Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Karl du Fresne: Separatism alive and well in the health system

The steady creep toward separatism continues. In a recent advertisement seeking a new chief executive for the New Zealand Nurses Organisation, the preamble stated that [the] NZNO “embraces Te Tiriti O Waitangi”. It went on to explain: “Te Runanga o Aotearoa comprising our Maori membership is the arm through which our Te Tiriti o Waitangi partnership is articulated”.

The ad then listed some of the attributes sought in the appointee. These included “a proven track record of successful implementation of Te Tiriti O Waitangi within an organisation”.

But hang on a minute. The Treaty was between the Crown and the signatory tribes. It was about sovereignty and governance. What relevance could it have to the running of the nurses’ union?

But wait, there’s more. Another desired quality in the new CEO was “ability to implement biculturalism within an organisation with consideration to Matauranga Maori” – Matauranga Maori meaning traditional Maori knowledge.

These requirements were listed above virtually all others, so we can assume they are considered more important than leadership experience or negotiation and advocacy skills, which were well down the list.

Do you get the impression something is seriously out of whack here?

The health sector, along with education, has long been susceptible to woolly language and feel-good ideas about biculturalism.  But I have yet to hear anyone explain how anyone, other than a privileged Maori elite, will benefit from the creation of a divided society.

I’m no fan of Winston Peters, but he was right when he recently condemned  “the warped view that Maori will only progress if they have a separate system for everything”.

Karl du Fresne blogs at 


Richard said...

Spot on Karl. My wife decided after retiring after 40 years of work to make a contribution through voluntary work. While I'm biased of course, she is a very capable woman who started her own IT company which trades successfully and gloablly. She aproached, amongst others, an organisation apparently set up to assist (all) women trying to escape difficult / violent relationships. She was sent a questionnaire which at number 1 had something like "How familiar are you with the Principles of the Treaty etc." Naturally, before completing the questionnaire, she first enquired how that was relevant to the service of women in such relationships. You will not be surprised that there was no reply forthcoming. It's a worry. However I'm equally pleased to report my wife has found herself a very satisfactory and rewarding alternative voluntary occupation, perhaps because it involves (mostly) other than human animals.

Anonymous said...

I was astonished to discover that I was not appropriate to go on the bone marrow registry as I wasn't in a desired ethnic minority i.e. "They aren't aking my sort". Apparently my white, Anglo-Saxon ancestry didn't make the cut to be processed and placed on the database. Although I have just 1/1000 chance of being asked to make a donation to save someones life, I was marginalised as not required. I was even more shocked to discover two of my generous, sadly "white" friends were also turned away from the blood service (they run the marrow registry) for the same reasons.
It galls me to think that some committee of jumped up racists have decided that despite the statistics and pakeha/europeans all over the world un able to find donor matches for bone marrow I am not suitable as a donor.
Just goes to show that this isn't just about money, it's about life.
I often wonder how many profiles might've been a match for me or any one of the white under class in NZ - how many people might've died? All because I don't have a teaspoon of Maori blood. I'll know better next time. I'll lie.

Anonymous said...

Reading the advertisements, I gave up applying for Government jobs years ago as I'm only a well-educated Pakeha who believes in treating all people equally, sensitively and with due respect - no matter what their ethnicity. I was discriminated against before I even applied!