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Dr Muriel Newman

Major Election Policies Announced

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The 2017 election campaign has well and truly started with both the Green Party and New Zealand First launching major policies last weekend.

At the Green’s Annual General Meeting, co-leader Metiria Turei stunned the audience during her welfare policy announcement, with the extraordinary admission that she had deliberately defrauded the Social Welfare Department while a solo mother on the Domestic Purposes Benefit.

She told the conference that she had not declared to Work and Income that she was deriving income from flatmates who were paying rent. Acknowledging that she could still face fraud charges for her illegal behaviour 24 years ago, she said she felt she now had a responsibility to “tell it how it is, because other people don’t have the privileged position that I do.”

Having been in her ‘privileged’ position as an MP for fifteen years, that reasoning does not ring true. It is more likely that confessing simply suited her politically now – just as it suited her to defraud taxpayers back then.

When asked whether she thought other beneficiaries in a similar position should defraud authorities, she said she neither encouraged nor dissuaded them, saying it was up to them.

Ms Turei explained that her experience on the DPB was one of the driving forces behind her party’s plan to radically transform New Zealand’s welfare system. In a move clearly designed to steal the beneficiary vote from Labour, the Greens not only want to make welfare far more generous – by raising all core benefits by 20 percent – but they also want to eliminate what they call an “excessive burden” on beneficiaries, by removing all sanctions and obligations.

Under the Greens’ proposals, anyone who doesn’t want to work wouldn’t need to work as there would be no obligation for anyone on the unemployment, sole parent, or disability benefit to look for a job, accept a job, or undertake drug testing for a job.

As well as scrapping work testing for beneficiaries, “excessive appointment attendance requirements” and “forced budgeting appointments” would also be removed. 

Parts of the Social Security Act, which “take money from beneficiaries”, would be repealed, including Section 70 A, which requires women on the sole parent benefit to have their benefit docked if they fail to name the father of their child.

In addition, in order “to stop the government intruding into the personal lives of sole parents”, boyfriends would be entitled to move in and live with solo mothers on the benefit.

The Party claims their policy would deliver greater social justice, but in reality, by further entrenching state dependency, it would introduce gross social injustice to New Zealanders.

To fund their social madness, the Greens are planning to change the tax system. They say “the economy is rigged to advantage the rich and powerful”, and as a result, they would increase the top tax rate from 33 to 40 percent. In doing so, they would be forcing the 3 percent of New Zealanders who earn over $150,000 a year – who at present pay more than a quarter of all of the country’s income tax – to shoulder the whole increased cost burden.

It is indeed ironic that a party that emphasises that taxpayers should pay their “fair” share of tax, appears to believe it is “fair” for beneficiaries to lie to obtain pecuniary advantage.

To spread their largesse further, the Greens also plan to lower the bottom tax rate from 10.5 percent to 9 percent, to increase Working for Families payments by at least $72 a week, and to raise the minimum wage by $2, from $15.75 to $17.75 an hour. Their goal is to increase the minimum wage to 66 per cent of the average wage – or $21.25 an hour – by 2020.  

The Greens’ policies are an indictment of the Party in general – and Metiria Turei in particular. Judging by the standing ovation she received for her speech, the Party appears to see no wrong in beneficiaries defrauding others, if it makes the defrauders’ lives a little easier – and if they can profit politically from it.

Such arrogance about the superiority of their world view is especially dangerous coming from a party that wants to be part of the next government. By condoning benefit fraud they are encouraging others to do the same: right now, someone will invariably be saying, “If it’s OK for an MP to rip off the system then why not me too?”

In fact, the Green’s “holier than thou” image should be damaged by their leader’s confession – while reasonable people will see the hypocrisy, one-eyed Green supporters will no doubt see it differently.

As an update, Metiria Turei has apparently now decided that she should pay back the benefit money she stole. Whether anyone will press criminal charges remains to be seen.

The second important policy launched last weekend was the announcement by Winston Peters, at New Zealand First’s Convention, that a binding referendum of all voters to retain or abolish the Maori seats would be a bottom line policy for the party.

The Maori seats, of course, were created by Parliament in 1867 as a temporary measure to ensure that Maori men who owned communal land were able to vote, since they didn’t qualify under the prevailing private property requirements of the time. The introduction of universal suffrage in 1893 should have signalled the end of the Maori seats, but instead, they were retained.

In 1986 the Royal Commission on the Electoral System closely examined the Maori seats, concluding that race-based representation was not only creating an “undesirable degree of division” within New Zealand society, but that it was at the heart of growing Maori disadvantage.

The Commission recommended that if MMP was introduced as a new electoral system, the Maori seats should be abolished to avoid an undemocratic over-representation of Maori in Parliament – as more Maori entered Parliament through list seats.

The Royal Commission has been proved right on all counts.

The Maori seats have not only led to an increase in racial division, but the disadvantage remains as well.

The predicted over-representation of Maori in Parliament has also occurred. At the 2014 election 21 percent of all MPs elected were of Maori descent, compared to 15 percent of the overall population.

Abolishing the 7 Maori seats would restore proportionality.

And on the issue of proportionality, in 2010 – in response to a proposal by the Maori Party to increase Maori representation in local government – the Attorney General ruled that such a measure would be discriminatory, since, “In a representative democracy, it is important to maintain approximately the same level of representation for everyone”.

Using that reasoning, retaining the Maori seats under an MMP electoral system is creating a disproportionately higher representation of Maori MPs in Parliament, thereby discriminating against all non-Maori New Zealanders.

In his conference speech last weekend, Winston Peters outlined why abolishing the Maori seats was a bottom line issue for the party: “Today, as we look at the state of Maoridom, we see the four things Maori want: a safe affordable home, an easily accessible health system, an education system with escalators onto which any child can step and go as far as they wish, and First World jobs and incomes.

“These are four things many Maori want, yet haven’t got. The reason, in short, is the burgeoning treaty industry that Parliament has become – the preoccupation of an elite group of Maori, at the expense of the great majority of Maori.”

