Green logic

June 8th, 2012 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Former National MP has launched a petition opposing on the Waikato regional council, saying people just need to “get off their arse” if they want proper representation.

Last year the council voted to establish two Maori seats in time for the 2013 local body election.

Ms Goudie said the concept of Maori seats also went against elected representatives’ fiduciary duty to represent everyone in their community “not just one sector of society”.

Council chairman Peter Buckley said almost a quarter of Waikato’s population was Maori but there had never been elected Maori representation on council.

That figure by itself means little. What would be essential to know, is how often have there been Maori candidates standing who failed to get elected.

I note Auckland Council has three Maori Councillors, with no special race based seats in place.

Green MP said the regional council had got it right, adding councils were required under the Local Government Act to encourage Maori participation.

“I think what Sandra Goudie is proposing is a big step backward in terms of race relations in New Zealand particularly when the Government is actively looking at Maori representation in local government.

“You can develop much better relationship and decision-making if you’ve got Maori represented at the decision-making table. What we’re hearing from Sandra Goudie is basically a request to enshrine institutional racism into regional local government.”

So Green logic is that not having race based seats is racist!!!

I think Roche should win the 1984 award for doublespeech.

 

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48 Responses to “Green logic”

  1. Longknives (4,411 comments) says:

    Who on earth is this bonkers woman Denise Roche??

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  2. northern (44 comments) says:

    See also Mai Chen’s article in today’s NZ Horrid: “Quotas don’t always work”: http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10811231
    I’m proud to point out that here in Porirua we don’t have any quotas or race-based seats yet always return a set of councillors who (serendipitously) reflect this city’s diversity. Of 14 councillors (inc NZ’s youngest Mayor) we have 6 women; 3 Maori; 3 Pasifika; and ranging in age on election from 19y.o. to 75y.o. It was similar in the last triennium too. And what is best IMO is that that diversity happens naturally, democratically, organically and without any artificial discrimination.
    If Porirua can do it, why can’t everyone else?

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  3. Keeping Stock (10,092 comments) says:

    Isn’t the phrase “Green logic” an oxymoron? The two words seem mutually exclusive.

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

    That figure by itself means little. What would be essential to know, is how often have there been Maori candidates standing who failed to get elected.

    One obvious Maori candidate at the last election.

    However, we should recall that Environment Waikato uses block vote, which is notorious for under-representing minorities. Not impossible to be elected, certainly, but a bare plurality can turn into not just a majority, but close to unanimity.

    If it was elected under STV in two or three constituencies over the whole region, some level of representation on an equal basis with others would be more likely.

    Perhaps Sandra Goudie would like to advise her preference between Maori Constituencies and STV?

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  5. backster (2,074 comments) says:

    How on earth would chairman Peter Buckley know whether or not any Maori have succeeded in getting elected to council. You don’t need to be brown to be maori. You are still maori if your great great great grandmother was a quarter caste maori and you have no need to boast about it unless you wish to qualify for special privileges.

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  6. Scott Chris (5,870 comments) says:

    So Green logic is that not having race based seats is racist!!!

    Racism is generally held to be negative discrimination, not positive discrimination. (not that I agree with selectively positive discrimination within the public sector)

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  7. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    “Quotas don’t always work”

    From which it would obviously be fallacious to infer that they never work.

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  8. Rightandleft (627 comments) says:

    Seems to me like positive discrimination is itself an oxymoron. The majority of New Zealanders oppose these special race based seats and there is no constitutional justification for their creation. The Greens’ preference for these racist seats are one of the worst policies they have. The Maori seats in Parliament were only meant to be temporary back when they were created in 1867, created only because voting rights were based on property ownership and Maori didn’t own individual titles to property. We should be eliminating the anachronism of Maori seats in Parliament, not creating more on local boards.

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

    Northern – Porirua uses STV. Results like those you have pointed out almost never happen under Block Vote, which most regional councils use.

