If a ciggie tax is racist, then surely payments under the Treaty of Waitangi are too?

You’ve got to admire the cheek of Marewa Glover, a veteran health trougher, who thinks that a tobacco tax increase is racist towards Maori.

An Auckland tobacco researcher says cigarette tax discriminates against Maori, who have the highest rates of smoking.

It comes after the Government decided to continue increasing the tax on tobacco by 10 percent for the next four years.

New Zealand has a tall target of being smoke-free in just nine years, and last week’s Budget introduced more tobacco taxes to help that.

But researcher Marewa Glover says because Maori and Pacific people are the biggest smokers, the taxes are discrimination.  

“What’s racist about it is it’s a policy that’s applied to everybody, but not everybody is smoking at same prevalence rates,” she says.

The price for a packet will now hit $30 dollars in four years. Ms Glover says these minority groups are bearing the brunt of the Government’s punitive measures.

“I think it’s really hard-hitting and it’s cruel in this environment we’re in, with people under a lot of financial strain.”

She used to support tobacco tax but changed her mind when she realised it hadn’t had a significant effect on Maori and Pacific smoking rates.

Using her logic Waitangi Treaty settlements are racist too.

I don’t pay a cent in tobacco taxes and it isn’t because I am European, it is because I don’t smoke. If Maori don’t want to pay tobacco taxes then stop smoking.

Tobacco taxes are are a tax on stupidity anyway. Don’t cry me a river of tears that the increased taxes hurt people financially when the solution is in their own hands…stop f*cking smoking you stupid bastards!


– Newhub



THANK YOU for being a subscriber. Because of you Whaleoil is going from strength to strength. It is a little known fact that Whaleoil subscribers are better in bed, good looking and highly intelligent. Sometimes all at once! Please Click Here Now to subscribe to an ad-free Whaleoil.

  • Oh Please

    Idiots like do so much damage to racial harmony. I can just hear the water cooler conversations around the country today.

  • Tracy

    I would suggest that Waiting Treaty payment, special grants, scholarships etc are all completely racist – I am European, I cannot choose to get any benefit from any of those things, I can choose to smoke and therefore be taxed accordingly, not because of my ethnicity but because of my choices. My teenage son cannot choose to be Maori to take advantage of scholarships to pay his uni fees, he can choose to take up smoking.

    • Dog Breath

      Had a very intelligent work colleague discover that he had Maori blood on the death of his father. For some reason this had been kept from my work colleague. He immediately applied for a scholarship based on this new knowledge which was granted, resigned from work and headed to Med school and is now a GP in our community. Conclude that sometimes this kind of discrimination is not always bad.

      • jaundiced

        Not bad for him perhaps. But bad for me – I can’t apply for such a scholarship. Because I’m white they won’t give me the scholarship. Racist I say.

        • Keyser Soze

          Just tick the box on your census and other government forms etc and start ‘identifying’ yourself as Maori. Pick the iwi for where you were born and voila! Seriously who is going to deny your chosen identity?

          • Old Dig

            Actually that is a very good point. If someone can legally claim to be another gender, why not claim to be another ethnicity. Everyone should claim to be Maori.

          • Keyser Soze

            Yep. It’s not even like you’re lying, read the definitions of Maori and indigenous. Born here? You are indigenous and therefore Maori.

          • Uncle Bully

            To add weight to your argument, you could also consider changing to the maori roll in 2018. This gives the option of supporting the least undesirable candidate in your electorate (Hone vs Kelvin for example) but your party vote still counts where it matters.

        • Dog Breath

          Only a problem in this instance if you think you can be a Doctor and I guess there are a number who they could be doctors but aren’t although I think now days anyone who thinks they are good enough and want to do it can, just without the scholarship.

