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Dr Muriel Newman

Silencing free speech

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In this politically correct world, our right to free speech is increasingly being eroded by the apparent rights of others who disagree with our views.

State broadcaster Television New Zealand came under attack last month, when they were accused of including
a ‘racist’ question in their new KiwiMeter survey.

KiwiMeter, a 10-minute on-line questionnaire, which examines what being a New Zealander means to different people, places participants in one of six groups according to their views – patriot, globalist, egalitarian, loyalist, traditionalist, or sceptic.

TVNZ’s Head of News and Current Affairs, John Gillespie, explained that KiwiMeter is a scientific study designed to provide a data-driven picture of New Zealand’s national identity in order to help the broadcaster ‘stay connected’ to the issues their audience most cares about. It was put together by the same team that developed their Vote Compass election survey, and was preceded by a local pilot study of 11,000 of those 300,000 participants.

Over 220,000 New Zealanders have completed KiwiMeter, and with the flag question accurately predicting the results of the final referendum, the data will indeed give TVNZ a real understanding of the views of our population.

But it didn’t take long for the critics to emerge. Within days of the survey being launched, the Labour Party’s MP for Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis, claimed that KiwiMeter was inciting “racial intolerance”.

There are three questions that touch on Maori culture, where respondents are asked to agree or disagree with a statement:

  • “Maori culture is something that all New Zealanders can take pride in, no matter their background”
  • “A history of discrimination has created conditions that make it difficult for Maori to be successful”
  • “Maori should not receive any special treatment”

Mr Davis claimed the question that included the statement, “Maori should not receive any special treatment”, was “out and out racism”. He demanded it be removed from the survey, stating, “It just evokes images of Don Brash 2004: implying that Maori have special treatment, I’d like to know what special treatment they’re talking about.”

Well, let’s try to answer that question for Mr Davis – and let’s begin with his Te Tai Tokerau electorate seat.

The Maori seats were created as a temporary measure in 1867 when gender, age, and private land title were the criteria used to determine voting eligibility. Since much of the land held by Maori was in common ownership, rather than private title, the Maori seats were introduced to ensure all Maori men had the right to vote – a privilege not enjoyed by those non-Maori men, who held land jointly or not at all.

In 1879, when all men gained the vote, the Maori seats should have been abolished, but as a result of strong advocacy – and weak politicians – they were retained.

It was the same in 1996, when MMP was introduced. The Royal Commission on the Electoral System had recommended that the Maori seats be abolished if MMP was adopted – to prevent an over-representation of Maori in Parliament. But Jim Bolger’s National Party retained the seats to appease Maori leaders, and as a result, the predicted over-representation of Maori in Parliament has now occurred, with twenty-three percent of current MPs claiming Maori descent.

These reserved seats, of which Kelvin Davis’s electorate seat is one, are a fine example of Maori privilege.  Mr Davis is in Parliament because of Maori special treatment.

As a result of the Parliamentary leverage created by the race-based Maori seats, there are a plethora of race-based legislative initiatives that give Maori special rights. These include:

  • Maori-only schools,
  • Special Maori content in the education curriculum,
  • Maori-only education scholarships,
  • Maori-only housing projects,
  • Maori-only health initiatives,
  • Maori-only welfare initiatives,
  • Maori-only prisoner programmes,
  • Maori-only positions on government agencies,
  • Maori-only consultation rights under the Resource Management Act,
  • Maori-only co-management of parks, rivers, lakes, and the coastline,
  • Maori-only ownership rights to the foreshore and seabed,
  • A special Maori Authority tax rate of 17.5 percent,
  • A special Maori-only exemption to allow blood relatives to qualify for charitable status,
  • Maori language funding,
  • Maori radio and TV,
  • Maori-only seats on local councils,
  • Maori-only appointments onto local government committees,
  • Maori-only local government Statutory Boards,
  • Maori-only local government advisory committees,
  • Maori seats in Parliament,

The list of statutory Maori privilege is increasing all the time, as the government’s current plans to confer race-based rights to control fresh water demonstrates only too clearly.

As justification for Maori privilege, Mr Davis and others point to so-called ‘Maori disadvantage’. But they should remember that the statistics on these matters are no longer clear-cut.

