Does Labour want Pacific Island seats on Councils?

April 30th, 2013 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

Su’a WIlliam Sio says:

The call by the Pacific community for allocated seats on local councils is a result of the frustration of being left out of decision making says ’s and Pacific Island Affairs spokesperson Su’a William Sio.

“Given the Pacific community wants a stake in decisions that affect its families, communities and kids it is obvious there is a need for a discussion on how we ensure our minority groups are represented properly.

Does that mean Labour will change the law to give allow Pacific Islanders guaranteed seats on Councils, as they did for Maori?

“An active, participative democracy allows for full inclusion and I support a discussion to explore how current systems can be improved to ensure Pacific representation isn’t left by the wayside.

“Pacific, Maori and Asian communities are the youngest and fastest growing populations in New Zealand. Their voices matter and our governance structures shouldn’t mute their contributions,” Su’a William Sio said.

It seems obvious that Sio thinks there should be Pacific seats on Councils. Does Labour? Is this something they want to do, but don’t want to announce?

Wil that be followed by guaranteed Asian seats on Council? Will all seats be race based in future? Because that is the logical end point of .

I fully understand the historical background to the parliamentary , and why many in Maoridom see great value in them. I don’t support “taking them away” without the consent of Maori, as that is a pretty hostile thing to do.

But I hate the precedent they set of race based seats being acceptable. And we saw Labour extend this to local government by allowing Councils to create race based seats for Maori. And it is inevitable that so long as you have race based seats for Maori, then of course other ethnic communities will aspire to having them also, such as Pacific Islanders. Of course you can argue the status of Maori is different as tangata whenua, but nevertheless the existence of the seats means they do create a precedent.

If you have seats for Pacific Islanders, how could you argue against seats for Asians?

I’m proud of the fact that Asian New Zealanders have been elected Mayors in Dunedin and Gisborne. It was no big thing, they just happened to be Asian. That is how it should be.

I’m all for improving the diversity of both Parliament and Councils, but not through race based seats or quotas. I also support recognising the unique interests of Iwi in local issues such as resource use, but I don’t think Maori roll seats are the way to do that.

24 Responses to “Does Labour want Pacific Island seats on Councils?”

  1. Kea (15,179 comments) says:

    I think the current system where all “races” can have a seat is working just fine.

    Or we can go the other way…. There are a lot of Germans where I live. They could have special seats, regardless of the democratic process.

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  2. Shazzadude (587 comments) says:

    Su’a William Sio plays by his own rules, and there’s good reason. He knows that the potential is there in the future for another pro-Pacific Island movement party to seriously challenge him in Mangere (had Taito Phillip Field not been a crook, 2008 could’ve been interesting), so he can’t afford to be a mere lackey, and has to instead fill some of that space.

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  3. Redbaiter (11,656 comments) says:

    Its all about de-homeginising our society- splitting it in to groups (race or culture based) constantly on the offensive with each other.

    Pretty standard Marxist strategy that will bring this country to ruin.

    Which is of course the intent.

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  4. Kea (15,179 comments) says:

    It is incredible that we make a fuss over a few ignorant skin heads opposing Asian immigration, but are all rather calm over the democratic process being cast aside to benefit some races over others. We do have race based political parties in NZ and they are not the Right Wing Resistence mob and their ilk.

    We grant special priviledge and rights to people on the basis of race. It is damaging racism of the worst kind and needs to be stopped and totally and completely reversed.

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  5. Aredhel777 (383 comments) says:

    Well, I think that Parliament should recognise the enormous historical input that my ancestors (English people) have had in this country and have seats for people of British descent in Parliament and local councils. English people are increasingly marginalised and our contributions to the history and culture of this nation are downplayed.

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  6. lastmanstanding (1,746 comments) says:

    True Democracy is colour blind. We don’t live in a true democracy. We live in a race based country where minorities rule over the majority. Where a small number can dictate to a vast number.

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  7. rightoverlabour (556 comments) says:

    I think gender equality can’t be overlooked either. And physically disadvantaged (exclude brain dead, Labour represents those already), and those wanting to marry parrots, and how about reserved seats for people that think Elvis is alive and other minority groups that feel under represented….

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  8. peterwn (4,341 comments) says:

    What about seats for poms?

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  9. Manolo (22,383 comments) says:

    What about seats for poms?

    I would support that. They whinge but are less greedy than the Stone Agers.

