Dom Post on Ratana

January 27th, 2014 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Dom Post editorial:

The only question now is: how many seats will the Party lose this year? The party has lost the main reason for its being, which was the repeal Labour’s foreshore and seabed legislation. It has not really found another central cause to replace it. It is losing its two most distinguished politicians, Dr Sharples and Tariana Turia. And it has suffered the slow suffocation that all small parties suffer when they get into bed with a larger one.

The Maori Party may well lose one or even two electorate seats, but it is worth reflecting that if they lost two, then their party vote last time was high enough that they would have gained a list seat.

As the Maori middle class grows, it will produce more National supporters. At present, National’s share of the Maori vote remains small, of course, but it will rise, just as the Black Republican vote in the United States has increased. 

National picks up more support from Maori on the general roll than the Maori roll, but only post-election polls pick this up. In terms of the , the records are:

  • 1996 – 6.1%
  • 1999 – 5.7%
  • 2002 – 4.2%
  • 2005 – 4.3%
  • 2008 – 7.4%
  • 2011 – 8.6%

So very modest increases.  But much better than the US where in fact black Republican vote has been declining (except for 2004).

And already we have seen a notable rise in the number of National Maori MPs in the general seats – a trend which might have been encouraged by the link between National and the Maori Party.

National’s 9th Maori MP is sworn in this week – Jo Hayes. The breakdown of Maori MPs by type of seat is interesting.

  • Maori Seats – 7 – Labour 3, Maori Party 3, Mana 1
  • List Seats – 12 – National 5, Greens 3, Labour 2, NZ First 2
  • General Seats – 6 – National 4, Labour 2

It is MMP, however, which has had the most dramatic effect on Maori representation in parliament. The share of MPs of Maori descent in the house is now greater than the proportion of Maori in the wider population. This increase is wholly good, because it means the Maori voice is better heard in the national marae. 

The proportion is now 20.7% of Parliament are Maori. This compares to Maori being 14.1% of the overall population and just 11.3% of the adult population. So that is a very significant over-representation.

Some argue that we no longer need the Maori seats as a result, and indeed the Royal Commission which recommended MMP also believed the Maori seats would not be needed.

This may indeed be true, but it may be better to put off abolition until a majority of Maori approve it. 

I agree abolition should only happen by consent, but surely it is time to start that conversation, and even have a referendum among Maori on whether they wish to retain the Maori seats, bearing in mind how over-represented Maori MPs now are in Parliament.

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28 Responses to “Dom Post on Ratana”

  1. Harriet (4,969 comments) says:

    Maori are not only fully protected by all the laws of the land but also protected by the Treaty.

    It is long overdue that the Maori Seats be tossed into the political dustbin of history.

    And besides, nearly all so-called ‘Maori’ are actually something else other than Maori.

    The whole ‘Maori thing’ is becoming a huge joke. Not to mention the unfair cost of it on taxpayers!

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  2. Nigel (514 comments) says:

    I agree the smart move is let Maori decide, that could easily be hastened if the Maori party decline further, after all mana will be lucky to survive the next election and labour are but fair weather Maori friends.
    It raises an interesting question, given the over representation of Maori even excluding Maori seats ( based on adult Maori ), does this mean Maori are politically more savvy or that they now see politics as a viable path to achieve influence or just a statistical blip.

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  3. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Why on earth should abolition of the Maori seats wait until “a majority of Maori approve it”? Recent history tells us that is never going to happen…the Treaty gravy-trainers would always oppose it….National should grow some balls and abolish them, as per their election promises in 2008…There is no earthly reason 14% of the population should continue to have their special pleading indulged in this way…

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  4. rouppe (971 comments) says:

    What David said. Maori will never vote to remove Maori seats because it provides a guarantee if they decide things aren’t goin in their favour

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  5. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    NZ will be better off when that tin-pot “political” party disappears.

    The “eternal” Sharples should do something else for a living to pay his mortgage, instead of attempting to cling to a parliamentary seat.

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  6. Manolo (13,755 comments) says:

    I agree abolition should only happen by consent, but surely it is time to start that conversation…

    Didn’t Labour Lite promise their abolition by 2015?