He explained that the Maori seats send the terrible message to young Maori, that they are to be handicapped and pigeon-holed through ‘tokenism’, when they should be good enough to be equal.

He then said, “I am therefore announcing today that the next government we belong to will offer a binding referendum mid-term to do two things:

Retain or Abolish the Maori seats.

“And there will be second referendum on the same day and that will be to Maintain or Reduce the size of Parliament to 100 MPs.”

Unfortunately the announcement was contradicted by members of the New Zealand First caucus. Maori Affairs spokesman Pita Paraone is reported as saying that any referendum on the future of the Maori seats should be decided by voters on the Maori roll: “I’d like to see that it’s left to Maori voters to make that decision”.

This followed earlier comments by the new Whangarei candidate, Shane Jones in support of Maori seats.

Although, both eventually agreed to abide by the caucus decision, what should have been a very clear and powerful policy announcement was undermined by seemingly contradictory and muddled comments from within the party.

Winston Peters appears to have now clarified the matter by restating that the position of New Zealand First is that retaining or abolishing the Maori seats is a constitutional issue, and as such, it must be decided through a binding referendum of all New Zealand voters.

Following New Zealand First’s announcement of the binding referendum on the Maori seats, TVNZ news said Labour leader Andrew Little “will not agree with the proposals if the parties are to go into coalition after the September general election”. This comes as no surprise given Labour holds all but one of the Maori seats.

Since Winston Peters claims the referendum is a “bottom line” policy for New Zealand First, if they are to be believed, we cannot expect them to form a coalition government with Labour.

In response to Winston Peters’ referendum announcement, National’s Stephen Joyce said abolishing the Maori seats was something their Party had been considering and that they expected to clarify their policy in a month or so.

National, of course, used to be opposed to Maori privilege, pro-actively campaigning on a policy of abolishing the Maori seats. In fact the last time Bill English was National’s Leader, one standard of citizenship was a major election theme.

However, under the leadership of John Key, the policy was deferred until after the Treaty settlement process was finalised: “At the conclusion of the settlement of historic Treaty claims, National will begin a constitutional process to abolish the Maori seats. National wishes to see all New Zealanders on the same electoral roll.”

In other words, John Key sidelined abolishing the Maori seats in favour of policies that supported Maori privilege and generously appeased iwi leaders.

Perhaps National is finally getting the message that such policies are not only harming national unity, but are costing the Party dearly, as potential National voters migrate to New Zealand First to support a party and a leader who is opposed to race-based privilege.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator, free-lance journalist Michael Coote, explains:

“New Zealand First has consistently opposed Maori racial privileging in law and public policy. It offered to support the National government on Resource Management Act (RMA) reform if references to the Treaty of Waitangi were stripped out. National chose to reject this opportunity and instead fell captive to the Maori Party in making the RMA even more racist… Perhaps it is time the septuagenarian Mr Peters practised the activism in government he threatens from opposition and led New Zealand First into meaningful and lasting political achievements.”

National now stands at a crossroads. Will they support the New Zealand First position, with a policy they used to promote by agreeing to a binding public referendum of all New Zealanders on whether the Maori seats should be retained or abolished, or will they support the Maori Party and commit to retaining the Maori seats – or promise a binding referendum of only voters on the Maori roll.

The Maori Party and Hone Harawira’s Mana Party are threatening protest action to bully and intimidate politicians and voters to dissuade them from supporting the abolition of the Maori seats. One can only hope that New Zealand voters will understand how important it is that the power base of Maori supremacists is removed once and for all – by standing firm and supporting the abolition of the Maori seats.


Should National re-affirm its policy of abolishing the Maori seats?


