About the Author

Avatar photo

Dr Muriel Newman

Election Year Politics

Print Friendly and PDF
Posted on

With an election just seven months away it’s useful to reflect on the changing nature of politics – on both the left and right of the political spectrum – and what influence it might have on New Zealand.

On the left, Karl Marx believed that the best way to protect the working class from capitalist exploitation was through government control of the economic means of production and distribution. The nationalisation of industries, however, no longer became necessary, once governments realised that they didn’t need to own industries to control them – they could do it through regulation instead.

The Italian philosopher Antonio Gramsci, who viewed art, literature, and education through the prism of class struggle, understood how influential culture can be and championed government restraint. His writings inspired a socialist march through the institutions, targeting those that shaped culture – the media, universities, and the Church. Their weapon was political correctness, which was used to muzzle contrary views and control the narrative of political debate.

The latest attempt by politicians of the left to establish their niche and remain relevant has given rise to ‘Identity Politics’, which focuses the struggle for social justice on the so-called ‘oppressed’ groups in society – centred on gender, race, and sexuality.

It’s being taken to extraordinary lengths in some countries.

In the Province of Manitoba in Canada, social justice advocates, concerned about the perceived dominance of ‘white’ women in the teaching profession, have forced through a new quota policy to counteract this ‘imbalance’.

Now, 45 percent of spaces in the Bachelor of Education program are reserved for the ‘oppressed’ – 15 percent for the indigenous; 7.5 percent for racial minorities; 7.5 percent for those with a physical, mental, psychological, sensory or learning disability; 7.5 percent for those who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, transsexual, two spirit, or queer; and 7.5 percent for the socially disadvantaged – those who are homeless, under-educated, poor, or unemployed.

Identity politics is also embedded in the Australian school system, where the Department of Education requires schools “to recognise and respect the cultural, linguistic and religious backgrounds of all students, in order to promote an open and tolerant attitude towards diversity in the community”. Now, male Muslim students in some schools are refusing to shake hands with women – claiming it’s against their faith – instead, placing their hand across their chest as an agreed ‘alternative protocol’.   

Educationalist Dr Kevin Donnelley, says this proves that the Australian education system’s politically correct embrace of ­diversity and difference – the new code for multiculturalism – reigns supreme: “Education now embraces identity politics where the rights and privileges of particular ­individuals and groups nominated by the cultural Left are granted positive discrimination. Whereas in times past schools would teach all students about the values, beliefs and institutions that bind us as a nation, the focus is now firmly on what ­divides us. Even worse, instead of their ­arguments being properly ­analysed and evaluated, anyone questioning multicultural groupthink is quickly condemned as Islamophobic, racist and intolerant.”

Hilary Clinton, of course, championed identity politics during her campaign for Presidency. But many felt she crossed a line when she called Donald Trump’s supporters “deplorables” – effectively alienating almost half of America.

In analysing her campaign, social scientist Professor Mark Lilla of Columbia University observed that too much focus on diversity does not win elections. He said that voters overwhelmingly want to have their imaginations captured, not by images of difference and division, but by visions of commonality and a shared destiny.

Here in New Zealand identity politics has been embraced by the Labour Party. Their Constitution requires that candidate selection “fairly represents Tangata Whenua, gender, ethnic groups such as Pacific Island peoples, people with disabilities, sexual orientations, and age and youth”.

Not only that, but Labour feminists forced through a requirement for half of their Parliamentary Caucus to be made up of women: “The Moderating Committee must, in determining the list, ensure that for any percentage of the Party Vote likely to be obtained, and taking into account the electorate MPs likely to be elected with that level of Labour support, the resultant Caucus will comprise at least 50% women.”

Since most of Labour’s electorate seats are held by men, their party list is likely to have women ranked in all the top spots – except the first place, which is reserved for the leader.

The political ‘right’ has changed too. While helping people to get ahead through lower taxes and faster economic growth remains their objective – in contrast to the ‘left’s’ agenda of higher taxes and more government spending – they have now realised that the only way to get elected is to occupy the centre-ground.

The ‘Median Voter Theorem’ says that to win elections parties must appeal to the middle voter, since undecided centre voters are the ones who usually determine the outcome of elections.

That’s why, in New Zealand, whenever the Labour Party heads to the left, as it did a few years ago, when it changed its constitution to give the unions more power, and as it is now doing by embracing the Green Party, National too can be expected to head to the left.

John Key was a master at this. It remains to be seen how Bill English will fare.  

So how does this change affect elections?

The two elections that dominated global politics last year – the Brexit referendum vote in favour of Britain leaving the European Union, and the election of Donald Trump as President of the United States – demonstrated that a major shift has occurred in the ‘body politic’.

Firstly, pollsters can no longer be relied on to get things right. Voters clearly no longer feel compelled to tell pollsters what they are really thinking – especially if their views are not politically correct. They do not want to be judged and remain silent until they reach the anonymity of the ballot booth.

