Nonsense to suggest Brash speaks on behalf of Pākehā

@MorganGodfery: “pākehā should stop letting don brash try to speak on their behalf”

Don Brash obviously speaks for himself. He may speak for Hobson’s Choice, at times at least. But it’s ridiculous to suggest that he speaks on behalf of ‘Pākehā’.  As a number of people on Twitter pointed out in response to Godfery.

I could agree with some things he has said and says, but I also disagree with things he has said.

I see myself as Pākehā but he certainly doesn’t speak on my behalf. He never has. I opposed him when he lead National and specifically voted against National getting into Government when he was their leader.

And it’s even more ridiculous to suggest that Pākehā should stop letting Brash try to speak at all. But Godfery reiterated this nonsense.

This seems to be increasingly common from younger people – demanding that people they don’t like be shut down or shut up.

It shows an alarming lack of awareness of the importance of free speech in a democratic society.

But it’s not just younger people.

Insight into Māori politics

There is a very good insight into politics Māori style by Morgan Godfery at The Spinoff: Behold, Māori politics’ great realignment. Or, don’t believe the hype

Talk of a resurgent Mana Party, unshackled from Dotcom and buoyed by a Māori Party pact, has prompted suggestions of a new order in Māori politics. Morgan Godfery explains why he’s just not buying it

The Parekura Method:

Take Te Tai Tonga, the old Southern Māori seat, running from Petone in the North to Stewart Island in the south and then tracking east to the Chatham Islands. In physical terms, Labour’s Rino Tirikatene is responsible for representing more than half of the country.

In population terms, Te Tai Tonga is more or less the same size as any other electorate. But the social expectations of a Māori MP are different to what other New Zealanders might expect of their constituency MP. When the Kaikōura earthquake struck Rino Tirikatene took the first trip down to help out in the kitchens at Takahanga Marae.

The term for this is kanohi kitea – a tricky one with a double meaning. In the past the term meant raid or incursion of some kind, but today we use it to describe someone who’s seen. It’s not enough for Māori electorate MPs to deliver magnificent speeches on the latest bill before the House. It isn’t even enough to make the Cabinet. Instead you must show up at every birthday, tangi, community fair and prizegiving that you can.

When I interned for the late Parekura Horomia, the former Minister of Māori Affairs and the long-serving MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, we called it (behind his back) “the Parekura Method”. It wasn’t uncommon for Parekura to arrive on your doorstep unannounced, and for no other reason than he was in town and wanted to catch up. It usually takes seven hours to drive from Wellington to Mangatuna, but it usually took Parekura more than two days.

Based on history:

Sir Peter Buck was a professor of anthropology at Yale University, a medical doctor in the Middle East, a museum director in Hawai’i, and an accidental Māori MP after Hone Heke – the member for Northern Māori – died suddenly in 1909. After escorting Heke’s body back to his ancestral marae in Kaikohe, Buck’s mentor and the deputy Prime Minister Sir James Carroll took to his feet at the tangi and announced how Heke’s mother wished to “marry their son’s widow to a chief from the South”, a tribute to Buck for taking the punishing journey from Wellington and returning her son home.

There are excited whispers and Carroll senses his chance. He remains on his feet, wielding his tremendous mana on Buck’s behalf, and gently reminds the local tribes that Buck is now in credit and a debt is owed. Utu, or reciprocity, is due. Should they wish to restore balance perhaps they would consider Buck as their new MP (Carroll did this without consulting him, of course). Buck went on to win handily, even though he faced several local challengers and traced his whakapapa further south.

It’s the kind of thing that could only happen in Māori politics and it’s one reason political commentators often assume Māori politics adheres to a kind of tribal logic.

These examples are related to the current battle over Māori seats between the Māori Prty with Mana, and Labour. Interesting insights.

Maori views on Turei and racism

Two views of this from the Maori viewpoint. Joshua Hitchcock:

Reading Minister Tolley’s response to Metiria Turei and I do not see what all the fuss is about. But then, it is not my place to judge whether or not someone has experienced racism – it is a deeply personal experience and one in which context (in this instance, Metiria Turei’s life story) plays a huge part. Ad hominem attacks are a dangerous game to engage in, something Minister Tolley has found out this week.

Perhaps this presents an opportunity for the Green Party to take stock and reconsider some of their policy proposals that other groups consider racist. Anti-immigration, anti-foreigner policies which treat people differently based on the birth lottery have not gone down too well. It wasn’t that long ago the left were arguing that they were not racist. Racism is a personal experience – it is not for white liberals to argue racism along partisan lines. If foreigners feel unwelcome, or no longer welcome in New Zealand as a result of Green Party policy, then that is their experience and you cannot deny it.

Basically if it feels racist to you then it is. But that’s a double edged sword.

And Morgan Godfery: Anne Tolley: an agent of colourblind racism?

Tolley didn’t need to mention race. Her attack is loaded with social, political and racial assumptions. The unspoken context is that Metiria, a Maori woman who lives well and dresses better, is acting out of turn and out of step with her community. How can she be in touch with her community when she isn’t living like them? The premise is that a Maori woman cannot dress well and claim to represent her people. Because Maori live exclusively in poverty, amirite.

Is he right?

Many many debates and speeches in Parliament could be accused of being many things including sexist and racist and many other -ists if it is solely dependent on the feelings of the listener.

But dwelling on feelings, whether they are justified or not, resolve nothing.

Turei failed to address Tolley’s accusation of hypocrisy so that remains unchallenged. And it’s a common perception, even among generally Green sympathetic voters.

New Zealand Maori Council

The New Zealand Maori Council is currently prominent in it’s involvement in delaying the Government MOM share float programme.