*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


Yes it is completely undemocratic to have race based seats in 2017 . They have long out lasted there usefulness Maori can stand in any seat for any party. Wendy
Absolutely! We are ALL New Zealanders – having ‘special’ seats for Maori is WRONG! Sylvia
All New Zealanders should be equal before the Law. Glenn
Yes, the race-based seats are an anachronism. They must go!! David
Just grow as set and get it done. Simon
Race based elecorates are racist, immoral and anti-democratic, so of course they should be abolished! National should be leading from the front, not meekly kowtow-ing to every maori demand, like they always do – because of, as always, the abortion of political correctness, the stupidest idea ever – no one knows what it is and no one has the guts to say so and to ask why the hell we are all so stupid as to go along with it! I
No need for comment but I’m afraid it won’t happen. One person, one vote regardless of race. Ann
Most definitely. We need to be one people. Sue
But they are still not getting my vote. They have introduced too much race based law for me to ever support them again. Robert
Enough pussyfooting, it’s now or never for the party who said they would to stand up to their policy and give all New Zealand the chance to make a decision. Robert
There are two “unforgivables” stopping me from voting National. 1) Their broken promise on the Maori seats. 2) The Foreshore and Seabed give-away. (Actually, there’s a bundle of other give-aways!) Colin
As should ALL of the other parties. John
The temporary Maori Seats should have been abolished over 100 years ago but National has ignored the issue for 9 years now, so not only do the majority European population have to put up with a privileged Maori minority but also MMP. It’s not only in Parliament that Maoris have extra privileges but also consider the enormous profits the Maori elite businesses take with their regular vast sums of cash we donate them to satisfy their Treaty demands and their tax free status as charity organizations. Added to all that is their continuing demands to control local government with non elected Maoris appointed to our Councils. Can we trust a divided NZ First caucus to administer a referendum on the Maori seats if they are in a position to hold power in Government???? Chris.
It is a right of all NZ voters to decide in a binding referendum on whether to abolish Maori seats. If this is restricted to only those voters on the Maori roll then it will demonstrate that Maori racial privilege does prevail in this Country. then it will demonstrate that Maori racial privilege does prevail in this Country. Martin
Ms Turei of the parasitic Green party is a political swamp creature and the swamp needs to be drained of disgraceful politicians like her. Not only is she arrogant, she is irresponsible with taxpayer money. The Green party deserves 4.9% of the party vote next election. Also after National’s record after 2008 we cannot trust them with abolishing Maori seats. Monica
Its racist and unnecessary. Coralee
Proportionality Yeah right Warren
Of course, no ifs, buts or maybe’s, if a Green, Labour group get in, things will be worse in this area. Dont even think about the Opportunity party, they want to give the keys to the country to maori, go figure. Ray S
Dammit, we have to be one people in this country Barrie
High time, it’s a divisive policy and its harming the Maoris more. I gave up on labor 9 years ago and getting fed up with National . Winston for prime minister and I am speaking for over 40 voters in my community . Jay
Yes they should. But National being National, they would not give a fiddler’s fart and will carry on happily to be a branch of the Maori Party. Now— THE GREENS: finally we know for sure That lot is in it’s very core a hardliner socialist/communist party led by a ex thief. The enviromental policies of this ‘GREEN’ party are nothing but a fig leaf barely covering their real agenda, which is is the redistribution of hard earned tax payers money to a group of people who have no intention to ever contribute anything to this society apart from children born out of wedlock. And the policy that she wants to protect that lot from being drug tested etc shows us the insolent, ignorant and elitist attitude towards the rest of us. This arrogance is unbearable. Besides — this whole charade is nothing but a tool to fish for votes. Not to be trusted!!!! Michael
Justice Ken
Of course it should, but the indigenous people treaty signed by ‘Key’ & ‘Sharples’, at the U.N., will prevent any progress in that direction. The Conservative Party would probably prove to be a safer bet than NZ First, but because of left leaning media who refuse to give them any coverage & not enough funds for real promotion, I guess ‘Winnie’ will have to be relied on to get the country back on track.. A.G.R.
It is time to move on. The seven seats were put there for a purpose and that reasoning has well gone. Maori are represented fair and square in Govt. seat. Wayne
Maori seats are well out of date. We are all New Zealanders it is racism at its worst. Wendy
If Natioanal are smart enough they should also announce that they will abolish the Maori seats and support N Z policy. Also they should revisit their position to Maori and the RMA. Ken
About time politicians stood up against Maoris trying to hold the rest of the country to ransom and greed. Barbara
They have been gutless on every thing else Maori. Barry
But it won’t happen, political suicide Hilary
Long overdue Robert
If it is of any use after NOT doing anything about it for the last 9 years while it was a National Party promise to begin with Konrad
It’s the least they can do. Graeme
Well overdue Morris
Support Winston. Bryan
Indeed they should. BUT not by giving in to Winston Peters. We can do it without him. Deborah
They are too gutless to abolish them. I’m finished with National, and NZ first appears to be the only party with the fortitude to stop the madness with the Maori nonsense, so my vote, for the first time, goes to Winston, even if National stated tomorrow that the would abolish those seats. I wouldn’t believe those liars and procrastinators. Carolyn
We are all New Zealanders. Richard
When a ‘one percent’ party can blackmail its way to grabbing billions of taxpayer dollars – as the Maori party has done for the past nine years – how can anyone deny that ‘Maori seats’ within MMP is a crude and totally undemocratic process? Racist too. And totally unfair on the rest of the voting public because the electorates contain far, far fewer voters than a general electorate. Paul
It should be done without argument or delay, Get rid of National forthwith. If everyone who is of the same mind, they should let their fingers do the walking and everyone should get Other Countries Government email addresses and send them all emails letting each country know that New Zealand has got Apartheid Policies and that consecutive Governments haven’t got the balls to change the policies that divide the people. Frank
Most definitely. Barbara
About time… Donald
National abandoned its policy to abolish Maori seats so that it could stay in power with the supportof the Maori Party. A shameful abandonment of principle. I have never votes for Winston but may do so this time. Wah
While they’re at it they should start taxing Maori Business profits. Colin
It is the only way forward for the National party. I have already indicated that I will vote NZ First and end separatism in NZ Andrew
Too much racism for far too long John
Definitely abolish the maori seats they are racist Campbell
Would be the first promise they’ve kept in a decade. Michelle
More than re-affirm, they should just do it. The seats are anachronistic and anti-democratic. And who wants to live in an undemocractic country? Name one that looks appealing??? Fiona
What I would like to say cannot be printed here. But I am prepared to carry arms in defence of a country that i want my grandchildren to grow up in and love. Frank
That was the idea a few elections ago so whats the problem Peter
Key is a coward and traitor. Lock him up! Russell
Make it a firm promise and have the backbone to stick to it. Malcolm
The National Socialist Coalition seeks to retain power by selling NZ to Maori interests. The seashore claims and the rort of funding claimants while charging opponents is anything but democracy. I gives new meaning to MMP: Mixed member prostitution! Hugh
Yes and keep them out of all policy making, they live in the dim dark cultural past. James
The Treaty settlements was just an excuse not to abolish them. Now they should be abolished which I assume will be the same as holding a binding referendum of all N Z Voters. If N Z First hold the balance and go with National there will be swift action on this topic. I believe National have had enough of the Maori Party who are never satisfied irrespective of what they receive. Time to leave them in well earned obscurity which is where they belong in this day and age. Mike
Absolutely!! Brent
But it is a bit too late to do it now after indulging the Maori Party and Maori Elite under John Key. NZ First is needed to keep then honest. Paul
Absolutely but one cannot trust the decision makers in that party. They will continue to feather their own nests while supporting Maori activisim. John Key was very cunning when he stepped down leaving a country divided on racist principles and allowing him to further propagate his wealth which he was unable to do while holding the post of Prime Minister. Mary
Definitely time for us to be one people and 1 nation of New Zealanders. Angie
This is a very important voting issue and should be no.1 on any PARTY VOTE list. Remove the Maori seats now. Stuart
The reason why I do not vote National is because of this backdown during the Key government years John
It should have been done in the 1980″s when the commission report was made — John
I thought we already shared our revulsion of apartheid based laws a few years ago Or was that all in vain. If the Maori were the first ibhabitants of this land they might have a case but there is plenty of evidence they were not. It is only our gutless self serving politicians who won’t investigate all that has been revealed on that subject in the last 200 years.. Have a look on the “Skeletons in the closet” documentary on Youtube that you won’t see on main stream media for some information on the subject. Get to know the countries real history not the politically correct version. Peter
Unequivically YES. There is absolutely no possible reason for retaining the Maori Seats. Racial privilege has become very unfashionable and the Maori Seats have institutionalized race based privilege, along with loads of other stupid new rules that have crept in to NZ legislation over the last decade or so, usually as an appeasement to some race based pressure group. I really do wish that Winston and National would get their act together. They would then win a good majority and maybe we could get New Zealand cracking. Dianna
The party’s breaking of its undertakings to abolish the Maori seats and radically reform the Foreshore and Seabed Act and the RMA are the primary reasons that I will no longer vote National party in 2017. Gordon
They are a stigma and need to be gone. Trevor
All New Zealanders should be equal. Lew
It’s about time maori were abolished. Charles
This is a no-brainer. And Bill English promised that a future National Government would scrap Maori electorates at the Lower North Island regional conference of the Party in May 2003. Don
YES, If National don’t pull finger and soon, NZ First will be our new Government in September. Athol
The sooner the better. Terry
Absolutely! The present situation is totally biased and unacceptable within a democracy. James
Too Bloody right they should. These race based seats have no place in our democracy!! Jim
I’m voting for Winston this year, his is the only party that has the balls to deal with this ongoing disease of separatism. Vic
This nonsense has gone on for far too many years because governments have been too weak to bite the bullet, particularly under MMP Terry
Absolutely out dated and devisive the longer we hold onto the past the longer the country is split nus and them one people. Barry
National might as well get on-side with NZ First now, that would reduce the negotiating time for a coalition or support agreement. Alan
We are all; New Zealander’s All for one and one for all. Yan
The sooner the better Gary
Should have been gone when we adopted MMP. National will be damaged at the polls if they don’t support Winston on this critical issue. Rex
Have some principles and carry them out, National! Ray
They may have left it too late. Peter
The sooner the better. There should be NO race based system anywhere including NZ Don
Top bottom line really. Murray
One country, one legal system, people treated equally, Maori seats are a thing of te past and served a purpose not so now. Phil
The Maori seats must be abolished as today they are an anachronism & source of division in society. Either we are one country or divided and these seats are the cause of division in society. Brian
Currently the system is Racist in favor of one race in particular, There are no Chinese or Somoan seats etc. Colin
Definitely Ian
That would be just one step in the right direction. Barry
Hell yes. It is nothing but apartheid. I wonder how many of the folk who marched against apartheid in South Africa have the total opposite opinion on this one just because our current system favours people of colour instead of whites. Kerry
Absolutely David
As a former National supporter it might influence me to give them my vote again. I am fed up with them bringing Maori inside the tent & promising them the rights to control fresh water in NZ. Kerry
How is the next government of Nation & NZ First going to work and for how long before National realize they need to change there direction in Relation to the Maori gravy train. Michael
Yes but too late for me to give them my vote. David
Yes yes yes, for all the reasons clearly outlined in your report. Audrey
Yes of course they should, but after all those years of John Key getting into bed with them I don’t trust them and am giving my vote to Winston this time. Eric
If they do not then I will vote for NZ First. Bruce
Special, guaranteed seats in parliament based on race is contrary to the concept of Democracy. If society benefits one group of people, it automatically disadvantages all the rest. Equality is one of the fundamental tenets of a Democracy and must be maintained, or in this case, given back. Joyce
National should also implement a policy to remove all race-based privilege from the laws governing New Zealand. Gary
The National Party i used to support has sadly lost it’s way. It is time for National to get back to basics Garth
NOW !! Mabel
It is simple maths. National need another party or parties to control the treasury benches. It would be difficult to do with only a one seat majority, but with a nine or ten seat majority national will not have a problem. Looking after the maoris will be quickly forgotten. This is where you will find the game of looking after number one comes into play. Just you wait and see. Dennis
It is time for all our politicians to apply democratic principles with equality for all. Bryan
Most definitely YES Nigel
National’s policy of Democratic Integrity deferred, All to appease the co-governing Maori Party’s Apartheid Agenda, was and Is a despicable compromise that taints National to this day and ensures National is undeserving of any Party Vote or Candidate Vote until it irrevocably changes course to permanently abolish the grossly abhorrent Apartheid Maori roll, Maori separate seats and the pro elitist Maori Waitangi Tribunal. Modern Welfare needs to change from Pandering payouts to the weak, to that of supporting the capable to employ the weak on terms that the weak by their skills actually merit. Richard
