Best Maori politicians

January 11th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Morgan Godfery at Maui Street blogs his picks:

Best Maori MP: Louisa Wall – for services to equality and old school lobbying. 

Best Maori Minister: Paula Bennett – a competent manager, good communicator and is overseeing some innovative programmes. 

Best Maori electorate MP: Parekura Horomia – for what he lacks on the national stage, he makes up for on the ground. His majority (the largest in the Maori electorates) wasn’t a mistake. 

Most improved: Te Ururoa Flavell – after a shocking 2011 and despite a fail on education in 2012, Flavell has made up ground with his strong support for Tuhoe, competent debate performances and electorate work. 

Most consistent: Metiria Turei – points for tireless advocacy for Maori, women and beneficiaries. Always takes a consistent and articulate line. Stand out performer in the Native Affairs debates.

Joshua Hitchcock also provides his list:

The Iwi Leaders Group

Without a doubt the big winners from 2012, the Iwi Leaders Group have established themselves as the go-to national Māori body for Crown engagement on national issues.  They have established a good working relationship with the Government over the past 18 months, and have clearly adopted the approach of working with Government to achieve progress for Māori rights over a more antagonistic approach.  While many question their standing and their beliefs (occasionally referred to disparagingly as the “Iwi Elite”), you cannot overlook the fact that this self-selected group comprise the elected leaders of many of the major Iwi in the country. With this comes a lot of weight, and a lot of influence with the Government.

Paula Bennett 

This may come as a surprise to many of my readers, but I consider Paula Bennett to be the Māori politician of the year.  You might question her kaupapa, but to survive the MSD security breach scandal and to oversee the most drastic reform to our welfare system since Jenny Shipley in the early 1990s is no easy task.  Add to that the ease with which she brushes aside the attacks from Jacinda Ardern in the House and you have a Māori politician who appears brilliant at her job.  With the remainder of the National Party Māori caucus either failing to fire (Henare, T) or making a complete fool of themselves (Parata, H), having one competent Māori in the National front bench, regardless of her politics, is something to celebrate.

Louisa Wall

Runner-up in the Māori politician of the year awards, Louisa Wall has shown herself to be the exemplary opposition M.P.  Having such a contentious bill pass its first reading with a massive majority is no easy task for an opposition M.P, what makes her all the more remarkable is the effort she  undertook to sit down with opponents, listen to their concerns, and quietly convince them of her case.  A future Minister of Māori Affairs, if not destined for higher honours.

Tariana Turia

It is hard to think of a Māori politician who has made as great an impact as Tariana Turia has over her 18 years in Parliament.  Her decision to cross the floor on the Foreshore and Seabed Act led to the formation of not one, but two Kaupapa Māori political parties and a renewed influence of Māori politicians in the House.  While Whanau Ora is a mere shadow of her initial dream, her efforts to curb smoking in Aotearoa have been immense and caused even given the big Tobacco companies something to worry about.  Her decision to retire marks the great cross roads in Māori politics.  Can the Māori Party survive without her, or will the independent Māori voice represented by the Māori Party and Te Mana be dragged back into the welcoming arms of the Labour Party?

The National Party

Yes, the National Party are one of the big winners of 2012.  While the partial asset sale programme has been delayed, a crushing victory in the High Court a few weeks ago means that it will take a miracle in January to bring about a final halt to their key policy platform.  Ructions within Ngāpuhi aside, they have also made great strides in settling historical grievance claims with Hapū and Iwi and an historic Tuhoe settlement is on the cards for early 2014 – a mere two years after it lay in tatters.

Rahui Katene

With the retirement of Tariana Turia in 2014, Rahui Katene looks set to succeed to her Te Tai Hauaurau electorate seat and, by extension, the co-leadership of the Māori Party.  Her work with the New Zealand Māori Council, and a renewed effort working at the ground level, has seen her restore the mana lost when she was defeated at last years election.  Expect to see and hear more from Rahui in 2013 as the Māori Party look to position her as Tariana’s natural successor.

Both Maori bloggers (whose politics are quite different) cite Paula Bennett and Louisa Wall as having done well.

