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Dr Muriel Newman

Dr Muriel Newman

Apartheid New Zealand


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Jobs and higher incomes are the reasons usually given for increasing numbers of New Zealanders crossing the ditch to settle in Australia. A net 40,000 moved there in the year to the end of August. While greener pastures are undoubtedly a key factor, it is highly likely that racial issues are also causing the flight of Kiwis. Weary of a political environment that encourages an aggressive mixed-race minority to make unreasonable demands against taxpayers, fed-up Kiwis have had enough!

That was certainly the case for the one in six Maori who lived in Australia in 2008. They openly admitted that a key reason for their relocation was to escape tribalism. In a study carried out by Te Puni Kokiri, many Maori expressed an overwhelming sense of relief of being “free of Maori culture”, of being able to “get away from the rigid beliefs of our elders”, of getting away from “tikanga Maori” and “whanau pressures”.  In other words, they wanted to live their lives free from the fetters of tribalism and identity politics.1

The issue of race has now become a defining line down through society. This is in spite of the blurring of racial boundaries that has been taking place since first settlement as each generation of New Zealanders increasingly marry and have children across racial and ethnic lines. It has created a ludicrous situation where a growing proportion of the sovereignty movement leaders are now more non-Maori than Maori.

The blending of races also makes a mockery of official attempts at racial profiling. Government agencies continue to classify New Zealanders along ethnic lines in order to justify a divisive bicultural political correctness that locks in special treatment based on race, instead of need – even though such categorisations are increasingly meaningless. It is time the politicians, bureaucrats, academics, and other fellow travellers of the Maori independence movement realised that the country has moved on. We are not two separate races with two different cultures coexisting in isolation, but a blend of races and traditions, making up our own unique New Zealand identity and culture. Biculturalism is more imaginary than real and the sooner it is officially abandoned the sooner New Zealand can put such division behind us and go forward.

The problem is that race has become a powerful political force and money-making proposition. Back in the seventies, when the consequence of widespread intermarriage was recognised – namely in an on-going decline in the number of people who could be categorised as Maori – a change in the official classification was demanded. The result was the 1974 Maori Affairs Amendment Act, which replaced racial classification based on biology and blood quantum, whereby someone had to have 50 percent or more of Maori blood to be categorised as “Maori”, with one based on self-identification and ethnic affiliation – having a Maori descendent. These changes amounted to a political construct designed to guarantee an on-going rise in the number of people categorised as Maori, thus fulfilling the ambitions of tribal leaders for power and resources.

Over the years, the inclusion of ethnic privilege into government policy has led to a rapid increase in the rights of Maori over other citizens resulting in an exponential growth of race-based initiatives including:

  • Maori-only schools and education scholarships,
  • Maori-only housing projects,
  • Maori-only health prioritisation and initiatives,
  • Whanau Ora and other Maori-only welfare initiatives,
  • Maori-only prisoner programmes,
  • Maori-only positions on government agencies,
  • Maori-only consultation rights under the Resource Management Act,
  • Maori-only co-management of parks, rivers, lakes, and the coastline,
  • Maori-only tax rates – 17.5 percent tax for iwi corporations instead of the 28 percent corporate tax rate, with tax-free status for those that can convince authorities that their business is based around a marae, Maori-only seats on local councils,
  • Maori-only seats on local councils,
  • Maori-only local government Statutory Boards,
  • Maori-only local government liaison committees,
  • Maori seats in Parliament.

In 2000, Simon Chapple, then a Senior Research Analyst with the Department of Labour, used data from the 1996 census to examine the impact that these new definitions were having on the number of people officially categorised as Maori. He found that instead of the 273,693 New Zealanders who indicated they were Maori-only being the recognised total, Statistics New Zealand’s policy of adding everyone who included Maori as one of their ethnic groups into the final count, meant that the official tally was 580,374! In other words, the change in methodology effectively doubled the “official” number of Maori. Simon Chapple recommended that the Maori ethnic group should be restricted to those who identify as Maori-only, with everyone else allocated to their other major ethnic group – but that suggestion was ignored.2

These changes were first introduced into our Census forms in 1986 through the use of ethnicity questions. With Statistics New Zealand defining ethnicity as “cultural identity based around commonly held values and beliefs”, calls were made for one of the options to include New Zealander in recognition of our unique New Zealand culture. It was based on the observation that in their census forms, Australians are asked if they are Australian, Canadians are asked if they are Canadian, and in Britain, they are asked if they are British. In New Zealand, however, there was no question asking if we were a New Zealander.

The rejection of this request has led to on-going protest action. For the last two decades, New Zealanders have fought against identity politics by choosing the “Other” ethnic group on their census form and writing “New Zealander”. In 1986, 20,313 people did this, and in 1991, 20,800. By 1996, the number had jumped to 58,614. By 2001, it rose further to 85,300, and by 2006, the number of people calling themselves a “New Zealander”, had soared to 429,429! With the census due on the 5th of March 2013, and officials refusing to change the form on the basis that their “research and testing… were not conclusive enough to warrant changing the question”, it is highly likely that the number of people who will reject ethnic labelling to call themselves a New Zealander will exceed the 1 million mark. Maybe this will be conclusive enough to force a change.