Secondly, the mainstream media is not longer as influential as it once was. The decline of quality journalism and the rise of ‘trash tabloids’ – as media commentator Dr Brian Edwards likes to call some of our major newspapers – means that their partisan reporting is falling on a diminishing and more sceptical audience, as voters seek their news elsewhere.

We certainly saw that during our last election campaign when the news was dominated by journalists pushing Kim Dotcom and Nicky Hagar’s dirty politics. It got to the point where many people simply couldn’t bear it anymore and switched off.

Just as concerning is the fact that the media no longer engages in ‘balanced’ reporting on major issues of public concern. Who represents the views of those New Zealanders who believe that nature controls the climate, not mankind? And what about race relations – even though a majority of Kiwis are opposed to separatism and racial privilege, newspapers will barely cover that viewpoint anymore.

The point is that by failing to engage in both sides of a debate on contentious issues – as good journalism requires – the mainstream media is making itself irrelevant. Not only that, but by losing touch with the silent majority it is no longer able to recognise changing public views, nor predict when a backlash is building.

And thirdly, it was obvious that in the UK and US elections, voters threw tribal political alliances aside, in favour of voting strategically for change. 

In Brexit, by rejecting uncontrolled immigration and smothering by the EU’s elite and unaccountable bureaucracy, voters wanted to ‘take their country back’.

And in the US, voters were rejecting the ‘establishment’ – epitomised by Hilary Clinton – in favour of the anti-establishment Donald Trump.

Of course, New Zealanders have been voting strategically for over 20 years – ever since the introduction of MMP.

Two years ago in the Northland by-election, National’s surprise loss of their ‘safe’ seat to Winston Peters, was a case in point. It was the result of a protest vote by National supporters, who wanted to send the government the message that they were tired of being taken for granted.

The result came as a shock because neither the pollsters – nor the media – had picked up on the fact that a backlash amongst the disgruntled silent majority was growing.  

So looking forward to our election on September 23rd, what can we expect?

With immigration being of such a concern around the world, this could certainly blow up into an election issue. But the situation here is very different from that overseas. Our record levels of net immigration are due largely to Kiwis returning home – and not leaving – along with migrants coming to this country to fill the chronic job shortages being created by our growing economy.

During the election campaign Labour will most likely focus on housing and poverty – and oppose tax cuts. The Maori and Mana Parties will try to win the Maori seats off Labour, by promoting more race-based privilege. Social justice will dominate the Greens’ campaign. NZ First will probably position itself as the anti-establishment party, and push immigration and one law for all. And Bill English will most likely promote tax relief for families, and appeal for votes based on National’s track record of being a steady pair of hands.

However, under MMP, since there is little chance of a single party governing alone, Winston Peters is likely to become the ‘kingmaker’ – especially if the disenfranchised, feeling emboldened by the results in the US and UK, decide that their votes really do count.

Meanwhile, the Reserve Bank Governor has warned that an international trade war could develop – if Donald Trump goes ahead with his protectionist policies. As a result, growth would not only slow in the US and China, but the impact would be felt around the world. And this year’s European elections in France, Germany, Holland, and Italy – where nationalist parties are gaining traction on anti-immigration and anti-EU platforms – could also lead to further disruptions.

So all in all, we could be in for a bumpy ride.

Earlier this year, I asked this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, former Judge and Law Lecturer Anthony Willy, if he would share his views on what he thinks may be in store for us in 2017. He has provided an excellent in-depth analysis and I will leave the last words to him:

“New Zealand is looking forward to one of the most interesting years in its short political history. The elites have been firmly in the saddle for the past twenty years or so setting the agenda for major public policies including: race relations, creeping socialism and the massive economic effects of global warming.

“The public have been curiously supine in the face of this assault on what were thought to be our shared values of ‘live and let live’. This has happened largely because their views have been ignored and there have been few platforms for them to express their opinions outside of the mainstream media – and that is firmly in the camp of the elites. This newsletter stands, quite literally, as ‘the light on the hill’ – as a voice for the deplorables. There is much to be done to reverse this tide but in some measure it will turn in 2017, most notably in race relations.

“If there is one serious indictment that can be levelled at the government of John Key it is that in its visceral dislike of the New Zealand First Party it allowed itself to be captured by a tiny group of radicals claiming various, often small, quotients of Maori blood. These people fashioned themselves as the ‘Iwi Leaders Group’. What is clear is that they have no belief in democracy, or freedom of speech…

“The deplorables are more than restless – they are deeply worried about what is happening. Race relations have therefore reached a tipping point which will be resolved one way or another at the forthcoming election.”


Do you believe race relations could have a significant impact on this year’s election result?  


*Poll comments are posted below.


*All NZCPR poll results can be seen in the Archive.

