Two more Maori MPs

April 6th, 2011 at 4:30 pm by David Farrar

does his maiden speech today, and I expxect will be sworn in as an MP next week. What hasn’t been on is that this increases the number of Maori MPs by two (and sadly reduces the Ginga MPs by one). The House now has 21 23 MPs of Maori descent (have updated post to include two more MPs of Maori descent):

  1. National
    Paula Bennett
  2. Simon Bridges
  3. Aaron Gilmore
  4. Tau Henare
  5. Hekia Parata
  6. Paul Quinn
  7. Jami-Lee Ross
  8. Georgina te Heuheu
    Labour
  9. Kelvin Davis
  10. Darien Fenton
  11. Parekura Horomia
  12. Shane Jones
  13. Moana Mackey
  14. Nanaia Mahuta
  15. Mita Ririnui
  16. Louisa Wall
    Green
  17. David Clendon
  18. Metiria Turei
    Maori Party
  19. Te Ururoa Flavell
  20. Rahui Katene
  21. Pita Sharples
  22. Tariana Turia
    Independent
  23. Hone Harawira

So that is 23/122 MPs are of Maori descent, representing 18.9% of Parliament. Now this means that Maori are over-represented in Parliament, relative to their population proportion. Now I don’t think this is at all a bad thing. My belief is that Parliament should be diverse and broadly representative of NZ, but we shouldn’t have quotas trying to match the makeup of Parliament to the exact population.

But what it does show is how well MMP has worked for Maori representation. We now have seven Maori MPs in , three Maori MPs in general seats (all National) and 11 13 Maori List MPs.

It also reflects my view that one could do as the Royal Commission recommended, and abolish the Maori seats (in exchange for no 5% threshold on the list for Maori parties). Even without the Maori seats, there would be at least 16 MPs of Maori descent in Parliament (and probably more).

Currently as I said Maori make up 18.9% of the House. This contrasts with being 15.2% of the total population and 12.0% of the adult (18+) population (which I deem as the appropriate comparison).

If there were no Maori seats, then there would be at least 16/120 Maori MPs which is 13.3% of the House – almost exactly proportional to the adult population.

I’m not an advocate of removing the Maori seats, without significant consent of Maori. It would cause significant disharmony to do so. But it would be good to have a sensible debate about whether the time has come to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations.

What I like about the RC’s recommendations is you wouldn’t have the tensions of the Maori Party trying to represent all Maori – something that is impossible. With no threshold (effectively meaning 0.6 0.4%) for Maori based parties instead, it means you may get say three different Maori parties in Parliament – a radical Hone type party might get three MPs, a more right ring urban Maori party might get one MP, and an Iwi based party might get say two MPs. It would allow for better diversity of Maori opinion (in my opinion). Plus you’d have the Maori MPs in National, Labour and Greens.

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37 Responses to “Two more Maori MPs”

  1. MT_Tinman (2,983 comments) says:

    Not sure what Ross or Wall look like but ginga maori are certainly not unknown.

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  2. KH (687 comments) says:

    The parliament MP statistics show that we need no arrangement of ‘maori seats’ at all. Nor any other special arrangement. Treaty of Waitangi handed sovereignty to the crown and protection of individuals. If you want to have a maori party ( or indeed a ginga party) its up to you. And you attract the votes or you don’t. Who needs the racist catagories of MP.

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  3. Jack McDonald (199 comments) says:

    DPF, an interesting theory to suggest that Māori based parties could have no threshold. But, how would you constitutionally declare a party a ‘Māori party’. The only way you could do it is to ban Pākehā from those parties, which really wouldn’t go down well in Māori or Pākehā communities. Seems very problematic but happy to be convinced otherwise :)

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  4. Linda Reid (396 comments) says:

    I agree with KH. There should be no accommodation based on race. I do note, however, that National Party Maori MPs are not seen by some as real Maori MPs, because they are not of the left. It’s the ‘right’ kind of Maori they want in power, and fewer of them would be selected or elected.

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  5. trout (898 comments) says:

    I also agree. What’s to stop Winston First registering as a Maori party?