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57 Responses to “Best Maori politicians”

  1. ChardonnayGuy (1,131 comments) says:

    I can see Bennett as deputy leader to Stephen Joyce as a future National Party leader…

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  2. joana (1,983 comments) says:

    Bennett is a blustering ,bully..She is all talk and spin. The one thing she has done is greatly increase in size which is not a good example to anyone.

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  3. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    [Parekura Horomia's] majority (the largest in the Maori electorates) wasn’t a mistake.

    I agree with that bit :)

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  4. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Where is Hekia Parata when you need her?

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  5. krazykiwi (9,189 comments) says:

    Did Morgan Godfry do a set on Best European MP’s? Would anybody dare? That nobody blinks an eye at this type of reporting is proof positive of how entrenched racial privilege has become in NZ.

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  6. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Of course not, kk. The racists are untouchable and to be revered.
    Do not forget that all the science and culture in world came from the Stone Agers. Long live the haka!

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  7. Redbaiter (7,560 comments) says:

    Best “Maori” MP????

    Why the need for racial segregation?

    And why are they “Maori” anyway?

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  8. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    If Rahui Katene is the next leader of the Maori Party that’s the end of them! She sat next to me in parliament. She was the one MP would read every single speech – written by someone else – word for word. If she had not been a brown woman, the Speaker would never have let her get away with it. (Reading speeches is against the rules). She NEVER made a speech just from notes, or off the cuff. In other words, she never had an original thought, and was unable to actually debate.

    Nice enough woman, but a leader? I don’t think so…

    And I agree with the others…imagine the furore if someone rated all Euro MP’s, excluding all those of other ethnicities?

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  9. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    I have constructed a list of several ways in which our country suffers real harm, when B-list political bloggers heap praise on politicians of one specified race:

    1. It hurts my feelings that you haven’t done one for white politicians as well!
    2. What good have the Maoris done anyway?
    3. Ummmm…
    4. (…)
    5. (…)
    6. (…)
    7. (…)
    8. (…)
    9. (…)
    10. (…)
    11. (…)
    12. (…)

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  10. Dave Mann (1,168 comments) says:

    I heartily agree with all of you who object to the racism here. I would have been refreshed if you had commented on this instead of just parroting blythly what this so-called Morgan Godfery (WTF is this?) wrote somewhere.

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  11. alex (301 comments) says:

    Maui Street is excellent, and Godfery is always a fair critic of a politician’s work, rather than being the loyal party stooge of anyone.

    And for the morons who are complaining about how he hasn’t done a list of European MPs, (how strange, none of the people arguing that have called for him to make a list of top Asian or Pasifika MPs, only European) I’m sure Godfery would have plenty of opinions on their performances too. That, however, is not the niche of his blog, so therefore not worth his time.

    And one final point, does anyone else see the irony of someone like Manolo saying that Maori are racist, and then referring to them as “Stone Agers”? Pardon my French, but what a fuckwit.

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  12. David Garrett (6,350 comments) says:

    Ok Alex, I will play…if you read my comment carefully you will see it does not exclude the theoretical possibility of rating other MP’s of other ethnicities…but rating – say – Indian MP’s in the current parliament would be something of a futile exercise, since to the best of my knowledge there are now only two, with the departure of the token Indian Muslim Labour MP

    As for Manolo’s reference to “stone agers”, how else would you describe a culture that in 1769 – when the rest of the world first became aware of them – had not discovered the wheel, and used only stone and wooden tools? Do you know what “the stone age” actually is?

    “Racism” is defined in my NZ Pocket Oxford (the larger Concise is eluding me) as ” the theory that human abilities are determined by race.” To describe Maori at the time of contact as “stone agers” is surely simply a statement of fact?
    Your response will be that Manolo is referring to modern day Maori thus…I do not know the man, but I take his references to mean Maori – or those who wish they were – who glorify and deify “Maori culture” of pre-European times…a hunter gatherer society with no written language, using stone age technology, and whose only political system was conquest by violence, and endless inter-tribal skirmishes. Again, that description is a simple statement of fact…or are you one of those fools who believe that all the early European accounts of the Maori way of life were false, and part of an incredible international conspiracy over 40 years or so to deny the Maori their rightful place as an advanced civilization comparable to the Romans or Phoenicians?