Click to view x 120


Maori / race based politics has never been more prevalent in the history of this country. National Party took this style of politics to a new level. Take the Foreshore and Seabed reversal after Clark stood firm. Take the current Iwi Fresh Water control legislation about to be forced upon the rest of NZrs . The Spineless, limp-wristed display of this current National Govt. does not bode well for the immediate future of NZ….unless English can show some hardnosed, pragmatic leadership….something the delightful, popular Mr Key lacked. Key did not relate to the fact that at the top you cannot be friends and buddies with everyone. My English has the golden opportunity to demonstrate that he will not tolerate racial minorities demanding self-serving policies to give an advantage over the ‘rest of ‘NZrs. TIME TO STOP THE PANDERING & SHOW SOME LEADERSHIP. Graeme
I’m not sure, because I don’t believe either of the major parties have the “nads” to stand up for Kiwis. They all seem to be able to champion the Maori separatist cause without too much hesitation or thought. I certainly hope Winston gets to be the kingmaker and bring some sense to the table in this regard, and hopefully with National and not the other bunnies. I am a DEPLORABLE! Mark
I certainly do, and it won’t be before time! The mind boggling past stupidity of the Labour and National Parties over race relations and the accompanying, steady march towards apartheid has to be addressed before matters progress beyond the point of no return. The outcome of the next election is crucial to New Zealand’s future as a fair, democratic and non-racist society. Martin
Yes, most definitely. Every individual to stand before ONE LAW ! The next most pressing issue is to stop and reverse COMMUNIST China’s ‘soft power’ infiltration into our universities and schools with their authoritarian Confucianism while not forgetting the one-way land-grab in N.Z., all tied to the communist state where there is no private property. Don
If not, New Zealand could well be run by an elite bunch of tribesmen! Kevan
Wake up and learn all those who don’t have Maori ancestry. One day you will wonder what happened to your rights as you used to know them. Lesley
I, for one, am sick to death of the manipulations of Government actions and declarations based on the false concept that Maori are treated less than equally in NZ. This ha resulted in ALL the biased options going to Maori benefit. I have had enough, and Winston is looking good to me. MervB
If National does not get motr than4er cent buying the Maori vote is no longer an issue. Winston becomes the King maker. John
Race relations could certainly have a huge effect on the election but that would seem to depend on something triggering the huge groundswell which is building up about the injustices of racial privilege for a chosen few among part Maori. There is considerable indignation about “our money” lining the pockets of these fat cats. Rob
I remember John Key got elected by promising to abolish the Maori seats. The world is waking up to divisive politics, thanks to alternative news sources other than our one-sided politically correct media. The people have had enough of media fake news and politicians’ lies. Mitch
Race relations have declined in NZ over the last 40 years. The catalyst was the creation of the Treaty of Waitangi Act and the Waitangi Tribunal. Neither of these pieces of legislation reflect the understanding of the 565 tribal Rangatira signatories of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. Maureen
The Conservative Party of New Zealand have elected a new leader. He is Leighton Baker, a building contractor from Rangiora. I worked with Leighton in the last election. This is a very fine man with a lovely wife, Sue and a great Family. The Conservatives will be contesting the coming election. I tell you this because it means binding referendum is back on the table. If you want to force the government of the day to grow a backbone and begin to introduce one law for all without the overbearing bullying tactics of Iwi being an oversized influence on crucial issues in our Country then vote Conservative. If you don’t it will mean Winston having far too much power after the next election. I think we all know what that means. Ronmac
There is no place for a Kingitanga movement or a maori sovereign. Both are racist. Laurie
There is no place in this country for separatism of race. One rule for all, and all to be treated equally. Ie, should govt grant a preference and/or money and land to one race then all other races should receive the same in proportion to numbers in that particular race. Allan
If fundamental changes after the next election do not occur, such as the abolition of Maori parliamentary seats, Waitangi Tribunal and the real TOW taught, then New Zealand is doomed. Also media are a bunch of left-wing liars with fake news. Monica
I really hope a good debate occures if only to clear the air. The move started in Brexit and continued in Trump. Now it’s our turn……. Mike
It should do! It’s up to us all to raise the issue as often as we can-both Labour and National will NOT want it discussed-this is the way they deal with it. My local National MP doesn’t want to talk about the issue at ALL! Roger
They will have to. The amount of money being poured into education, housing non elected council representatives is unpardonable. We have $423 million being spent on Te Reo, how is that possible when our own people show such a derelection of their duty in taking up the challenge. we have family violence now, as a matter of course usually involves our own whanau in numbers that are huge. Every time I see t.v. or press photos, it always shows men and women performing Haka’s with the most violent actions, as well as faces that project abject violence towards those attending. Is it no wonder that we must feel the need to hurt, anytime that we are confronted with opposition. The fact that Honi Harawera feels he can now refer to whites as his opposition, yet receives no admonition from our esteemed Race Relations totem pole. Would it be ok if I asked MR. Harawera what shade of brown he would be ok with being described as…..or even black, if it is of his want. He seems at ease with referring to Europeans qs “Whites” Now we have Mr. Little inviting Mr. Willie Jackson to join the party. Next likely candidate will of course be Mr. John Tamahere. Of course National have old Tuku Morgan to fall back on. So that should see non elected representatives on every bloody board there is…..oh, excepting the company boards of Directors. Mr. Little I will not vote for your, party the first time in my voting life. Alas poor Yorrick, I knew him well. Wiremu