What is the NZMC? Who is in it? Who does it represent? How democratic is it?

I’ve had a search online and it’s taken a while to find a little out.

Their website isn’t very informative and doesn’t seem totally up to date. The introduce themselves:

Welcome to New Zealand Māori Council

The New Zealand Māori Council was created by the Māori Welfare Act 1962. Since its establishment it has made submissions to government on many matters affecting Māori, particularly concerning the Treaty of Waitangi.

The Council became the National government’s main source of advice on Māori policy. It was criticised by some for being dominated by conservative Māori leaders. As the four Māori MPs were in the Labour opposition the government did not see them as a source of impartial advice. The Act also replaced tribal committees with committees representing broader Maori groups and areas as the government wanted to deal with Māori as a whole and not as individual tribes.


Apparently there are two new  co-chair positions for Maanu Paul and Sir Eddie Durie

Claim Maori Council not consulting some members

Posted by karere under Maori News

Claims have been made that the Maori Council’s South Island committees were not properly consulted about changes to the organisation.

The council has recently revamped its executive line-up, creating two co-chair positions for Maanu Paul and Sir Eddie Durie – and making Sir Graham Latimer president.

But Ngai Tahu chairperson Mark Solomon says he has heard that some branches weren’t told about the changes. He says he has had phone calls from chairmen in the South Island who say they were not part of the council’s decision to create new executive positions.

Te Tau Ihu o Te Waka A Maui district chairperson Harvey Ruru says he wasn’t at an important hui in Rotorua in June to reorganise the executive.

He says he was invited to attend but the meetings have always been held in Wellington – usually with full attendance by council representatives from throughout the country.

Mr Ruru says a number of those representatives weren’t at the Rotorua meeting, so no majority decisions were made.

The Maori Council couldn’t be reached for comment.

More information from the Internet:

(from Merging the Maori Council)

…there are claims that the revival of the Maori Council is merely a power play on behalf of Donna Hall and Sir Eddie Durie, the co-chair and Hall’s partner…

Also from Maui Street…

The Maori Council consists of regional branches and each branch votes for members to sit on the New Zealand Maori Council. Or at least that was how I was told it works. Their website gives no info so I’d have to look at the legislation to be sure.

I tend to think the Maori Council is becoming increasingly irrelevant on political issues. However, with the election of Eddie Durie I think the Council might come to play an important legal role.

This comment gives a little (opinioned) insight but isn’t entirely clear:

Shane Gage | August 19th, 2012 at 4:36 pm

The NZ Maori Council (NZMC), has for a very long time been non accountable back to the people for which it purportedly represents under the Maori Community Developments Act,

To identify the problem – is to look at,and examine the tri annual election results at Maori Committee and follow on executive committee level moving up the next tier to District Maori Council, and the records of appointment from these up to NZ Maori Council Level, to be at NZMC you must have first been elected at Maori committee level by people within the roopu you reside,then credentialed by the process of appointment from executive to District Maori Council up through the ranks to NZMC

That’s not a lot to go on.

The NZMC is detailed under the Maori Community Development Act 1962.

17 New Zealand Maori Council

(1) For the purposes of this Act there shall be a New Zealand Maori Council.

(2) The members of the New Zealand Maori Council shall consist of members appointed in accordance with this section by District Maori Councils.

(3) Each District Maori Council shall appoint 3 members to the New Zealand Maori Council.

(4) The members of the New Zealand Maori Council of Tribal Executives established under section 13E of the Maori Social and Economic Advancement Act 1945 in office at the commencement of this Act shall be deemed to be members of the New Zealand Maori Council.

That doesn’t seem to detail a lot. According the the NZMC website there is variable numbers of members per council 1-3.

18 General functions of the New Zealand Maori Council

(1) The general functions of the New Zealand Maori Council, in respect of all Maoris, shall be—

(a) to consider and discuss such matters as appear relevant to the social and economic advancement of the Maori race
(b) to consider and, as far as possible, give effect to any measures that will conserve and promote harmonious and friendly relations between members of the Maori race and other members of the community:
(c) to promote, encourage, and assist Maoris—
(i) to conserve, improve, advance and maintain their physical, economic, industrial, educational, social, moral, and spiritual well-being;
(ii) to assume and maintain self-reliance, thrift, pride of race, and such conduct as will be conducive to their general health and economic well-being;
(iii) to accept, enjoy, and maintain the full rights, privileges, and responsibilities of New Zealand citizenship;
(iv) to apply and maintain the maximum possible efficiency and responsibility in their local self-government and undertakings; and
(v) to preserve, revive and maintain the teaching of Maori arts, crafts, language, genealogy, and history in order to perpetuate Maori culture:
(d) to collaborate with and assist State departments and other organisations and agencies in—
(i) the placement of Maoris in industry and other forms of employment;
(ii) the education, vocational guidance, and training of Maoris;
(iii) the provision of housing and the improvement of the living conditions of Maoris;
(iv) the promotion of health and sanitation amongst the Maori people;
(v) the fostering of respect for the law and law-observance amongst the Maori people;
(vi) the prevention of excessive drinking and other undesirable forms of conduct amongst the Maori people; and
(vii) the assistance of Maoris in the solution of difficulties or personal problems.

(2) The New Zealand Maori Council shall advise and consult with District Maori Councils, Maori Executive Committees, and Maori Committees on such matters as may be referred to it by any of those bodies or as may seem necessary or desirable for the social and economic advancement of the Maori race.

(3) In the exercise of its functions the Council may make such representations to the Minister or other person or authority as seem to it advantageous to the Maori race.

That all doesn’t really explain a lot. Mayve someone can come up with more information.