Karl du Fresne writes:
As I said in a recent letter to the Times-Age, New Zealanders need to decide what type of government they want: one that serves all citizens equally, or one that recognises a minority racial group as having rights that trump those of the majority.
This doesn’t mean sweeping aside Maori rights. But it’s one thing to treat Maori fairly and respectfully, as is their due, and quite another to undermine the fundamental democratic principles from which all New Zealanders – Maori, Pakeha and everyone else – benefit.
It’s worth reminding ourselves that people of Maori descent enjoy the same rights as the rest of us. These include the right to stand for councils and to get elected, as many have done. That would provide the opportunity to be represented in the running of a legitimately constituted Three Waters governance structure. But the powerful iwi interests that influence the government (and in particular Labour’s Maori caucus, which is a power centre in its own right) want to bypass that process and enjoy a seat at the table as of right.
To put it another way, the Three Waters project, as it stands, involves replacing democracy with another form of government for which we don’t have a name.
Actually I think there is a name for it. If you make representation dependent on race and members of one race get 5.7 times the voting power of all the other races, there is indeed a name for it.