Race relations are a burning isue in NZ, therefore will have a significant effect at the election later this year. This years elections will give the silent majority a say, I believe say it will, as they have been ignored for far too long. Frank
YES … and if not, why not! Maddi
We need to get New Zealand back on track that we are “One Nation” Maori radicals are splitting this country in half with their wanting control over Water Right. Foreshore ownership and the list goes on. The National party have a lot to answer for by letting the Maori party get there MMP way. Wyne
I have not seen any release of the submissions on the management of Fresh Water, but it is clear that the Minister and Caucus are still firmly committed to recognising that iwi have special rights in respect to the management of this substance which are different to all other citizens of this nation. Along with other settlements being made between the Government and “aggrieved Maori” it seems clear that “Separatism is alive and well” in our Government’s thinking. This is not the nation I want to be part of. Race relations will certainly impact on my consdiderations, and I do not believe I am a radical thinker or reactionary. Michael
I am not concerned about the colour of a person’s skin but I am concerned when any ethnic group people adhere to is used to allow special privileges to come to that group because of some mistaken belief that old sores such as the land injustices still have to be paid for by the majority of us who cannot afford to pay any more and feel the whole use of our taxes for such purposes is unjust. RAY
The insidious attack on democracy by Finlayson, Smith, Key and others is becoming more widely recognized. I have supported National for many years and have given up trying to convince them of the error of their ways. I am a Nat Party member but they won’t get my vote in September. I believe that supporting Winston is the only way to return to democracy. John
It is crazy that those calling for race to be ignored when allocating jobs or education opportunities are called racist. Ray
I hope they do as its time to ‘clean house’. Allan
Absolutely! I cannot vote for any party who will not remove the Maori seats (for starters !). John
Most of NZ is not aware or believe that the National Government will use Maori rights to control/own all freshwater to try and retain the Maori support simply to retain power at any cost. John
I am appalled at the continual comments by Maori politicians when they refer to “my people” I am with Winston who insists we are all equal under the law, we are one people, and we are all his people. Frank
Fair Payment must be paid on non-charitable profits. John
Get rid of the gravy train and its supporters. Clark
I will be dumping National for Winston because of this. He seems to the only to have a handle on what is going on in middle NZ. Murray
And Winston will hold the Balance of Power as a result. Hobson’s Pledge will also have an influence on peoples vote. Peter
I am not sure but Race Relations needs to be addressed and sorted out once and for all. The rewriting pf the Treaty must be stopped so that we can all prosper as one people. Unfortunately there needs to be a Party that will promote this philosophy Could it possibly be David Seymour of Act. Robin
Seems most people have had enough of selective rules and favouritism! Mark
I think this will show also as north/south thing where those of us in the south vote against the growing apartheid feeling whereas in the north there would be more support to Maori. Just my feeling. Murray
If we don’t stop the “rort” of Maori privilege under the guise of the ‘tribal-elites’ re-interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, NZ is heading for a 3rd world status? Ced
There is only one race, the human race and there should be one law for all, not privileges for one group who deem themselves superior because their ancestors were here first. Carolyn
Regrettably, yes. WP with his xenophobic, sinophobic myopia will see to that. However, I doubt whether he will be the king maker that many predict. Peter
It is time National addressed thi situation and could do well to align with Winston instead of the Maori party and govern on the basis we are ‘one’ people in NZ. Steve
Absolutely…I hope race relations are a hot issue. The ever-growing outrageous demands of Maori elite are having a negative effect on the rest of the populace and they need to be sent a strong message that ‘enough is enough!!’. Tony
Don’t want it to be – there are more important issues needing addressing – taxes, immigration, reducing bureaucracy, housing, growing numbers of mental health clients on the streets, Auckland transport, trade – lets not be directed into a media box where all the other issues don’t have to be discussed. Ayr
The silent majority have had a gutsful of the greedy iwi and their now irrelevant mouthpiece The Waitangi Tribunal. Bring it on. Kevin
Even the ordinary hard working Maori must realise by now that they also like the rest of the ordinary people are paying for the outrageous demands of the Maori Party and Iwi! Theodorus
If Bill doesn’t go back to National’s policy of getting rid of the Maori seats (which it was before John got into bed with them) I’m voting for Winston. Eric
It was recommended 30 years ago to abolish the Maori seats but subsequent gutless political parties have left it in the too hard basket. Voters are sick of Maori Maori Maori with their hands out and continual demands. It seems to me that NZ First will get a huge increase in voter support this September as Winston is our only hope to put an end to this nonsense. Carolyn
Yes and about time we all stood up & told the government “enough is enough”. End the treaty gravy train & the iwi grab for water ownership. Rex