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  6. speters (108 comments) says:

    KH my understanding is that the Maori seats aren’t designed to ensure a certain number of MPs of Maori descent are elected to Parliament – they are designed to ensure a certain number of MPS are REPRESENTING MAORI INTERESTS, i.e. Maori are actually represented.

    Not that I necessarily think the reserved seats are a good thing. I just think you make a huge assumption by thinking that an MP who can trace some Maori heritage is necessarily representing Maori interests.

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  7. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    With no threshold (effectively meaning 0.6%) for Maori based parties instead, it means you may get say three different Maori parties in Parliament – a radical Hone type party might get three MPs, a more right ring urban Maori party might get one MP, and an Iwi based party might get say two MPs. It would allow for better diversity of Maori opinion (in my opinion). Plus you’d have the Maori MPs in National, Labour and Greens.

    No threshold with th Sainte-Laguë method and 120 MPs means an effective threshold of ~0.4% for one seat, not 0.6%.

    1 seat ~0.4%
    2 seats ~1.2%
    3 seats ~2%
    4 seats ~2.9%

    (these numbers increase a bit if there are more parties trying to be one seat parties)

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  8. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    I’m struggling with how you’d know a particular party was a Maori party. I think ACT are probably a Maori party, as their devolution policies and their overall economic policies would be incredibly good for Maori. Would that work?

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  9. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    It is clearly possible to allow for no threshold for Māori political parties in a non-problematic way:

    abolish the threshold for every political party.

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  10. Murray (8,838 comments) says:

    Pita’s all bitter and twisted about Maori being over represented in prsions… why not in parliament?

    He could be on to somethign with his institutionalised racism line.

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  11. Courage Wolf (559 comments) says:

    Firstly, who gives a fuck – and secondly – how are Maori overrepresented? 100% of MPs should be representing 100% of Maori, as well as 100% of any other race who are NZ citizens. Just because you are not a Maori MP does not mean you do not represent Maori New Zealanders.

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  12. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    There are a bunch of different ways one could define a Māori party for these purposes. for example:

    1. the current definition of party requires it t0 have 500 members, you could allow that any party that also has 500 Māori members is a Māori political party.
    2. You could define it as any party with at least half of its members are Māori.
    3. You could go the way the Royal Commission seemed to suggest in its report: any party which represents Māori interests.

    All of these are really problematic. I can only see one way it would actually work in a way to ensure Māori representation in Parliament:

    When applying to register as a party (or to continue registration each year), parties should be required to state whether thye wish to be conisdered as Māori parties. Then, at each election, when filing its list with the Electoral Commission, that party would gain the benefits of being a Māori party if the first person on its list, and three of the top four were Māori.

    Such a process would ensure that if the party benefitted from it (by being exempted from the threshold and getting seats with less than 5% of the vote), then Māori representation in Parliament would increase.

    I am not saying I support this rule (I’d just be rid of the threshold for everyone), but I can’t see any other way which would actually mean anything and work. I think there’s probably a reason that the Royal Commission really didn’t have any suggestions about how this would work, because it is incredibly difficult to actually come up with any way in which it could work.

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  13. KiwiGreg (3,169 comments) says:

    If you hadn’t told me I wouldn’t know half of these were “Maori” MPs – have they outed themselves? Is there some sort of test to determine the requisite amount of “Maoriness”? If an MP has a maori mum and an Irish dad is he a “Maori MP”?

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  14. Graeme Edgeler (3,262 comments) says:

    have they outed themselves?

    Yes. The Parliamentary Library keeps the stats on this. If an MP acknowledges that they are Māori, then they are counted as such.

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  15. Pauleastbay (5,035 comments) says:

    How many Lithuanian /Irish MP’s do we have ?

    Apart from statutory Maori seats, race is a relevant as sexuality. way too much trouble to try and change things here

    DPF says et al …………………….,you wuldn’t have the tensions of the Maori Party trying to represent all Maori –

    Well we have M.P’s attempting to represent all people at the moment in an electorate so whats different? There appears to be this assumption that Maori are altogether different, they are not

    An Iwi based party, fuck, if you want to see splits go to a Hapu meeting let alone the whole kit and caboodle

    Maori are adequately represented seat wise now for the amount of registered voters in the electorates, whether they are adequatly represented by the persons who have been elected is the moot point

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  16. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    About time the Nats grew a pair and put it to a simple vote in parliament to get rid of some hories.
    Of course the Nat uncle toms would be real keen on voting the way they are told.

