Monday, February 14, 2011

Michael Bassett: Len Brown and Maori

Wednesday's report that the new Auckland Council had pushed through a budget of $3.43 million to fund an unelected Maori Statutory Board for Auckland is a disgrace. Len Brown and his Council should hang their heads in shame. So, too, should Rodney Hide and John Key who let it happen, despite earlier protestations that there would not be separate racial representation on the Auckland Council.

The new council's allocation of ratepayers' money to unelected people to play games with, engaging and reporting to the Maori Community, researching the well-being of Maori when 101 other publicly-funded agencies are doing the same, and with nearly $1 million allocated for staff costs that aren't explained, brings shame on every councillor who was party to the rushed decision.

Rodney Hide and John Key must immediately turn their minds to legislating a satisfactory arrangement for Maori advisory services to the new council. A form of parallel government by Maori who are the fourth largest ethnic group in the Auckland area, with an overwhelming number of them hailing from outside of the council's area, and therefore unable to claim tangata whenua status, cannot be tolerated by sane people. Even if the majority of them were tangata whenua, no credible case can be made for what is occurring.

What this National-led government seems to be pushing is separatism within a country that has always thrown its small but significant strength in world forums against any form of apartheid. Tens of thousands of New Zealanders marched in the streets 30 years ago against apartheid and the visit to New Zealand of a racially selected Springbok team. Today many of those same marchers must be cringing in corners as Len Brown, who was elected by a majority of them, marches onwards toward parallel forms of local government ­ one elected, and the other seemingly with a right to mail invoices for ratepayers' money without any proper public scrutiny. This process must be stopped in its tracks.

If Len Brown lacks the commonsense to understand that he has gone too far, then his council must re-think the issue. Failing that, the responsibility lies with central government. Three days after we celebrated the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi that guaranteed Maori "the same rights and duties of citizenship" as the rest of us, we must pull back from this new arrangement being implemented by the Auckland Council. It clearly bestows special privileges on Maori and goes way beyond any reasonable interpretation of any Treaty obligations.

Michael Bassett was an Auckland City Councillor, Minister of Local Government 1984-90 and a member of the Waitangi Tribunal 1994-2004.

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

Dr Bassett says, "Rodney Hide and John Key must immediately turn their minds to legislating a satisfactory arrangement for Maori advisory services to the new council." No way. If there is to be one law for all then maori should not have consultation rights any greater than any other enthic group.

Anonymous said...

They (Aucklanders) should have voted for the other guy and this would not be an issue. The Soft modern urban generation should read more history to learn how not to be taken in so easily. The antagonists will continue to push and demand for the lot just to see how far they can go. The guilty and gullible elite will always fall to the guile antics of the amtagonists and eventually lose. Who dares wins!

Anonymous said...

Lesson For Len Brown.
One country, One people, One government, One Term!!

Anonymous said...

I like the comment re treaty of Waitangi " The same rights and duties of citizenship as the rest of new Zealanders " Thank goodness I am not an Aucklander. We only have the seabed and foreshore to worry about. Barry Jones

Anonymous said...

LOOKS LIKE THEY ARE AGAINST YOU TAMAHERE. YOU KNOW I STILL CAN NOT UNDERSTAND THESE REDNECKS AND YET I AM BORN OF THEIR RACE???I CAN DO RESCEARCH OF MY OWN RACE BUT WOULD NOT BE PROFICIENT IN RESCEARCHING THE MAAORI RACE AS THEIR SPIRITAL AND METAL VALUES ARE DIFFERENT, AND WHO KNOWS THEIR CULTURE BETTER THAN THEMSELVES

Anonymous said...

Im sure anon feb 15 @ 1.02pm has deep meaning... a little cryptic perhaps.....and not born of intellect logic or reason, but overall a great contribution.
Try Thorazine.

Anonymous said...

What is happening to our Country ?I was totally against Apartheit Yet here we have Government creating separatism /It allows a minority to have a vote as a ratepayer ,and again because of ethnicity ,They can control expenditure ,Yet are not elected ! Len Brown is in a job he is underqualified for ! Key And Hide have not told the electorate the true cost or ramifications of the Super City ,and that is a disgrace ,Both should resign !!!

Godney said...

Pity that with all his supreme popularity former money-market gambler John Key has failed to call an election far earlier in his term. He could have claimed he required a full mandate to run NZ without need of any other party. The form of pragmatism he plays is to tread on everyones toes lightly hoping the votes he might lose on one hand will be compensated for by the votes he gains on the other. Hardly what National people voted for.

Anonymous said...

There were many mayoral candidates in the Auckland Council election but only two were promoted by the NZ Herald and the noise media. I did not vote for either.

In future all candidates and parties must be treated equally and get equal coverage. The media's attack on democracy must be forbidden by law.

What we are seeing is not quite apartheid as that would forbid interracial marriage. I would never marry a maori woman though but that is only because She would never let me.

Anonymous said...

Well obviously your views are part of the minority as Len Brown was voted stating his intention so you should hang your head in shame Michael Bassett. If you really don't like it move south way down south where you won't have any problems with brown boards just white ones.