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  10. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    The Greens are committed to making “te tiriti” work

    http://www.greens.org.nz/features/standing-tall-te-tiriti-o-waitangi
    They are fuzzy on what it means, but admit it doesn’t mean one -man-one -vote.

    “I am very excited that we are moving into a more sophisticated era under Te Tiriti o Waitangi, and we are moving beyond the limited concept of conservative Pākehā that one man, one vote is the only manifestation of democracy possible in Aotearoa.’
    http://www.greens.org.nz/speeches/more-sophisticated-era-under-te-tiriti-o-waitangi

    they soften the blow by talking up indigenous society (especially as it relates to the environment)- despite the evidence.
    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151417.htm

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  11. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Rightandleft (86) Says:
    June 8th, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Seems to me like positive discrimination is itself an oxymoron
    …….
    and just as Queen Victoria didn’t believe there was such a thing as lesbianism I struggle with the concept of racial masochism yet it seems to be a feature of a group who look around and feel they are totally against and not a part of “the system”.

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  12. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    It’s interesting the focus placed on the “race-based” seats with little or no acknowledgement that there is a problem at all. The voting system clearly discriminates against minorities thus inevitably resulting in under-representation for Maori and encouraging voter apathy.

    This notion that elected representatives are supposed to represent their entire constituency is a convenient fiction for those who sit in a position of power and have no interest in sharing that power. If one required unanimous support to win then that may be true, but since one is only required to win a plurality then their only real incentive is to support that group which gives them power. If only society in real life wasn’t characterized by disputes between various factions that have opposing interests.

    So long as FPP remains as the voting system then it is perfectly logical to support Maori constituencies as a way to engage a significant minority constituency in the region. Insinuating that race-based seats in this context are racist would seem rather disingenuous. It is quite a different matter to the Maori seats in Parliament.

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  13. James Stephenson (2,010 comments) says:

    I think Roche should win the 1984 award for doublespeech

    I’m starting to see why she’s such an expert on what constitutes a “fuckwit”.

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  14. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/12/101213151417.htm

    “The cores showed several high-severity fire events occurred within two centuries of known Māori arrival in the 13th Century.”

    Presumably one of those events was when Maui visited Mahuika. Another was probably when he was giving the Sun the bash with his jaw-bone. :)

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  15. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Why should the interests of Maori be any different from those of Pakeha (or is it about where they launch their canoes or something)?

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  16. Rightandleft (627 comments) says:

    Roche is again going back to that old line about the indigenous people somehow being better guardians of the environment than Pakeha who came later. The Maori were by no means excellent environmentalists. The moa was hunted to extinction and much of the native forest was destroyed prior to any Pakeha setting foot in NZ. Considering Maori only arrived in NZ around the 13th Century that is a pretty bad record.

    The idea that one man, one vote should be replaced by a race-based franchise is frighteningly anti-democratic! The Greens love to talk up the Treaty, but which version are they talking about? The English version basically says one law for all. The Maori version says Maori govern themselves and Pakeha law doesn’t apply to them as they only signed away “Kawanatanga.” If we went with that version we’d need to have a separate Maori Parliament. The answer to this conundrum has been to talk about vague ‘principles’ of the Treaty, ones which have no constitutional history or definition.

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  17. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    hj,

    No one’s interests should be different. In fantasy land we all have the same interests and so elections are not needed at all. :)

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  18. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    RightandLeft,


    The idea that one man, one vote should be replaced by a race-based franchise is frighteningly anti-democratic!

    Define democracy. I understand it to mean governance representative of the people being governed. But if representatives win with a simple plurality and everyone else’s votes are discarded then that can generate some pretty unrepresentative outcomes and can make it difficult to impossible for minorities to have any say whatsoever.

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  19. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    this is what should happen for councils and the Govt:
    50% split male female
    15% Maori
    15% Pacifica (a new word seen more and more)
    10% Asian
    balance whities
    and across that mix, 10@ must be gay

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  20. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    I assume you’re being sarcastic jabba?

