Let me be clear. All my life I have argued for Maori to have a fair shake. I marched in the streets in 1960 against an all-white All Black team going to South Africa. Same in 1981 when the South Africans chose to send an all-white team to New Zealand. When as Minister of Internal Affairs I chaired the 1990 Commission it funded many initiatives such as building a dozen new waka to give Maori pride of place at Waitangi in the Queen’s presence on 6 February. As Minister of Local Government I supported local councils consulting Maori when issues important to them arose. I’m the first to acknowledge that Maori haven’t always been treated fairly. But I abhor the ignorance demonstrated daily by Jacinda Ardern’s government, her acolytes, ministers like Nanaia Mahuta and Willie Jackson, and their bureaucracies in the name of “equity”. In between all his other commitments, what efforts has Education Minister Hipkins, or his CEO Iona Holsted, made to ensure that our school children are taught factually accurate information about Maori and Pakeha history? I’d award them a fail mark on what I’ve seen of the school curriculum. Same for what the Minister of Broadcasting – yes, Willie Jackson – prescribes for RNZ and TV. If those ministers and bureaucrats had to pay fines for the inaccuracies appearing on things under their control they’d be bankrupt.
If only Jacinda, her cabinet and her caucus had been better educated, or read more, they might be embarrassed by what is being done in the name of promoting Maori. Why didn’t they tell us at election time what they intended doing? Why the sudden surge of misleading pro-Maori propaganda the moment the election writs were returned? Is it now the sliding poll support for the Labour government that has led them to step up their preoccupation with Three Waters and a costly re-structuring of the health services in the name of greater control by Maori before they lose office?
The worst aspect of all this is that the government’s relentless pro-Maori push is seriously damaging race relations in New Zealand. The 83 percent of our population who aren’t Maori – people like Chinese and Indians who have come here to work hard and to get ahead, not to mention the many generations of Europeans – have to watch rewards going to people on the basis of ethnicity rather than work ethic. Hard-working, talented Kiwi without a drop of Maori blood – and that’s all that most self-designated Maori possess – are passed over for promotion and a place in the sun under this government. The hermit kingdom they call “Aotearoa”, with its tightly controlled borders, has become a social laboratory aimed at facilitating a takeover of authority by a small racial minority backed up by a false narrative.
Historian Dr Michael Bassett, a Minister in the Fourth Labour Government, blogs HERE.