There’s a New Zealand rugby team, the All Blacks. So Maori wanted their own team, the Maori All Blacks.
New Zealand has a public broadcasting corporation, TVNZ. So Maori demanded and got their own TV corporation, Maori Television.
New Zealand has a government broadcasting funding agency, NZ On Air, which invests your money and mine in a range of local television, radio, music and new media content “to extend choices for New Zealand audiences”. Oh, and NZ on Air has a Maori Innovation fund ($1 million) for the creation of innovative, primetime Māori television programmes. Applications close 5pm, 15 April. But sure enough, Maori wanted their own funding agency and so we have Te Mangai Paho which makes funding available (your money and mine) to the national network of Maori radio stations and for the production of Maori language television programmes, radio programmes and music CDs.
We have Sportsman (and Sportswoman) of the Year Awards open to all. And so, inevitably, Maori had to have their own sports awards (non-Maori keep out).
We have elections at which all New Zealanders can vote in general electorates. But then there’s a cluster of Maori seats in which your eligibility to vote is determined by your ethnicity.
Yep. You’ve got to be one of our special indigenous people to vote in these electorates.
We have a civil defence force that has been doing a splendid job in the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake. And so – it had to happen – some bugger has popped up to suggest it’s time for a Maori civil defence force.
Alf heard the news on Waatea Radio.
A co-ordinator of the Tainui relief effort in Christchurch says the disaster shows it’s time for a national Maori civil defence force.
Hone Pene has been in the earthquake overseeing teams of builders, health workers and caterers.
He says the assistance coming in from Maori from around the country is outstanding, but the help could have been there faster.
“Maybe its time for us as te iwi Maori thought about setting up our own civil defence, having direct contact and links with ministers so that we are not reliant on having to go through a tauiwi system in order to activate a rapid response,” Mr Pene says.
Alf is not sure how this outfit would operate.
He imagines it will burst into action, on being alerted to a disaster like the Christchurch earthquake, and begin doing whatever it can to help people in desperate need of rescuing, medical attention, and so on.
But it would only help Maori people, presumably, because there would be other outfits at work to help the rest of us. There’s not much point in having a special Maori team if it is simply going to replicate the work of the others and be non-discriminatory with its work.
Alf has another idea for Hone Pene to promote.
What about a Maori Inland Revenue Department?
This would collect taxes from Maori for a special Maori Consolidated Fund, Maori Treasury or whatever.
And this fund would provide the readies for the funding of all the Maori agencies that now are funded with your money and mine.
Maori money for the multitude of Maori ministries, agencies, organisations and what-have-you.
No longer would these outfits have to depend on general taxes for their dosh, and no longer would general taxpayers have to cough up for the activities of outfits from which they are excuded.
Our super-city’s Maori Statutory Board would no longer have to badger the Auckland Council for a few million bucks for its trough. Its appointees and their retinue of helpers would be funded from these Maori taxes.
Or from a similar structure to collect Maori rates in Auckland.
Must have a chat with Rodney Hide. This looks like a winner.