    I don’t care what race a leader is. True leaders are people with insight into issues (such as urbanist Jane Jacobs).
    p.s
    I don’t think the Green Party hop-heads who think New Zealand can operate other than a democratic meritocracy have anything to offer (other than a good example of nuttership)

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  21. Longknives (4,411 comments) says:

    Jaba- What about Albinos?? Surely our Milky friends deserve equal representation….

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  22. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    yes hj BUT don’t think that some PC nut-job hasn’t considered it
    Longknives .. to qualify they would need to be over .499% of the population

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  23. Cunningham (811 comments) says:

    Weihana (1,893) democracy should be that anyone has the ability to be elected regardless of race. Maori have just as much opportunity to go out and get elected as anyone else. If they are put in by default then how do we know there wasn’t a more capable candidate who missed out because of that? It should always be the best person for the job and if that turns out to be a maori person then that’s great. NZ as it is today would be happy to vote for a person regardless of race and our parliament is indicative of this.

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  24. jaba (2,089 comments) says:

    it wasn’t that long ago that a similar argument was had over the lack of Maori/PI’s in sports management/coaching positions .. they are now all over the place .. 3 of our S15 teams have Maori/PI coaches

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  25. Tom Jackson (2,458 comments) says:

    The idea that one man, one vote should be replaced by a race-based franchise is frighteningly anti-democratic!

    Not necessarily.

    A democratically elected council is supposed to be representative of constituents (i.e. not merely an instrument of mob rule). It so happens that for various reasons (e.g.having entrenched minorities) the results sometimes leave some groups without much in the way of representation. All that means is that a democratic process sometimes doesn’t deliver a representative outcome. We’re then left with a couple of alternatives. The first is to hold to the principle of democracy (one person one vote) and the second is to hold to the purpose of democracy (government that is properly representative of all the citizenry).

    I tend to think that race based representation is a bad idea in the long run, but that needs to be argued for. To claim that they are simply anti-democratic is puerile.

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  26. cows4me (248 comments) says:

    Shit I would sign her petition. Happily vote for whoever follows my political leanings be they black, white or brindle. What the melons are really saying to Maori is that because they are either lazy, lethargic, intellectually inferior or don’t give a fat rats arse they should get a free lunch. The melons are the true racists as this is simply playing to those that are themselves racists.

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  27. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    Cunningham (154) Says:
    June 8th, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Weihana (1,893) democracy should be that anyone has the ability to be elected regardless of race. Maori have just as much opportunity to go out and get elected as anyone else. If they are put in by default then how do we know there wasn’t a more capable candidate who missed out because of that? It should always be the best person for the job and if that turns out to be a maori person then that’s great. NZ as it is today would be happy to vote for a person regardless of race and our parliament is indicative of this.

    The difference with parliament is that it is elected proportionally, more or less, under MMP. Under that regime it is true that Maori and almost any other minority (except one under 5% and/or without a local electorate) have the ability to be fairly represented without special race-based constituencies being established. However, this is not the case here. Representatives are elected by block voting and only require a plurality to win. Such a system inherently disadvantages minorities so when an issue comes up that divides Maori and the rest of the public, Maori will have about zero say on the decision which will in turn help fuel the sense of exclusion and disadvantage that already pervades much of Maoridom.

    You could, as others have, ask why not have constituencies for every conceivable minority. Though this does ignore the reality that the dividing line between Maori and the rest of society is often more significant by comparison thus deserving of special attention.

    Personally I just don’t see why we persist with voting systems that are inherently unfair and undemocratic.

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

    Weihana – the solution to that concern may be Single Transferable Vote, rather than separate Maori constituencies.

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  29. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Why focus on Maori, why not: people who earn under $x, or renters, or people who like the outdoors, enjoy gardening, cyclists etc?

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  30. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Tom Jackson (28) Says:
    “We’re then left with a couple of alternatives. The first is to hold to the principle of democracy (one person one vote) and the second is to hold to the purpose of democracy (government that is properly representative of all the citizenry). ”
    ==============
    who said the purpose of democracy is “government that is properly representative of all the citizenry”?