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  17. pq (728 comments) says:

    New Zealanders will fight hard for our Country,
    we want prosperity again not the poverty of NAT Govt NZ is not doing well

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  18. Manolo (13,312 comments) says:

    Pita’s all bitter and twisted about Maori being over represented in prisons

    And given the state of affairs that statistic will remain unchanged for years to come.
    No leadership, no education, no drive to succeeed among the low socio-economic strata of society do (and will) create inmates for the next few decades.

    Hey, but Pita Sharples got the plastic waka. Isn’t that great?

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  19. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Well fork me :-)

    There’s 7 National MP’s of Maori descent …. and 7 Labour MP’s of Maori descent ….

    Which means the Liarbore Party propaganda that Lairbore represents the aspirations of Maori people much better that that “white racist” National Party ….. is indeed pure propaganda!

    Shit, keep letting that sunshine in, its the best disinfectant to expose the hypocrisy of the “intellectual” and activist left manipulating their flock, the media and NZ society :-)

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  20. niggly (799 comments) says:

    Not only that, but when Hone’s new Muthafukca Party starts spouting off more propaganda and cries crocodile tears that the Maori Party have got too close to the National Government, perhaps they could be reminded that National actually has as many Maori MP’s as his beloved new buddies in the form of the Liarbore Party :-)

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  21. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    Graeme E: Am I right that there is nothing stopping me (or anyone else) with 100% Euro blood “declaring” I am Maori and going on the Maori roll ? (Yes, I could look it up, but you will know the answer!)

    Grumpyold(pretending to be a)hori: Do you really believe the Labour Maori MP’s would not similarly vote as they were told? Were you out of the country for 9 years prior to 2008? How many of them voted against the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act?

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  22. AG (1,759 comments) says:

    “I’m not an advocate of removing the Maori seats, without significant consent of Maori. It would cause significant disharmony to do so. But it would be good to have a sensible debate about whether the time has come to implement the Royal Commission’s recommendations.”

    How about a “constitutional review” carried out by the Deputy PM and Minister of Maori Affairs, that will seek to engage with the NZ public on just this topic? Now … if only there’s enough funding around to allow this to happen.

    “Am I right that there is nothing stopping me (or anyone else) with 100% Euro blood “declaring” I am Maori and going on the Maori roll ? (Yes, I could look it up, but you will know the answer!)”

    No – you are wrong. Section 3 of the Electoral Act defines “Maori” as “a person of the Maori race of New Zealand; and includes any descendant of such a person.” Only a Maori may exercise the option of going on to the general or Maori roll (s. 76). Seeking to enroll on the Maori roll knowing you are not entitled to would be an offence under s.118, punishable by a $2000 fine or 3 months in jail. And I’m sure you wouldn’t want to try to so enroll, just to see if you could get away with it … didn’t work out so great last time.

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  23. David Garrett (6,307 comments) says:

    AG: thanks…even for the sarcastic wit! but unless there is a definition of “person of the Maori race…” it’s a circular argument…how would it be proved that such person who enrolled was NOT such a person?

    All of this is a very good example of why (I think) there used to be a definition of “Maori” based on blood lines, and is still (again, I think) for the Inuit of Canada.

    If neither of those statements are correct no doubt some erudite person will correct me…

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  24. PaulL (5,872 comments) says:

    If a person of the Maori race, or someone descended from such a person is a bloodline definition, then all good. If you can be of the Maori race with no bloodline, then that’s a bit odd.

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  25. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    My next quiz question;
    Which political party has seventy five per cent more Maori parliamentarians than has the Maori Party?

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  26. Tauhei Notts (1,601 comments) says:

    Two of them; National AND Labour each have seven, compared with the maori Party’s four.

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  27. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    “I’m not an advocate of removing the Maori seats, without significant consent of Maori. It would cause significant disharmony to do so.”

    Who cares? Abolish them, they are a joke and represent a rumbling oudated apartheid.