Back in the seventies, when widespread intermarriage was resulting in a sharp decline in the number of people who could be categorised as Maori, the Labour Government changed the rules. Through the 1974 Maori Affairs Amendment Act, the racial classification of “Maori” based on someone having 50 percent or more of Maori blood was changed to one based on self-identification and ethnic affiliation – in other words, having a Maori descendent. This guaranteed that the number of people being classified as Maori would continue to grow, since anyone with even a smidgeon of Maori blood could, for official purposes, be counted as Maori.

In 2000, Simon Chapple, a senior researcher with the Department of Labour, used 1996 census data to examine the impact of these new definitions. He found that instead of the 273,693 New Zealanders who indicated they were Maori-only being recognised as Maori for statistical purposes, the new policy of adding everyone who included Maori as one of their ethnic groups into the final count, boosted the official tally to 580,374.

In other words, that change in methodology effectively doubled the “official” number of Maori. Simon Chapple recommended to the Government that the Maori ethnic group should be restricted to those who identify as Maori-only in the Census, with everyone else allocated to their other major ethnic group. But his suggestion was ignored. As a result, so-called Maori disadvantage is overstated.

In addition, a fact that Mr Davis and others like to conveniently forget, is that while people who claim Maori ancestry might appear to be over represented in our worst social statistics, the causes are well documented and include long-term welfare dependency, solo parenthood, child abuse, and educational failure. Skin-colour does not predetermine one’s future.

TVNZ denied the accusations of racism being made against it. The Canadian firm Vox Pop Labs, which helped to design KiwiMeter – along with input from Auckland and Victoria University political scientists – refuted the racist allegations as “categorically false”.

But Mr Davis, no doubt with his own self-interest in mind, remained adamant: “I think it’s offensive, I think it’s racist, and I think it should be pulled.”

While Labour leader Andrew Little also condemned the question, the Prime Minister defended it, saying it was a legitimate question to ask. “There was nothing wrong with asking a question, to get a sense of what people’s views are. People ask questions all the time about potentially controversial things, we live in an open society and people are free to ask a question.”

John Key is right. In this country – at least at the present time – our rights to free speech are protected by law and guaranteed under Clause 14 of the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act: “Everyone has the right to freedom of expression, including the freedom to seek, receive and impart information and opinions of any kind and in any form”.

However, the right to say whatever we like is tempered by the Human Rights Act, which makes it an offence to express opinions that could be deemed to be ‘threatening, abusive, or insulting’ on the grounds of ‘colour, race, or ethnic or national origins’.

While the Human Rights Commission indicated they were looking into complaints of racism against TVNZ, their website explains, that our right to the “freedom of expression” means that people can make highly controversial or unpopular remarks, and while they may be regarded as offensive, unless they are likely to cause or exacerbate serious ethnic tension or unrest, no action will be taken: “Only where there is the potential for significant detriment to society can the right to freedom of expression be limited”.

The right to offend is at the heart of robust debate about controversial matters. As British comedian Rowan Atkinson explained, “The freedom to criticise or ridicule ideas – even if they are sincerely held beliefs – is a fundamental freedom of society. In my view the right to offend is far more important than any right not to be offended. The right to ridicule is far more important to society than any right not to be ridiculed because one in my view represents openness – and the other represents oppression.”

David Round, a law lecturer at Canterbury University and this week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator – with a speech he delivered at the University’s commemoration of the 800th anniversary of the Magna Carta – is no stranger to free speech and controversy. He remains undaunted, upsetting many sensitivities when he used his address to denounce the “deplorable shortsightedness and stupidity on the part of our political and intellectual class”, who claim the Treaty of Waitangi is a “Maori Magna Carta”:

“Now ~ in our own day, and in our own country, there is a mythologizing and a flagrant misinterpretation, as notable and as bizarre as any seventeenth century deification of Magna Carta, of a certain document. That document is of course the Treaty of Waitangi, sometimes referred to as ‘the Maori Magna Carta’. This brief general memorandum of understanding recorded ~ not just in the English translation but in the Maori original ~ an agreement that the Queen should be sovereign over New Zealand and that Maori should be her subjects, with the rights and privileges of British subjects ~ a position of equality before the law.

