Maori Seats for Auckland?

November 15th, 2010 at 6:43 am by David Farrar

Audrey Young reports:

Auckland Mayor has given an undertaking to the influential Iwi Leadership Group to talk to the new about dedicated on the council. But no quick decisions are expected to be taken.

Mr Brown attended the group’s hui at Takapuwahia Marae in Porirua on Saturday as a guest.

Maori Affairs Minister Pita Sharples asked Mr Brown to attend the hui with him.

The request to discuss Maori representation on the council was put by Tainui leader Tukoroirangi Morgan and Ngati Whatua leader Naida Glavish.

Mr Morgan said last night that Mr Brown gave an undertaking to discuss the issue with his new council which has only just been sworn in.

He had said it was a serious issue and it would be discussed comprehensively.

I have two objections to Maori seats on the Auckland Council – one principled and one pragmatic.

The principled argument is that race based seats are a bad thing, and over time will lead NZ to a Fiji type situation.

The pragmatic argument is that there is no problem to solve.

In the Auckland region, Maori make up just under 10% of the population (and only 8.3% of the adult population). On the Auckland Council, 3 out of 20 Councillors or 15% have Maori descent.

Mr Morgan and Dr Sharples said there was no support for getting the issue tested through a referendum.

It would be a brave Council that introduced race based seats on its own initiative, without letting the people have a say.

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69 Responses to “Maori Seats for Auckland?”

  1. Adolf Fiinkensein (2,794 comments) says:

    You silly bastards all voted for him.

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  2. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    What have these Maori and rust got in common?
    Well they both never sleep.

    When is Key going to get rid of maori seats. His Govt. is in charge.

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  3. alex Masterley (1,490 comments) says:

    Tuku Morgan can push off as well. He should focus on the mess that is Tainui.
    And I see that there is no aknowlegment of the fact that there is already Maori representation on the council – Jamie Lee Ross from memory has maori whakapapa. He didn’t need a guaranteed seat to get onot council.

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  4. Komata (1,110 comments) says:

    Here we go again, ad nauseum, ad infinitum

    Demcracy, according to Mr Brown (ironic name in a way) is dead – so long as you have a sun-tan bro’ you’re in – and you don’t have to do nuffin. Easy eh?

    Anything to gain votes it seems.

    Sad really. . .

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  5. Lee C (4,516 comments) says:

    Well, this is a turn up or the books. personally I think it is a good idea to include Maori in a way which acknowledges their role in the development of Auckland. Wasn’t the city established on land granted for the purpose of building Auckland up from iwi in the first place? All this measns is that consultation and acknowledgment of Maori may be integrated into the decision-making process in a sensitive and inclusive manner. It is not merely about the percentage of Maori in Auckland – it is about acknowledging their role in the creation and establishment of the city itself. They should never have been barred from it in the first place… Now I know this will anger a few people, but it’s time they realised that, Maori exist, and are not going to simply fade away because people cover their ears and go ‘La-la-la-la’ everytime they are mentioned. It’s a racist subtext to a human rights violation and should be redressed in as many ways as possible.

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  6. Manolo (13,362 comments) says:

    On the same theme: what happenned to National’s election campaign promise of abolishing the Maori seats?
    Very conveniently fogotten after its unholy alliance with the racists. Neville Key’s lack of spine is called political pragmatism these days.

    Welcome to our version of South Africa’s apartheid.

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  7. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    DPF:

    On the Auckland Council, 3 out of 20 Councillors or 15% have Maori descent.

    This is about representation of Maori, not about some tokenistic exercise to ensure a percentage of councillors are of Maori descent. The fact that 15% of the councillors happen to be of Maori descent doesn’t necessarily mean that Maori are represented by them at all – in fact they were in each case elected to represent a demographic that is predominantly non-Maori.

    [DPF: So are you saying Metiria Turei does not represent Maori as she is not in a Maori seat? And Maori do have representation - as Aucklanders]

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  8. dave (985 comments) says:

    Toad is talking about substantive representation of Maori, I think, which DPF feels shouldn’t exist. Perhaps he could explain why, because his principled and pragmatic arguments don’t really explain why substantive Maori representation should not exist.

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  9. John Gibson (295 comments) says:

    Simply having Maori on the council does not represent those people / groups who claim to represent Maori interests.

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  10. Viking2 (11,128 comments) says:

    Because it racist and Tainui were not the Aucklnd Maori. Ngati Whatua were.

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  11. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @dave 7:27 am

    Exactly, Dave.

    Green Party policy is to affirm that Te Tiriti o Waitangi remains a living and fundamental constitutional document, acknowledges the indigenous language version of Te Tiriti as the legitimate text of an agreement that described the rights and responsibilities of hapu and the Crown, and the Green Party believes there is a need for an ongoing dialogue grounded in Te Tiriti, both to give effect to the relationship that it enshrines, and to build a high level of awareness among all citizens of the unique role of Te Tiriti in our nation.

    Metiria articulates that policy well, but her mandate to do so is derived from the predominantly non-Maori membership of the Green Party which agreed to that policy, rather than from Maori.

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  12. MT_Tinman (2,989 comments) says:

    Toad is talking about institutionalised racism Dave.

    He’s in support of it.

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  13. big bruv (13,279 comments) says:

    How ironic that Toad is all for apartheid in NZ but marched against South African apartheid.

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  14. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    What on earth is the “substantive representation of Maori” that DPF thinks should not exist? How delicious looks like leftwing racism to me. Those Maori on the Auckland Council are not ‘real’ Maori I think is what you mean.

    Interestingly, Len Brown is wheeling and dealing on representational matters for the Auckland Council in Porirua not in Auckland itself. A good start.

    Note too the skittishness about a referendum on this matter so that Aucklanders actually decide the question.

    This is a case where a politician is being caught up in an inconvenient pre election promise. Brown will look to the Councillors to get him off the hook: ‘can’t get the numbers’. He cannot be seen to be breaking his own oft repeated promise.

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  15. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    In the Auckland region, Maori make up just under 10% of the population (and only 8.3% of the adult population). On the Auckland Council, 3 out of 20 Councillors or 15% have Maori descent.

    Just under 10%?

    Stats NZ appears to disagree.

    Auckland region stats (11.1%)

    New Auckland Council stats (10.52%).

    [DPF: I was citing Stats NZ data on that stat - specifically their 2010 population estimates for the Maori population.]

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  16. MT_Tinman (2,989 comments) says:

    # big bruv (7,412) Says:
    November 15th, 2010 at 8:09 am

    How ironic that Toad is all for apartheid in NZ but marched against South African apartheid.

    To be fair Big Bruv I doubt he marched against it a couple of years later when the Rabuka lout installed exactly the same system in Fiji.

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  17. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    Our amphibious Toady friend misleads.

    There is no Treaty right to Councillors on the Auckland Council. Indeed to find such a ‘Treaty principle’ (i.e. partnership) one has to overcome the explicit wording of Article 2.

    This stuff is well travelled ground constitutionally especially in the US. ‘Separate but equal’ based on race is not the equality promised. The Treaty of Waitangi promises the equality of rights to Maori. Nowhere should the State be more careful than in creating different representational rights based on race.

    That said, let’s have a vote on it in Auckland – not deals in Porirua.

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  18. calendar girl (1,173 comments) says:

    “It’s a racist subtext to a human rights violation and should be redressed in as many ways as possible.”

    Lee, there are many of us who are opposed to reserving specific seats on the Auckland Council solely for Maori candidates and voters. I hope that your comment (as quoted) is not attempting to brand us as “racist” because of that opposition, but I’m struggling to find any other meaning in your words.

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  19. dime (9,427 comments) says:

    Dam, some of you leftists are just damaged as fuck.

    Is it white guilt? Jealousy? Abused as children?

    Encouraging racism is never a good thing.

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  20. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Toad believes Maori are such a pathetic inept and sub par people that they are unable to operate in the world without being treated like a race of Ralf Wiggens who need to be spoon fed success of they will naturally fail.

    On behalf of all Maori here who are me Toad, I don’t need or want your liberal white guilt trip or your bloody hand-outs for the genetically inferior and ancestorally challenged. Go pat another people on the head and say whose a clever boy then.

    But naturally I’m a “racist” so my opinion can be discarded.

