The Manukau City Council seem to be seized by a collective idiocy with their decision to ban 13,500 Maori from standing for or voting in the election for their Te Tiriti O Waitangi committee. They have said that only Maori who have chosen to enrol on the parliamentary Maori roll can vote.
One can have a separate debate about the usefulness or desirability of having an elected Te Tiriti O Waitangi committee, but if you are going to have one, then you have the vote open to all Maori.
There are many reasons Maori may choose to be on the general roll instead of the Maori roll – and to have officials claim that Maori on the general roll should be excluded because they were not committed to Maori issues, is idiocy.
Pita Sharples gets it right when he says:
“A Maori is a Maori. I agree with the complainant. Being on a roll is not about identity, it’s a political choice. Just because you are on one or the other doesn’t make you any more or any less Maori.”
My advice to Maori and non Maori alike in Manukau is to get a list of those Councillors who voted for this disenfranchisement, and make sure they all get booted off Council in 2007.