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  7. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    The Maori seats need to go and the best way to eliminate them would be a binding referendum of the whole population, not just Maori. I can’t imagine holding a referendum that only one race could vote in. That really does sound like something from the apartheid era or Jim Crow South. The fact we have race-based parties in this century is a problem in and of itself.

    The Treaty claims process is completely separate in that it deals with righting historical wrongs. My only concern there is that it be clear these settlements are the last ones. We can’t repeat the process in another generation.

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  8. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Right and left: Your post was very sound…until the last para…anyone who really believes this latest round of “full and final” settlements is the last is incurably naive…The racists in the Maori Party openly say that no generation can bind those who are to follow, and that these settlements are just the latest installment…why would you disbelieve them??

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  9. EAD (1,073 comments) says:

    The concept of grievance politics as a long-term strategy is now so firmly entrenched in the minds of Maori elites that they won’t let it go. It’s just too successful a tactic to employ.

    That it creates utterly dysfunctional relationships between individuals, ethnicities and with the Government is immaterial. Where there is grievance to be peddled, and emotional blackmail to be made, the standard vernacular will emerge (“racist”, “bigot”, “coloniser”, “12 years a slave” etc).

    Western liberalism is complete and utter poison. It destroys rational thought, it keeps groups of people as slaves/dependants on whatever bones the bien-peasant governing class throw their way and creates an us and them mindsight which tears apart social fabric.

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  10. s.russell (1,642 comments) says:

    There is a simple way to have a referendum on the Maori seats among Maori: link their continuance to 50% of eligible Maori choosing the Maori roll. When the proportion drops below 50% they get abolished.

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  11. kowtow (8,449 comments) says:

    Now that Commodore Frank has sorted Fiji out maybe we should invite him over here to show us how to put the chiefs ,tribes and racist interests in their place in order to establish a genuinely representative House without race being a criteria for election!!!!!!

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  12. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    David Garrett,

    I’m aware that is what some Maori have been saying recently, and that is exactly my point. We cannot allow this to continue beyond the current round. Once these settlements are done we cannot accept any new grievances. Most importantly we cannot allow the Treaty to be included in any written Constitution. The whole thing is invalid because the two sides didn’t agree on what they were signing. They had such vastly different understandings of what the Treaty meant there is no way it should be used to influence laws today.

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  13. Paulus (2,626 comments) says:

    The Gravy Train put forward by Lange and Palmer has reached I understand $49,000,000,000 with more to come.
    Most of the earnings go to the Elite for their lifestyle – the majority of so called part maori get stuff all, but continue in poverty because the pakeha does not give them enough spending money – except now $60 per week to breed as put forward by Cunliffe today, and are not like to see anything meaningful – perhaps a new marae.
    The problem in the future appears to be that as maori loses most of that money over years through bad management and the next generation of troughers – normal for next generations to lose what their fathers and grandfathers received – look at history.
    Then they will then come back for more with an even more diluted race of “you owe me because you raped my great great great grandmother and paid with blankets and firearms in about 1800.
    The maori seats should go forthwith.
    The maori party will say farewell in November – all the so called seats will go to Labour.

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  14. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Right and left: You are whistling into the wind…You are quite right that the “so called Treaty” is no such thing…according to black letter law. The reality is sir Robin and his merry fellows of the Court of Appeal blew all that away and gave it legitimacy 25 years ago. When you say “We cannot allow this to continue” you might as well say “No family violence/drink driving/aggravated robbery should be permitted”

    We have fed the beast and the beast will, as a result, continue to grow…

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  15. igm (1,413 comments) says:

    1984: Lange and Palmer, “Vote for us and we will honour the Treaty”, totally effed this country, and until the Treaty is destroyed, along with all references to it, we will be paying for a select few living lives of luxury and indulgences. How Palmer can even walk in public, after what he has done, defies common decency, yet he thinks he is some sort of God when it comes to matters legal . . . he is an incompetent failed socialist goose.

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  16. AG (1,827 comments) says:

    I agree abolition should only happen by consent, but surely it is time to start that conversation, and even have a referendum among Maori on whether they wish to retain the Maori seats, bearing in mind how over-represented Maori MPs now are in Parliament.

