Yes – this will be a significant challenge for the Labour Party’s campaign to retain at least one Maori seat. However, perhaps more important is the question of what Fox’s candidacy and probable election to Parliament will mean for the political nature of the Maori Party?
As I’ve argued before, the Maori Party is essentially a centrist party with leftish and rightish factions and tendencies. I assume that Fox will push the Maori Party caucus towards the right. I assume also that he’d be a force in favour of negotiating with both Labour and National after the 2008 election. Does anyone else have any particular insights about the political implications of Derek Fox’s candidacy?
I hope hope hope Labour loses them all. They’ve done nothing for Maori, yet have retained the vote. They’ve never deserved it so I’m elated they’re losing their grip on them.
It disgusts me to see tools like Nanaia Mahuta in government on the Labour party ticket. Her election is a real testament to the stupidity of Tainui, at least Parekura works hard for his (soon to be former) electorate.
Listening to Fox on National radio one thinks that he will be a bitter old bugger who will tend to blame colonial influences for all thing bad in Maoridom. Sometimes he does make sense but he can also be a winging old separatist. Hell cause trouble as he wont shut up.
I’m not so sure about that view, Paul. A house of representatives that approximated as closely as possible the proportions of ethnicites, sexes (let alone genders), religions and sexual orientations in the country wouldn’t necessarily proportionally represent how those people would like the country to be governed.
For example, if there are no homosexual right-wing MPs, do you think a gay right-winger would rather be represented by a straight man who shared politics or a gay man who he completely disagrees with?
I understand there are minority-group concerns that are difficult to appreciate unless you come from that minority. But an Asian person’s views on government are surely broader than that limited number of issues that specifically affect the Asian community.
Graeme makes a good point. Fox is a businessman – he will go National or Labour based on what is best for him and MP. But by having kept Poananga out of Parliament, that does reduce a barrier to going with National as she is very radical.
Your point John Dalley? Did you have one? If all treaty grievances are settled then it makes sense to disestablish the Maori seats. I’m not sure the Maori party would disagree with that. It wouldn’t really impact their representation – those who vote for the MP on the Maori Roll would presumably move to the general roll and keep voting for the MP.
Paul- “We have a long way to go in correcting previous injustices than going down the road of abolition of the seats. However having said that , it’s not a bad thing if they go, just for the right reasons.”
What do you think are good reasons? While I don’t think the Maori seats have been justifiable for decades, my main concern is that even if they become reduntant and Maori do not need them any more to be fairly represented, as long as there is any advantage at all to be gained from the Maori seats, Maori will never consent to abolish them.
I believe that in the next twenty years or so demographic changes will mean that the Maori/Pacific island section of the popultaion will make up such a significant proportion of society that a seperate roll and seperate Maori seats will be completely redundant anyway.
Re the indigenous Canadian example, the first nation canadians are an interesting study but not more than superficially comparable with Maori. Our land mass, political and societal background and the Treaty relationship here in NZ make us a hell of a lot more complicated.
It is interesting in my view that the increasing nature of Maori political voice also represents the growing differences between the NI and the SI. 1 million in the SI and there is not even enough to have a single maori electorate. The discussion on the growing force of Maori in politics for us simply represents a dispropriate focus on one group over others. In Chch for example the basic view is that Te Tai Tonga is not won in the SI at all but win Wellington region and you win it. It is also ironic that in Chch is the National Marae, but we have no politicians with a Maori background. I must admit I was a little surprised that Labour can’t seem to find a strong SI maori voice. I think Derek F will make a good representative of his people and at least he looks a more healthy role model for young Maori.
Arseholed from Maori television for alleged harassment of a talking head, cost his employer heaps, a huge chip on his shoulder and an unhealthy hatred of all things not Maori to go with the chip and a personal life that he’d like to leave out of any character reference. A healthy role model my arse.