Let’s do this: Abolish Maori seats

Over on the blog, No Minister, blogger Ross Miller suggests that now that National has two Maori politicians in charge they should take the opportunity to commit to the abolition of the Maori seats. It is certainly a policy that would grab the imagination and support of National’s core base and it is a policy that attracted many voters to New Zealand First; voters who will now be sorely disappointed that Winston Peters has been unable to deliver on that promise.

[…] The Maori seats trace their beginning back to the Maori Representation Act of 1867 which was designed to give Maori a voice in Parliament at a time when no Maori stood a snowflakes chance in hell of winning a general seat on their own merits.

The election of Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett to the two top positions in the National Party caucus along with Kelvin Davis as Deputy Leader of the Labour Party and Winston Peters and Fletcher Tabuteau as the two top dogs in Winston First and the likely elevation of Marama Davidson  as co-leader of the Greens will mean that six out of the eight top positions in the four major parties in parliament are held by Maori. That really sez it all but when you couple that with the fact that Maori are substantially over-represented in parliament the case for abolution becomes compelling.

The continued retention of the Maori seats is tokenism at its worst and a relic of our colonial past. Maori are better than that and have demonstrated it in spades by their electoral success outside of the Maori seats. Peters was elected on a lie which he ditched at the first opportunity. National can gain back the treasury benches by making clear they mean it.

Ball’s in your court National.


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