I think National is dividing N.Z. & giving iwi anything they want but other kiwi’s are forgotten to they need their vote. Cindy
If it doesn’t it SHOULD! Probably at least 50% of R/Related Issues are Maori Issues. At present it seems Winston/NZ First is the only party prepared to talk hard and mainly straight to Maori, so unless the Nats develop Balls, he is needed in Government. Like rust, Maori Issues[esp.Treaty of W] never sleep and only get worse. So a Nats/NZ First Coalition looks the main/only fix – but a real l/term solution must be striven for, of course. Frank
Immigrants and Iwi. Ian
We are being forced to becoming more divided each year as the government gives into Maori’s unfair demands, which really affect the taxpayers , who in reality are their neighbours not the actual government. People, including myself are well and truly over it. Christine
Before Key read the tea leaves and bolted I was sure that race relations would have a big effect on the next election but National has now gone very quiet on the subject of fresh water etc, and Winston Peters now represents a very Maori oriented seat. He can no longer take the stance he previously did if he wants to be re-elected. It would be great if he would reaffirm his policy that the Treaty Of Waitangi should be removed from all legislation and all NZers are one nation with equal rights whatever their ethnic background. Richard
I would hope so as to long New Zealanders have had their noses rubbed in the Treaty of Waitangi rubbish. How long do we have to pay for perceived wrongdoings? Fat too long have people not been allowed to voice their opinion. We have been forced to proclaim the emperor is wearing clothes in institutions and workplaces. To do otherwise would put your education or career at risk. National nor Labour would get my vote, politics should not be a career but a vocation. Who you know and not what you know has been too long the plague in politics and related business. And of course having a splatter of Maori in your veins is always helpful as well as belonging to a minority. This sadly, is a worldwide phenomenon. With coming elections the silent majority could well throw a spanner in the well established works of the ruling parties. Ido
Unfortunately, for our lovely country! James
It’s about time white and fair minded New Zealanders stand up and demand a stop to Maori greed fed by the national govt for their votes.No matter what your breeding ,if you are a na citizen then you and all of us are one. Don
The sooner we abolish the race based Maori seats, as was meant to have been done under MMP, the sooner we will move ahead as a country. Kevin
I used to laugh at radio live talk back when Willie Jackson was on I kept hearing a nail go into the coffin of the Maori elite as he wildly threw himself into land taken from Maori, seabed and seashore and prisons, the labour party should enjoy him. John
Winston will be prime minister, National have there head in the sand over the voter feelings on what they have given to maori. We are all New Zealanders. Michael
Yes now is the time for a referendum for one people one country to do away with the Maori seats. No more racial preference. Margaret
This week’s commentary sums up quite well my feeling around coming elections. Political correctness has stopped many of us speaking our minds on many topics and the anonymity of voting at the polls seems to be our best weapon currently. Simon
If it doesn’t, people aren’t getting informed! Ted
It is more likely now than ever, frightening times. Fraser
I am not sure because my observation is that there are too many New Zealanders who, while they agree that race relations are important and that we should all have equal rights before the law, are apathetic about such matters and far more worried about their personal well being to allow their objections to the gradual vesting of more and more power in the maori elites to change the way they vote. Most of these people are indoctrinated National Party supporters and would vote National even if their candidate was a monkey. Wah
Hobson’s Pledge provides a balanced platform for the future in NZ. Doug
All a bit messy at present. Dick
Most definitely, we are one people. There has not been a full blooded Maori in NZ for over 50 years, so they are New Zealanders with Maori heritage no different to all other imgrents in this country I am a New Zealander with English heritage, so why can I not claim land as I have been here as long as the major Maori Population to date. Geoff
Excellent article thanks Muriel. New Zealander have been treated like second class citizens by the racist elite for far too long now. This latest Sea Change report recommending protected fishing sanctuaries where”cultural fishing” will be allowed is yet another example where the average kiw fisherman will be banned, leaving the protected area to become an area equivalent to a free fish shop for those sanctioned to fish there by the racist elite. Enough of this nonsense. If Winston is going to stand up for all New Zealanders against this form of reverse apartheid, then he will get my support at the next election. Chris
The situation is confusing because it is so hard to get at the truth of what is going on. Reports of special privileges being allowed to the Maori purport to be based on fact, but where is the honest thoughtful debate about these issues (e.g. owner ship of water supply) in the media. The papers, TV, radio etc. are so trivialized these days that they can no longer be a reliable source of information. So I am not sure whether the entire election will be affected by racial issues, but I suspect it will be. Martin
I believe that substantial number of silent New Zealanders have had enough of race based politics and will take their frustrations to the polling booth. Chris
Should not be so,unless raised by radical Maori elite. David
If it does NOT. Then we are in very serious trouble. Brian
It will if the sleeping NZ wakes up. Lance
All people should be treated equally. Everybody has the same opportunity to advance. You just have to get educated and capture whats out there for you. John