The Natioal Government has just pandered to the wishes of the Maori Party and should have never been in government with them. Gaire
Yes National should abolish the Maori seats. They are totally divisive and have no place in our society. National should go and get some advice from Winston Peters. Mike
If they want to be voted back in, then they must listen to the majority of NZ voters Bryan
They should but they wont, as we all know the squeaky wheel syndrome. Benjamin
We need more action and less talk about this issue. I am so sick and tired of the National Government pandering to Maori as they have done more of since relying on their support in parliament to stay in power. What a pigs arse MMP has proven to be since its inception. -just too much wheeling and dealing and trade offs ! William
Now is the time. New Zealand cannot afford the Greens. John
Of course. Roy
Don Brash’s Hobson’s Pledge policies are making National as a party look very shabby. National once stood for something, and the fact that it has allowed so much imbalance and unfairness to develop in its treatment of race relations – purely for political advantage – has occasioned damage that is going to be difficult, if not impossible, to ever redress. Jim
We need to at start getting rid of Maori induced racism If National doesn’t have the balls to promise a referendum, then hopefully people with some vision will vote for NZ First and get the desired result that way. Neville
Absolutely yes. The sooner this country gets back to true democracy the better for all. Donald
I am tempted to vote for the party which firmly opposes all race based privilege in NZ Annette
Stop sitting on the fence Mr English. William
Yes of course it will better for the national interest and will help national unity .we are multicultral not bicultural. Anthony
The National Party must re-affirm its intent and show their intent to immediately follow through on the policy. They must also ensure that the honouring of Treaty Principles enunciated in so many of our Acts is interpreted that equality of citizenship is paramount, preferential consideration based upon a person’s racial heritage is denied and there is one law to which all residents of our country are answerable. Michael
The politics in NZ is becoming more disgraceful,more,dishonest and more confusing with each party outbidding the others. Lance
National does not understand the anger of farmers and rural based voters for its race based policies.purhaps after this election they will at last get it. Morrie
Anyone born here needs representation on an EQUAL basis. No favouritism based systems, the psst is the past and I signed no treaties. Sick of PC separatism see it every day at work. Just means nothing gets achieved on any meaningful level. Andy
The sooner the better. It’s time to become the ne people again !! Sue
They pledged to do so several years ago but somehow never got around to it. Bryan
They should have not gone back on there policy years ago get rid of the seats. Russell
I personally wrote to ch ch national party organiser saying I and a number of longtime national supporter friends are voting N Z firrst as we are fed up with the political coruption and graft to the IWI ithis country should be for all N Z rs not a handful of millioare I wi ahargen
Of course they should – but do they have the moral integrity – and the balls – to do it? Martin
Definitely and no more hiding behind vote leveraging. Robyn
They won’t however stand up to Maori, they bend over backwards to agree to everything that Maori want. They just don’t seem to care about New Zealand anymore and have lost my vote. Fraser
The treaty is for ALL NZers, no distinctions. Don
All they do is perpetuate our present Apartheid system Charlie
Definitely. As it stands Maori seats are reminders of the Third Reich’s Nuremberg Laws and South Africa’s apartheid laws. David
Dont postpone it. Do it. Not voting for them because of this and other things Maori. max
This is a political anachronism that is decades past its ‘use by’ date. It needlessly perpetuates and aggravates the growing racial divisiveness in this country sponsored by part-Maori agitators and free-loaders. Tony
Not only re-affirm it’s policy but in fact do something about it. I do have worries with Winnie in that on this policy he is correct but on many others he could be very dangerous. Hopefully David Seymour ( ACT) will come up with the goods on this.  Robin
Absolutely. Charlie
A one nation NZ is long overdue. Ian
It will be interesting to see if Winston keeps his word, if not he is doomed. National should follow suit if they want National votes. Geoff
I just hope the leaders all stick to what they say then we will have a national NZ first goverm government we may then get rid these Maori flames John
They need to stop shelving the issue and get on with doing what they said they would. Laurel
Well well well overdue to be abolished. Peter
Absolutely should – if they don’t, I will be one of Many who vote for Winston and his NZ 1st Party Elayne
They should have been abolished more than 150 years ago. Don
Only way to go Don
However, it would mean very little, because National no longer seems to bother about keeping to its word or, indeed, the principles set out in the party constitution. It used to claim to support “Equality of citizenship and equality of opportunity,” but with its unashamed support of Maori political privilege and separatism, it’s no longer to be trusted. Unless and until National changes its leadership for someone with grit and probity, the party will remain an effete shadow of its former self. Graham
its well over due the get rid of the maori seats national needs to grow some b::::::s and stop pandering to maori Paul
National have lost their way. Norm
Racial based seats must go! Murray
In todays environment, there is no longer a need for race-based seats. There are Maori based political parties available if Maori wish to vote on a racial level, otherwise they are able to vote for other candidates who may or may not be Maori. Gifford
We are all new zealanders why should moari be treated differently if your wanted you will be voted in James
If national do decide a late policy announcement it will too little too late. the damage is done. National have instigated racial separatist laws allowing the ticket to be clipped by a few. Racial contributions on the back of permits is just wrong. It makes no sense that an elected government would do divide its own people! Who to trust? Sam
Anthing with sepratist or racial overtones is not required in NZ! Ron
Will vote NZ First Nev and Kathy
We are one nation not them an us!!! Ian
Yes they should. It will be interesting to see if they do.. If they don’t it will tell us a great deal about who is actually running the country and that Bill English is just a sacraficial lamb. Ronmac
They have been to Gutless to do so in the past. Wayne
Its equality for all NZers only if all New Zealanders are on the same electoral roll and the Maori seats abolished – so let’s have a binding referendum covering these issues. Stanry
National should put it to a binding referendum as this affects “all New Zealanders”. They still have this policy but stated “after it was elected”, “Only if Maori want to”. And so, apartheid rules. Our true founding document prohibits apartheid, in favour of British law. When our false founding document, the Treaty, was moved from Archives to the Te Hotu display in the middle of the night, our true founding document, “Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840”, was moved from public display to be put out of sight in Archives Repository. Was this in the hope of hiding it? We need to know our true history that the above Royal Charter split us from New South Wales and created us an independent British colony. Shame on the National Government. George