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  13. Griff (6,712 comments) says:

    Maui Street is excellent.
    at being totally biased on behalf of Maori.
    I have read it often its full of inaccurate racist rubbish.
    What else do you call a movement that wants to return to conditions and political forms last used by the people in question pre metal :lol: the rock age? how about the age of killing your neighbor if you dont like him. the club you neighbor to death with a large piece of wood age or the pre civilization age or how about the age of eating people.
    Lets just stick to the faction of Maori people who would like to return to the stone age
    hence Stone ages
    Understand now racist apologist for the great enlightenment of the Maori race else wise known as colonization where the poor ignorant savage Maori race was forced to stop killing everyone they did not like and live like men not apes. Your views are extremely racist against the people of this land

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  14. Redbaiter (7,560 comments) says:

    I wonder if Alex is the same Marxist idiot who hangs out at the progressive Whale Oil blog.

    Hey loser- I’m no David Garret and I don’t play by your rules, in fact I don’t even play your games.

    You won’t find me groveling for your forgiveness and understanding in big long explanations.

    Call me a racist or a bigot if you want.

    I know your a Marxist propagandist who only uses the terms to try and silence debate, and I have nothing but contempt for you and your ilk.

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  15. Redbaiter (7,560 comments) says:

    You’re

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  16. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    a

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  17. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    Marxist :-)

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  18. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    Talk about redkettle calling the greenpot black.

    I’ve never seen alex try and silence debate, and I’ve never seen alex tell people to fuck off (from other people’s blogs) either Red, as you’ve done. In fact the opposite, he’s prepared to engage in debate across the spectrum and across the blogs.

    Contempt is in the eye of the ilk.

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  19. Rex Widerstrom (5,254 comments) says:

    Paula Bennett: [...] to survive the MSD security breach scandal [...] is no easy task.

    Yes it is. You just get made a Minister in a government which doesn’t practice accountability.

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  20. Redbaiter (7,560 comments) says:

    “he’s prepared to engage in debate”

    He’s prepared to deluge anyone he disagrees with with huge dumps of boilerplate Marxist/ Progressive rubbish.

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  21. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    Hilarity on cue…

    He’s prepared to deluge anyone he disagrees with with huge dumps of boilerplate Marxist/ Progressive rubbish.

    So sayeth someone who deluges huge dollops of boilerplate rubbish.

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  22. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    cool. when does the list of the best white MP come out?

    i agree with nanny state redbaiter. this is racist bullshit.

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  23. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    how come there can be a list rating maori mps but not a list of the worst maori assaults on babies? oh cant do that. its racist. only could things can be separated.

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  24. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    dime:

    how come there can be a list rating maori mps but not a list of the worst maori assaults on babies?

    Do it!

    :-D

    Do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it do it!

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  25. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    It’s not rascist bullshit. Neither is it sexist bullshit rating female (or male) MPs. Neither is it bullshit to rate MPs of a specific party, or MPs from a specific area, or of a specific age group.

    It would be nanny state bullshit if no one was able to rate a group of MPs of their choice for fear of being bullied as a something-ist.

    And this has nothing to do with assaulting babies – part of <a href="http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/2013/jan/07/violent-crime-lead-poisoning-british-export""the blame for that could be lead poisoning (as well as too much active or passive acceptance of thuggery in families for millenia).

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  26. alex (301 comments) says:

    @DG – I don’t believe that Maori were as technologically advanced as Europeans in an industrial sense, however it would be foolish to dismiss the often ingenious advances they made in various fields, especially navigation and warfare against technologically superior forces. Maori in 1769 were technologically inferior to Europeans, but intellectually undoubtedly their equals. To consider them a Stone age people is also incorrect as their social organisation went far beyond the level of bands of hunter gatherers, many tribes had complex social stratification and specialisation of roles.

    Redbaiter – I actually found Das Kapital rather dull and reductive. And the Communist Manifesto, now that is a really dreary read. I don’t think I will be propagandizing for Marx or Marxism anytime soon.

