Poll: 13% want Maori seats scrapped ASAP

A 1 News Colmar Brunton poll asked what New Zealander’s views on the Maori seats were.

  • They should be kept: 55%
  • They should be abolished some time in the future: 23%
  • They should be abolished as soon as possible: 13%

So there is not much immediate pressure to abolish the Maori seats.

1 News: Majority of New Zealanders want to retain the Maori seats

The poll tested opinion after Winston Peters announced three weeks ago that a referendum on the Maori seats was a bottom line for New Zealand First support after the election.

Maori Party co leader Te Ururoa Flavell says…

…he’s “pretty buoyed” by those results.

“I think that endorses the notion that New Zealanders see some value in those seats, number one, and rejects the notion that has been promulgated by Mr Peters”.

Winston Peters:

“The MMP promise was that in time it would demonstrate there was no need for Maori seats. And today we’ve got 24 per cent.”

I think he’s referring to 24% of MPs who identify as Maori.

Prime Minister Bill English:

“We’ve always said our preference is current coalition partners. We don’t rule out New Zealand First.”

An odd comment on this but that has a clear implication National value the Maori Party as a coalition partner and have no immediate plans to address the Maori Seat question.

Ardern’s comment in the 1 News item doesn’t relate to the Maori seat question, but she was clear on The Nation in the weekend:

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.

…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: 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?

Andrew Geddis at The Spinoff:  The trouble with Winston Peters’ referendums

…his call to allow voters to decide the future of the Māori seats is superficially attractive. However, it ignores the fact that the five-yearly Māori electoral option already provides a de-facto referendum on this question.

During this option period, every voter of Māori descent can choose whether to be on the Maori or General electoral roll. If enough Māori voters decide to switch from the Māori to the General roll, then the Māori seats automatically will cease to exist.

Instead, 55% of all Māori voters prefer to be on the Māori roll. That point really needs emphasising; a majority of those Māori enrolled to vote consciously have chosen that the Māori seats should continue.

So most Maori prefer to be on the Maori seats, and most New Zealanders (78%) support retaining the seats or see see it as something to look at some time in the future.

Peters now is proposing the non-Māori majority will get to decide the future of these seats for Māori. That is just a really, really bad idea. Putting aside the sheer injustice of the proposal, it is a recipe for divisive social conflict.

And so, the Constitutional Review Panel charged with examining New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements concluded in 2013:

Although the Panel received a large number of submissions supporting the removal of the Māori seats this option is not recommended. It is inappropriate for longstanding rights of a minority to be taken away simply because that minority is outnumbered. The existence of the Māori seats does not impede or limit the rights of other New Zealanders to exercise their vote.

For the same reason the Panel does not support the view it heard that a general referendum should be held on the retention or abolition of the Māori seats. The question about options for the Māori seats and Māori representation requires a more nuanced decision-making tool that takes account of minority views. The Panel agrees that the decision about the future of Māori seats should remain in the hands of Māori.

That conclusion was right then, and it remains right today. Peter’s attempt to stir up some Don-Brash-Orewa-speech-era poll magic is a mad, bad and dangerous one.

An important aspect of a representative democracy (and a key reason why we have such a system) is that it is a responsibility of elected representatives to protect the rights of minorities.

That’s why we don’t have binding referendums on reducing taxes for the majority and putting them up for a minority, or having state subsidies on fuel, or banning minority political parties, or banning Catholics, or scrapping the Maori seats.

Leave a comment

25 Comments

  1. Gezza

     /  August 8, 2017

    😆 This should be good …

    Reply
    • Pete Kane

       /  August 8, 2017

      Seriously G, how surprised were you?

      Reply
      • Gezza

         /  August 8, 2017

        Pleasantly surprised, to be honest Pete.

        Reply
        • Alan Wilkinson

           /  August 8, 2017

          I wonder what context the question was in when it got asked. The result does seem too surprising to be true even after the abolition vote was deliberately split.