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  21. dave (985 comments) says:

    Substantive representation is most commonly interpreted as policy responsiveness to the extent to which representatives enact laws and implement policies that are responsive to the needs of citizens. In the context of Maori representation it is more about what the action of representatives, and who they are elected by, as opposed to the colour of their skin. The fact is, that those who elect dedicated Maori representatives in our parliament all have similar skin colour , as they are Maori on the Maori roll. I assume any dedicated seats in local body elections are similarly to be elected from Maori rolls.

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  22. Graeme Edgeler (3,267 comments) says:

    I assume any dedicated seats in local body elections are similarly to be elected from Maori rolls.

    That is the current situation. But it does not appear to be what is wanted by people pushing for a change in Auckland.

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  23. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @big bruv 8:09 am

    You’re trolling again bruv.

    Under apartheid in South Africa, legislation classified inhabitants into racial groups (“black”, “white”, “coloured”, and “Indian”), and residential areas were segregated, including by means of forced removals. Black people were deprived of South African citizenship, legally becoming citizens of one of ten tribally based self-governing homelands called bantustans. Interracial marriage and sexual relations were made unlawful, black people were provided with segregated services that were greatly inferior to those of whites, public beaches, swimming pools, some pedestrian bridges, drive-in cinema parking spaces, graveyards, parks, and public toilets were all racially segregated.

    It was an evil and appressive system, and I was proud to march against it, just as I was proud last year to join the hikoi in favour of Maori representation on the Auckland Council, which will help to give practical effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi and will work to politically empower, rather than oppress.

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  24. adze (1,863 comments) says:

    Well, if they do implement Maori seats in Auckland, it will steal the thunder from Hone’s son who is planning mass protests around the RWC.

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  25. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @Murray 8:28 am

    …your liberal white guilt trip or your bloody hand-outs for the genetically inferior and ancestorally challenged. Go pat another people on the head and say whose a clever boy then.

    But naturally I’m a “racist”…

    Your reference to “genetically inferior and ancestorally challenged” confirms you are a racist, Murray.

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  26. Scumsucker (59 comments) says:

    ‘It would be a brave Council that introduced race based seats on its own initiative, without letting the people have a say.’

    You are completely clueless as to how socialists operate.

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  27. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    On Dave’s reasoning representation is all about ethnicity. One cannot ‘represent’ anyone outside one’s own ethnic group. Representation isn’t about the issues or public policy choices its about race.

    That paragon of leftwing virtue (Sir Paul Reeves) oh he of the 3 separate but equal Anglican Houses, tried all of that in Fiji. Hours and hundreds of thousands spent on a constitution that allocated parliamentary seats on the basis of race.

    Mmmmm what happened?

    It shows one how much the new left have moved about on this issue.

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  28. jackp (668 comments) says:

    It is not merely about the percentage of Maori in Auckland – it is about acknowledging their role in the creation and establishment of the city itself. They should never have been barred from it in the first place…Lee C

    Lee C, with all due respect, why don’t Maori just do the obvious, run for office? The Maori elite have over 18 billion dollars in assets, that would certainly buy some political ads. Peter Sharple and Turia are just 2 examples of winning their electorate. It can be done though Turia said it couldn’t (which sounds hypocritical to me)

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  29. big bruv (13,279 comments) says:

    Do you think you will ever tell the truth Toad?

    What you propose is NZ’s very own version of apartheid (I do not need a lecture from you on the evils of South African apartheid thanks, unlike you I was against it for the right reasons, you and your mates Locke and Minto wanted to see an end to apartheid only if it was replaced with communism)

    The modern translation of the term Apartheid is ‘separate development”, that is exactly what you support.

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  30. big bruv (13,279 comments) says:

    Toad

    “Your reference to “genetically inferior and ancestorally challenged” confirms you are a racist, Murray.”

    Does that mean that moonbat Delahunty is a racist as well Toad when she said that Maori are superior to non Maori?

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  31. dime (9,427 comments) says:

    Toad – I suspect it was sarcasm.

    Reckon you’d still be an advocate for maori seats if they were all right wingers?

    Or would you be promoting race based seats for pacific islanders?

    I feel for maori kids. Forever being told they arent as good as white kids. that they need special help. they need caring white people to look after them. its just sad. insulting too.

