Thursday, July 28, 2022

Heather du Plessis-Allan: Māori ward legislation change is clever politics from Nanaia Mahuta

This is a clever move by Nanaia Mahuta to try to essentially force Māori wards on councils, or at least make it very hard for councils to resist introducing Maori wards.

Mahuta has slipped a change into a piece of legislation that will make it mandatory for councils every six years to consider whether they should introduce Maori wards.

When they meet for their six-yearly Representation Review, the first step councils must take must be a decision about whether to establish Māori wards or constituencies.

That makes it very likely, doesn't it, that a lot of councils will opt to introduce Māori wards. Because if they consider the wards and then actively choose not to introduce them, what are they?

They’re racists.

And no one wants to be called a racist so they’ll probably just end up taking the easy option and introducing the Māori wards.

Clever politics, Nanaia.

And what’s more, because she popped these changes into an omnibus piece of law with a whole bunch of other boring, technical changes for local elections most people seem to have totally missed it.

In fact, from what I can see, no one’s reported on it in the 26+ hours since she put out her press release.

What’s especially clever here is that Nanaia is forcing something on ratepayers that ratepayers don’t want, but really can’t stop.

Māori wards are historically deeply unpopular. In the nearly two decades since 2002, 24 councils tried to introduce Māori wards and only two ended up being successful.

For example, Taranaki: their attempt in 2015 ended up voted down by 83 percent of ratepayers.

But Nanaia’s now changed the environment so substantially that it feels like Māori wards are now more likely than not.

Remember last year? She took away the right of ratepayers to have referenda on Māori wards. Now, 35 councils will have Māori wards or constituencies at this year’s election

You can say a lot of disparaging things about Nanaia Mahuta but what you have concede is that when it comes to really applying herself to undermining democracy she can be very strategic and clever.

Well played Nanaia.

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


Anonymous said...

"the most open, most transparent Government that New Zealand has ever had" Yeah Right

Aotearoa the beer ad

Anonymous said...

Quite similar to the propaganda department of the nazi party to be honest. History shows that we never learn from history, particularly in nz where people aren't wary like they are in europe.

Anna Mouse said...

The weakest link in our democratic chain is this Labour Government. Soon the likes of Mahuta and co will break the link and the democractic chain will fail (it literally is cracked and snapping today).

Once that link is gone MahutaCorp and co will become the new leaders of the Aotearoa Ethno-Oligarchy and New Zealand as we have conhesively been applauded as the longest liberal democracy in the world will become an historic footnote.

DeeM said...

You've chosen the wrong word - clever!
Deceitful, underhand, manipulative - yes, all those apply, but most certainly NOT clever.

We seem to have a generation of parliamentary and local politicians who take delight in enacting policies that the vast majority oppose. They clearly have no idea what democracy means and think their job is to impose unpopular policies by any means possible.

Terry Morrissey said...

Yep. The next ammendment will include one of her rellies or Jacksons or Davis mates to be appointed to each local body. No other qualifications required. The precedent has been set with the approval of the PM so let it rip.

Anonymous said...

We will be the Zimbabwe of the South Pacific within a year....they should all be put up against a wall and .....

Roger said...

Nanaia Mahuta didn't come up with the clever idea of Maori wards - this was scripted to her by the global governance council (United Nations) - they are on the march.