National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett says she found comments made by a minister in the House yesterday, questioning her Māori heritage, racist. …Jackson’s comments were slammed by Bennett who today called them “without a doubt” racist.
“It’s kind of like saying if we’re not like you, and fully entrenched and able to speak the language, then in your mind, we’re lesser Māori – I don’t think that’s necessary,” she told media after question time.
And not just Willie:
MP for Tāmaki Makaurau and Whānau Ora and Youth Minister Peeni Henare backed Jackson this afternoon.
In his view “blood quantum simply isn’t enough” when it comes to being Māori.
“I’ve always felt that you have to reach a threshold of need, participation and contribution in Māori Kūpapa. If you don’t, of course, questions are going to be raised.”
He said he was “more than happy” for those questions to be raised of anybody who claims to be Māori who does not meet that threshold.
Henare said he had not seen Bennett’s contribution to the community or to Māori Kūpapa.
“I haven’t seen her [Bennett] on the marae; I haven’t seen her dry dishes, I haven’t seen her do a karanga – therefore, it should be raised as a question.”
I don’t think those Labour MPs realise the own goal they are setting themselves up for.
If they are claiming merely having some Maori ancestry is not enough to qualify to be a proper Maori, then the number of Maori on the electoral roll would have to dramatically reduce, and hence the number of Maori seats.