    I would have expected more from democracy than giving everyone what they want; I would have thought that the purpose of democracy is that all points of view are aired and that the best arguments come out on top.

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  31. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    I would have thought institutional racism was when blacks weren’t allowed the vote. Calling it “institutional racism” when a group claims they can’t get elected because they are discriminated against hides the basic issue that this minority group are claiming a status that the majority don’t recognise (i.e tangata whenua v “tauiwi”) and claiming special knowledge (also not recognised).

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  32. Weihana (4,496 comments) says:

    hj,


    Why focus on Maori, why not: people who earn under $x, or renters, or people who like the outdoors, enjoy gardening, cyclists etc?

    Because, arguably, so-called “Maori issues” are more significant and important than other minority interests. That is not to say that Maori per se are intrinsically more important, but rather that healthy race relations are vital for a functioning society. When we have a group of people who feel excluded from society and are demonstrably excluded from participation in the decision making process (at least in terms of local body elections) then I tend to think we are fomenting that racial divide and that sense of exclusion. I do not see how this can improve race relations.

    The notion of “one man, one vote” promises equality but the reality is that it does not necessarily mean we are equal, especially when the manner in which we count votes means large chunks of society are excluded from representation.

    You could try and argue the same with respect to renters, cyclists etc. But this ignores the reality that race plays a much more significant role in society. Humans are instinctively tribal and race divides people more than those other things you list.

    Basically what I’m saying is that Maori constituencies would be a pragmatic improvement for democratic representation. A more ideologically acceptable solution would be STV as Graeme suggested though I’m not sure about the mathematics of STV and whether or not it would provide sufficient proportionality. Better than FPP though.

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  33. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Maori are statistically15% yet the Maori Party polls much lower than that. That shows that Maori aren’t voting for the Maori Party. Maori politically is an idea as much as a demographic.

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  34. wiseowl (751 comments) says:

    So much bs on this thread.
    We are all people.
    Councillors represent people on issues that affect ‘people’. Doesn’t matter where the hell you come from.
    Ratepayers are people.
    Rates are extracted from people for the benefit (supposedly) of people.
    To distort this by electing representatives on race or any other basis is wrong,wrong,wrong.
    Go Goudie.

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  35. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    I know of no sheep fanciers on either the Wainuiomata Community Board or the Lower Hutt City Council.

    RAMpant discrimination I say! :)

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  36. nasska (10,622 comments) says:

    Johnboy

    If ewe don’t stand up to them they’ll pull the wool over your eyes while fleecing you of your rates. Wether they like it or not they are due for the chop.

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  37. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Time the populace woke up and smelled the mint on this one nasska.

    We should rack the bloody politicians, cut them off at the shanks and braise the bastards over a slow fire.

    Any chef can tell you a white sheep and a black sheep taste exactly the same if you cook them the same way! :)

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  38. Luc Hansen (4,573 comments) says:

    I think Roche should win the 1984 award for doublespeech.

    I think DPF means “doublespeak”:

    Doublespeak is language that deliberately disguises, distorts, or reverses the meaning of words. Doublespeak may take the form of euphemisms (e.g., “downsizing” for layoffs, “servicing the target” for bombing [1]), making the truth less unpleasant, without denying its nature. It may also be deployed as intentional ambiguity, or reversal of meaning (for example, naming a state of war “peace”). In such cases, doublespeak disguises the nature of the truth, producing a communication bypass. and It will not be considered as doublespeak if it is used appropriately and without the intention to deceive.(Wikipedia)

    One could perhaps be forgiven a comment that, especially given DPF’s imitation of a spinning top over the last couple of days on matters education, this is an example of the pot calling the kettle black.

    But

    So Green logic is that not having race based seats is racist!!!

    The short answer is yes. And the logic is impeccable.

    And in Roche’s defence on the charge of doublespeak, I will point to exhibit No 1: It will not be considered as doublespeak if it is used appropriately and without the intention to deceive.