“By some mysterious alchemy the document has come to be widely understood to mean the exact opposite ~ to establish some as yet undefined ‘Maori sovereignty’ or at the least a ‘partnership’ between the Crown and Maori, or between part-Maori New Zealanders and those not of Maori descent. This process is at least as remarkable as anything that happened in the seventeenth century. It is complete nonsense to describe the current misinterpretation of the Treaty as anything remotely like Magna Carta.” David’s full speech can be read HERE.

Feigning offence is a tactic commonly used by those who want to close down a debate. By using this strategy and playing the race card, Kelvin Davis was able to divert attention away from the real issue of Maori privilege onto the question of whether or not KiwiMeter – and TVNZ – is racist.

Maori sovereignty activists are increasingly targeting the media in an attempt to prevent them from publishing anything that doesn’t suit their separatist agenda. It is going on right now, with some of the newspapers around the country that are currently running the NZCPR’s public information advertisement calling for submissions on National’s plan for the race-based control of fresh water, being targeted and accused of racism – including by the taxpayer funded Maori TV. By using bully-boy tactics, they no doubt hope to intimidate newspapers and discourage them from running such ads in the future.

And with the Human Rights Commission maintaining a register of media that publish material they deem to be unfavourable to Maori, it is clear that our fundamental right to the freedom of speech is under serious threat.

If, as a society, we value free speech, we must not allow ourselves to be intimidated into silence. For silence is interpreted as approval. In the present debate over fresh water, the government will think that those who are not speaking out condone tribal control – when that is the very thing that most will oppose.

Speaking up is vital in a democracy. Your single voice is critical. Together many voices can move a nation.

If you haven’t put in a submission opposing all race-based proposals for fresh water reform, this is our last reminder. People power is the only way to stop this – a simple email stating your position and sent to watersubmissions@mfe.govt.nz is all that is needed. And why not send your thoughts on to all National MPs (their addresses are HERE), as they are the only ones who can stop this.


Do you think the KiwiMeter statement, “Maori should not receive any special treatment”, is racist? 

Vote x 120

*Poll comments are posted below.