I am sick and tired of learning how the maori elite are twisting New Zealand for their own gain. It is nothing to do with mana, taonga, mahinga kai, hapu, or iwi, or any of those other maori terms that are being bandied around. Mate, it is all about money. Winston is going to get stuck into that lot for sure. Neil
Happenings over the last 10 years has led to this inevitable conclusion. Albie
One nation, one people, one law for all. Only NZ First can force a lead in that direction. If National wants to remain IN the Government they had better work with NZ First to achieve a substantial margin over the total of all other parties’ seats in the House. Alan
Depends how English manages the resource amendment bill. David
If Winston makes it a big issue I believe he will pick up National votes. Brett
About time the politicians grew a set of balls and stopped this gravy train the Maoris are running with no brakes. Simon
In a PC ridden political landscape like NZ’s the race card will be exploited to the limit. Issues like child poverty , compulsory Maori language in schools 600 million dollar schemes for Te Reo programs in general , continuous TOW claims calls for a TOW based constitution —to name but a few points here. These and more will be popping up in this years election. BUT —the other side — which are all these people who are questioning the current sad state of so called race relations and all that implies — are neither heard nor listened to.. Neither in parliament nor in the main stream media is there a critical report or debate made in public apart from the odd feeble and rather careful remark in order not to challenge the status quo. My great hope is that NZ First will gain more substantial voter’s support from all who are awake and critical towards what is really going on in NZ . This in order to create a political counter weight and a chance to put things right and foremost rid us all of this destructive PC bullshit. Michael
At least, I certainly hope so. Pandering to one specific race is destroying our country as we have always known it. All of those ‘special people’ have other ancestry and it is insulting to that other part of them to elevate one side and ignore the other. With this mixed ancestry it proves that we should all be treated the same with no special treatment based on race and I would hope the people will bring this up at every political meeting to the point where the politicians will finally take notice and stop pandering to one particular race. We are all human beings with the same needs and special treatment is totally unacceptable and in fact is apartheid. Helen
Bill English is well aware of National’s foolish policy of propping itself up with Maori part support. Bill does not support racial preferencial policies. He has stated his point of view but the media have buried his comments. He is trying to distance himself for from MPs like Findlayson who acted as Key’s expediter of dodgy deals. Interesting time ahead! Richard
This arrogant disregard for equal responsibilities, rights and privileges for all equally will see NZ first really become the king maker and is that a good thing? Wake up Bill- take the lead as a leader and do not follow the trail of do gooders Colin
No doubt what so ever, the silent majority will perhaps now vote! Brian
Yes, but this will mostly be (politically) denied. And beware of the motive of those who accuse ‘racism’! Fake news here in New Zealand! Stuart
Maori are increasingly greedy and pushy and it’s likely that non maori kiwis will show their resentment. Political parties will need to spell out their policies towards Maori clearly as over generous allowances may well lose them votes. William
ANY party guaranteeing to make all New Zealanders equal and abolishing racial bias will get my vote. Bruce
Definitely. This government is quietly allowing race relations in this country to reach a point where there will be a dangerous reaction. This National Government has allowed itself to be controlled by the Maori Party (which only received 31,850 votes (1.32%) in the 2011 election). For their support they were able to extract from the National Government, in their co-alition of 2008, the repeal of the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004 (thanks to Messrs Key and Findlayson) and remove the foreshore and seabed as “public common” ie. Crown Land and by the Marine and Coastal Area Act 2011 made the beaches available to tribes to claim. There are many other examples of separatist manoeuvres that this government has allowed. Tony
Please only one NZ not shared NZ based on seats of ethnic difference. Ray
Yes, race relations and racial tensions today have intensified with the intolerable growth of the money grabbing gravey train by one sector of the community. This continues more and more and must surely eventually come to a head when we are all saying enough is enough. Audrey
I believe so because I believe Race Relations have become more strained in this small country than ever before. Laurel
85% of the population have had enough of separatism. Mark
Can’t wait. Alan
By all accounts Dunne is long overdue for replacement but if Dunne proposed an anti apartheid policy and endorsed one law for all together with an ironcast step bt step method of implementation then he would earn his MMP Party vote, as would near any party that restored equitable English law principle to the Maori imbalance. Too bad National lack the balls to head the undercurrent of the people and restore the same correct balance whilst they hold the front bench, because failure to do so will inevitably result in the people speaking and National forfeiting the front bench for a very long time. Richard
I am absolutely sick and tired IWI leaders suckling the life blood out of the country with ever growing and more ridiculous claims The quickest way to have fight in your family is to favour one your children and the quickest way have turmoil in a country is favour one group of citizens These blood sucking Iwi don’t seem to pass their ill gotten gains to many of the poorer off Maori. Tell to get stuffed and as quickly as possible. Colin
I will vote for the Party that ensures we will be ONE PEOPLE without prejudice and favouritism. Ross
There is an under belly of opinion that is not being allowed to emerge by a biased media. the party that premote equaklity for every body will i believe have a great influence . thats likely to be Winstons Peters if he has the guts. Just as Don Brash did. Ian