    • kereru

      In the year our son entered Med School there was an intake of 115 students out of about 500hopefuls who applied. Sixteen of those places were reserved for Maori and Pacific Islanders because they wanted to encourage more to train. What was a annoying was that, even if only 3 or 4 students applied, those places could not be added to the non-Maori/PI intake. Despite being able to enter with a B bursary (instead of an A+), only one or two survived the first year. I’ve no idea what the criteria are now. I may be wrong but I believe peer pressure has a lot to do with Maori/PI underachievement.

      • Uncle Bully

        I’ve heard it referred to as the Great Brown Bashing Machine

  • The Fat Man

    So (Polynesians) Maori and Pacific Islanders are not getting the message, that smoking is not good for them.

    How about, they don’t want to get the message and why should they get the message, the Government should pay them more so that they can afford to smoke, it is their right.

    The TOW claim will be that it is all the Governments fault that Maori smoke and there should be lots of compensation.

  • Catriona

    Hey, I don’t care if anyone who smokes gets Lung cancer and dies. Ok, that does seem a bit harsh, but these people are adults right? Their ethnicity is not the issue; smokers come in all shapes and sizes and ethnicities so how this deluded Ms Glover can start waving the racist flag is a bit of a mystery imo.

  • SFB

    The Inland Revenue must be raciest as well. I earn over $70k so in a higher tax bracket

    • STAG

      I too suffer under the yolk of discriminatory taxation policy.

      Where is Dame Susan when you need her?

      Is it because I’m white Susan?

  • Dave

    Your last sentence, well the last 6 words, they might add to the claim its Racist.

    PS: Is it also racist that Maori and PI have a lower life expectancy ??

    • jaundiced

      Yes, because its the result of colonialist, racist oppression.

      • Flyingkiwi9

        As a European my lands were raped and pillaged by numerous nations and armies. Where’s my payout?

        • Davo42

          The difference is that Maori have got it in writing.

          • Keyser Soze

            Even though A) they didn’t know how to write and B) now that what was written has been favourably ‘re-interpreted’.

        • Keyser Soze

          You are definitely on to something! I’m going to lodge a claim at the UNHRC against Denmark seeking compensation for the Danish Vikings looting my ancestral village. Funny thing is the way the UN is so massively PC I’d probably have a fair chance of winning!

  • STAG

    Love the last line, clear brutal honesty, just a shame that people like Marewa Glover will dismiss it as clear brutal hostility.

  • Right Wing Uni Student

    Then it must also be racist that high income earners pay more tax because the majority of high income earners are white.

    If you’re going to use some whack theory to make a claim of racism at least think it through before you say it out loud.

  • Ross

    If you follow her argument strictly, if the policy is to reduce smoking by increasing taxation then arguably Maori and Pacific Islanders should be taxed more, so as not to be so racist!

  • taxpayer

    So if the Govt decides to listen to the people and makes a law smashing child abusers with a very big stick, that of course will be racist as Maori have the highest rates of child abuse.
    What strange logic some people have, it seems the smarter they are supposed to be, the more stupid they really are.

  • Flyingkiwi9

    Is it also racist towards everyone else when Maori and Pacific Islanders fill up our health system with preventable problems – smoking, obesity, violence etc?

    • Brent Ancap

      That’s the expected result of a system of socialised healthcare. The reason smoking and obesity has become a societal “problem” is precisely because we have made it so by socialising healthcare. If it is true that Maori and Islanders compose the greater proportion of the healthcare burden, then it is fact and is probably attributable, among other things, to their culture, health and lifestyle choices, as well as the effects of incentives a socialised healthcare system has on these choices.

      If we had a free market in healthcare, then we probably wouldn’t have to be concerned about the disproportionate burden Maori and Islanders have regarding their lifestyle choices. If they themselves had to bear the true costs of their health choices, they may act differently. The problem is socialism. And socialism reinforces and promotes racism precisely because groups of people (whether grouped by race, sex, creed, etc) whose lifestyle choices result in lesser costs to the socialised system are forced to pay for those whose lifestyle choices bear the higher cost on the system. Abolish socialised medicine and then the apparent racism, as far as healthcare is concerned, will be less so.