    PG- Cheers.

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  27. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    PG – so a list of MP’s that are WHORES is ok too?

    1) Peter Dunne
    2) ….
    3) ….
    4)….

    its racist. its racist because thats what we are told when we say things like

    “maori make up 10% of the population but make up 50% of prison inmates”

    “maoris seem to be the only people that beat their babies to death”.

    screw em, they cant have it both ways.

    when did it become acceptable in this world to choose people via race? to give people special privileges? even the freakin all blacks do it – “not good enough for the touring squad? hmm any maori blood? oh well, take 4 months off we have nothing for you. you were born the wrong colour”

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  28. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    dime – virtually all MPs are whores if getting into as much influence in government as they can is what you mean. Except the ones you might call lazy bludgers.

    Do you think there should be a balance between doing as much as they can and sitting around drawing a salary for bugger all?

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  29. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    Once a UnitedFuture candidate, always a UnitedFuture candidate.
    Good to see an ultra-loyal P.G. jumping to the defense of his “leader”.

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  30. RRM (9,435 comments) says:

    You’re too young to have a chip on your shoulder about The Maoris Dime.

    I have a story for you, (I thought it was pretty funny but maybe you had to be there.)

    February 2011, wife & I and our 6yo daughter went to Akl for a wedding, and we stayed with Wife’s high school best mate and her boyfriend at their place in blockhouse bay. Great people… couldn’t do enough for us, the boyfriend came home from work every day and cooked us all amazing meals, picked us up from the airport, etc.

    So one evening boyfriend and RRM were having a beer out on the deck, and boyfriend mentioned the islanders down the street and how they take over the whole place having parties that go all weekend, etc. I said I knew what he meant, I’d lived in Auckland for a while myself. Another time, boyfriend got started on Indians at work and how their whole work ethos is so different and it can make them really difficult to get on with sometimes. Again I knew what he was talking about.

    Anyway, fast forward to the day RRM, Mrs RRM and 6yo Ms RRM are leaving. Boyfriend is such a good c**t that he’s come home from work early to drive us out to the airport (wouldn’t let us get a taxi.)

    Halfway down the Motorway to the Mangere bridge, our daughter comes out with “Mummy… what does RACIST mean?”

    I thought OH F**K as I was sure boyfriend thought our daughter must have overheard RRM saying to Mrs RRM something like “Far out, your mate’s boyfriend’s pretty fucken racist, isn’t he?” and I spent the next 20 minutes in the back of the car trying to steer the conversation out of that topic without anyone offending anyone else.

    It turned out our daughter was actually remembering Albie the Racist Dragon from Flight of the Conchords, and had just picked the worst possible time to do it… so in the end it was all good.

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  31. rangitoto (193 comments) says:

    @Alex “To consider them a Stone age people is also incorrect as their social organisation went far beyond the level of bands of hunter gatherers, many tribes had complex social stratification and specialisation of roles. ”

    Those things don’t preclude stone age as a description. They did have agriculture, so their society at that time would be properly described as neolithic (= new stone age)

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  32. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    Manolo, I see you have avoided the question. Here’s another especially for you. Is Bill English a political whore? Phil Goff? Pita Sharples?

    If so, what should they have done instead?

    Would you prefer more MPs were Prassadian?

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  33. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    Pg – your whore leader supported the Clarke govt. enough said.

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  34. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    RRM – hand on heart, I honestly think the separatist Maori bullshit that we hear everyday is having dire consequences on young Maori peeps.

    The sense of entitlement, matched with the bitterness is shocking. Like they have been terribly wronged and we owe them.

    The babies being beaten and killed has sent me over the edge. No walks the length of the country for those poor little buggas. Just walks with hands out for cash.

    My new nephew is half Maori. Thankfully he’s being raised in Aussie and won’t be subjected to the brainwashing.

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  35. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    If that’s all you’re grumping about dime then all you’re doing is abusing, nothing other than political petulance. I thought you might have had some serious reason to dislike Dunne.

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  36. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    Pg – at what point would your boring whore draw the line?