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  32. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    The use of the word “hypocritical” for Turia is entirely appropriate. She demands preferential treatment based on ethnicity, yet one of her parents wasn’t a New Zealander.

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  33. dave (985 comments) says:

    On Dave’s reasoning representation is all about ethnicity.
    Actually it is more about substantive representation. Historically, a big part of dedicated representation, for Maori , has been that Maori choose its own representatives. That’s the rationale behind the current parliamentary Maori seats. Similar Maori representation in local govt is a little more complex, however, when taure here, tangata whenua, and urban Maori wishes are thrown into the mix.

    So its not “all about” ethnicity.

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  34. kowtow (7,616 comments) says:

    Karl du Fresne in his latest blog poses the question;

    Why does the govt.treat the shadowy Iwi Leades Group- a trbalelite with no democratic legitimacy or mandate- as the voice of Maoridom?

    Why indeed?

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  35. James Stephenson (2,024 comments) says:

    That’s the rationale behind the current parliamentary Maori seats

    The Maori seats existed to ensure representation for people who owned land communally when land ownership was a qualification for voting.

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  36. Manolo (13,362 comments) says:

    “Why does the govt.treat the shadowy Iwi Leades Group- a trbalelite with no democratic legitimacy or mandate- as the voice of Maoridom?”

    Because this group has the power to bring votes. It is able to tell its deeply ignorant followers which candidate to support and which to oppose.

    Politicians from either side of the spectrum will continue to curry favour from this shadowy group.

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  37. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Race based seats are an attempt to create division. They facilitate the organisation of people along nebulous and arbitrary race based lines making the assumption that there is somehow much more commonality to self-identified members of that “race” than they have with all others. Of course, one does not have to go onto such a roll, but expectations theory suggests that more than would otherwise be inclined to organise in such a manner if there were no such seats mandated will. Them doing so won’t necessarily reflect shared commonality either – it will reflect perception of shared commonality, possibly even coming from above. It also institutionalises what is effectively a voting block which will not act in the best interests of all those in the region (although sometimes the interests may intersect) and an “us and them” mentality where if you’re not in the block you’re going to be perceived as not acting in the best interests of whatever “race” has been given the seats (see toad’s and John Gibson’s comments above for a perfect example of this). While such seats are democratic in the sense that they are proportional in terms of representation (to my knowledge) they are distortionary and pervert incentives in a way that is negative for society and democracy.

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  38. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Also there will be a much smaller pool of candidates to draw from, which could potentially lead to problems in terms of capture of interests and candidate quality, particularly if higher quality candidates, such as those who are on the Council already, do not wish to contest race-based seats.

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  39. toad (3,669 comments) says:

    @dime 9:00 am

    Or would you be promoting race based seats for pacific islanders? …I feel for maori kids. Forever being told they arent as good as white kids. that they need special help.

    No, dime, I don’t support dedicated seats for Pasifika. The justification for the Maori seats is not affirmative action (or “special help” as you put it) but giving effect to the partnership created by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

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  40. John Gibson (295 comments) says:

    Toad – which always gets back to the question of who Maori are ?

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  41. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Lee C>It is not merely about the percentage of Maori in Auckland – it is about acknowledging their role in the creation and establishment of the city itself.

    Some of my ancestors were early Auckland settlers. I’d like to see their role acknowledged with a couple of seats reserved for their descendants. No need for these seats to be filled by election… we early settler descendants have our own superior ways of selection. And it doesn’t matter that I live in Wellington, since geographical location doesn’t effect my early settler rights.

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  42. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    toad said “The justification for the Maori seats is not affirmative action but giving effect to the partnership created by Te Tiriti o Waitangi”

    So toad, under this “partnership”, I presume you give half your personal income each year to Maori?

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  43. davidp (3,540 comments) says:

    Toad>The justification for the Maori seats is not affirmative action (or “special help” as you put it) but giving effect to the partnership created by Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

    This partnership conflicts with modern notions of human rights which hold that all people are equal, regardless of ethnicity. It’s like you’re arguing for the retention of hereditary seats in the UK House of Lords on the basis of the partnership established in the Magna Carta.

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  44. RRM (9,447 comments) says:

    This thread will go to 200+ comments.

    I know this because it has “Maori” in the title.

