John Ansell has blogged on the treatygate campaign, as reported yesterday by Critic. His plan is:
- Launch Colourblind New Zealand, and set a goal to lock in one law for all by December 2014.
- Raise a $2 million fighting fund so the politicians know we’re able to embarrass them.
- Petition for a referendum at the 2014 election. Question: “Do you want New Zealand to be a Colourblind State, with one law for all, and no racial favouritism of any kind?”
- How to make the PM obey the referendum result? Run lots of bold Treatygate ads telling voters just who has been conning them, and how.
- If media refuse to run these ads, use rival media to expose them as part of the con.
- Bombard government MPs with instructions from their voters to obey their will.
- Support local body campaigns on Maori wards (typically attracting an 80% NO vote).
For my 2c I have long said I think NZ would be better off without the Maori parliamentary seats, and that having race based seats on local bodies is definitely not heading in the right direction..
However I differ from John in terms of how I view the Treaty of Waitangi. I think the settlement of historical grievances is a very good thing, and I do not have a problem with the Treaty of Waitangi having legal recognition – but the Treaty itself, not the more nebulous “principles”.
Also while I think NZ would be better off without the Maori seats (race based seats can only be divisive in the long run), I don’t think it is wise for the majority to remove something which has taken on huge significance with many Maori. The majority of New Zealanders who are of Maori descent have chosen to enrol on the Maori roll, which is significant. This may be partly tactical of course though.
So my preference is to convince Maori that they would be better off to do away with the Maori seats, and instead implement what the 1986 Royal Commission implemented of no threshold for Maori parties contesting the party vote. That of course is not entirely colour-blind – but I think both a better solution for Maori, and a less divisive one for New Zealand.