One country, one people without racial division… Ian
This needs to be done without delay and before the coming election. Currently, it just splits the nation when it is so un necessary. Allan
They won’t like being reminded of this. Edgar
I think the Maoris should decide. K
Will they. I doubt they have the primciples nor the guts to do so. Robert
Racism at its worst Neil
Absolutely. National’s very cunning (NOT) move to keep Maori ‘Inside the Tent,’ has already gone a long way towards stuffing up the whole country by allowing the small Maori tail to wag the dog.And unless stopped completely will certainly continue to get worse! Frank
This is what the majority of their supporters want if they don’t support this then they can expect a much reduced following. Sue
Maori seats have no place in politics any more. Interesting to see if an Asian party was on the scene. Graham
They should abolish race based seats, but are too gutless and worried about losing power to do it. Laurence
Keep your Promise Peter
Too many maori parties already Owen
Obvious Keith
Let’s all share our country’s laws as one people, New Zealanders. We do not need laws and opportunities based on race. Darryl
Apartheid is a nasty and unfair system of government. Jasmine
It should be decided by all New Zealanders, anything else would be racist Ross
Surely we are all one people and Maori have every bit the same chances as everybody else to be elected. Brian
The increasing racial divide within NZ is abhorrent and disadvantages all New Zealanders. Richard
One country one people Bruce
NZ First should be seen as a lead in this. Levonne
They have to, or this country will degrade to the tribal conflicts of many unruly countries. Brian
Not necessary to continue to have race based electoral seats Ken
One law for all , equal rights for all Kiwi’s. Don
I find it hard to believe how National have gone so far to pander to Maori just for 1 Maori seat in parliament to help them stay in power when they could swallow their pride and take on NZ First. Christina
It is racist. Boy
This is an obvious apartheid problem that is well overdue for fixing. This Moari seat issue gas been a thorn in all New Zealanders side for many years. If Winstone can get the ball rolling, good on him. Lloyd
One nation, one race (the human race), one class of citizenship with one vote and less mps, even one hundred are too much. Leonard
The sooner ALL New Zealanders are equal before the law the better for New Zealand! Donald
I’m with Winston Peters on this and it needs to happen. Di
Way overdue David
If National does not support the absolution of the Maori then they will lose thousand of votes and Winston will be Prime Minister. John
Should have been done years ago as was originally planned. Walter
Equality Tony
They do not benefit the average maori just a so called elite. Chris
The Waitangi Tribunal and thr Maori Land Court should both be disbanded. Laurie
Would be a step forward towards a united country, rather than the separatist one we have been progressing with in recent years. Hugh
They should but whether they would follow through is questionable. Les
About time a stand was taken. Peter
It’s long overdue. Rosemary
Furthermore they should commit to this! Too easy to have a policy and then just keep deferring it. Kevin
Unless they do, guess who will get my vote, and that of many others I have spoken to about this. Maurice
One country one people one vote no special seats. Carl
It has become a farce as New Zealand no longer has New Zealanders it has Kiwis and Maoris (15% of the population) and they are now with each MASSIVE handouts they get want MORE (where do they think the money is coming from e.g. the $millions) we have to borrow to give it to them. This should never have started and it is the Government that started the rot. They still want the extras…We to pay them Welfare, Benefits, Medical care etc so what is happening to all those millions they are getting as well as the land returned under the Treaty (which I am of the understanding was not signed legally as the Maoris had NO written language since this rot came in there has been a distinctive divide –The more they get the more they want. Time is was ended once and for all -in fact it should of never been started. Marylin
They should put the country first and not their own racist interests. Their past policy of buying Maori votes so they can stay in power must be discarded. Until then they lose my support. Graeme
In the ever changing world of politics, is it still National’s policy now? Ron
Or don’t at your peril!! Hone
Hard to believe that National did not have the insight to see this coming. They have compromised too many of the parties principals, alienated the membership for racial policies that are indefensible. John
And the sooner the better. Graeme
Maori were not a race of people they are a group of people picked up from different places at different times and were dropped of at different places. as the word maori was a grouping word maori for various different tribal nations that lived here and the word maori only became popular in the 1800s Ian
Equality for all New Zealand Citizens. Peter
If they do not then the nation continues its support of an apartheid regime. It is time to grow up and declare that we are truly democratic with utterly equal rights for every citizen. Paul
It,s about time ALL N.Z. was governed NOT just GREEDY iwi by national,they have given GREEDY iwi CONTOL & RIGHTS over other N.Z. tax payers ETC Cindy
About time Elsa
It’s time to stop dodging this issue just to keep your ‘friends’ happy. Andrew
If National doesn’t state an intention to abolish the maori seats my party vote goes to NZ First. This after my 65 years support for National. David
The National Party needs to be coerced into to stopping its political support of Maori, by center right voters giving their party vote to NZ First. Murray
It is long overdue. Tom
Maori anything implies racism. Andrea
In answering “Yes” it would be wise to be aware of the possible consequences. I have not done the mathematics, though might not the following occur? At present, Labour holds all but one of the Maori seats; therefore the Maori Labour vote is locked up in six seats. If the Maori seats are abolished and the Maori Labour votes are then distributed into the General Role seats, Labour might well win several more seats than it presently holds, thereby changing the overall representation in parliament. Furthermore, the percentage of Maori who vote could increase substantially when they realise that their vote would have a greater affect than it does under the present system of separate Maori seats. At present, even if all Maori in New Zealand were on the Maori roll and voted Labour their total vote would result in only seven Labour seats. As a consequence, we might have a Labour government for ever! Peter
We are all one people we are all equal regardless of colour or creed. Roydon
Absolutely, no question, we are all equal, if we are not careful we will be controlled by maori, 15% of the population and 80% of prison population. Graeme
One New Zealand People – One Vote for All. -long Overdue ! MervB
Yes. But its toooo late. Dave
The National Party must stop prevaricating on this and make it a bottom line policy. It is a pity that Mr Peters’ position has been undermined from within his own Party and in coming weeks he needs to sort this out if he is to reassure voters that this is really bottom line. Albert
If we as a nation are to move forward together, it is a precurser to achieve a truely demorcratic society. Chris
This country is headed toward a system of apartheid, run in favour of the minority! This must be resisted by every legal means available. TOBY
It’s a no brainer. Of course Maori seats should be abolished. Everyone should be judged on their merit, not on their race. Kerin
No comment as it is the only way to go too stop the racist division in new zealand WAKE UP NATIONAL David
The ACT party, at a time when they should be polling at 5% instead of 1%, appears as spineless as National with regard to maori representation in parliament as well as immigration matters. Perhaps NZ First will take many votes from them as well as the other parties. John
I truly believe that the presence of Maori seats supports a racial divide which is detrimental to all New Zealanders. Maori seats supports the Maori elite to continue to promote a racial agenda to line their own pockets and not support the Maori community. It also continues to send the message that Maori can not look after their own and are the lesser people – which is crap and negative. Bruce
Should National re-affirm its policy of abolishing the Maori seats? This sounds a wonderful idea, but firstly can we trust National or indeed Labour to carry out this policy? It has already been rejected by a National Government in concert with the Maori party and now Labour has ruled it out. The main reason we, as a country will not abolish these seats is simple. We cannot due to the fact that we or rather Mr. Key, on behalf of the National Party and Maoridom signed ‘The U.N. Declaration on Indigenous Rights’ an International legally binding document. It has stated that only Maori are the true indigenous people of New Zealand. This has placed the rest as non-indigenous, even to the third and fourth generation, therefore rendering us as second class citizens with, of course inferior cultural rights. If anyone has any idea that a Political Party or Politician in New Zealand has the courage and intestinal fortitude to challenge the United Nations; and demand a retraction, then let us hear from them soon. We must remember too, that the United Nations organisation is a comfortable retired home for our exhausted Politicians. Our only chance to rescind this agreement will be when, not if, President Trump turns his attention to the long overdue Reformation and the reduction of the crippling bureaucratic costs, bias and attitudes that emanate from the United Nations. Even if N.Z. First Party after the election holds the balance of power, it is doubtful that the present Danegeld Maori first policy will change; especially when we see the threatening violence sections of Maoridom should a referendum ever take place.  Brian
YES, YES & YES, abolish Maori seats !!! – it’s decades overdue and yes, reduce the size of government too. Such is our mixed economy, heading further to the left, reminds me of a quote from Henry Hazlitt: “What appears to be socialism working, is the capitalism that socialism has not yet destroyed.” It might also be concluded that capitalism can exist without socialism but socialism cannot exist WITHOUT capitalism – other people’s privately and freely earned money eventually runs out ! Don
Necessary to put a stop to further discrimination and separatism within the country. Graham
Of course it should. They said they would some time ago and sooner the better. Frank
Should have been abolished when MMP was introduced Jim
People should get behind Winston and give him the power to bring in NZ Firsts other policies like hard labour for six days a week for criminals who thumb their noses at the law. Innes
Yes abolish the Maori seats and revisit the RMA to remove any clauses that are not inclusive to all New Zealand citizens. Steve
Definitely! John Key said that he did not want hikois from hell because of it, so he leaves it to somebody else. Furthermore, how can we have a partnership if we are all “one people”? Kevan
It is time to New Zealand to unite, time to end the sepratist agenda & become one people, one country. Tracy
All New Zealanders should be equal. No labels, privileges, or disadvantages on the basis of race or ethnicity. The day must come when we are all simply proud and patriotic New Zealanders, no more no less, with equal rights and repsonsibilities, We will all be better for it. Frank
Dear Winston is once again absolutely correct and unless the National party come to their senses and join forces they will become history. John
The only fair step to take. Ronald
Yes, but who would believe them now? Where are the new bridges that were promised? NZ’ers have lost faith in political promises, so come the next election, we may see a major upheaval as happened in France when the two major parties were voted into oblivion. Mitch
The three National governments have caved in to Maori demands by not doing what they campaigned on in 2008, the removal of the Maori seats. Maori seats and Maori privileges which they’ve got from National are dividing our nation. There should be no unequal treatment for anyone, especially on the basis of racial descent. Laurence
National should be upfront and state they would accept NZ First as a partner in government if both signed a binding MOU that maori electorate seats and current new Seabed and Foreshore High Court claims are abolished. Basil
Yes, not before time. But – National has promised this before, and not carried through. Can we believe them this time? Sheila
Since we [and those that govern] introduced MMP, the agreement to abolish Maori Seats, as the next [agreed-to] stage this ‘promise’ has to be honored by our politicians….if anyone thinks otherwise they are neither honorable nor can they be trusted! Ced
If National fails to reconfirm this as party policy, irrespective of any time-frame, even more people will be reconsidering their voting preference, abandon National, and migrate to NZ First. These Maori seats are an anachronism in the 21st century, an anachronism that needs to go. Andrew
Of course the Maori seats should be abolished – they are racist and divisional & give an over representation of Maori in Parliament – all New Zealanders should be equal – the Royal Commisdion headed by the late Justice Rt Hon John Wallace who was such a moderate fair minded man and would never have recommended this move unless he was totally convinced it was correct and a move to create a fairer society. Hylton
NZ should be a place where everyone is equal rather then have special rights for people based on race. Peter
They need to stick to what they say and not flip flop just to suit a few. Arthur
Do it right now. Immediately. Barry
What is taking so long,,,? Graham
Most definitely and well over due. David
Long overdue. Vernon
Of course – it’s a no-brainer. If it results in civil war, so be it. This issue needs to be resolved. Alan
The “seat” should be decided by selection, not race! Phillip
Time to stop apartheid in this country Bruce
It should have had the moral fortitude to stick with that policy in the first place! Brenda
Yes!!!!! Norman
Otherwise I will have to vote for Winston. Howard
National has had to prostitute itself to get Maori Party support. I’m going to change to NZ First if Winston reaffirms what he has said. Douglas
Too much bending over to appease the Maori, who use the race card overtime possible. Kevin
National can do what ever it wants now but it won’t make any difference to where my vote goes. They have talked about this for years but have instead pandered to the Maori wishes, so, talk is cheap and is too late! Gordy
Immediately Colin
ALL-race-based-claims-&-seats s/be-abolished. ALL-free-men/women-must-have-equal common-rights. Miles
Should have been done years ago. Jan
Including MMP, on several occasions since, National has sated they would abolish Maori seats and create “One New Zealand” – as the National manifesto states, but it seems to me National has lost their way on this and other negative and detrimental matters: i.e. many main roads remain blocked because of devastatingly restrictive and obstructive OSH & RMA bureaucracy. We too need to ‘drain the swamp’ ! Stuart
