The other day Don Brash and Gareth Morgan fronted at Orewa. Contrary to the media reports it wasn’t actually the Orewa Rotary Club but only its premises that was used.
The media reported extensively the nonsense that Gareth Morgan spouted but barely mentioned what Don Brash had to say.
So I called up Don and asked if I could publish his speech.
NOTES FOR REPLYING TO GARETH MORGAN, 4 FEBRUARY 2015
Thanks for inviting me here today, and for the opportunity to comment on what Gareth has said. I didn’t see the speech in advance of course, so these comments are just immediate reactions based partly on what Gareth said a few days ago in a speech to a Ngapuhi audience.
Let me say first that there are some of Gareth’s views with which I agree. He said in his Ngapuhi speech that he is opposed to separate Maori electorates, Maori wards (and by implication the Maori Statutory Board in Auckland) and quotas for Maori in educational institutions. Granting any group special rights is contrary to Article 3 of the Treaty he said, and I totally agree with that.
It’s also patronising, and implies that Maori aren’t quite competent enough to have their voices heard in the political arena without a special leg up. Of course that is nonsense: when I was in Parliament, there were 21 Maori in Parliament – roughly the same percentage of Members of Parliament as Maori are in the wider population – only seven of them elected in the Maori electorates. The other 14 were elected in general constituencies or were placed in a winnable position on a party’s list.
Similarly in Auckland: the first election of councillors after the super-city was established in 2010 saw three people of Maori descent elected – not in Maori wards but on their own merits – and again three Maori out of a total of 20 councillors meant that Maori on the Council were in roughly the same proportion as Maori in the general population.
But as explained in his Ngapuhi speech his basic position seems to be that –
“.. the Treaty is whatever a reasonable person’s view of the following four taken together leads them to – not any one taken in isolation, but all taken together:
- Treaty of Waitangi
- Te Tiriti O Waitangi
- Principles of the Treaty
- Post-1975 Consensus on the Treaty.”
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