Monday, May 21, 2012

Mike Butler: Nelson, Wairoa oppose Maori seats

Even Nelson MP Nick Smith thinks the race-relations commissioner is out of line in calling for a law change to make Maori seats on councils a right, rather than leaving it to the public to decide. Commissioner Joris de Bres made his call after residents in Nelson and Wairoa voted against attempts to create separate Maori wards. Results were announced at the weekend.

In Nelson, with just 15, 387 votes received by the cut-off at midday on Saturday -- a 43.4 percent return -- there were 12,298 votes (79.41 percent) against the proposal and 3131 (20.22 percent) for it. Preliminary results of the official poll in Wairoa show that only 47.3 percent of electors opted to exercise their right to vote, with 1306 (51.89 percent) against and 1207 (47.95 percent) for.

A similar poll held by the Waikato District Council early last month rejected separate Maori representation. Of the 12,672 (30.16 percent) electors who voted, 10,111 were against the idea, while 2517 favoured it.

Last year, De Bres wrote to all councils, asking them to consider the question of Maori seats in their three-yearly representation review. He said that the Human Rights Commission had identified Maori local government representation and Maori involvement in the decisions of the new Auckland Council as being among the top 10 race-relations priorities for 2010.

Environment Bay of Plenty regional council established three Maori seats in 2001. Voter turnout for the three Maori constituencies in 2010 was between 27 percent and 41 percent.

De Bres says he would lobby for a law change during a review of the New Zealand constitution.

But Dr Smith said that the race-relations commissioner was going well beyond his brief telling New Zealanders what sort of representation options work best for them and him effectively. Dr Smith says his concern is that would be counter-productive to good race relations.

Councils around the country are able to decide every three years whether or not to introduce Maori wards. The polls were carried out as a result of petitions presented to the councils earlier this year. The results are binding for at least the next two triennial elections in 2013 and 2016.

Nelson is the only council in the country to have a dedicated Maori representative role on its executive. It also has a Maori forum, Kotahitangi Hui.


Auntie Podes said...

How strange - no comments so far on this one. It is amazing how people are so reluctant to express any anti-Maori-seperatism views. Of course it is due to a fear of the outburst of "racist" accusations which always result. Strange, too, that anti-whitey (aka Pakeha) is perfectly acceptable.

Thank goodness that people are able to express their view in the secrecy of the ballot-box else it would be assumed that we all supported the Maori separatist/empowerment moves.

Chuck Bird said...

People are free to express views like Mike Butler has and no reasonable person should call him a racist. However, there is a big difference between opposing race based seats and an out and out racist rant like Crimp had.

jon said...

Crimp would be a racist if and only if he said he did not like maori because they were maori.
As far as I can tell he said no such thing.

Chuck Bird said...

jon as you do not consider Crimp a racist what is your view of Hone, Annette Sykes, Peter Sharples to name a few Maori?

Mike, what is your view Crimp and John Ansell? Do you think Ansell going on about cannibalism would help git rid of Maori seats or entrench positions?

Mike Butler said...

"Racism", according to the Concise Oxford Dictionary, is the theory that human abilities etc are determined by race, and "racialism" denotes belief in the superiority of a particular race. We have a problem in this country in that because Maori are presumed to be disadvantaged, a wide-ranging programme of race-based affirmative action has been going on since 1985 in the belief that it would end the disadvantage. All debate, therefore, takes place in this racially defined context, and anyone willing to speak out on the race issue is called racist.

Chuck Bird said...

Mike, I am opposed to race based seats as our a number Maori. I am also oppressed to the current F & S legislation. However, I believe people like Crimp and Ansell are part of the problem not the solution.

I was pleased to see Don's response on FB to my query about Crimp. I quote, "Chuck, I think intemperate remarks such as those made by Mr Crimp are very unfortunate, are

I am opposed to whaling as is the NZ government. Do you think it would help negotiations if NZ public criticised Japan for their barbaric treatment of prisoners in WW II?

ACT was having enough problems on its own without Crimp's help.

Do you honestly beleive that comments from Crimp and Ansell are going to help NZ adopt one electoral roll?

Mike Butler said...

Chuck, I agree that highlighting the weak points of an opponent will alienate rather than endear that opponent. However, the Consumerlink/Colmar Brunton poll indicated around 70 percent opposition to the past 27-year experiment with "biculturalism", which is simply racial division by another name. This is what I believe Louis Crimp and John Ansell have spoken out about, and if that is the case, I applaud both for doing so, even though both have used words that I would not necessarily use.

Chuck Bird said...

Mike, I have trouble understanding your point. Who is the opponent you are referring to?