The deepening racial divide is not driven by ordinary Kiwis. It is driven by the mixed race elite who run wealthy tribal corporations and the Maori Party who represents them in Parliament, along with Treaty activists who hold influential positions within academia and the public service. Many seek personal privilege by claiming that a non-existent partnership with the Crown was promised by the Treaty of Waitangi. All of this is arrant nonsense, as Sir Bob Jones indicated in a recent Herald article:

“So, the comical Ngaruawahia ex-truck driver who can’t speak Maori and struggles with English but calls himself King of Maoridom despite his realm ending at his letterbox has declared Maori own the rain. That’s excellent news. I assume His Majesty will accept liability for inflicting millions of dollars of flood damage annually through Maori rain supply mismanagement. He can ponder that when sitting on the only throne he’ll ever occupy, namely in his lavatory.”3

Sir Bob says, “Let’s cut to the quick… what these parasites seek is for hard-struggling Kiwi workers to give them money without them having to work for it. It’s that simple. They’re a disgrace, not only to Maori but to the human race.”

He concludes, “Every Maori I know is angered by this rain, wind and everything else ownership claim, rightly seeing it as deceitful and divisive. It wouldn’t surprise me if this attitude is typical of Maoridom across the land. The ball’s in the Government’s court to make it clear that the gravy train has reached the station and is off to the museum. It should also kill off the unnecessary Waitangi Tribunal whose predictable, absurd decisions are causing so much disharmony.”

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, David Round, a Treaty and constitutional law expert at the University of Canterbury, looks into this spurious claim for water in his article No-one owns the water, concluding that there is no legal basis for it and that the Witangi Tribunal had no authority to hear it:

“The law is clear. Since 1840 the English common law of water applied here, and by that there was no private (including Maori) ownership of water. Then the 1967 Water and Soil Conservation Act vested the sole right to use natural water in the Crown. Everyone, Maori included, who wanted to use water other than in ways allowed by the Act or a proper Plan, had to obtain a ‘water right’. The same arrangement is continued by the 1991 Resource Management Act.

“The ‘water permits’, as they are now called, which power companies hold were issued under these statutes. This means, then, that the Waitangi Tribunal has never had the jurisdiction to hear this water claim. Its doing so was legally improper. This is because in 2006 the Tribunal’s jurisdiction was limited; it now has no jurisdiction to hear any ‘historical’ Treaty claim, complaining of events before 2008. But the power companies’ water permits were granted before 2008, under statutes also made before 2008.

“The Tribunal is careless of the law, then. Numerous claims also reveal its bias and partiality to claimants. It cannot be taken seriously as a source of reliable history or policy. Nowadays anyway, it is little more than a grandly-named Maori lobby group.”

It is absurd that the Waitangi Tribunal heard a claim over which it has no jurisdiction. It’s ‘recommendations’, which we know have no legal standing, should be regarded as simple nullities. That unfortunately is the character of the Tribunal which is why this racial institution should be abolished.

Abolishing the Waitangi Tribunal is a key demand of the Declaration of Equality campaign for equal rights. If you haven’t supported it we urge you to do so now – and to encourage your family and friends to do the same. This battle for equal rights will not be won unless New Zealanders take a stand.

So where is all of this heading? The bicultural agenda is now deeply embedded in the country’s major institutions – our schools and hospitals, universities and training colleges, social agencies and the public service. These days the key driving force is the Maori Party – along with the help of their National Party coalition partner.  

I will finish with a glimpse of what could be in store if National fails to come to its senses. These following demands are taken directly from the Maori Party’s 2011 election manifesto. It is likely that some may become law – even if they are not part of their confidence and supply agreement. No fanfare to alarm the public of course, for that’s how radical change is made – under the radar of pubic opinion.

Top of their agenda is a bicultural constitution based on the Treaty as supreme law.

“We will encourage active involvement and participation in the Constitutional Review we advanced in the 2008-2011 Parliament. We will monitor outcomes from the Constitutional Review to ensure it gives effect to Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

“Treaty studies will be taught in all schools, from Year 7 on, starting in 2014. We want schools to teach local iwi history; civic and heritage studies.

“All policy provided to Cabinet and all bills tabled in the House must be able to demonstrate the impact of the policy on whānau and the Treaty partnership.

“An Annual Report to Parliament on progress on the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples to facilitate the right of Māori to preserve, evolve and transform their ways of life. We will introduce a requirement for Government departments and Crown entities to report annually on outcomes for Māori.

“By the 2014 election, all Māori to be automatically entered on to the Māori roll at the age of 18 with the option to transfer to the General Roll. We will also extend the provision in the Census to identify tribally to the electoral roll, where tribal affiliation is also stated.

“The Māori seats will stay until such time Māori freely choose, via a mana whenua referendum, otherwise.”