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  45. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    If an electoral system discriminates against a racial minority – and there’s no proof that NZ local body electoral systems do this – there are other ways of helping, such as by considering other voting systems, such as STV (single transferable vote).

    What Brown is suggesting and what the NZ Maori Party seek is an apartheid style, race-based electoral system. That puts Brown in the intellectual, political, and moral company of Verwoerd, Strijdom, and the Afrikaner Broederbond.

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  46. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    Oh Dear our Dave invents “substantive representation” which is somehow different to “representation” simplicitor.

    All Maori are lumped together – they have a “corporate view” which cannot “substantively represented” by anyone other than those elected under a race based franchise.

    Not for him the universal franchise. Just a play with words.

    He then goes on to reinvent history regarding the Maori Seats in Parliament. In truth the New Zealand Constitution Act provided for an individual property based franchise that did not permit communal property owners to vote. Maori males mostly had property interests in communally owned land at the time.

    Hence the origins of the Maori Seats. Nor is the subsequent history any better. In fact the history is shameful, as shameful as much of the conduct of the State has been towards Maori.

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  47. gazzmaniac (2,317 comments) says:

    About time to get rid of the maori seats, and relegate them to the annals of history, where racist policy belongs.

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  48. kowtow (7,616 comments) says:

    Which of the 3 articles creates “partnership”?

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  49. JiveKitty (869 comments) says:

    Ahh, Kowtow, it’s all in the interpretation, don’t you know?

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  50. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    No matter how Toad tries to weave a defence of political racism, he fails.

    Race-based voting is racism, full stop!

    In New Zealand, with our very high incidence of intermarriage it is becoming increasingly difficult to identify who is whom from our two main races, and that’s a bloody good thing IMHO. It accounts for many of the very “European” looking people wearing Maori symbols around their neck to announce they identify as Maori, and many people with Maori heritage identifying as Pakeha.

    This adds a potentially sinister twist to race-based voting. Will we all require DNA testing in future? If qualification for voting in race-based seats is just by personal announcement of identity, how long before political supporters begin rorting the system to control racial seats?

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  51. backster (2,076 comments) says:

    If a vote on the issue of a separate Maori Ward being created is decided, then the sitting Councillors will need to decide who will give up their seats to keep the Council at the level of 20 members.

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  52. questlove (242 comments) says:

    Race-based voting is racism, full stop!

    Actually it’s mana whenua representation based on first occupancy. Mana whenua representatives coming from the two Auckland tribal groups Ngati Whatua and Tainui. Iwi is not a race.

    “It is, however, first occupancy, or mana whenua, not race per se that justifies guaranteed representation. Auckland’s local iwi never surrendered power and authority over their traditional lands and resources and can therefore make a fair and reasonable claim on the wider community for guaranteed representation as a way of protecting their role in the ongoing governance of the city.”

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  53. Paulus (2,500 comments) says:

    Can somebody please explain to me “Who/What is a Maori”?. I understood there was no such person now as a Maori.

    They are all interbred with other nationalities, as were my forebears. Hybrid really.

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  54. kowtow (7,616 comments) says:

    The “first occupants” are long dead!

    It’s us here now,citizens of a democratic New Zealand.

    The rest is just making it up as you go along……partnerships ,principles,mana whatever…..

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  55. questlove (242 comments) says:

    “Can somebody please explain to me “Who/What is a Maori”?. I understood there was no such person now as a Maori.

    They are all interbred with other nationalities, as were my forebears. Hybrid really.”

    Your understanding is off. Here’s a pro tip: Non-Maori don’t get to decide who is or isn’t Maori.

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  56. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    Mana whenua seats are not possible under the Local Electoral Act 2001.

    They would require a law change. They are in affect a subset of race based seats.

    There is no traditional right to Seats on Auckland Council. Nor are they anything to do with the rights retained by Maori in the Treaty.

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  57. Banana Llama (1,105 comments) says:

    Looks like Auckland Super City is on track to being a complete failure, whats the bet it will be broke and unpopular (Dose it even have 50% support now?) before the end of the decade.

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  58. dave (985 comments) says:

    Mana whenua seats are different. My understanding is that they are by appointment, not election. I understand they had non-Maori selections in Canterbury a bit like that except they were govt appointees, not selected by iwi, local Maori or local anyone.