          Reply
          • Gezza

             /  August 8, 2017

            Dunno Al. Looking at the result, whatever it was it looks like it was the right question to me. 👍🏼 👍🏾

            Reply
            • Alan Wilkinson

               /  August 8, 2017

              Anyone got a list of the questions asked and sequence?

            • Gezza

               /  August 8, 2017

              Anyone know who Al’s voting for ? i dunno if he’s confessed yet ?

          • Patzcuaro

             /  August 8, 2017

            Fake surveys as well as fake news? Fake appears to have developed a new meaning as per Trump English Dictionary.
            Fake 1. Not genuine
            2. Something you don’t agree with

            Reply
            • Conspiratoor

               /  August 8, 2017

              Gotta love those fake surveys with their politically correct answers designed to appease the masses

            • Gezza

               /  August 8, 2017

              Just received another batch of them from Winston, c?

  2. sorethumb

     /  August 8, 2017

    An odd comment on this but that has a clear implication National value the Maori Party as a coalition partner and have no immediate plans to address the Maori Seat question.
    ………
    Maori are flexible and for sale. Listen to Margaret Mutu’s spin on the last episode of A Slice of Heaven
    “There’s that real fear our fisheries will go kaput, our water will be polluted beyond belief…we’re all going to end up speaking Chinese…that’s already happened here but it wasn’t done by Asians.” – Slice of Heaven, Ep 4.
    http://www.radionz.co.nz/programmes/slice-of-heaven/story/201853337/slice-of-heaven

    So we’ll sell it all off have zillions of Chinese tourists. After all “being Maori has always been about people” Marxist Mutu.

    Reply
    • phantom snowflake

       /  August 8, 2017

      You must be wearing seven-league boots to be able to leap from comments by Margaret Mutu to “Maori are…for sale.” You seem to be attributing her with great authority, yet the truth is that even within her own Ngati Kahu she is a divisive figure with much opposition. And by the way; she does not magically become a Marxist just because your buddy Redbaiter says she is!

      Reply
      • sorethumb

         /  August 8, 2017

        Perhaps not a Marxist (not understanding the taxonomy) but a post modernist. Informed by Gramsci and Foucault? She is promoting globalism and diversity, essentially throwing out tribalism and ethnic nationalism – citizenship, in exchange for a multicultural society where it is assumed all the participants are playing a game managed by government agency’s.

        Reply
  3. Corky

     /  August 8, 2017

    This should be a hoot. Few will see the relevance.

    Reply
    • sorethumb

       /  August 8, 2017

      Few will see the relevance. You mean te post-modernist Te Ao Maori and Muslim world view (Alice in Maoriland)?

      Reply
  4. Patzcuaro

     /  August 8, 2017

    I hate to say ” I told you so ” but there I’ve done it. It is just not an issue that impacts on most people’s lives.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  August 8, 2017

      Drives some Pakehas crackers, but they’re mostly silly old white duffers or nutjobs from what I can see.

      Reply
      • sorethumb

         /  August 8, 2017

        A house divided upon itself cannot stand.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  August 8, 2017

          Exactly. Clealy most people see it that way too & they don’t see a need to get rid of the Maori seats. It’s all good bro. 👍🏼

          Reply
          • sorethumb

             /  August 8, 2017

            Do you support Maori ownership of the foreshore and seabed Gezza?

            Reply
            • Gezza

               /  August 8, 2017

              Not a lot, no.

            • Gezza

               /  August 8, 2017

              Not a lot, no. (Not quite sure what that’s got to do with retaining the Maori seats though.)

              What about yourself?

            • Patzcuaro

               /  August 8, 2017

              Yellow card for deflection.

        • sorethumb

           /  August 8, 2017

          Maori have just joined National as property developers.

          Reply
    • PDB

       /  August 8, 2017

      Yep, a non-issue.

      Reply

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