Labour Maori versus Paula Bennett continues

Yesterday I posted about Labour list MP Willie Jackson’s slagging off of the Māoriness of Paula Bennett and other National MPs in Parliament on Wednesday – “You have useless Māoris”.

Bennett followed up in Question Time in Parliament yesterday:

8. Hon PAULA BENNETT (Deputy Leader—National) to the Minister of Employment: Does he stand by his approach to Mana in Mahi, and how many Māori participants are involved in the Mana in Mahi programme?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON (Minister of Employment): To answer the first part of the question, yes, I stand by the approach that this Government has taken, which is to deliver Mana in Mahi in a phased approach. To answer the second part of the question, a total of 143 clients have been placed in Mana in Mahi so far. Of these participants, 75 have identified as Māori—52 percent.

Hon Paula Bennett: Well, how does he determine whether the Māori in the Mana in Mahi programme are Māori enough to be counted?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: Well, that’s easy—that’s easy. It’s a well-known fact in this country that if you acknowledge your whakapapa Māori, you can be part of the setup. It’s a little bit unlike when the National Party used to measure Māori by half-castes and by how much of a percentage you had. We brought in this rule that if you whakapapa to Māori, like the good member does over there, then you’re Māori.

Hon Paula Bennett: Does he respect Māori participating in Mana in Mahi regardless of their background or skin colour, or, as he ascertained yesterday in this House, whether or not he thinks they’re Māori on that day or not?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: I think the member might be talking about herself. The reality is that I have total respect for Māori, whether they speak the language, whether they were brought up in a Pākehā environment, Asian environment. If they choose to whakapapa to Māori, like the good member, I respect her and any other Māori.

Rt Hon Winston Peters: Can I ask the Minister what happens when your discovery of whakapapa Māori is rather like Columbus’ discovery of America—purely by accident?

So Winston Peters has joined in the attack.

Hon Paula Bennett: Do the Māori in the Mana in Mahi programme need a Māori-sounding surname to participate, or will he be telling people with names like the name Bidois that they should go back to Italy?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: I mean, these types of silly questions are not necessary. The reality is, and the member should know, that a general debate is a general debate, so get over it.

Hon Paula Bennett: Does he expect, then, men in the Mana in Mahi programme to tell women, like he did yesterday, that they are useless while they’re working?

Hon WILLIE JACKSON: I take offence at that. I just said that some of the Māori MPs in National were useless, like that member.

 

Later yesterday NZ Herald:  National’s Paula Bennett says comments calling into question her Māori heritage were ‘racist’

National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett says she found comments made by a minister in the House yesterday, questioning her Māori heritage, racist.

Yesterday, in a speech during Parliament’s general debate, Minister of Employment and Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson took aim at the Māori members of the National Party.

National’s deputy leader Paula Bennett says she found comments made by a minister in the House yesterday, questioning her Māori heritage, racist.

Yesterday, in a speech during Parliament’s general debate, Minister of Employment and Associate Māori Development Minister Willie Jackson took aim at the Māori members of the National Party.

“The reality is that I have total respect for Māori, whether they speak the language, whether they were brought up in a Pākehā environment, Asian environment. If they choose to whakapapa to Māori, like the good member, I respect her and any other Māori,” he told the House.

Speaking to media on his way out of Question Time, NZ First Leader – and Deputy Prime Minister – Winston Peters said Bennett’s claim that Jackson was being racist was “ridiculous”.

He also said the press gallery should “get a sense of humour” when pressed on the issue.

So attacks by Jackson and Peters are ‘humour’? That’s an old (and badly flawed) excuse.

MP for Tāmaki Makaurau and Whānau Ora and Youth Minister Peeni Henare backed Jackson this afternoon.

In his view “blood quantum simply isn’t enough” when it comes to being Māori.

“I’ve always felt that you have to reach a threshold of need, participation and contribution in Māori Kaupapa. If you don’t, of course, questions are going to be raised.”

He said he was “more than happy” for those questions to be raised of anybody who claims to be Māori who does not meet that threshold.

https://twitter.com/PeeniHenare/status/1123853652890935297

Jackson has long been provocative, but it’s different (and disappointing) seeing an MP like Henare joining him in this slanging match.