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

Click to view x 120


It is a perfectly logical question to pose, in that context. Anyone claiming it to be “racist” is obviously a very thin-skinned (Maori) bigot !!!! Dave
What is going on in our country. Historically, Maori migrated here to NZ, as did all other Kiwis. They do not have any rights to own water, and nor do the rest of us. Water is a natural source for all, and once again, it shows an arrogance of one race to presume they are ” entitled” In regard to free speech– once again Maori are complaining. Perhaps if earlier generations of Maori had been encouraged to study by their families, then they would be in a position to enjoy life as do those who have studied and worked hard to achieve on a fair and equal basis– not being “given” as it increasingly appears they expect as a race. Jenny
It’s not racist, Maori are the worst racists in this country. Graeme
You would think Maori would be embarrassed by the need for special treatment. David
It seems to me that our country is or has become an apartheid country. G.Williams
Facts are facts and the ‘cone of silence’ thrown over the media cannot change that. Maureen
New Zealand’s water is for all. Noelene
No separate Laws or privileges should be allowed to be established on racial base in New Zealand. Also any that do exist need to be removed post haste. Peter
One for all and all for one. Not so according to the Maori ! They want everything including the Kitchen sink and the way things are going they will get that too. NZ will bankrupt before we know it. Wayne
Calling everything racist is just one of the tactics used to shut down debate and supress opposition to claims. Brenda
The treaty made us all one people. Ron
This is nonsense! Why shouldn’t we be permitted to say such a thing? It is the same as saying ‘all New Zealand citizens a should be treated equally . The racism which is being practised in our country is against all non Maoris by the Maori party in denying us full ownership of eg the seabed and foreshore of New Zealand, an dmany other places. John
Not at all. And a very pertinent question. Fred
Let us start giving Caucasians of European origin special race based privileges and see what reaction we get. Peter
We are ALL New Zealanders and as such ALL should be treated equally. Bev
Definitely not we should be all one people. Clark
It’s Maori who are racist, Athol
Everyone should be treated the same regardless of race! June
Of course not – they do receive special treatment which is racist. Neil
Not at all. Craig
When I voted for this government I had expectation that this sort of special treatment would be sorted. I am sorry that Don Brash missed out in his close attempt at making government as had he been successful we would no longer be going through this fiasco. Gutless group in there now. We will have problems for sure if this special treatment of Maori continues. George
Absolutely not; one must be able to speak their mind truthfully, only maori would be likely to think that this is racist, because the system has allowed them to think that they are hard done- by. Roy
It was a justified question. Donald
But the filthy RACIST AVARICOUS MOARIS will think that because it stops them from STEALING even more MONEY from REAL New Zealanders. Because that’s what te reo, the waitangi claims industry, the fallacious “principles of the treaty” and the rest of this bullshit is truly about. Enough is enough; these ignorant RACIST AVARICIOUS MOARI either stop practising APARTHEID in New Zealand or expect to be held responsible for their actions. Mark
Biologist and Scientist all over the world reject the term “race”. They point out that it is impossible to catagorise humans as separate races. That being the case people who define themselves as Maori are not a separate race and so asking questions about these people can not be racist. Andy
This is a legitimate question and one which should be put to all citizens of NZ in a referendum. Steve
Nor should they or anyone else receive any special treatment. It would be a refreshing change to hear poeple talking about being in this together, not separate. Brian
It is plain wrong what is happening in NZ with Treaty misrepresentation. The table of Treaty treachery needs to be turned over the racists and the truth told. Monica
One gets absolutely sick of being called racist when all we are doing is asking a question but the Maori can call us whatever they like and keep on rewriting history. Jim
If anything it is the opposite. Once more a manority dictating to the majority. Lets take away all Maori privileges and really give them something to cry about.New Zealand should be one country one people no matter what our gender is. The country would be financially a far more prosperous place. John
Maori should read the collective answers to this question and start asking themselves why they are so weak that special privileges are needed. It is time Maori gtew up and took their place as normal citizens of this country. They make themselves weak by relying on handouts. judith
The National Party proposals re water “rights” are the only thing that could be labelled “racist” here! Dennis
Kelvin Davis is the racist here! Scott
No of course it’s not most of them aren’t Maori anyway! Brian
It is time the Gov’t toughened up on this rubbish. One country one people. Bob
It is democratic and realistic. Rodney
It is an expression frequently heard. Laurie
