Friday, January 27, 2023

Cam Slater: Nice Words Chris, but What Are You Going to Do about It?

The problem with politicians is that they like to mouth platitudes but very rarely do they back up those platitudes with action. Jacinda Ardern was a classic at it, uttering bumper sticker slogans, but actually doing nothing. Christopher Luxon strikes me as similar.

At Ratana, he said that he opposed co-governance – for public services. Words matter. He should have said he opposed co-governance – full stop. But he didn’t, he added weasel words.

Now he has done it again, this time hypothesising about race-based seats for Maori.

Fresh off using his platform at this week’s Ratana celebrations to criticise the Government’s approach to co-governance with Maori, National Party leader Christopher Luxon is taking aim at Parliament’s Maori seats.

But despite saying their existence “doesn’t make a lot of sense”, National will still be looking at standing candidates in “at least one or two of them”.

Morning Report host Guyon Espiner asked Luxon about the Maori seats, which are open to candidates of any ethnicity but since their creation in 1867 have been intended to guarantee some level of Maori representation in Parliament.

“Historically, that has been something that we’ve said – look, one person one vote – that doesn’t make a lot of sense in our view,” Luxon replied.

“But the reality is, being quite pragmatic … the Maori seats have been present in our system for some time. They’re not going away.”

Eligible voters actually have two votes in New Zealand general elections – one for a party, the other a candidate – and being on the Maori electoral roll doesn’t actually entitle someone to more votes than a voter on the general roll.

Luxon said the National Party’s historical opposition to Maori seats in Parliament and local government is the “logical conclusion” of believing in “one person, one vote, all equal under the law”.

But he said the “pragmatic” move this year was to stand candidates in them anyway, and denied this was inconsistent with opposition to co-governance.

“It is utterly consistent.”

See what I mean? Wiffle-waffle saying something but saying nothing at all.

Maori seats are race-based. Only Maori can be on the roll for Maori electorates, and only Maori can vote in them. They were always meant to be temporary but somehow, there they still are.

Proposing seats for just Chinese, or Samoans, or dare I say Europeans would be met with scorn and derision and howls of accusations of racism. But advocate for the removal of Maori-only rolls and you’ll again be met with howls of derision and end up being called a racist, despite the obvious fact that the seats are based on race alone.

The Maori electorates essentially gift those seats to Labour, despite the appalling turnouts in elections. It is Maori-mander of the system that largely benefits one party more than any other.

If National stands candidates they always come a distant third or worse. They are the wrong sort of Maori, you see.

Why did Luxon even bother wasting his breath talking about them? It’s as pointless and useless as turning up to Ratana or Waitangi every year just to get slagged off by the actual racists in this country.

Either do something about it Christopher…or shut up and stop wasting your breath.

We all know that National will do nothing, so silence should be golden. Otherwise, we will just have to accept that the bald man speaks with a forked tongue.

Cam Slater is a New Zealand-based blogger, best known for his role in Dirty Politics and publishing the Whale Oil Beef Hooked blog, which operated from 2005 until it closed in 2019. This article was first published HERE


DeeM said...

Chris is still trying to have it both ways.
Co-governance in some things but not others. It won't work. The Maori activists, along with our woke academics and media, will hound him until he gives in.

You have to draw a line in the sand. Campaign on NO co-governance on anything. Get a mandate to govern then go for it.

Chris and the Nats are too wedded to the Treaty as though it is some kind of living document.

Anonymous said...

I will be more inclined now to vote for NZF. Winston Peters has been super consistent over the years on where he stands on NZ citizenship and it's rights and privileges as it stands within the Treaty and the law. We need him now like we never did before.
Chris Luxon doesn't know how to express an idea unambiguously. His brain must be scrambled from thinking of weasel words. We do need a line in the sand with clear policy communication and delivery. It's not looking like National will deliver that any time soon.

Ricardo C said...

To MC. Vote ACT then. Winston shafted us. He couldn't get over his familial spat with National, and instead of the steady hand of Bill English who did the work while John earned his Knighthood by bequeathing us with UNDRIP, Winston bequeathed us with Jacinda and the 4 and a 1/2 year nightmare. Get a grip!