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  59. Chris Diack (723 comments) says:

    You are referring to the sacking of ECAN (Canterbury Regional Council) for non performance and its replacement with temporary commissioners. Elections for the Council will be held in 2013. Commissioners are a departure from democratic control. This is nothing like Mana Whenua seats.

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  60. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Questlove, posting at 1.47, denied that the Maori seats sought for Auckland are race based:

    …Actually it’s mana whenua representation based on first occupancy. Mana whenua representatives coming from the two Auckland tribal groups Ngati Whatua and Tainui. Iwi is not a race…

    So South African apartheid wasn’t race based either, because the Afrikaners are not so much a race as a group within a race (like iwi or tribes), and because (Questlove’s second point), the Afrikaners “…never [willingly]surrendered power and authority over their traditional lands and resources” to the British.

    Questlove, defending Auckland race-based seats, uses the same type of contorted argument that the Afrikaners used trying to defend apartheid.

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  61. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Questlove again, posting at 2.24:

    …Non-Maori don’t get to decide who is or isn’t Maori

    Exactly the same as with the Afrikaners in racist South Africa, Questlove. The Afrikaners dictated who was to be regarded as white, “coloured”, and “Bantu”. The “coloured” or mixed race folk and black Africans had no say in the race definitions.

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  62. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Further to my 4.30 post: Questlove will likely contest my assertion by saying that Maori decide who is Maori not who is non-Maori.

    But the Afrikaners similarly dictated who was white, both fully white, and who was part white, and everyone-else was among the rest.

    If Maori are not only to have race based seats in Auckland local government, but will alone decide who is Maori, the parallel with apartheid South Africa grows from disturbing to alarming.

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  63. questlove (242 comments) says:

    “So South African apartheid wasn’t race based either, because the Afrikaners are not so much a race as a group within a race”

    Flawed analogy. Afrikaners excluded people based on their skin colour regardless if these people had Afrikaner heritage. An iwi distinction is based on whakapapa and so people with mixed heritage are not excluded, and their appearance is irrelevant.

    “Exactly the same as with the Afrikaners in racist South Africa, Questlove. The Afrikaners dictated who was to be regarded as white, “coloured”, and “Bantu”. The “coloured” or mixed race folk and black Africans had no say in the race definitions.”

    Again, Maori aren’t telling anyone with Maori heritage that they’re not Maori. It’s based on whakapapa. People without Maori heritage defining a group that they’re not part of – is racist.

    If Maori are not only to have race based seats in Auckland local government, but will alone decide who is Maori, the parallel with apartheid South Africa grows from disturbing to alarming.

    Only if you have an inadequate understanding of the extremely different situations.

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  64. sooty (53 comments) says:

    Seats please for the other ethnic groups

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  65. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Questlove posted at 5.38 on what he regards as the distinction between apartheid and race-based Maori seats for Auckland:

    Afrikaners excluded people based on their skin colour regardless if these people had Afrikaner heritage. An iwi distinction is based on whakapapa and so people with mixed heritage are not excluded, and their appearance is irrelevant.

    So Auckland Maori seats would be a mirror image – a transform – of Afrikaner apartheid. The one distinguishes racially on having at least some of one race’s genes, the other distinguished on having one race’s genes only. In both cases this is racism — unscientific, undemocratic, unjust, stupid, and morally wrong.

    Moreover, the Auckland Maori-seats model resembles another racist regime, that of the American Confederacy. It followed a one-drop rule – one drop of non-”white” blood and you were out, while the Maori seats proponents also have a “one drop” rule – one drop of Maori blood, or relevant tribal blood, and you are in. As with other race-based regimes, the benefiting group is sole arbiter of who is “in” or “out”. Here the arbiter would be the tribes’ whakapapa. The keeper of these records would be supreme and final judge of eligibility.

    Time to forget this undemocratic rubbish. Maori are smart and fully capable of winning at least proportional representation through standard voting systems. Democratic competition will bring out the best representatives for Maori, for Auckland, and for NZ. It’s demeaning to suggest Maori require special reserved representation, a privilege over fellow New Zealanders.

    Also, reserved, race-based seats might well quickly become mere sinecures for tribal leaders.