It is sad to see the Labour MPs using Māoriness as a political weapon.

Tova O’Brien:  Willie Jackson, Paula Bennett locked in fierce racism row

And no matter which side you’re on, it’s an ugly row. Racism, whether it’s actual or perceived, has no place in Parliament – or New Zealand.

I wonder where Jacinda Ardern stands on this? Or is she as powerless and impotent with the Labour Māori caucus as she is with Winston Peters and Shane Jones?

Leave a comment

18 Comments

  1. Gerrit

     /  3rd May 2019

    Ardern is helpless in this situation as 30% of the Labour seats are held by Maori. She will not say anything.

    Must be hard for Labour/Greens to try and be progressive but are constantly hamstrung by traditionalist from both the Labour and NZFirst Maori factions.

    Labour’s Maori faction trying to justify shades of Maoriness by how many times you go to the marae and for the women how many times they do the dishes at the marae?

    Ardern’s inclusiveness going down the drain faster than her “They are us” slogan.

    Reply
  2. Corky

     /  3rd May 2019

    Willie and other Maori have it in for the likes of Maori like Bennett. Wilie always said during his talkback career that Maori are welcome to participate in both local and central government. But they wont get elected if they push a Maori perspective. He used John Tamahere’s failed attempts to be elected to Auckland regional councils as an example. It will be interesting to see how JT goes this time around.

    While I hate to admit it, I agree with Willie to a certain extent on this issue. The number of part Maori who are, to use JT’s term,born again Hori’s, is phenomenal. From name changes to ta moko, these new model Maori infest our land. I have known Maori who hid their Maori links. But when money and social leverage started coming into the equation, their Maoriness blossomed. I personally find these people offensive, and actively call them out as I have done on this blog. Simon Bridges is an example.

    “I haven’t seen her [Bennett] on the marae; I haven’t seen her dry dishes, I haven’t seen her do a karanga – therefore, it should be raised as a question.”

    Chris Bishop misunderstood what ”drying the dishes” meant in the context Peeni used it.

    ”I wonder where Jacinda Ardern stands on this? Or is she as powerless and impotent with the Labour Māori caucus as she is with Winston Peters and Shane Jones?”

    Jacinda may be the PM…but in the Maori caucus world she is just a woman. She needs to know her place when it comes to things Maori. And, no, her baby having a Maori middle name stand for nothing..except the shallowness of PC and cultural diversity.

    Reply
    • Gezza

       /  3rd May 2019

      Jacinda may be the PM…but in the Maori caucus world she is just a woman
      Drawing a very long bow there & I doubt that is correct.

      They will all know full well she is virtually the only reason they’re occupying the government benches as the party was nose-diving under Andy Little. She will likely wisely defer to Maori on things Maori unless an overriding Prime Ministerial decision is called for that the Party accepts has to apply to all New Zealanders.

      But there’s ample evidence she is given rangatira status among Maori including her own caucus – even if she does serve sausages from the barbecue & even help out with the dishes.

      Just out of interest, & I mean no offence Corky, but do you LOOK Maori? If someone who doesn’t know you sees you on the street, do they take you for a Pakeha or a Maori?

      Reply
      • Gerrit

         /  3rd May 2019

        Gezza @ “do they take you for a Pakeha or a Maori?”

        A racist and disparaging comment. There are other races in Tauiwi and for all you know he/she may be any race.

        Do you need people to identify as a particular race before they are able to offer an opinion?

        As for Ardern being “given rangatira status among Maori including her own caucus” simply means that its a case of “dont bite of the hand that feeds us”. They need her there as vote catcher. The relationship between her and the Maori caucus is one of codependency. One is nothing without the other so appeasement is the order of the day.

        Reply
        • Gezza

           /  3rd May 2019

          A racist and disparaging comment.
          @ Gerrit

          No it’s not. You are projecting your worldview onto me. It’s just a simple question to Corky, not you, & his answer imay be relevant to further questions I may want to ask him.