    Let’s have Chinese, Indian, Polynesian and pakeha seats too?

    NZ should move on in a positive TRUE democracy.

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  28. dave (985 comments) says:

    I was told Labour MP Darien Fenton’s mother is Māori , but Fenton does not identify as a Māori MP, nor is she part of Labour’s Māori caucus. Aaron Gilmore is also a Māori MP.

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  29. Put it away (2,888 comments) says:

    “abolish the Maori seats (in exchange for no 5% threshold on the list for Maori parties)”

    I don’t see how replacing one racist undemocratic abomination with another racist undemocratic abomination is a gain. Let’s just eliminate it and replace it with nothing.

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  30. dave (985 comments) says:

    Which political party has seventy five per cent more Maori parliamentarians than has the Maori Party? Two of them; National AND Labour each have seven, compared with the maori Party’s four.

    They each have eight. So that’s 100% more, but the Maori Party MPs are electorate MPs, elected by Maori and represent Maori interests..

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  31. DJP6-25 (1,268 comments) says:

    This is another cogent reason why this racist arrangement should be dropped at the 2014 election.

    cheers

    David Prosser

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  32. KH (687 comments) says:

    to speters
    Seats to ensure maori representation. Why ?
    anybody can form a party. Say farmers. Say Real Estate gents. Say Maori. If there are enough of you. Or you can convince enough others of your wisdom – then you will be represented. And if not – then you won’t be – and you shouldn’t be anyway.
    My pick is that without, repeat without, special catagory of electorate then a ‘maori’ party or perhaps even two such – would gain representation. And whats wrong with that.

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  33. grumpyoldhori (2,410 comments) says:

    Garrett, of course the bloody Labour hori MPs would, do they not like all other MPs take an oath to be self serving ?
    Or was Sir Ed wrong in his statement that MPs were a self serving mob ?

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  34. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    David Farrar

    …, Parliament has 21 (arguably 23) MPs of Maori descent now. This is proof that you don’t need the Maori seats to have Maori representation in Parliament.

    Bah humbug!!

    There are more Maori in parliament due to the fact the PC culture of the day demands both implicitly & explicitly that parliament should be inclusive and representative. All sorts of oddball weirdo’s are part of today’s modern parliament because of just this same sort of reasoning!

    List and general electorate MP’s are not representative of Maori (even if Maori)….they are representative of their electorates and the party who put them on the list. A party claiming to be the “Maori” party is all smoke & mirrors too, they’re just like all the rest at the end of the day, loyal to the party…nothing more, nothing less.

    You bozo’s ignorant ranting belies the fact that only the Maori seats are truly representative of Maori….And why not, it’s New Zealand, the land of the Maori (or is that Sydney’s western suburbs now, never mind). All the pleading to true democracy, what is that by the way, the original Greek version where citizens had a say and slaves stayed at their posts boiling the masters stew or the modern unrealistic “never actually happened” version as espoused by the less sane Kiwibloggers who suffer from “brown peril” fever; and claims of apartheid are just more bullshit too….

    The Maori seats are there so Maori have their say in the political process and to represent Maori issues. Whether the representatives are from party A, B, C, D or Z doesn’t mean shit, the fact the seats are there is and, effectively enshrined is what is important. Eat it, shit heads! You really should be thanking the far sighted instigators of the Maori seats, otherwise you’ll be even more the lackey of the “Man” then you are….they’re the biggest stumbling block to wholesale corporate serfdom today.

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  35. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    Why didn’t the Maori have entrenched Moriori seats when they (meaning the Maoris) arrived in their little war canoes?

    That would have been nice and fair too.

    Oh I forgot the Maori enslaved, killed and ate them all instead.

    They had another form of MMP.

    Mixed Moriori a la Puha.

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  36. Dazzaman (1,123 comments) says:

    Still juiced up in Germany or France Bobbie? Take some advice, stay there…fukn bird brain.

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  37. Bobbie black (507 comments) says:

    Nah, gf home at the mo.

    Thank God she’s an air-hostess.

    It’s a double edged sword though, when I get no booze I get grumpy but clearer, of course sex helps a bit.

    I have a vision, someone will pull out the, I have an English wife card…

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