This is one of the reasons why I have concerns over the Maori seats – the precedent it creates for other races to demand race based seats. We see this with the Waitakere Pacific Board calling for Pacific Island seats to be created on all Auckland Councils.
I see the strength of NZ is that we have so many races, and have lots of inter-race marriages so more and more Kiwis have some Maori blood, some PI blood, some Chinese blood etc etc. The US is a great example of how diverse racial backgrounds can create a strong country with an African American candidate for President, an Indian American Governor, Asian American Cabinet Ministers etc etc.
But they never have special seats for Americans of one particular race or bloodline. That is divisive.
I reject this statement especially:
Board chairman Taha Fasi said Islanders were lucky enough to have more than half of voters in Manukau City wards like Otara and Mangere, but the present system would never enable them to be voted become councillors in Waitakere.
“It does not matter how good our policies would be … at the end of the day the majority of voters are mainstream Pakeha and race is always an unseen and unsaid deciding factor,” Mr Fasi said.
This is a shameful view of fellow New Zealanders. The good folks of Wairarapa elected a Maori transsexual as their MP because they thought she was the best candidate. Gisborne and Dunedin have had Asian Mayors. Maori are actually over-represented in Parliament compared to their proportion of the adult population. Auckland City has a Pacific Island Councillor etc etc.
This shameful view seems to be shared by some in Labour:
The Pacific sector council of the Labour Party said Maori, Pacific and Asian communities ought to be represented at all levels of local decision-making through a mix of elected and appointed members.
But why stop there. Should South Africans get their own seats once they make up 1% of the population? And let us not lump all Asians in together. Chinese and Indians should have their own seperate seats. And hell the Scots hate being lumped in with the filthy English, so seperate electoral rolls for them also.