It is to the point, but not acceptable in this P.C. society; as it is by implication, implying that Maori do get special treatment which our indoctrinated liberal society rejects. They consider that the Maori were dispossessed, crushed by white colonial oppressors, and their land taken under duress. That will remain their viewpoint until our liberal friends are also personally affected by Maori claims, which for the majority of us will be far too late. Perhaps it could have been better worded “Should any one ethnic group have more privileges than any other?” But then, does that enter the realm of being ‘CA Leading Question’? These sorts of idealistic referendum are appealing and create a rosy feeling, but they are produced to get the result desired by those who write and sanction them. Brian
The question is seeking the opinion of the survey participant, not promoting an opinion of its own. It couldn’t possibly be racist. Kynan
It is a question, not an answer. It isn’t usually the questions that are correct, incorrect, benign or troublesome. It is the answers. Let’s just ask the question and see what happens. We might learn something from the answers. Randaall
Because it defines someone by race. Anthony
The word “racism” is too often used to cloud the issue and shut down freedom of speech. We need to counter this by using other terms such as “ethnic discrimination” or “ancestral selectiveness” or similar. Beverley
Contrived grievance has been cultivated by Maori, to the degree that it has become a special and clever art form. More oil for the squeaky wheel. Robert
There are no full blooded Maori left in New Zealand now, and many wouldn’t reach 50% either so why this separatism path. Les
More NZ’s need to be aware of just what is happening to their so called Freedom of Speech! It will be too late once Maori are in charge of water and got their feet under the Council Table!Make your local Council realise you are not willing to let this happen, and most important of all, tell the Goverment you do not approve of Special Treatment for one small sector of the population, which is certainly the case in everything Maori that you see and hear about. Joan
Since our government has already given them special treatment it gets up there nose to be singled out pluse the old saying the truth hurts is only hurting the new Zealander of all different races not the bloody maori who will destroy nz in the long run. Richard
But it should be asked. Let us not differentiate between races. Laurie
If they receive special treatment that is racist. Graeme
Maori need to stop portraying themselves as victims and grow up. Mikr
We are one people supposedly living in a democratic society. Donald
Just a fact! Jim
Until we can get rid of MMP and the racist maori parliamentary seats New Zealand will continue its headlong rush towards separatism. Just look at the way the Key government kotows to the Maori party in the forlorn hope that they might support his government. John
Not racist, just as is the question “do you think “Maori should continue receive any special treatment”. John
A common sense question, cut the PC, rubbish, it’s destroying this nation, slowly but surely. John
We live in a democracy, I thought where every New Zealander was equal. I don’t expect to get special treatment as a Pakeha, so why should the Maori. A rhetorical question I am sure you understand. Lloyd
Let us explore what the definition of ‘racist’ and racism is:Racism: the belief that human races have distinctive characteristics which determine their respective cultures involving the idea that one’s own race is superior and has the right to rule or dominate others. ‘racist ‘means offensive or agressive behaviour to members of another race stemming from such belief. I cannot see how this Mr Davis can arrive at such an comment. The rash (mis)use of the term’ racist’ has become the magic word to surpress any criticism and suggests an deeply embedded inferiority complex of people like Mr Davis who should (if he wants to be taken seriously) choose words more carefully when making such statements. Maori declared that they are the indigenous race of this country Now again : a rather self centered approach to justify their actions and demands. Indigenous means:originating in and characterising a particular region or country (native to). So we have to ask these tribal big shots if they just popped out of the ground like imps and elfes in Irish sagas or did they arrive in boats and therefore are immigrants to this land. And on the other hand : every non Maori born in this country is as indigenous as they are and all other immigrants who have chosen to spend the rest of their lives and even take on NZ citizenship have the same rights as any born NZlander. Michael
No No No. Margaret
No, the statement is not being racist. The statement does ask a question, and the question is fact. The Maori have been getting way too much “special treatments” to the stage where they are ‘racially’ separate. Racism was the product of primitive tribalism to keep warring tribes apart. Something the Maori had almost exterminated itself as an ethnic identity. This self-extermination was halted by the introduction of British Law since the treaty was signed. Both Pakeha and Maori wishes that the understanding of the democratic processes of British Sovereignty, Maori and the lackey Politicians have encouraged racial privilege and division to the intolerable state we are today. We started off as “one” country, and “one” law for all. It has become intensely divided with ‘special’ laws for some. Ced
Come on govt. DO NOT LET Moari control any of our water especially fresh water I hate to think of the implications. Keith
Davis is racist. Don
The most racist people in NZ is separatist maori. Robert
We are seeing the rise of a Maori apartheid movement. K
Is the fact that some Maori claim that Pakeha shouldn’t get special treatment racist? Gary
Maori greed has to be stopped. Jim
Maori should be treated no different to anybody else in all things. Gareth
