Ardern on the Māori seats

Jacinda Ardern and Kelvin Davis were questioned on The Nation about Labour’s position on the Māori seats.

Lisa Owen: OK, well, while we’re talking about the Maori seats, Winston Peters– This is another one of Winston’s bottom lines is to have a referendum on the Maori seats. Would you pay that price? Would you be prepared to pay that price to get into government?

Kelvin Davis: We’re not going to have a referendum on Maori seats. It’s off the table.

Lisa Owen: I see a head shake. A referendum is asking the people. You know, you would find out whether you have to get rid of them or not from the people. Definite no? Even at the price of government?

Kelvin Davis: No, Hone Harawira tried to sell the Tai Tokerau for $3.5 million last election to Kim Dotcom, and here’s Winston trying to give away all seven for nothing.

Lisa Owen: OK. So, Ms Ardern, definite no on a referendum, even if it’s the price of a deal with Winston Peters?

Jacinda Ardern: What we said on Tuesday is that we don’t want to spend the entire election campaign talking about other parties’ policies. So I’m happy to share with you Labour’s policy in that area.

Lisa Owen: Well, this is about how you would form a government. This is about how you would form a government. And voters want to know that, and that’s why I’m asking you. And you were shaking your head, so no referendum on the Maori seats?

Jacinda Ardern: The makeup of government will be determined by voters. So voters deserve to know what each political party’s position on those issues are. Labour’s position on that issue is that the Maori seats are for Maori to decide. Labour will allow only Maori to make the decision about those seats. That is our position.

Lisa Owen: All right. So, is Labour’s position, Labour’s policy, no referendum on Maori seats?

Jacinda Ardern: Only Maori should have the decision around whether or not those seats remain. We’ll stay firm on that.

Lisa Owen: That sounds like you could have a referendum where only Maori on the electoral roll could vote.

Jacinda Ardern: I believe that’s what Shane Jones might have– See, there’s not even clarity within New Zealand First on this position.

Lisa Owen: That’s why I’m wanting clarity around your policy. You’re saying Maori should decide, so Maori on the electoral roll, they could be polled whether they think that the seats should stay.

Jacinda Ardern: Well, that’s a question for Winston because he’s the one coming up with–

Lisa Owen: No, I’m asking you your policy. I’m asking your policy.

Jacinda Ardern: And I’m being very clear – only Maori will decide whether those Maori seats remain. We have no reason right now– I have not heard from–

Lisa Owen: That leaves the door open for a referendum of people on the Maori roll.

Jacinda Ardern: No, it does not. Maori have not raised the need for those seats to go, so why would we ask the question?

Kelvin Davis: Those seats were foisted upon Maori back in the 1860s just to really control our voting power, and we’ve become quite fond of them, to be honest, so we really don’t want them to go.

Jacinda Ardern: It’s not on the agenda.

I think there would be hell to pay in Labour and amongst Maori if Labour agreed to an all-voter referendum on the Māori seats. It has to be a non-negotiable for in any coalition wrangling with NZ First.

Māori get to choose every five years whether they want Maori seats or not.

ABOUT THE MĀORI ELECTORAL OPTION

The Option only happens once every five years or so, just after the New Zealand Census of Population and Dwellings.

What you decide during the Māori Electoral Option is an important choice, as it determines who will represent you in Parliament.

If you’re on the General Electoral Roll, you will vote for an MP in a General Electorate at the next General Election. If you’re on the Māori Electoral Roll, you will vote for an MP in a Māori Electorate at the next General Election. Every voter, regardless of which electoral roll they are on or where they live in the country, has the same list of political parties to choose from when using their Party Vote.

The results of the Māori Electoral Option together with the Census data are used to determine the number of Māori and General Electorates in Parliament and to revise the electorate boundaries.

How does the Māori Electoral Option affect the number of Māori electorates?

There are currently seven Māori electorates. If more Māori enrol on the Māori roll, it could mean more Māori electorate seats in parliament. The number of General Electorate seats could also change.

Visit Calculating Future Māori and General Electorates for more detail.

 

 

14 Comments

  1. chrism56

     /  August 6, 2017

    Well, there goes another of Winston’s bottom lines. Not many options left for him now, is there.

  2. Gezza

     /  August 6, 2017

    Jacinda Ardern: The makeup of government will be determined by voters. So voters deserve to know what each political party’s position on those issues are. Labour’s position on that issue is that the Maori seats are for Maori to decide. Labour will allow only Maori to make the decision about those seats. That is our position.

    Lisa Owen: All right. So, is Labour’s position, Labour’s policy, no referendum on Maori seats?

    Jacinda Ardern: Only Maori should have the decision around whether or not those seats remain. We’ll stay firm on that.

    Lisa Owen: That sounds like you could have a referendum where only Maori on the electoral roll could vote.

    Jacinda Ardern: I believe that’s what Shane Jones might have – See, there’s not even clarity within New Zealand First on this position.

    😮 It’s like she’s reading my mind here.
    I’m liking her so far …. 😍

    • Alan Wilkinson

       /  August 6, 2017

      Do you want Chinese and Pacific Island seats as well?

      • Gezza

         /  August 6, 2017

        Nah. Foreigners Al.

      • Patzcuaro

         /  August 6, 2017

        As Davis said the Maori Seats were foisted upon them by the European settlers while they were grabbing all the good land. Now the European settlers want to take them back. If I was Maori I would want to keep them if only to piss the Europeans off, it is called “utu”.

        Do the Maori Seats actually cause any harm or effect the proportionality of parliament? In my view no, it is just Europeans being greedy.

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 6, 2017

          Yes, they perpetuate and aggravate racial policies and divides. That is why you don’t want the equivalents for Chinese and Pacific Islanders.

          • Gezza

             /  August 6, 2017

            Nonsense Al. Put ya Mrs on. I’m not gonna get any reason out you. Go & make her some breakfast or walk the dogs or something.

          • Patzcuaro

             /  August 6, 2017

            I don’t think anyone is suggesting Chinese or PI seats, they can form parties to represent their interests and stand in general seats or attempt to get over the 5% threshold on the party vote. Without a charismatic leader or candidate that will be a hard ask. The 5% threshold on the party vote is too high. Even the Maori Party is struggling to get past 1.5% on the party vote.

            The Maori seats arose under the first past the post electorate based system we used to have. Personal I think that they should only be removed when Maori as a whole want to give them up. In the mean time I don’t loose any sleep over their existence, there are many other more important issues that need action.

    • Chuck Bird

       /  August 6, 2017

      Shane Jones is not the leader of NZF. There is a split between Jacinda and Kelvin Davis on this Issue.

      • Gezza

         /  August 6, 2017

        What exactly IS Winston’s policy on them ? Today, I mean. 😳

        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 6, 2017

          You know Winston never answers a question like that with anything but a five minute rant.

          • Patzcuaro

             /  August 6, 2017

            At the end of the rant you will be none the wiser.

  1. Ardern on the Māori seats — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition