Professor Philip Joseph

Professor Philip Joseph

The Maori seats in Parliament

Some little while ago, I was invited to contribute to a study on the social and economic progress of Maori. It was suggested that I might examine the Maori seats in Parliament. A moment’s hesitation and I said “yes”. My decision did not take long. Before me was, as it were, a blank canvass. I had not had occasion to consider the Maori seats and I had no views on whether they should be retained or done away with. So I set about examining the issue and came to a decided (indeed considered) view: that the separate seats compromised the Mixed-Member Proportional (MMP) system and should be abolished.