, March 11, 2010

Frank Newman: Race based seats on councils

Calls by the Race Relations Commissioner (and supported by Super City mayoral candidate, Len Brown) for race based representation on the council are foolish. I do not accept so called minorities suffer any more or less discrimination than any one else in our society. There is no evidence that voters do not elect “minority” candidates where those candidates are credible.

One does not need to look very far for examples. On my own door step for example, the Whangarei District Council has a (part) Maori mayor and a Maori deputy mayor (who is quite open about representing Maori interests). They were elected by the people at large, on their own merits. Of that they can quite rightly be proud as it shows they are equals and do not need a free pass.

Mandated minority representation has some insidious assumptions. It assumes they can’t foot it on their on merits. They can and do. It assumes the majority discriminate against minorities. They don’t.

In my view those who advocate for racial privilege are in fact damaging race relations in this country, not fostering it.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Yes, the fact that there so many public representatives are from minority ethnic groups - including Mayors - shows what a fool the Race Relations Commissioner really is!