It’s not racist…. its a fact that maori are being given everything, over and above white people like myself. How long before maori put in a claim for oxygen and charge us all to breathe. This government is sick enough to look at it! Des
It is not a racist statement in my view. Some people will argue that it is a racist statement, and they are entitled to their opinion. Whatever anyone’s opinion, in a democratic society it should have no effect on whether the question should be asked. Peter
All NZlders should be treated equally, with no special treatment to any one group. David
Absolutely not. Davis is the racist twit. If govt does not shut down this rampant ToW nonsense, they are unlikely to win the next election. I will help them on the way out too! Mike
They also have maori only sports teams. Plus now they are complaining that no maori can speak their language so what was being taught in the maori only schools funded by other New Zealanders?? Rosie
No it is not racist it is truth, the more special treatment the part maori get the more they want for ever more,give them nothing and take them nowhere. James
Racism is one sided in NZ Only maoris push their barrow of apartheid. Neville
Absolutely no. Fact is there is no-one in NZ with a claim to full blooded Maori, just as I can’t claim to be Irish/English. The Asians won’t be bothered when they take over NZ. Denis
Absurd !!!!! TONY
This water issue is definitely racist. Maori will want the rain that falls from the sky too, how ridiculous. Maori threat of not supporting the National Party is a bluff which they are renowned for. Charles
We are all New Zealanders and should all receive equal treatment. Patricia
New Zealand already has far too many race based laws giving Maori special powers and privileges which they have not earned. This gravy train must stop Until we have one law for all New Zealanders sadly our country clearly will have a reputation of rule by racism. Mavis
We should be one country, one people,not a racially divided country, thats racist. Edward
God help our country. NEVILLE
Of course not. DAVID
If it is racist it is a tiny drip in the ocean compared to proven Maori issues that vomit racism. George
Maori must obey NZ’s laws like every one of us. If not anarchy will be the result. Herbert
The fact that they are receiving special treatment IS racist! Donald
Maori are already racially advantaged and it is time to redress the imbalance. Russell
No one should be treated differently based on race, religion or ethnicity. Haven’t we all had enough? Susan
I have been around for over 70 years, have great Maori friends and workmates, race based policies are only holding them back – it has probably got worse, not better over this period of time. Get real time. Maurie
We are one country, one people and the sooner maori realise this the better for them. Graeme
It’s ridiculous to say so. Gerhard
We are one nation – one people – despite Maori delusions of superiority. Auntie Podes
It is a response to institutionalised racism practiced by successive NZ Govts. Lionel
But the Maori separatist movement is. However they believe only non-Maori can be racist. John
We could prevent any suggestion of racism in NZ by banning the reference to ethnicity in our legislation. We are all citizens of this country and entitled to equal treatment under law. People could earn money and privilege by working for it, not by claiming cultural entitlement. People would be assisted by taxpayers according to need, not cultural entitlement. Works for me! Fiona
We should introduce a referendum on Maori blood lines, less than 50% not a Maori. John
NO FULL BLOOD MAORI LEFT What there are are only half blood or less and they are nothing more than New Zealanders. All the Treaty did was all those who signed became British Citizens and the Few that did not sign started the “Maori” Wars which they lost. Graeme
Every NZ Citizen is equal. History keeps bringing up facts about other people who probably landed in Nz but the folk left to colonize failed to survive, Maori being the 1st to survive. Louise
It’s surely self-evident. Cyril
Once again I will say it, this is one country where everyone has an equal rights. Tom
The statement discounts the possibility that Maori should receive special treatment in some circumstances, e.g. To address serious inequities that are clearly linked to the process of colonisation and the resulting breakdown of their existing economic, social and economic structures. We (all New Zealanders) should remain open to the possibility that we do need to do stuff to address these disparities rather than close that possibility by saying something as blatantly facile like “Maori should not receive any special treatment”, let alone thinking about the fact that Europeans came here and essentially stole from them! Regards, John, white European. John
Mr Davis should get realistic. George
In fact NO ethnic group should be given special treatment, this statement is just highlighting a group that already are receiving many special benefits. Chris
Just more gimme gimme gimme from these greedy minutely Maori cunning buggers. They WERE NOT even the indigineous people they claim to be, so should have no claims on anything, but need to get off their backsides and strive for what they want, and stop playing the “racist” game. They are the racists. Carolyn
I think all NZers should have the same rights regardless of their race. Cherryl
When was the last time Maori said it was racist of them to say that non-maori are not entitled to something. Alan
No. Don’t consider this a racist statement. Tony
Again all of us born in this country are New Zealanders so we should all have equal rights we live in a so called enlightened age so therefore should all be treated as enlightened and have equal rights. Laurel