    So not only is she correct and accurate in her language, she is also clearly sincere and has no intention to deceive – quite the opposite, I would say.

    If only all of those who engage in political discourse were equally committed to truth telling…

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  39. Viking2 (11,125 comments) says:

    Surely in the true fashion of representation only ratepayers should get to vote for councils. After all they provide the funds for councils to operate and their property assets are the security for the councils ability to rate.
    The rest should be left to die in a ditch for there is not one single logical reason why they should have a vote to spend other peoples money.

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  40. Johnboy (14,911 comments) says:

    Bodies can’t be left to die in a ditch V2. Think of the drainage issues involved, not to mention odour alleviation measures?

    Oh no, folks such as you that pay their rates, must be held responsible for picking up the tab to ensure the comfortable salary and lifestyle structure of council employees is upheld, even if the too hard to pursue folks never pay their dues.

    As your local authority says…”Shit happens and we are the turds that make it so”! :)

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  41. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Luc Hansen:

    The short answer is yes. And the logic is impeccable.
    ===============================
    it is institutional racism because Maori aren’t guaranteed a seat because they are a minority who only vote for a Maori and (there not being enough of them) they can’t overcome the block voting of non-Maori? Does this mean not enough Maori are voting for Maori and/or not enough Pakeha or Pakeha don’t perceive the Maori agenda as in their interest or not enough Maori view the Maori agenda as in their interest????. Where do we draw the line between politics and race e.g when Pakeha object to Maori special seats is it race or is it the political beliefs of Maori and accompanied behaviour: “we are tangata whenua and you are tau iwi (foreigners in this land). We are guardians/ managers/ those with superior knowledge and authority” etc?

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  42. Rightandleft (627 comments) says:

    I agree the best way to solve the proportionality issue would be to switch from FPP to STV. Adding race based seats is pure tokenism, and it elevates Maori to a place above the rest of us. Why should Maori get special seats but not Pasifika or Asians? There is no constitutional basis for elevating Maori solely because they were the original people and no historical reason to believe modern Maori have some special knowledge the rest of us lack. Pasifika communities suffer from even higher rates of poverty, worse educational outcomes and shortened life expectancies too, but no one offers them special seats.

    This is happening on an increasingly local basis as well. ERO is visiting my school this year and their focus is to see that “Maori are achieving as Maori.” What does ‘as Maori’ mean? We’ve had multiple meetings to try to figure it out. It seems to suggest Maori should be held to a different standard from other students. It also raises the problem that many of our ‘Maori’ students don’t actually see themselves as such, because they are only 1/4 or 1/8 Maori and don’t identify with the culture. Many of them don’t want to be singled out as Maori or treated differently based on their race.

    The biggest travesty though is one suggestion from school leadership on satisfying ERO is rigging student council elections to ensure Maori are on the council even if they get fewer votes than students of other ethnicities. This is a school with about 50 nationalities in the student body, a significant Asian and Pasifika population, but only Maori are to be given a special place on the council.

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  43. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Here’s why people may be opposed to Maori seats. You can’t accomadate views like these and people are starting to get a wiff of how entrenched they are amongst our indigenous aristocracy (and their left-wing comrades):

    “With the recent announcement of the Fijian Government to give ownership of its coastal areas to indigenous tribes, it would be ideal to hope that this could offer some support to Maori arguments by is unlikely to have any effect here.

    “I completely support and endorse what the Fijian Government has done. They’ve taken an initiative that this Government needs to follow. That unfortunately is not the case with the Government here; the indigenous Fijians are the majority and are in Government where as we are not,” Hingston said.
    http://www.kahungunu.iwi.nz/…/FIGHTINGTALKONFORESHOREHingstonTalk.doc
    FIGHTING TALK ON FORESHORE
    By Kui Paki – Tu Mai February 04 – An interview with Judge Ken Heta Hingston

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  44. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    Notice what was missing from the election campaign (they know which side their bread is buttered on):

    “Opponents of the legislation say the battle over the foreshore is not over with a promise from the Greens that it won’t let the foreshore and seabed issue die as it heads into the election campaign.

    Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says the Maori Party has betrayed its supporters.

    “I’m very distressed about this, this should not have happened,” she says. “The Maori Party had the power to fix the 2004 legislation, to repeal it and to put in place a just outcome, and they chose not to.”

    Ms Turei is furious at the Maori Party.

    “We should repeal the racist law and restore access to the courts and genuine justice,” she says. “We’ll continue to hold the Maori Party to account for their role in allowing this legislation to pass.”
    http://www.newstalkzb.co.nz/newsdetail1.asp?storyid=193090

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  45. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    broddy piss me off :mad:
    one needs to attend a decolonisation workshop?

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  46. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    From The Rio Summit:
    “Commons are not just common goods or assets. They are not “things” separate from us. They are not simply water, the forest, or ideas. They are social practices of commoning, of acting together, based on principles of sharing, stewarding, and producing in common. To ensure this, *all* those who participate in a common have the right to an *equal* voice in making decisions on the provisions and rules governing its management.

    Examples of the rich variety of such experiences and innovations include systems for community management of forests, canals, fisheries and land; the numerous processes of commoning in the digital world such as initiatives for free culture or free and open software; non-commercial initiatives for access to housing in cities; strategies for cooperative consumption associated with social currencies; and many others. All of these commons are clearly forms of management that differ from market-based ones and from those organized by* hierarchical structures*. Together they offer a kaleidoscope rich in self-organization and self-determination. All are neglected and marginalized in conventional political and economic analyses. All are based on the idea that no one can have a satisfactory life if not integrated into social relations, and that one’s full personal unfolding depends on the unfolding of others and vice versa. The borders between the particular interest and the collective interest are blurred in a commons.”
    http://www.energybulletin.net/stories/2012-06-08/commons-emerges-theme-people%E2%80%99s-summit-rio

    I think they wouldn’t approve of tangata whenua/ tauiwi type thinking.

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  47. hj (6,342 comments) says:

    From Rio Summit Blogger:

    “Commons are the future, not the past. And the future is not a place to which we are headed; it is a place we create. We do not find paths to the future; we make them. And the activity of making them transforms both those who engage in the process, and our common destiny.”

    The Greens future is rather risky as in:

    Kevin Hague
    “One of jh’s themes has been dis-satisfaction with the Green Party for not being specific about the outcomes of our policy in relation to the Treaty. “What, specifically, will this country be like if we go down this course?”. It’s a question I have heard many times over the years, and it usually speaks from a position of fear and insecurity for Pakeha: what if I’ll be worse off? or even what if there’s no place for me?
    I want to acknowledge that actually we are asking people to do something (and we are doing it too) quite different from what we usually ask with our policy. Normally we have a very clear idea of the outcome we are seeking, and establish a policy to reflect how we will get there.
    But the Treaty is different.
    The words all have the potential to sound pretty hammy, but fundamentally the outcome being sought is a process: the process of absolute good faith negotiation, in which we Pakeha engage from a position of honour – acting ethically and morally.
    That process involves courage because we don’t know the outcome (and because we know we have it pretty sweet just how things are, let’s be honest). It is pretty scary, but it’s also pretty damn exciting!”
    http://blog.greens.org.nz/2010/05/03/my-speech-at-blackball-2010/

    Mugabe, Amin, Harawira… Spieghts etc, etc

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  48. wat dabney (3,655 comments) says:

    Weihana,

    arguably, so-called “Maori issues” are more significant and important than other minority interests. That is not to say that Maori per se are intrinsically more important…

    Actually, it is saying precisely that.

    …but rather that healthy race relations are vital for a functioning society.

    An argument against reserving seats for particular groups, surely.

    Bad enough an overtly racist movement that calls itself The Maori Party; how much worse when such activists defy democracy and are permanently installed in positions of power.

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