The Maori Council and the Maori Electoral Option

February 11th, 2013 at 7:00 am by David Farrar

The has announced:

The Māori Council is delivering a public awareness programme for the Māori Electoral Option, through a contract with the Electoral Commission’s Enrolment Services, in a number of areas within New Zealand.

As a provider of this programme, the Māori Council is committed to giving Māori the information they need to make their own choice as to which type of electoral roll they wish to be on – the Māori roll or the General roll.

The Māori Electoral Option helps determine the number of Māori and General electorates there will be for the next two General Elections.

I have to say that I think choosing a body which is currently suing the Government in court to be involved in what is meant to be a neutral enrolment option exercise is very poor judgement. It doesn’t lend confidence to the neutrality of our electoral institutions.

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13 Responses to “The Maori Council and the Maori Electoral Option”

  1. Griff (7,717 comments) says:

    The Māori Council
    Should be ignored as should the maori option on the roll
    It is Time to dismantle race based politics in New Zealand
    The government should not involve maori special privilege lobbyists in its consultation processes.
    No more Maorifacation
    On people one vote.
    No more apartheid policy’s in New Zealand

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  2. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    I have to say that I think choosing a body which is currently suing the Government in court to be involved in what is meant to be a neutral enrolment option exercise is very poor judgement.

    Why? Where’s the link between the NZMC challenging Government policy on asset sales and their presenting the facts about enrollment choices to Maori voters (which is all they are permitted to do – advocacy of one option over the other is prohibited).

    It doesn’t lend confidence to the neutrality of our electoral institutions.

    Surely the opposite? If these contracts were parceled out based on whether or not the recipient agrees with current Government policy, then wouldn’t that make the electoral agencies look somewhat non-neutral? Exactly what would the tender documents look like – “The Electoral Commission’s Enrolment Services is looking for groups that agree with all current Government policies to provide a public awareness programme for the Māori Electoral Option – anyone who actively opposes anything the Government is doing need not apply.”

    Yeah – I guess that would inspire more confidence.

    [DPF: I think any organisation that is a political player should not have EC contracts. There are hundreds of organisations that are not politically involved.

    What I seek isn't involvement of groups for or against the Government. I want groups that are not political players themselves - except maybe in an incidental way.

    Also there is a difference between disagreeing with a policy, and taking the Government to the Supreme Court on it]

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  3. Graeme Edgeler (3,289 comments) says:

    Is there even going to a be a Maori option this year?

    http://publicaddress.net/legalbeagle/legislate-in-haste/

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  4. Sadu (129 comments) says:

    I’m with Griff on this. These race-based policies all need to go, and in the process we can save a bundle of cash by not having to pay for education/propaganda campaigns.

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  5. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    I think any organisation that is a political player should not have EC contracts. There are hundreds of organisations that are not politically involved.

    Within the Maori community? With the necessary breadth of contacts over an extended regional area necessary to carry out the actual job? Perhaps you could list, say … three of these “hundreds”.

    I want groups that are not political players themselves – except maybe in an incidental way.

    Perhaps you could draft a nice, clear rule for the Electoral Commission that would allow them to distinguish between “political players” and “incidental political players”, just so that they don’t make this sort of mistake again. For instance, does Ngai Tahu’s publicly coming out and saying that, as far as they are concerned, the asset sales programme presents no Treaty problems disqualify them from involvement in the Electoral Commission’s information spreading functions? If not, why not?

    Also there is a difference between disagreeing with a policy, and taking the Government to the Supreme Court on it

    Yes. The difference is that one involves going to the Supreme Court. The other doesn’t. What we’ve yet to see is any explanation of why this difference matters. In a nutshell, what exactly is the problem that you see here … how might any alleged generally anti-Government views held by the NZMC impact on the purely information-distributing role that they have contracted to perform?

    [DPF: I would also think the addition of convicted fraudster Donna AH to the Maori Council would be another reason not to use them.

    The EC has a list of many other providers they use for the Maori Electoral Option. Many more than three.

