Yes John, Mike is right – middle New Zealand has had a gutsful

It’s been a long time since my heart dropped to the floor as heavily as it did the night Mike Hosking declared middle New Zealand was opposed to Maori seats on local bodies. I’m blessed, or cursed, with boundless optimism for this country.

A small population, well educated and politically engaged, can do things that are much harder in a big democracy where even people of the dominant culture can feel powerless and excluded from the country’s decisions.

It is 25 years since Jim Bolger and Sir Doug Graham brought the National Party in behind Treaty settlements, nearly eight years since John Key formed an enduring partnership with the Maori Party. I have dared to think that conservative opinion has come around to accepting Maori have a distinctive place in our affairs and that we are better for it.

That’s Key’s view. Though strictly he didn’t need the Maori Party’s parliamentary votes, he wanted them in his ministry because, he said, “I just thought it would make us a better government.”

So I watched Seven Sharp’s item on the resigning Mayor of New Plymouth with a certain sadness. The poor fellow has had enough of the isolation and abuse he has received since he attempted to set up seats on his council for a Maori electorate. I don’t know Taranaki well but it appeared the country’s post-colonial project has yet to reach at least one of its extremities.

Hosking’s reaction was quite different. The problem, he declared, is that the man is out of touch with middle New Zealand. If Maori want to be on councils they can stand for election like everyone else. Simple as that. He said it with the stone cold certainty of all his pronouncements.

Is he right? I had a sinking feeling that night that he must be. Hosking is only one man and was speaking from gut instinct but he rules the ratings on breakfast radio and prime time television these days and you don’t do that without a very good gut instinct.

I felt sad, ineffably sad for the country.

You’re normally more sensible than this John.

You want to give Maori something as a birthright, rather than something based on need or merit.   Worse, you are railing against democracy.  The people of Taranaki were asked, and they said no.  The fact the mayor was personally embarrassed and is now chucking his toys from the cot doesn’t make the voters wrong.

Middle New Zealand is sick of people having to come and do a song and dance, sometimes literally, before anything can be done.  They are sick of having to get approval from up to 20 odd Iwi before they can erect a statue on private land.  They are sick of the constant hand-outs, the constant victim industry, and the liberal guilt pandering that enables these professional children.

Additionally, it makes a mockery of any Maori that has achieved anything without the help, money and privilege Maori have come to expect as a birthright.


– John Roughan, NZ Herald


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  • The Fat Man

    The people have spoken. Idiot reporter is not listening.

    There is no place in a modern democracy for religious or race based seats.

    No room for un elected boards, note the Maori statutory board.

    look around the World how has religion and race brought peace and stability.

  • papagaya

    The John Roughans of the world are utterly incensed that democracy is actually working in this case. I applaud the pushback from the people of New Plymouth. And I abhor the concerted leftist campaign against Mike Hosking, for saying what most people think.

  • ex-JAFA

    “Is he right? I had a sinking feeling … that he must be.” and “I felt sad, ineffably sad for the country.”

    John, why are you upset that Maori can stand for election like anyone else? Is that the “Mike being right” that you don’t like? We don’t especially approve of racism in this country. If you oppose Maori being allowed to put themselves forward for election, I’d rather not listen to you.

    • The Fat Man

      I think the point is that they can be appointed and also run as a candidate in the general seats thereby getting more say than they would otherwise be entitled to.

      Much like the Maori Parliamentary seats, that has not stopped maori getting in on General seats or party lists. Mostly party lists.

  • Lance Ralph

    John Roughan wrote a very measured and fair biography of John Key and earned the scorn of much of the left for his pains. For this reason I know who he is and I will always have respect for him.
    On his opinion concerning Maori representation I do not agree, I tend to get where Mike Hosking is coming from

  • Wolfman Jack

    Roughan is wrong when he states “attempted to set up seats on his council for a Maori electorate”. Judd wanted to have seat(s) reserved for Maori with no election to fill them which was to done by the local iwi ‘leaders’ selection. Judd is a fool calling himself a ‘recovering racist’ who saw the light after reading a couple of books which were no doubt revisionist history. He has only himself to blame as he had no mandate to do this.

    • Raibert

      Also think it’s time “indigenous” people was defined. Does this include a people who less than a millennium ago took by force of occupation lands they now occupy? If so many countries in Europe would have to rethink their obligations to communities living within their borders.