    Would he prop up a Mugabe type regime cause “I can get more done being in government”

    Dunne was against that make free speech illegal from the get go right?

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  37. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    [blockquote]Bennett is a blustering ,bully..She is all talk and spin[/blockquote]

    …and this coming from Winston’s #1 fan here.

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  38. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    dime – he said he would not have done a coalition deal with Labour after the 2011 election, too many differences. I accepted that, I didn’t like where Labour were headed and didn’t think Goff was up to being PM either. So Dunne made the same call as the electorate, that’s hardly a hanging offence.

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  39. Rodders (1,790 comments) says:

    Bennett is a blustering ,bully..She is all talk and spin

    That’s better.

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  40. dime (9,392 comments) says:

    Dunne would also bet on Aussie if the black caps were 9 down and needed another 700 runs.

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  41. Steve (North Shore) (4,495 comments) says:

    Pete,
    dime talks in dollars, not cents. You figure it out

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  42. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    And he’d rather have Labour govern with Greens rather than Dunne when it’s their turn? You figure it out.

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  43. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    PG

    Just as long as Dunne keeps the ministerial limo aye….

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  44. questlove (242 comments) says:

    Did Morgan Godfry do a set on Best European MP’s? Would anybody dare? That nobody blinks an eye at this type of reporting is proof positive of how entrenched racial privilege has become in NZ.

    Would there be any MPs that wouldn’t be eligible to be considered European? (ie without European ancestry)

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  45. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    MPs of Asian, Indian and possibly PI descent may have little or no European connection.

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  46. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    And while I have ancestors from Europe I don’t consider myself European. I’ve never been to the countries my ancestors came from and have no connection with them.

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  47. Redbaiter (7,560 comments) says:

    Pete sticking the knife into our ancestors again.

    Put your poi dancing and hakas up against this boyo.

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  48. Griff (6,712 comments) says:

    Alex is is making up stuff
    The Maori did not have advanced navigation. You dont need advanced navigation when your sea going capability is crossing the cook strait on a fine day
    he means they once had ocean going capability but like a lot of technology including pottery they had lost it

    As to killing
    Once were warriors we all know that. its the probable reason why killing their kids is so popular among them

    Then he starts on some rant that they had developed skills specialization
    yeah they had rock carvers, bangers with rock, diggers in dirt with stick and witchdoctors pretty standard stuff for stone age level tribes.
    They had eaten the future. There was not enough resources for them to survive With out the constant culling of the population by warfare they would starve to death.

    The pity is we have no modern versions of the great modernist Maori politicians of the past. There is no strong Maori voice telling them that living back in the past is just not going to work in 2013 we are not in the stone age now Rangi.

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  49. V (668 comments) says:

    Next week best White, Indian or Asian Polititican? Yeah didn’t think so.

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  50. Manolo (13,339 comments) says:

    And while I have ancestors from Europe I don’t consider myself European. I’ve never been to the countries my ancestors came from and have no connection with them.

    You’re much poorer for it, P.G. Not without reason Western civilisation triumphed over the East 500+ years ago.

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  51. big bruv (13,227 comments) says:

    “And while I have ancestors from Europe I don’t consider myself European. I’ve never been to the countries my ancestors came from and have no connection with them.”

    Well done Pete. You are another in the long line of Republicans who have fallen into the trap set by those who want to impose the Maori culture (cunningly packaged as “kiwi culture”) upon all of us.

    Maori can talk with pride about their ancestors, Maori heritage and customs are protected by law yet those who have been conned into the republican ideal are quick to write off hundreds of years of history. My heritage, culture and ancestors are not considered important in the eyes of republicans yet those same republicans would not dare suggest that Maori do the same with their history, or ancestors.

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  52. Pete George (22,782 comments) says:

    Why poorer for it Manolo? I’ve benefited from European influences that dominate here, I simply don’t have any direct empathy with Europe or Britain. I’ve spent almost all of my life in New Zealand, I feel like a New Zealander and identify as such.

    Culture is acquired and evolves over a lifetime, much of it inherited – although the culture I live now is far different to the culture of my childhood.

