Friday, July 2, 2021

Heather du Plessis-Allan: We are well down the path of politicising ethnicity


There’s a brilliant piece online today by Auckland University Professor Elizabeth Rata talking about He Puapua, the government discussion document on separate Maori systems. 

She argues we are at a crossroads as a country: we either decide to be a democratic-nationalist one, where there is only one category of people which is citizenship and everyone is entitled to the same treatment, or we decide to become an ethno-nationalist country, where we are divided into ethnic groups, and those who got here first claim “a particular political status with entitlements not available to others”.

She says if we go ahead with the kind of thinking in He Puapua, that there should be separate courts, a separate chamber of parliament, a separate health authority for Māori, and we end up moving towards the latter, where ethnicity is politicised.

As I say, she says we’re at a cross roads. She’s wrong, I think. We’re way past that. 

This is the new normal. Arguing against it is unusual and brave because we are that far down that track.  

On Thursday Willie Jackson, the Minster for Māori Development, gave a speech where he announced the next steps on He Puapua, which is to come up with a strategy. 

ACT then revealed that government agencies now need to make sure that at least five percent of their contracts are given to Māori businesses.

James Shaw is back in the news again for his comment a few weeks ago blaming ‘a group of Pākehā farmers from down south’ for giving him troubles with his land plans. He could’ve just said farmers, because that is the common feature of the group that is motivating their actions, but he threw Pākehā in because he was talking to a Māori radio station.

It’s hard to come to any conclusion other than that he was deliberately using ethnicity as a tool of division. He was using it like a slur. 

Grainne Moss got pushed out of her job running Oranga Tamariki amidst calls for her replacement to be Māori. She was the wrong colour for the job in the end.  

I hate the fact that we are doing this to ourselves. That we’re making colour a thing when we are better than that and should be moving in the opposite direction.  

But I think it might be too late. I suspect we’re already well down the path towards believing that one ethnic group should receive greater entitlements than any other, and I don’t think any major political party has the courage to turn that around.

Heather du Plessis-Allan is a journalist and commentator who hosts Newstalk ZB's Drive show.


DeeM said...

ACT have consistently championed the democratic system where everyone - regardless of race, colour, gender, sexual orientation and all the other ways our woke leaders try to divide us - gets the same treatment and equal opportunity.
National have a more chequered past on this but Collins has recently come out strongly against the He Puapua proposals.
So, NZders do have a political choice and if they have any sense they need to exercise that choice at the next election.

Willie Jackson smiled his sanctimonious smile and told all us non-Maori not to worry. Of course he would say that. He stands to gain massively out of this while 85% of us become second-class citizens.
This could be the most damaging and destructive government NZ has ever seen if it stays in office long enough to enact its racist, separatist agenda.
Forget "be kind". Try "be fair, honest, open and reasonable". That would be a start but for this government they're too far gone.

CXH said...

The one good thing is at least Willie and all other Maoris will need to leave Labour, National etc. and just sit in their own fiefdom. Surely, once this separatism comes to pass, all those with Maori blood will be excluded from being a part of the 'others' group.

Ross said...

Why don't people just make the argument simple --what the He Puapua document wants is apartheid in NZ?

DeeM said...

That may be true CXH, but if the upper house materialises, Maori will get 50% representation so they will hold a veto over all the decisions parliament makes. 15% controlling 85% - maybe Jacinda was never very good at maths.
What gets me is that most of the government's ministers fall into the non-Maori 85% group yet they're all in favour. That tells you what a bunch of muppets are running NZ when they can't even figure out their own policies will disadvantage themselves, never mind the majority.

Ray S said...

When the separatists finally get what they think they want, it raises the question of who pays for the separate organisations and where will all the staff come from. Certainly not from Maori.
Having duplicate systems will incur significant costs on an already cash strapped country.
Only one outcome I can see.
DeeM, have you ever known a politician to disadvantage themselves?
No,of course not.