23 August 2009

Herald on Sunday's patronising racism

How much nonsense can be packed into an editorial?

"Rodney Hide, who has vowed to resign as Local Government Minister if National agrees to Maori representation on the Super-City Auckland Council. He believes an advisory board should provide the voice for Maori, and says he intends to stand by that"

No. It isn't for the government to decide on Maori representation, it is for voters. Voters in a liberal democracy decide who they want to represent them, they choose councillors. It isn't and shouldn't be for the government to decide that some of them must be of one certain race. Hide doesn't believe an advisory board should provide the voice for Maori, he isn't taking away the votes of Maori. Who represents non-Maori if they don't have advisory boards?

"Ever since the rush-of-blood decision to exclude Maori, Mr Key has, quite correctly, been seeking to fashion a compromise."

How are Maori excluded by having one person one vote and candidacy open to all? Are Maori less likely to vote, are Aucklanders (your customers) racist and wont vote for Maori councillors? The government is not planning to exclude Maori from the council, they aren't excluded now.

"Mr Hide's absence would allow a more reasoned analysis, notably of the Royal Commission on Auckland Governance's recommendation in favour of Maori seats. Maori, a community of distinctive character and interest, should be represented on the Auckland Council."

The Royal Commission was called by a government that was voted out. Are Samoans of a distinctive character and interest? Are gay and lesbian Aucklanders? How about the young? How about the elderly? How about entrepreneurs? How about Chinese Aucklanders? Do you believe in liberal democracy or in collectivised sectarian democracy? Do Maori share the same view on politics? Noticed they all vote for what party? Reasoned analysis? Oh please.

"Dedicated seats, preferably two in number and elected by Auckland residents on the rolls of the Maori parliamentary electorates covering the Super City, are the obvious means of ensuring this." Because Maori wont vote for Maori councillors, but most of all neither will Aucklanders - apparently you think without some 19th century era patronising, Aucklanders wont elect Maori. Indeed, if they don't think Maori representation is important, you want to legislate over them.

So the Herald believes Maori are more important as a group, than anyone else in Auckland, more importantly, that Aucklanders are too racist to elect any Maori councillors (or that if they don't do so, the judgment of voters that the Maori candidates are not good enough should be overriden by reserving seats).

The supercity is a dog of an idea, conceived by a Royal Commission born of a government that believes local government should do whatever councillors think it should. The almost complete absence of any policy from this government on the role of local government is the real damning indictment of the supercity.

If Maori seats are created for Auckland, what's to stop the Maori political gravytrain seekers wanting the same for all councils?

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