I hope it does. It’s time it came to ahead. Andrew
Separatism is out of control. Les
I am not sure because both principal political parties can easily suppressand cover up the existing problem to ensure their policy platforms bypass racism for more immediate and more easily understood agendas. Victor
We are all New Zealanders and Racial issues have no part in politics. Graeme
Any party with the Guts to speak out against raceist policy and a end of Treaty privalage will win a large share of the Vote. Don
I certainly hope so. Roy
Continued APARTHEID in NZ worries the average thinking man sick in NZ. It is just plain wrong, same as it was in SA and USA in the past. Geoff
Who can tell? The media can’t. What will happen when the Asians start voting? Dick
We are bringing in imagrents when we have people here needing housing yet these ones can come in and have a house straite away hot fair on our own people plus 17 million for there own health care in the southern district of DHB six and a half thousand never got to see a spesilist that they had been refered to so some thing is not right. Russell
National has allowed the Maori so called “elite” too much control over every aspect of New Zealand life. They have gone along with all the things needed to make everyone except maori 2nd class citizens, and so many people just don’t seem to realise what has happened. It’s very scary. Lorraine
I certainly hope so! Richard
If political parties haven’t picked up that most New Zealanders would like one system for all they will miss out on votes. Burying ones head in the sand will not make the issue go away. Dennis
Culture of excess immigration from the Sharia mobsters could. Bryan
I’m sick of the treaty. Anon
It’s a sad fact that Maori/non Maori relations have become such a bugbear for all NZers. It’s also a shocking fact that Maori, the smaller of the two above races, have so much undeserved influence accorded their views and position. Undeservedly, “non-Maori” are categorised quite inappropriately as being non-Maori. The plot has been well and truly lost. Jim
The continual drift towards “Separatism,” in NZ must be questioned and STOPPED. Ronald
Yes. With the combining of the Maori and Mana parties, the Maoris are out to gain as much as they can from gimme, gimme, gimme. We have to remove MMP with its wishy washy access for Members of Parliament who dilute the progress of the country. National needs to be divorced from the Maori Party and if we have to have a support party until MMP goes, then NZ First is a better alternative for at least some sensible ideas. National needs to learn to say NO to the Maori’s demands for control, control , control which is basically developed from Gimme. The Treaty must be removed from all Legislation and that will make a good start for progress to the future. Chris
It’s the ‘sleeper’ issue: one that people won’t admit to, until – as you say – they get into the privacy of the voting booth. John Key was intimidated by Maori: he predicted “the hikoi from hell” if it was proposed to abolish the Maori seats in Parliament (even though it is still officially National policy); but Winston Peters – and NZF will hold the balance of power – will face them down: he relishes confrontation. It’s just a pity that we don’t have Judith Collins as PM, because they would make a great team; but we can hope….. Graham
I have always been a National voter but this time around I will be voting for NZ First as they are the only party who appears to believe in one rule for all. Janet
The imbalances need to be reviewed and resolved….what percentage of Maori blood does one need to make a real protestor.; to make a tax deduction…..etc etc……. ad nauseum One country, one vote, one taxation system, one education system….I could go on. Mabel
Yes, absolutely! Rod
It’s time we had One New Zealand citizen, not a minority clique that is extremely racist. john
As long as we continue to treat Maori as ‘different” ‘we will always have problems with race relations. Ian
If NZ first can put an end our slide to separatism then I’m changing my affliationn to NZ First. Hans
The election result however may well depend on the amount of publicity (or otherwise) on this issue through the various forms of media. John
Easy peesy to fix race relations in NZ, all one need do is circulate NZ’s true “Founding Document”. The Treaty is not it, this was ratified by the borders of New South Wales (NSW) being extended to encompass “all of the islands of New Zealand”, causing us to be ruled by this State and Maoris to become instant British subjects. It is illegal for a British subject to be in partnership with their Queen. Our true founding document is Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified on 03-05-1841, the day NZ was born. This Charter authorised our separation from NSW gave us our first constitution, English law only, authorised Hobson’s transference and promotion to be our Governor and our own flag (which is older than Australia’s in spite of flag change propaganda). The word “Treaty” does not appear in this Charter. There cannot be a breech of the Treaty, there can only be a breech of the laws of New Zealand. George
I hope so. Tim
Race relations. Bugger off. Just deport all the Maoris to White Island and let them exterminate themselves. Radicals only though. Graham
Voters generally have had a total gutsfull of politicians pandering to the parasitical Maori elite. The longer it is left to fester the worse it will be when action is taken to stem the racist problems. Yes there will be a change in the political atmosphere this coming election. One can only hope. Mike
I would hope not, race should be left out of democracy but the forming of “sides” and “one upmanship” will have some effect on the make up of a govt in Sept. Elizabeth
No way in hell going to vote Nats or Labour. That would only ensure the Maori rape and pillage of our NZ continues. NZ first only possible option at this time to get in the way of more of the same. Donald
NZ 1st and CP to lead the way in reversing this creeping racist agenda of the left and so called right…….no such thing as left and right, IMO both are the same that’s why we don’t see change, only creeping racism and socialism for the past 50 years. Wayne
