Hooton on Labour’s patronising attitude towards Maori

Matthew Hooton shills on behalf of his Big Maori Money mates against the Labour party:

Labour and their friends in the likes of the teacher unions would prefer Maori to simply go along with this, docilely putting their mark next to the red emblem on the ballot every three years. To some extent that is what happened when Maori were more greatly subjugated politically and commercially prior to the 1990s, and Labour continues to pine for those much less complicated times, as do some on the conservative right.

Labour have always taken Maori for granted, ever since they cut a deal with Ratana. Their votes for Labour was always a given, until 1996, when NZ First swept to victory in every Maori seat.

The left-wing response to Maori asserting tino rangatiratanga has been to establish parallel governance structures within the European-modelled institutions that they continue to insist against a century of evidence can deliver everyone a better world.  What will never be allowed within the Labour worldview is for Maori or anyone else to speak out that they might want to be empowered to act more independently of the state.

This inability of successive Labour leaders to comprehend that many Maori don’t support the further expansion of the colonial state is at the heart of the slow unravelling of their relationship. Labour still has strong support among Maori spiritually and materially impoverished by colonisation, welfarism, state housing, alcoholism, drug use and North England unionism but those Maori with another vision for the future continue to drift away.

We saw the left-wing response to the foreshore and sea bed issue. Retrospective legislation and abuse from the PM at the time, Helen Clark. Labour caused the creation of the Maori party and have been trying to destroy it ever since.

Even within Labour, the divisions between the union- and student-president wing of the party and its Maori caucus can no longer be papered over. The decision of Labour’s Maori MPs not to be considered for the party’s list was partly a tactical move to improve their chances of re-election after the Mana-Maori Party truce but it also reflects that they do not want to be beholden to left-wing Wellington-based party officials.

Labour’s Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis, for example, knows that a prison system imported from 19th century England can never be sufficiently reformed to reduce Maori recidivism and that other approaches need to be tried. Similarly, even Willie Jackson, who sent his own children first to a private kura kaupapa Maori to learn their language and tikanga and then to King’s College to ensure they gained from exposure to that worldview, understands that no amount of extra funding and teacher union power will make South Auckland’s state schools the right answer for every child.

Such talk is anathema to Andrew Little and the teacher and prison-officer union bosses who back him. After all, Labour’s long-term electoral prospects are threatened if Maori educational outcomes improve or recidivism declines.

Somehow I doubt that the union support Andrew Little anymore. They seem to have drunk the Jacinda Koolaid.

It still remains deeply inexplicable to Helen Clark whose government’s patronising Closing the Gaps policy, hopeless record on Treaty of Waitangi settlements and despicable Foreshore & Seabed Act led to the historic formation of the Maori Party. We can be absolutely sure that it is incomprehensible to Jacinda Ardern and Grant Robertson and their Grey Lynn and Wellington Central friends. Such ignorance spells decline for Labour. And that can only be good news not just for Maori but for all other New Zealanders who are lucky enough to live here now.

Good old Matthew, sticking up for his Maori mates and ensuring a continuing supply of brown cash for his lobbying efforts. He does have a point though about Labour’s patronising attitude to Maori.



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