Sunday, May 17, 2015

Mike Butler: Another no to Maori ward

Fourteen polls one message was the graphic response of advertising specialist John Ansell upon Friday’s news that 83 percent voted against establishing a Maori ward in New Plymouth.

Ansell created a graphic with that title to show that whenever a contentious Maori issue is put to a vote, opposition ranged from 52 percent against (Maori wards in Wairoa which has a Maori population of 46 percent) to 95 percent against (discharge from conviction for the Maori king’s son).

From the 45 per cent voter turnout in New Plymouth and the 25,338 returned votes, 21,053 people were against the creation of the Maori ward, with only 4285 in favour of it.

New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd, who championed the proposal, said he was disappointed with the result and would lodge a complaint against the Crown about the legislation he believed victimised Maori and intends a further complaint to the United Nations.

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox demanded to know “Where is the Treaty of Waitangi relationship reflected in local and central government? Fellow co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell called the result “another blow for Māori representation and confirms the unjust nature of the legislation that is supposed to provide for Māori wards.”

Councils are required by the Local Government Act 2002 to provide opportunities for Maori to contribute to council decision-making processes, and to foster the development of Maori capacity to contribute to these processes.

Local Government Commission chairman Basil Morrison, who is also a member of the Waitangi Tribunal, interprets this as requiring separate Maori boards of people appointed by new tribal groups created by central government through the treaty settlement process.

Another functionary of that commission, Grant Kirby, told me in a submissions hearing that partnership was a “treaty right under article 2”. Kirby did not explain how he got partnership and Maori boards out of article 2 which says:
The Queen of England confirms and guarantees to the chiefs and the tribes and to all the people of New Zealand, the possession of their lands, dwellings and all their property. But the chiefs of the Confederation of United Tribes and the other chiefs grant to the Queen, the exclusive rights of purchasing such lands as the proprietors thereof may be disposed to sell at such prices as may be agreed upon between them and the person appointed by the Queen to purchase from them.
The New Plymouth vote followed a similar vote in Northland in March and coincided with debate in Rotorua over a “partnership plan” in which 2000 people put in submissions on whether to set up a separate board elected by Te Arawa members to provide appointees for council committees with voting rights on two committees.

Voters in the Far North District Council’s referendum on the establishment of Maori wards were 68 percent opposed. Of the 38,946 electors on the electoral roll, just over 35 percent or 13,624 voted in the referendum, with 68 percent or 9,315 opposed to Maori wards and 32 percent or 4,309 in favour.

The result is even more notable because nearly 44 percent of the Far North District is of Maori descent – well above the national average of around 16 percent.

A number of Maori voiced opposition to both proposals in letters to the editor with one observing that with local body elections next year any who supported a Maori ward or Maori board should put their names forward as candidates.

The numerous Maori politicians in local and central government is evidence that our present system of rights based on citizenship, not ethnicity, probably already caters for the Local Government Act 2002 requirement for “Maori contribution”.

Ansell’s 14 polls one message – the full list:
95% -- No to discharge of Maori king’s son
87% -- No to Maori special voice in Rotorua
85% -- No to Maori housing in Bay of Plenty
83% -- No to Maori ward in New Plymouth
81% -- No to Maori being special (Closeup)
81% -- No to Maori names for North and South Island
80% -- No to “h” in Wanganui
80% -- No to Maori wards in Waikato
80% -- No to Maori wards in Hauraki
79% -- No to Maori wards in Nelson
79% -- No to Maori seats (CAP submitters)
79% -- No to Maori compulsory in schools
68% -- No to Maori wards in Far North (pop. 44% Maori)
52% -- No to Maori wards in Wairoa (pop. 46% Maori)
The wider Maori population does not necessarily support the push for a special deal for Maori. That push comes from a small group of people, not necessarily Maori, who populate treaty settlement entities and government bodies.


A.G.R. said...

I find this insistence by a few Maori descendants who consider themselves superior to all others of the same race offensive to the point of being insulting. Maori descendants who have joined the civilised world are perfectly capable of portraying their views & standing for public office. Many are members of all political parties, while others have successfuly been elected to councils throughout the country. Sadly Socialism has taught a proportion of society that life is a free ride, so less & less personal effort for improvement is forth-coming. This situation will get progresively worse now that parents are learning that they don't even have to get out of bed in the morning to feed their children, as school will provide breakfast & lunch. Which of course teaches these children that life is a free ride.

Anonymous said...

Given those poll results Mike, why haven't they all just packed up their tents and gone home!?

Brian said...

The results show very convincingly that the majority of New Zealanders do not want an apartheid Local Government system in New Zealand.

We have the wishes and percentage points of the majority now discounted in New Zealand, the smacking issue being a case in point. Since we became in reality only half a democracy, now only able to elect just over half our M.P.’s to Parliament under the MMP system, the rest being merely political appointees. Democracy itself has suffered a major setback in this country.
It is now a product of apathy and total selfish interest of electors and ratepayers, especially so with the rather bleak outcome of when, not if, Super Councils become a reality. One might sit back and remark “Stew in your own juice”. Or You get what you deserve’!!! As it is, there are few voices being raised against the inclusion of Maori being included into Local Councils on an appointment basis, due in part to the fear factor of racism.

What a situation for what was once a country that prided itself on its democratic principles! Fought and died for those self same principals which are enunciated yearly on Anzac Day; a betrayal of a magnitude which defies logic, and reduces us to the level of those “One party States” which the United Nations so sanctifies, when it condemns Western Nations for their role of colonialism.

Maori Wards, Maori appointments are a cancer of the electoral system and our society, it is not as if Maori have been forbidden democratic rights; anyone who has the will and fortitude to stand for Local Government can do so. The belief that it is a right to inhabit by an appointment system Local Bodies because of race, colour or creed is an attempt to re- impose an earlier Baronial feudal concept. This is ironic in the 800th Anniversary Year of the signing of Magna Carta, not only our founding document, but of all Western democracies. (A factor which seems to escaped our Media and political parties in their overwhelming desire for complete nationalism in fortress New Zealand.

If Local Government continues to ignore the percentage factors that Mike has assembled, then it bodes very ill for our descendants and is an indelible stain upon those who have carried the flame of freedom and democratic election process throughout the ages.