Schools should not teach our children to be racist with small minded politically correct small minded teachers promoting racisism. maori are only one of the races in New Zealand and not even a predominate race but continually with a minority of their race getting away with total injustice to all other New Zealanders. David
The silent majority that care about racial issues are far from happy. Norm
If it doesn’t then New Zealand is heading towards a neo-apartheid state where the beneficiaries of separatism, the Maori Iwi group despite representing such a small percentage of the total population will begin to exert greater and greater power and influence over all New Zealanders. Our government institutions are already dominated and controlled by bi-culturalists. The prospects are grim if the bulk of New Zealand doesn’t wake up and act. Tom
It is about time!!! Christine
Most definitely race relations will be a significant factor in election 2017. Your guests analysis of the situation is exactly correct and I am one of those who is considering voting for someone I have railed against for years. Labour is positively communist and the Greens are a disreputable covey of ragtag and bob tails along with Gareth Morgans outfit, whatever it is called, the Maori Party which is simply a rac based Trojan horse full of self promoting individuals of dubious parentage. ACT used to be my preferred option but it is floundering under it’s current Leadership. National under John Key moved so far to the left it is doubtful whether Bill can work a miracle and pull it back to it’s slightly Right base. Where is New Zealand’s facsimile of Donald Trump? I’d vote for him in a flash to Make New Zealand Free again. Dianna
I tick not sure because of the PC, left slanted views of our mainstream media that tend to keep the public ignorant & the main political parties un-ruffled or delighted with what is being fed to a generally uninterested public. Because of the huge borrowing program undertaken by the Key led National government, to make things appear great, most of the public will vote traditionally, thinking things are great. [see latest poll results]. NZ Conservative Party have a new business man leader, & if NZ First were given enough support Winston would have to keep his promises. The major Parties take us on a slightly different route, but we still end up at the same destination. Are NZ voters likely to say enough is enough & vote for real change, as did the Americans? probably not yet.. A.G.R.
Many of us have had a gutsful of the soul-selling by National to the Maori Party and the erosion of democracy that has entailed. It’s about time we were all treated equally as NZers first and foremost with ethnic traditions including language being left for the home. Alan
Hoping enough people say enough to this BS. Willy
I have had enough of the endless money given to iwi, so much so that we have no record of how much is given. Sure the govt. has a record, but do you see them sharing it with us? No, it would be far too embarrassing. Graeme
We must kill the gravy train industry, support Winston P ! Tom
Regrettably it will be to try and get seats. Jim
Race based policies of this undemocratic National Government will bring conflict to NZ. Greg
Will Winnie be our savior or will get more of the same old thing. Arthur
Politicians have this in the too-hard basket. Anon
Maori seats should be abolished in a modern NZ. Special interest voting has no place in a general election. John
It should have otherwise we will be a serated county. Ian
Absolutely, I hope it is brought to the front of all parties debates instead of the cowardly politicians pretending that there are no issues to deal with.Except for the one party I will be voting for who wants everyone to be treated the same. Lyn
The Hobson’s Pledge Trust says it concisely in it’s nationwide advertising campaign. Peter
Hopefully, yes, race relations will have a significant impact on voting in the coming election. If not New Zealand is rapidly heading towards irreversible apartheid. John
The continued existence of the “Maori” seas is an incitement to white bigotry. Don
Rise of “Hobsons Choice” group makes it a certainty. While many of us question Don Brash as the figurehead we see ourselves as Kiwi’s / New Zealanders first and hate the PC race based politics of the part 30 years. Terry
Tacitly, as it is something we as a scociety appear incapable of discussing neither rationally, nor with personalising the issue. Andrew
I believe that most Kiwis are getting fed up with the actions of a few, so called, Maori and their ridiculous claims. Andrew
…the ‘iwi elite cabal will divide this nation forever and then it will be every one for themselves…. ChrisH
Have to stop all TOW claims, even if they were true we are not responsable for our forefathers sins. Colin
Most people don’t want to see divisiveness creeping in through racial privilege. One law for all. Graham
One country one people only. If you dont like that go back to the country you came from. Jim
Race relations will be a significant issue at the next elections only if Winston is smart enough to keep his “one law for all” policy at the forefront …. National will lose much of it’s “deplorables” voters (including myself) to NZ First. Labour and the green goons they have jumped into bed with have nothing to offer …. Winston will definitely be the kingmaker and it’s a safe bet that Bill English will be quick form a new government with him. Steve
The backlash is growing and National appear to be oblivious to it. Tom
Winston Peters will be a kingmaker, but I’m still not convinced he will go hard on one law for all. I think he’s trying to attract the Maori vote as well as the anti-privilege vote – in other words he’s riding two horses at once. Jason
Yes, many people are concerned about racial privilege, but I’m not sure that it will stay as a key election issue as health, education and the economy might eclipse it. Mary
Yes, race relations is a major concern of a growing number of New Zealanders. Craig
National needs to take stock and realise that their relationship with the Maori Party, which is becoming increasingly radical, will cost them votes – big time.  Michael