    Of course there’s a variety of New Zealand cultures intermingling. Historic Maori is one of them, but I don’t have any personal empathy or involvement with Maori culture either, it’s not a significant part of my unique Kiwi mix that’s at least as much influenced from other cultures I have no known ancestral links with, for example Italian, Chinese, German and American.

    There’s simply no evidence I have “fallen into the trap set by those who want to impose the Maori culture (cunningly packaged as “kiwi culture”) upon all of us”, that’s ludicrous. I am who I am, and I’m not Maori.

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  53. itstricky (1,543 comments) says:

    Tariana deserves the list I think for her work in the smoking arena and Metiria Turei always appears articulate and informed as far as I’ve seen.

    Was hoping for some good comments. Naturally enough, should have expected what happened. I guess DPF couldn’t have hoped for better when he set this one up. Comedy gold. Specifically liked the bit about West trumiphing over East. It’s all ebbs and tides, soon the East Superpower will come back and conquer us and everyone on this list will be asking why they took away the special European University Grants for English speakers.

    My heritage, culture and ancestors are not considered important in the eyes of republicans yet those same republicans would not dare suggest that Maori do the same

    Errrr….. possibly because it is unique to this country…… just maybe? …. and is therefore an integral part of “kiwi culture”

    Otherwise, we may as well call ourselves Australian.

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  54. Griff (6,712 comments) says:

    itstricky
    This is polite
    You racist with your colonial lefty guilt try to tell me I have no culture and there is nothing unique about being a kiwi.

    Fuck off some where else and stop polluting our shores.

    Because you obviously dont belong in one of the best places to live in the world.

    We rate in community health education safety and freedom as one of the best society’s on this planet

    Due to our culture

    And you think the kid fucking wife bashing benefit abusing criminal culture of a failing stone age people is all we have

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  55. itstricky (1,543 comments) says:

    And you think the kid fucking wife bashing benefit abusing criminal culture of a failing stone age people is all we have

    I didn’t say that at all.

    But you certainly reinforced my thinking that DPF may as well just make his next blog post title “Let’s bash Maori without saying anything positive” – he’ll probably get three times as many posts from the quality, intellectual, posters in this forum.

    It’s good to see that you managed to get it all off your chest. Hope you feel better. And good to see that the hatred for the Aussies is really alive – who would have thought you’d get that sort of reaction from what is otherwise a small cultural in-joke.

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  56. Griff (6,712 comments) says:

    The statement we have no culture is extremely offensive
    That you do not recognize our kiwi culture yet champion Maori shows your racism

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  57. itstricky (1,543 comments) says:

    The statement we have no culture is extremely offensive

    And this ISN’T offensive:

    And you think the kid fucking wife bashing benefit abusing criminal culture of a failing stone age people is all we have

    ?

    Need your head checked out for dents, mate. Just because your preaching to a choir doesn’t make it “not offensive”. Every bit as offensive.

    That you do not recognize our kiwi culture yet champion Maori

    Didn’t say that.

    I answer to bigbruv’s question about why his culture was not treated as specially as Maori I said – becuase it is unique to this country.

    Maori (a culture unique to this country) is an integral part of “kiwi culture”, what ever that may be. Without that culture we would be Aussies (a joke, by the way. That’s a joke, there’s no reason to get up tight, you extreme outburst at such a thing may hint at some deep, hidden, guilt yourself.

    …shows your racism

    I repeat.

    And this ISN’T racism:

    And you think the kid fucking wife bashing benefit abusing criminal culture of a failing stone age people is all we have

    ?

    You crack me up.

    I like the way you pigeon holed me without knowing me, as well, more quality, intellectual thinking in NO way associated to red-faced wild ranting:

    colonial lefty guilt
    Because you obviously dont belong in one of the best places

    A? Where did that come from? How do you know I’m not a South African living in China. Happy that you’ve taken someone else’s (random, non-sensical) ideas and regurgatate them. I’m not even sure how ‘colonial’ and ‘lefty’ go together.

    Griff, have you ever actually studied another culture before? Take yourself back to that young boy wonder that you had in high school Social Studies or Geography. Think about that for a while and calm down.

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