      • kereru

        You could also argue that those who budget carefully to cover the cost of private health insurance premiums, are effectively paying for their healthcare twice – at the same time freeing up beds in public hospitals for those who are chronically ill because of their lifestyle choices. I suppose that would be seen as ‘elite-ist’.

        • Brent Ancap

          Those prudent enough about their health would do just that. Yet, as you point out, they are effectively paying twice; paying the premiums for insurance, paying taxes for public health.

          I think what drives these people to still buy private insurance in spite of the fact they pay twice is the bloated public health bureaucracy and the inefficiencies that come with it. We all hear stories about the waiting times, poor service, etc. of public healthcare. Also, it’s incredibly difficult to get any information about costs or liabilities that may be incurred.

  • Sagacious Blonde

    That’s going to be fun down at the corner dairy.
    I’m sorry Sir/Madam, my mistake, your 64th/128th/256th part ancestry is quite undiscernable. I’ll get you your refund now.

  • dragonfly

    I don’t agree with Marewa Glover that these taxes are racist, but I do agree they’re cruel. One of my daughters smokes (she started at 15) and quite a few of the friends of one of my sons smokes. None of these kids earn that much and so their habit costs them a lot, which makes me sad. And I do think there’s an element of the elite morally condemning the habits of the less elite. And Marewa Glover deserves credit for changing her mind in the face of the evidence.

    • jaundiced

      If it makes you dad that their habit costs them a lot, it should make you happy if they can no longer afford to smoke.

      • dragonfly

        The thing is, that’s just not how it works with addiction. That’s one of the reasons high taxes are cruel.

    • kereru

      Believe me, there’s nothing ‘elitist’ about smoking – almost everyone smoked when I was a teen, and you were seen as an oddball if you didn’t. But my father had a hacking cough and I was not going to risk it, even though friends were egging me on to do so. At the time I was getting a minimal amount of pocket money which didn’t cover the cost of a packet of cigarettes. Later, working in London, I was again pressured to start smoking because ‘everybody’ did, but the experience of my father’s suffering was the deciding factor. Also I had rent to pay and other outgoings, so managed to resist. Very sadly, my father died of emphysema just 6 weeks before he could see his newborn grandson, and it was heartbreaking. I know he would have loved him.

      As a mother, my concern would be that my children are addicted to a substance that will affect their health and shorten their lives if they continue. These days there is plenty of help to stop smoking, and the incentive to use the savings they will make more productively. Smoking is not a moral issue. It’s a health issue.

    • lyall

      i thought the ‘evidence’ showed the tax was working at reducing smoking overall but was having much less of an effect for Maori and PI smokers, this researcher is just showing how little she cares about non Polynesian smokers, but then i doubt that would worry her because as we all know ‘only white people can be racist’

  • Brent Ancap

    We care for property rights. If definite instances of expropriation occurred in the past, and these expropriations can be shown and proven, then recompense shall be made if it is possible, regardless of race or sex.

  • lyall

    Maybe the Maori party could run tobacco growing workshops to allow people to undermine this racist taxation, oops they are all for the taxation, awkward!

  • Genevieve

    Glover is completely illogical with her ideas. The increase in taxation on cigarettes has seen the smoking rate for NZ youth drop from 16% to 6% in the last ten years. It is working, but maybe not with older stubborn people who will never have the willpower to give up. If Glover was really concerned about Maori welfare, she would be supporting this tax for the sake of Maori youth at the very least. She appears to have given up on her own people by putting their addiction to cigarettes in the too hard basket.

  • Michelle

    l see Tariana Turia replied to her accusations calling Glover out for her outrageous statements but it was not promoted on the Herald site as much as this article was
    l wonder why, doesn’t suit the hit on government push by the Media party?

  • ross

    Wouldn’t lowering taxes on cigarettes so more Maoris could smoke and die be racist?