  • bj1

    In all this why do some insult Maori by suggesting they are less intelligent than the rest of us. They are able to stand on their own and vote the same as all for the same things.

  • Plantagenet

    It is incredibly paternalistic to say to Maori that the only way they will get a seat on a council is if they are given one. Maori who are competent, present themselves well, and are willing to work for the betterment of EVERYONE have just as much chance of getting elected as anyone else. The ones who represent only division, tribalism and the politics of the 19th century (if not earlier) will probably struggle at the ballot box. Are these the types that Roughan and the rest of the media want to be appointed onto councils? Not doubt they are.

    • Miss Phit

      THe problem is that those who want it but dont want to work for it are behind this BS. I am picking it is the Elite of the tribes who want more Mana than they are entitled to and a title would in their eyes elevate their status.

      The real workers in maoridom just get on with doing the job and get rewarded for their hard work.

      Those that can, do. Those that cant or wont, teach or go into politics.

  • Pita

    Tokenism; Racism at its worst!

  • localnews

    If mayor Judd felt that a Maori voice would make his community better, he could have gone and found two excellent candidates and worked with them to get elected using the correct method. That would have worked far better than his grandstanding and would have elected candidates who spoke for the whole community.
    I think I am right in saying John Tamahire sits in that role in Auckland, a man who is easily capable of getting himself properly elected.

  • pisces8284

    Masterton Council has voted to do the same. Going to get messy here I think

    • Damon Mudgway

      What is it with all the apologists emanating from in and around Masterton? Judd was ex-Masterton and reckons the place was a racial hotbed, dead set against Moari getting any say. No I’ve heard say that there are quite a few six fingered bango players in that part of the country, but my own experiences of the community in and around Masterton are very different. Intelligent people with a fair degree of nouse and a can do attitude. It would seem that to be elected a councillor you need to be from the banjo playing side of the tracks.

      • pisces8284

        We have a lot of white maoris here, they are more radical and apologists than the brown ones

    • pisces8284

      The way the council voted it in that hasn’t gone down well. There was no discussion in the community and just voted on at a meeting, with the mayor explaining that they were just following the government’s wishes.

  • Miss Phit

    Wouldnt these elected persons feel better about their positions if they were to earn them the hard way instead of just lining up? Surely their voice would carry more authority and Mana if it was because they were speaking for a group of people that put them there?

    But no. We want to voice our opinions even if they are only shared by a small minority of no bodies with the right colour skin and an agenda/axe to grind.

    I hate MMP but I recognise that without it some smaller groups wouldnt get to be heard. I just wish some groups would shut up – yes greens thats you lot (you used to for the environment but now you are for everything and nothing).

  • PersonOfColor:WHITE

    We don’t want ANY racism thank you, especially lefty virtue signalling attempts to pervert our democracy…

  • spanishbride

    The irony is that the Mayor of New Plymouth is NOT a recovering racist, he still IS a racist. He has the racism of low expectations.He does not believe in one person one vote regardless of gender, sexual preference or skin colour. He wants to treat one race differently because he does not believe they can get elected on their own merits like everyone else. THAT is racism to the bone.He does not see Maori as equal to him.

  • Graeme

    .Dont recall hoskin saying maori was not wanted on local bodies. He did say that if they wanted to get on local boards they should be elected like everyone else.

  • Superman

    Mike is right.

  • andrewo

    A few facts:
    1. There is no clear definition of ‘Maori’ today. Exactly what percentage of Maori ancestry is required to tick this box? Nobody can tell me, but when I ask I am generally accused of being a racist. So how can we create a constitutional body based on something we can’t even define?
    2. There are no pure blood Maori left today. None. Zero. Zilch.
    Some good news:
    3. Intermarriage rates for Maori are very high. Depending on how the data is examined (because of the slippery definition of ‘Maori’) maybe a majority of Maori are marrying people of other ethnicity today.
    4. Most importantly, a majority of people who have Maori blood chose to vote on the general roll rather than confine themselves in an out of date racial enclave.

    • Anthony

      Quite right. When my sister was at vet school, no one wanted to admit being the one entrant who was let in purely because they were Maori – and of course no one could tell who they were because there was no obvious pure Maori looking ;person.