    There’s an effective referendum on the Maori seats every five years, when the Maori Electoral Option is held. Following the 2013 option, there were 228,718 on the Maori roll and 184,630 on the General – a 55:45 split.

    Also, more newly enrolling Maori choose to go on the Maori roll than the General Electoral roll – at the 2013 option period, there were 6,454 who chose to go on the Maori roll and 2,721 on the General.

    I guess it is possible that a whole bunch of Maori who’ve chosen to enroll on the Maori roll would vote at a referendum in support doing away with that roll and the Maori seats they support. Possible … but unlikely.

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  17. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Ah, here is the professor to enlighten us…

    ” a failed incompetent socialist goose”…..As good a description of the other learned gentleman as I have heard!

    I have it on the best authority (Sir Roger, who was there) that Palmer told the Lange cabinet s.9 of the SOE’s Act was “meaningless window dressing”…That’s why they inserted it…Never can a legal opinion been so wrong…

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  18. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    DG

    Can you tell me why the Nat’s go to Ratana year after year?

    To me it seems a huge waste of their time and my tax payer dollar.

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  19. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    BB: Beats me old boy…grovelling to the Natives I suppose…

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  20. Jack McDonald (162 comments) says:

    Paulus, your understanding is completely incorrect.

    In reality the cost of financial restitution has only just recently passed $1bn.

    Which of course is still only about 1% of the value of all the land taken unjustly from Māori across the country.

    And the Govt is talking about full and final settlements? What a joke, we are nowhere near justice and proper restitution.

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  21. Jack McDonald (162 comments) says:

    Oh, and in one bail out (South Canterbury Finance) the Govt used as much resource as they have for all of the treaty settlements to date.

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  22. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    Jack McD: And that makes endless “treaty settlements” justified? Or do you agree that they will be endless, and just think that is the price of peace?

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  23. Jack McDonald (162 comments) says:

    I would hope that they don’t need to be endless, but there is much work to be done if we are going to get anywhere near honouring the terms of the legal Treaty, which is the Te Reo Māori text.

    Many iwi sign poor deals because of the financial/social pressures and the divide and rule tactics from the crown who only agree to negotiate with certain hapū/iwi.

    Surely you can’t think returning 1% of what was stolen is anywhere near approaching fair or just.

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  24. David Garrett (7,271 comments) says:

    JAck: Quit while you are only slightly behind lad…NEITHER text of the “treaty” has any validity under international law relating to treaties…it was given legitimacy by Sir Robin and his pals, and we have to live with the consequences

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  25. big bruv (13,886 comments) says:

    Jack

    Given that you seem to be the spokesman (self appointed I note) for things Maori can you tell me why it is that your people kill their young so often?

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  26. Steve Wrathall (284 comments) says:

    There will be no end to Maori demands for special treatment. It’s been admitted to our faces.
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WJpRwCi9Cs8
    The only answer is for the majority to say “enough”

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  27. Rightandleft (663 comments) says:

    Jack,

    The problem with using the Maori text is that the British never would have signed it if they understood its English meaning. People often complain the Maori would not have signed the English version had they understood its meaning (and they’re right) but they seem to forget the reverse is just as true. There is no way the Victorian era British would have agreed to a partnership with a people they viewed as their inferiors. There is no other case in the British Empire where they agreed to such a thing. We are trying to apply the enlightened ideals of the modern era retrospectively onto a document that had no such meaning at the time.

    Personally I agree with Professor Elizabeth Rata’s argument that biculturalism has been an absolute failure in terms of improving the lot of Maori and has become something of a religion for its adherents because they continue to believe in it despite all the evidence against it. My favourite Rata quote: “What other developed country has taken the Orwellian step of treating tribalism as progressive?”

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  28. somewhatthoughtful (465 comments) says:

    I don’t think the maori/national black/republican comparison is really appropriate though. The Republican party is full of vocal members and supporters who actively hate black people, the same can’t be said for National and Maori (well, at least parliamentary members, seems to be more than a few supporters here who I’d class among the haters and bigots/racists). Makes sense that black people would tell a party that actively campaigns against them (same for hispanics) to fuck right off.

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