All parties should be required to act on election promises, national have promised for years to get rid of the racist maori seats but as usual their guarantees mean absolutely nothing. Little wonder they are the least trusted members of society. Stevo
As a long term voter for a one people many races, polcy I will not be voting National unless they come out with a clear statement of a believable policy to get rid of any seats that are based on race or any other qualification other than one roll for all. My last vote for the Nats was after MMP came in and they failed to live up to the policy. Tim
Long overdue Graham
Long past their useby date; very divisive in nature, and haven’t helped Maori onr iota; in fact Maori have regressed during the period of the Treaty negotiations, and the presence of the Maori seats have not improved anything for the average motivated Maori. Bob
The Nats are losing support from the Majority right now with their racist policy. Graeme
Well overdue. Should have been done several elections ago. Kevin
YES YES YES, I have been seriously considering changing my vote away from National. William
Only if they follow through this time around by actually holding the referendum during their first year in government and allowing all New Zealanders to vote on the issue.. Peter
Should have been done years ago. Ian
They won’t of course-they have become a party of no principles. Our local National MP ducks and weaves and says that the whole settlement process is ‘great and wonderful’. No brains there! Roger
Of course they should and immediately if they regain power. They should never have backpedalled and it is shame on them that they did so for political support. What’s right for the country should be paramount and we should all be treated equally, no matter what. Helen
They should go further than reaffirming their policy – they should ACT by proceeding with the abolition. John
Absolutely. Barbara
Too many freeloaders on a gravy train comes to mind.! Yes, abolish the over representation of Maoris in Govt. They arrived here in boats just as others did. Peter
It’s guaranteed the yes vote will be overwhelming as most people are sick and tired of the Maori “gravy train” and their racial privileges,but it won’t happen.National don’t have the guts to do it. Don
Yes, but whether they do or not, they still won’t be getting my vote. Lesley
Racist policies have no place in our multicultural country today. John
I bet they will not in 2017. Richard
And sooner the better if they want to stay in power. Mark
Abolishing the Maori seats needs to be done urgently before the rest of the world wakes up to the fact that there is APARTHEID in NZ and we get ostracized like the old South Africa, ironically by NZ as well. Geoff
NZ has been an Apartheid country for too long. Kay
And also waitangi tribunal and the Maori select committee which are also racist. Terry
Long past time. Dick
Regardless of why they were established in the first place ,they should have developed by now o be able or stand for election on the basis of their abilities and not as a given. Max
Definitely. They have long outlived the reason they were introduced in 1867. Tony
And do it Mike
Overdue Rick
Most definitely. Rob
“Maori” seats are racist and discriminatory and there should be no place for such in NZ. David
One country for all Robyn
…how long do New Zealanders have to tolerate this decade rip-OFF by the ‘iwi’ loving low-life “national party mafia” ?? In my opinion they are sacked and returned to the dust bin of of political history…!! ChrisH
What was the point of our anti apartheid crusade if we perpetuate apartheid by such a democratic division? Rob
Absolutely and immediately! Scott
Long overdue. This minority ethnic group has no importance as such. They are a costly extravagance. Charles
Maori are very capable of standing in a general electorate and winning the seat fair and square, Instead of hiding under under a banner of alas, alack poor us and of course the Treaty. The are not exclusive. Elizabeth
Yes but have they the guts. Probably more likely to continue to bend over for their racist partners. Terry
An anachronism! Gary
Racist seats get rid of them This is not democracy having seats based on race Greg
This is an absolute no brainer. If Winston will confirm in writing NZ First poilcy is to hold a binding referendum in which all New Zealanders can vote on the issue, NZ Fiirst will get my vote at the 2017 election. I have voted National all my life and have been an office holder in the Party. The National hierarchy need to wake up before 23 September and make a statement to support that being promoted by Winston. May this present racist MO selection process and sometime before the 2020 election. Chris
Equality for all New Zealanders…not race based inequality! Russell
Without question. Barbara
It is logical. Be forward thinking not backward. Doug
Absolutely Colin
Absolutely.. and bl**dy stick with it this time!!! It’s no longer required in the 21st century. Maddi
Yes absolutely they should be blown out of the water once and for all..one nation one people. Jeffrey
It makes great sense given that they were originally only a temporary measure, and also that Maori are currntly over represented in Parliament. Margaret
After more than a hundred years now is the time Jon
They won’t because they are so far up the maoris backside they can’t even dig there way out and they dont want to give up there power and corupt life style and god help the country if labour and greens get in. Richard
Hopefully National will finally do what it always pledged to do. Martyn
Well overdue time to move into the 21st century. National should get in behind and fix this immediately. Barry
But it won’t because it would rather go with the Maori Party and other allies that Winston if it could hlp itself. Graeme
Let’s see if they have the guts to go against their current mystifying policy of appeasement of the part Maori . One day the National party’s policy of conceding to every stupid claim from the part Maori will be explained . To me and many others it just doesn’t make sense which ever way you look at it. Jock
My recollection is that Jim Bolger as PM acceded to pressure and agreed to retain Maori seats with the introduction of MMP. Tim
They used it other times to catch the vote and then convenitly forgot it the liars. Colin
Most definitely. Roy
Long overdue. John
Should have gone long ago once Maori could vote on the General Roll. They interfere with proportional representation and do not in fact achieve much other than the privileged Maori. David
One country, one people Laurie
One country; one set of laws; one means of representation. Eric
Yes they should. However they have been such snakes-in-the-grass over the past 2 terms that it’s impossible to believe anything that National says anymore. They have allowed themselves to be Sodomised by the Maori Party to the point that they no longer have any credibility. NZ First is the only party that is standing-up for all New Zealanders. Go Winston stick it into’em … keep the bastards honest (if thats possible!!!) Steve
Yes they should, without fought! Ian
Keep your promise Bill. John
Seems none of beehive drones got as far in their English leanings to have come across the word gerrymandering! Collin
It is cowardly not to do so and risks leaking votes ysto NZ First. Of course ACT also wants to scrap this racist anachronism and is far better placed to keep National on the straight and narrow in other ways. David
Absolutely – they should never have changed their policy. It should have stayed as it was and National should have enacted it. Walter
Yes, but I’m not sure whether Bill English would want to upset the Maori Party, which promising to abolish the Maori seats would do.  Matt
The Maori seats should have been abolished long ago and National should have done it when they first became the government. Mary
Shame on National for changing their Maori seat policy. John Key should have been over-ruled. Glen
Yes, yes, yes – abolish the Maori seats.  Brian