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  10. MT_Tinman (4,436 comments) says:

    Why does Labour not advocate full, official apartheid and be done with it?

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  11. Nigel Kearney (2,045 comments) says:

    Supporting the continued existence of the Maori seats as a political convenience is craven. Supporting them because Maori see great value in them is by far the dumbest thing I have read on this blog, ever. Not even close. Ending injustice doesn’t require the consent of those who benefit from it.

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  12. Graeme2 (107 comments) says:

    Agree entirely with all above comments. This country has completely lost its way mostly driven by a vociferous radical minority.
    Continuing division along racial lines will only end in tears for all of us including those championing this division.

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  13. Jack5 (9,499 comments) says:

    Besides being the key instrument of neo-apartheid, race-based electoral systems don’t suit New Zealand’s high rate of intermarriage between ethnicities.

    Are we to have seats for part-whites, part-Maori, part-Chinese, part-Indian, part-Samoan, part-Tongan, part-other? If not, is every New Zealander to be DNA-sampled and registered according to what these samples say about their ethnicity? In that case, who will decide the margins for a race-based electoral classification? Will it be more than 50 per cent? Or will it be the one-drop rule used by South African whites and the Confederates to decide who wasn’t “white”, and by Ngai Tahu to decide who is Ngai Tahu?

    Race based political representation is neo-Nazi crap, and it’s not coming from Kyle Chapman, but from MSM-approved types who sing the praises of multiculturalism and grizzle endlessly about Western “colonialism” and “cultural dominance”.

    Scientifically, the concept of “race” is bullshit. What race-based electoral advocates want therefore is a layered system that conforms to their own illusions and prejudices.

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  14. kowtow (13,448 comments) says:

    If race seats are OK then the notoion of equality is gone ,so why not wealth based seats?

    Rich pricks pay shit loads in taxes,they should get a bigger say in how their money is spent.

    I think it is abhorrent that some lazy cow who never worked in her life can be a burden on society ,taking taking taking.And then voting for whichever party promises to give her more.

    That’s theft.

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  15. Dave Stringer (220 comments) says:

    As a proud Welshman, I believe that if there are to be seats based on race, then we oo should be able to qualify. However, I would like to see a mandatory “pure-blood” test for anyone to qualify for inclusion on a race based electoral role, as otherwise the representation is not proper but is diluted by other races and/or ethnicities!

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  16. duggledog (2,394 comments) says:

    What if your race allegedly exposes the taxpayer to three dollars for every dollar earned by that race? As was brought to the media’s attention last year and promptly dismissed as racist.

    Does that mean you need more representation, or less representation? By your race, or another race which has its shit together like the Chinese?

    I do not know the answers to these questions

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  17. dime (13,135 comments) says:

    you cant have democracy without race based seats…

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  18. BlairM (2,768 comments) says:

    As I have pointed out before, Maori, by a MAJORITY, have voted with their feet and put themselves on the General Roll. There is NO MANDATE for Maori seats, since only a minority of Maori want to vote in them.

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  19. BlairM (2,768 comments) says:

    My view is actually that electorates should be flexible, and any voter should be able to choose what electorate they get to vote in. If we enacted this idea then it wouldn’t matter what sort of seats were set up or what title you gave them. You could have an Eritrean electorate if you wanted.

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  20. DrDr (133 comments) says:

    If the population is growing like StatsNZ are predicting then it will be not too long in the distant future that there will be larger voting blocs of peoples from the Pacific and Asia – so we can expect greater numbers from these ethnic groups having a chance of being elected at local council and possibly at the national level too. So special seats are not required. The same argument could and should probably be made regarding Māori seats too.

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  21. OlderChas (30 comments) says:

    Hmmmmm. The make-up of a North Shore council/board/whatever could be interesting with the number of Koreans, South Africans and Poms living there! Would there be ANY seats for Kiwis?

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  22. Bob R (1,861 comments) says:

    Dear Su’a William Sio,

    This is a democracy. One man/women one vote. If you don’t like it move somewhere else. Please don’t try to introduce an apartheid system here.



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  23. Bob R (1,861 comments) says:

    I note the double standard here too. At the moment if a European person said we need European representation they would be branded a bigot or r8cist. But if people like Sio are going to nakedly behave in an ethnocentric manner then inevitably Europeans will become more ethnocentric. So much for a colourblind society.

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  24. Manolo (22,383 comments) says:

    One man, one vote. End of story.

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