          I haven’t made any disparaging comment at all about either him or Maori, so why not just quickly pull your head in on that one?

          My sister’s married to someone with Maori whakapapa & their eldest son is on the Maori Roll. Neither my brother-in-law nor my nephew look Maori, nor did his grandfather, until he was in about his 60’s. They don’t speak Maori & are not perceived as Maori. They are always assumed to be Pakeha & are treated as such.

          Their skin colour is olive, like mine, & I’m Pakeha, although I have been mistaken sometimes by Maori for being Maori – not that I found that in any way objectionable, I usually just give a smile & say, “No, Pakeha through & through”.

          Corky identifies himself as Maori here, but typically posts like a Pakeha in that his views on Maori are frequently like those of a right wing Pakeha or someone like Winston Peters whose features could also pass in the street as Italian.

          Some Maori with Pakeha lineage look VERY Maori. And because of that they get treated very differently to you snd me. They go into a store & they are watched more closely by the staff, simply because they look Maori. I have seen it happen.

          It’s not so easy for some Maori to be “just an ordinary New Zealander” like all the rest of us. And so I’m curious to know now whether Corky looks more Pakeha than Maori because that can very easily change the way Pakeha treat him & how much choice he gets about how he can operate & self-identify in NZ society.

          Reply
          • Kitty Catkin

             /  3rd May 2019

            I suspect that he looks more Pakeha than Maori because he is Pakeha. The way he talks about Maori people sounds like someone who is talking about a race that is not their own. The way he talks about women makes it clear that he isn’t one, even if he does wear a dress sometimes.

            Reply
  3. adamsmith1922

     /  3rd May 2019

    Willie Jackson is a nasty piece of work and Peters is a racist, and vindictive individual who indulged his hatred of National again..
    Yet again why we see Ardern for all her empathy is a total failure as a leader.

    Reply
  4. Gezza

     /  3rd May 2019

    Willie saying dumb stuff like he did in that General Debate, like he is still on the Willie & JT radio show, is potentially rich territory for National to exploit because he’s so used to on air smart arsery it seems now its just instinctive for him to just open his mouth, spout silly stuff, & think about what he said later.

    I can’t see him changing but this dimwitted scrapping about Maoriness he’s started could very quickly get nasty.

    Reply
    • Kitty Catkin

       /  3rd May 2019

      The old ‘where’s your sense of humour/can’t you take a joke?’ when someone’s being offensive wears thin.

      Reply
  5. duperez

     /  3rd May 2019

    Labour MPs using Māoriness as a political weapon?

    I can understand the sadness at a lack of standards, the lack of class and the lack of intellect, but when the tide is washing out and in the hurly-burly ‘Māoriness’ goes flushing past, reaching for a lost plug is a pretty vain act.

    Reply
  6. Sunny

     /  3rd May 2019

    The new Census to be released is being designed now:
    Which gender do you identify with. Tick all that apply. Do you neatly stack the dishes in your dishwasher __________ What percentage of the time do you replace the toilet paper _______
    Which ethnicities do you identify with. Tick all that apply.
    If you ticked Maori please give your Tribe _________ Number of times visiting your Marae ________________ Dishes done ___________________
    If you ticked European please give your Tribe ___________ Number of times you visited Europe ________________ Dishes done in Europe _____________________

    Reply
  7. Blazer

     /  3rd May 2019

    Bennett is a horrible creature. .an opportunist with no redeeming. .features. Fake Maori. .fake everything.

    Reply
    • Kimbo

       /  3rd May 2019

      …and thus is it ever the case for any Maori who dares to wander off the left-wing reservation. 😜

      Reply
    • Trevors_elbow

       /  4th May 2019

      Blazer for Bennett in that first sentence and you’re on the money Bol….

      Your hate and bile wears pretty thin.. the way you carry on JLR could be a better psued to use on here…

      Reply
  1. Labour Maori versus Paula Bennett continues — Your NZ – NZ Conservative Coalition
  2. Ardern ‘reins in’, half arsed apology, but Willie Jackson ‘hits back’ | Your NZ

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