    Look forward, not backwards.

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  66. questlove (242 comments) says:

    “So Auckland Maori seats would be a mirror image – a transform – of Afrikaner apartheid. The one distinguishes racially on having at least some of one race’s genes, the other distinguished on having one race’s genes only. In both cases this is racism — unscientific, undemocratic, unjust, stupid, and morally wrong.”

    Again, Iwi is not a race, it’s a common genealogy, like an extended family. An example to clarify is someone being a shareholder in Ngai Tahu. To be part of this family business you have to prove descent from someone listed as being a member of Ngai Tahu in the 1848 Census. This is different to ‘race based’ and obviously many Maori having “at least some of one race’s genes” – are excluded.

    “Moreover, the Auckland Maori-seats model resembles another racist regime, that of the American Confederacy. It followed a one-drop rule – one drop of non-”white” blood and you were out, while the Maori seats proponents also have a “one drop” rule – one drop of Maori blood, or relevant tribal blood, and you are in. As with other race-based regimes, the benefiting group is sole arbiter of who is “in” or “out”. Here the arbiter would be the tribes’ whakapapa. The keeper of these records would be supreme and final judge of eligibility.”

    If you’re having someone representing your family it seems reasonable to at least expect that person to be from your family.

    Also to further the point (going back to the Ngai Tahu example) – some of the members of the iwi recorded in the 1848 census are not ethnically Maori but nonetheless were then and are now regarded as Ngai Tahu and their membership has never been disputed. If someone provides documentary evidence that they are descended from these ethnically English and Scottish men, this is a legitimate claim for a “shareholding” in the “family business”.

    “It’s demeaning to suggest Maori require special reserved representation”

    I (like both the major parties) think that Maori should be the ones to decide when they go.

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  67. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Questlove posted at 7.38 that “iwi is not a race, it’s a common genealogy…” That sounds a definition of race. What is a race if not common genealogy?

    Questlove agrees that someone within the iwi would decide who was and who was not eligible to vote. Mmhh.

    He also talks of some Ngai Tahu recorded in 1848 as being not Maori, yet “their membership has never been disputed.”

    Someone may be able to give details of the 2005 or thereabouts case of Ngai Tahu’s whakapapa chief, one Terry Ryan I believe. He apparently proved to be non-Maori though a kaumatua for a number of Christchurch organisations. The fact that there was apparently a ruckus about this within Ngai Tahu when the facts of Ryan’s ancestry emerged would contradict Questlove’s statement “their membership has never been disputed”.

    However, we’re getting off track.

    Race based voting systems, whatever the race, are wrong. Maori can win seats in open non-racial elections, and don’t need reserved, race-based seats.

    The whole concept of race is a bit of a mirage, a dangerous mirage, IMHO.

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  68. questlove (242 comments) says:

    “What is a race if not common genealogy?”

    *sigh* I can only guess that you’re purposely being obtuse as what I’m saying is pretty straightforward.

    Race is a broader term which includes all Maori. Common genealogy is a more specific term referring to iwi.

    Mana whenua representatives can only come from the two Auckland tribal groups Ngati Whatua and Tainui and so this selection cannot be race based as many Maori aren’t part of these groups.

    You can continue to erroneously state that iwi based seats are raced based, that’s your freedom.

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  69. Jack5 (4,589 comments) says:

    Questlove at 8.09 denies Maori seats for Auckland will be race based because they will be reserved for two groups within Maoridom – members of two local tribes.

    Questlove no doubt would similarly argue Ngai Tahu or Ngati Porou are not racial groups because many Maori aren’t members.

    What unbelievable, illogical nonsense! You might as well argue that the Nazis were not racists when they murdered Jews because they “actually” murdered Ashkenazim, Sephardim,Romaniotes, and Mizrahim.

    Questlove’s claim is as illogical as defending apartheid by alleging it wasn’t racism because Afrikaners were the most favoured group and not all white people are Afrikaners.

    Or as illogical as defending the slave-owning Confederacy because not all white Confederate citizens were slave owners.

    Or as illogical as defending the Ku Klux Klan by claiming its not racist because klan members were/are only a subgroup of white people.

    Maori seats for Auckland local bodies are racist, no matter how you try to misrepresent them, Questlove.

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