    Incidentially I got sent the release by a senior Maori political person (not National) who was appalled the MC had a contract - on teh grounds almost everyone in Maoridom knows they are incompetent, and are little more than a few failed politicians and some lawyers. I think there is real doubt over their capacity to do the job.

    But back to the main point, I am sure a smart lawyer could draft a rule. Or the EC could use common sense.

    I'm also sceptical that we need to fund masses of groups to promote the option. The EC has a list of every voter of Maori descent on the roll. Direct Mail is very effective.

    I'd rather resources go on getting people onto a roll. The ones not currently on a roll are where you need to fund outreach IMO]

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  6. Piob (17 comments) says:

    Leaving aside whether there should be a Maori roll or not, the under enrollment of Maori is huge. The enrollment people are tasked with getting as many people as possible enrolled – in fact NZ POST is paid a handsome fee to run the system. As taxpayers we want NZ Post to get as many under enrolled groups on the roll as possible for the money we pay them. So how do you get Maori to enroll? Pay the organisations that do the best job. If you exclude politically active Maori organizations, who are you left with? The Maori Women’s Welfare league? How good would they be in getting enrollments? I don’t have a problem with the MC as long as they do a good job.

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  7. Manolo (13,775 comments) says:

    The Stone Age Council continues its campaign against progress.

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  8. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    Incidentially I got sent the release by a senior Maori political person (not National) who was appalled the MC had a contract – on teh grounds almost everyone in Maoridom knows they are incompetent, and are little more than a few failed politicians and some lawyers. I think there is real doubt over their capacity to do the job.

    Well, far be it from me to tell you how to run your blog, but wouldn’t this have made a more interesting post? Because that has real implications for the process, in a way which the NZMC’s involvement in the asset sales case doesn’t (or, if it does, you haven’t really said what it is).

    But back to the main point, I am sure a smart lawyer could draft a rule. Or the EC could use common sense.

    Really? As a not-very-smart lawyer, I think you overestimate the ability of my betters. And I suggest you think a bit harder about any suggestion that Electoral Commission should decide who it will and won’t involve in spreading information about the electoral process based on purely its judgment as to whether or not they are “too political”. For one thing, it likely would be the end of any Electoral Commission advertising on Kiwiblog!

    I’m also sceptical that we need to fund masses of groups to promote the option. The EC has a list of every voter of Maori descent on the roll. Direct Mail is very effective.

    I think you’ll find that the decision to use kanohi-ki-te-kanohi information spreading methods was taken precisely because direct mail doesn’t work very well for that sub-population.

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  9. krazykiwi (9,186 comments) says:

    … what is meant to be a neutral enrolment option exercise

    Entrenched racism can be ‘neutral’? Who knew.

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  10. backster (2,172 comments) says:

    I guess there will be plenty of resource allocated, minimal accounting and auditing, scope for ticket clipping, hui, and employment of rellies.

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  11. Paulus (2,627 comments) says:

    I have not decided which part Maori tribe I am going to be affiliated to in the Census in March
    Which one will give me the most money ?

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  12. Colville (2,268 comments) says:

    Paulus, I would be thinking about what outdoor activitys you enjoy most. Sea fishing or diving, trout fishing, hunting or skiing and then tailor your tribal affiliation to suit your wants. I mean there is no point being affiliated to a group that is a long drive away and dosent own any coastline! :-)

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  13. facts13 (1 comment) says:

    The maori council are a body who help iwi lodge settlements who would not normally be in a position to do so financially and provide a collective framework in which to negotiate with. Maori wish to retain water rights the goverment would like to sell an asset that is a natural resource when it is clear in the treaty( that establishes the government in the first place) full and undisturbed posession of their ( maori) of their land, waterways. .. so in all reality maori are only excersing their fundamentals rights as with the right for the government to exist. How fair is it to say given this that maori represented by maori council are working in oposition to the government? They are merely representing the views of a collective inclusive of many other ethnicities, many nzers not just maori share this view. The senior maori politician who wishes to remain anonymous is most probably on the general electorate worried if he will have a seat next year. I believe their is no apartheid by allowing this option just a treaty. The maori council will be great at informing maori of the upcoming maori electoral option and remain apolitical.

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