Willie Jackson has popped up in New Plymouth to confirm Alf’s suspicions that some indigenous persons in this country feel the Treaty of Waitangi entitles them to a half share of anything that’s up for grabs, especially a slice of the political action.
He can count on bumping into some craven Pakeha person who is only too willing to give away the half share of the action that Jackson is claiming.
New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd comes into this category. He reckons Maori should be given half the seats on his council – and on every other council in the land. Never minds what the citizens think.
Jackson obviously concurs that this is a fair go.
According to this report in the Daily News:
Media personality Willie Jackson has backed New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd, confirming Maori have a claim to 50 per cent of the seats on council tables under the Treaty of Waitangi.
“But all we are claiming here is one seat,” he said.
“It’s an acknowledgement that Maori exist.”
An acknowledgement that Maori exist?
Is there some suggestion that some people in our society do not acknowledge they exist?
Not in Alf’s neck of the woods.
And nowhere else, he imagines.
Jackson was in New Plymouth – it seems – for a forum on Maori wards which drew an audience of about 400 into the TSB Showplace Theatre Royal, while about 200 people watched online.
Fair to say, he is realistic enough to see that Maori would not win this battle in New Plymouth if a majority of the citizens were to have their say:
The community would vote down a Maori ward when the referendum went ahead, he said.
In fact, Jackson went as far as to say no Maori political leaders, including his team mates Marama Fox, co leader of the Maori Party, or Metiria Turei, co-leader of the Green Party, would stand a chance of being elected to New Plymouth’s council.
“Stroppy Maori will never get on your council.
“Democracy does not work sometimes for indigenous minorities. Wake up New Plymouth, wake up Taranaki.”
Alf is pleased to see that common sense was injected into proceedings by Winston Peters, who challenged this and said Maori could win a seat on a council on their own merits if they tried hard enough.
He was critical of race-based seats (as we all should be).
“If we go down this pathway I know what the future is going to be and it is sad,” Peters said.
“If you open up this Pandora’s Box you will never close it.”
He said focusing on Maori healthcare, education and employment were more important than “giving” a seat to someone.
“How does it feel to be there because someone gave you the seat,” he said.
He said if you wanted to be the best in the field, whether that be in rugby or politics, you had stand and win against the best.
That Fox sheila from the Maori Party turned up for the occasion and was described as the best speaker of the night. Alf is bound to observe, however, that she talked a load of bollocks: she said Maori needed a ward seat to be elected on account of their having been downtrodden and they could not win the popularity contest that is politics.
Fox said the community did not have to be fearful of what giving Maori a voice would do.
Maori cared just as much as anyone else about the future of the community and were not asking for more than they were entitled to.
“I want to live in a country where we respect each other’s culture.”
Alf is happy to respect other cultures.
It is not so easy to see why respecting another culture should mean he should agree to race-based council seats – or Parliamentary seats – being specially provided for any ethnic group.
Metiria Turei was there too, burbling similar tosh.
She said both her and Peters were now in Parliament as a result of MMP, a system which was put in place to create a fairer chance at democracy.
Creating a Maori ward would also enable a better shot at dhdemocracy for Maori, who were unfairly disadvantaged because of the way they had been disenfranchised.
When did they lose the right to vote?
Oh, that’s right. They didn’t.
But her grasp of history doesn’t extend that far, apparently.
She said Maori and Pakeha stood shoulder to shoulder to fight in WWII and deserved to stand shoulder to shoulder when making decisions about New Plymouth’s land, rivers and services.
The Treaty demanded that Maori be active in decision-making, she said.
“That partnership means a vote.
“We cannot sacrifice the principles of fairness.”
Sigh. They have the vote already.
They have had it for a helluva long time.
The blokes were given it before sheilas of any ethnic composition.
Alf observes that Mayor (but not for long) Judd isn’t alone with his silly ideas about special seats for indigenous persons.
According to this report from Sun Live:
New Plymouth’s Maori seats argument is being supported by Bay of Plenty Regional Councillor Doug Owens, who claims opposition to them is ‘political prejudice’.
In a letter to New Plymouth Mayor Andrew Judd, Doug states the assertion that Maori wards are separatist has no relevance in today’s political environment.
This fellow recommends his regional council’s Local Maori Ward system
…as the most viable political option for local New Zealand, as local government moves into the new statutory environment of Co-Governance.
“Through the monthly meetings of the BOPRC Komite Maori, the full Council have resolutions prepared that are acceptable to Maori,” says Doug.
He talks of the new statutory environment of co-governance as something worthy.
He just doesn’t get it that lots of people happen to think otherwise. And they don’t like electoral arrangements being imposed on them – they like to have a say in matters.
The same say on the same terms as any other group in their society.
They happen to think this is democracy.