It’s just a question. Annette
Of course Maori should not have any special treatment. They are no more special than you or me. I am absolutely sick of their spurious claims and also absolutely sick of weak need politicians pandering to them. Zimbabwe here we come. Mike
Certainly Not. Robyn
Definitely not. It’s privileged tribalism that we’re fighting which is just another form of collectivism. Don
Its my opinion and I’m entitled to have it…just as those who say yes to the statement are entitled to do so. Brian
We are supposed to be ONE PEOPLE regardless of colour,race or creed and every individual is responsible for his or her own actions to live in harmony in this country. Theodorus
The remarkably long list of government-imposed Maori advantages over all other NZ citizens is a sight to behold. Paul
Not at all we are a country with bad reverse racism stacked against most races except maori in this country and it’s time it stopped we should all be one people. Raymond
Certainly not! The question is one that has been properly asked. Jim
A fair honesty question. Peter
The charge that such a question is racist is so outrageously stupid it beggars belief. Sensible debate cannot possibly be conducted of such drivel os taken seriously. Geoffrey
The Maori Elites will go to any lengths and and use any terminology to keep the gravy train rolling. Lee
There should not be any special treatment for maori we are all the same. Richard
‘ists; and ‘phobes’ are word suffixes that are used to discredit and classify people as outsiders to a perceived viewpoint. Unfortunately an impressionable and indifferent society has fallen for this insidious ‘culture’. Steve
Receiving special treatment is racist. Doug
The third article of the treaty says that Maori will have the same rights and privileges as the people of England and should include the same responsibilities. Arthur
Equality by definition demands equal treatment for everyone. So race based privileges in a egalitarian society such as NZ claims to be is completely misplaced and should never get any traction. Emanuel
My comments are not printable, suffice to say,the island of Nauru has plenty of room for them to move to if they dont like it here. Benjamin
The fact is they do and they should not. Trevor
Only someone with a big chip on their shoulder would consider it be racist, or someone trying to get political gain from classing as racist. David
The statement is not anti-Maori it is anti special preference on the basis of race – exactly the OPPOSITE of racism. John
How can equality for all be racist? Stewart
No, it is not racist. It is true – and sometimes the truth hurts. Remember when South Africa had ambulances for ‘whites only’ and NZ activists screamed righteous indignation at the concept of one race having privileges not available to others? Well, NZ has Whanau Ora – medical centres for Maori only – and those same activists have become strangely silent. When are we going to see “Maori Only” ambulances on our streets? Genetic separatism is destroying our country – my country and yours that once proudly led the world in racial integration. If only we had politicians with the guts to represent the wishes of the people, instead of grovelling to appease those who seek power and a free ride on the never ending gravy train. Mitch
The special treatments Maori currently receive are all racist, and should be stopped immediately, unless Maori want to pay for them from the money they have already received from the extremely racist Waitangi Tribunal. It’s laughable that the question is deemed to be racist by a Politician holding a special Maori electoral seat. Daivd
It is a perfectly valid question especially in view of the ever increasing special funding and initiatives being given specifically to ‘Maori’. It’s long overdue for us all to be treated equally under the law as was meant to be. Helen
Fed up with them. Noelene
Dig deep and we will find that most people think that Maori receive favorable priveleges over other New Zealanders. There should be ONE electoral role in NZ, a country of equal opportunity for all citizens. Ray
We consider that Maori activists are endeavoring to change our thinking and society itself to give themselves a dominant position in the running of the country. This would be a very divisive move into a “them”& “us situation. We should be united as 1 country & bad & poorly worded legislation is wrong. Brian
WE all live in New Zealand and nowhere else. Gary
Of course it isn’t racist: it is asking a simple and legitimate question, based on established fact. It would be racist, only if it were it not substantiated by the data. Graham
Of course it isn’t racist: it is asking a simple and legitimate question, based on established fact. It would be racist, only if it were it not substantiated by the data. Graham
No it is not racist. Would you like to hear some that are??? I could quote several from the lips of maoris, who would say that what they said was OK. Neil
It is ‘special treatment’ that is racist! Barend
They have got the greed sickness. It’s just something that starts with something called Bastion Point. Barbara
Why do they Maori have to have special treatment. They are always looking for easy money and many other things. Time it was stopped for good. Robert
Equal means equal. Glenn
Just usual maori expectation of their own benefit. David
Maori are getting very touchy like the muslims, say somthing against them and they blow up. Colin
How can that be racist? This is the PC brigade trying to make us feel guilty about … being anything other than Maori or not agreeing with the PC b#llsh#t. Maddi
It is simply common sense. Roy
On the contrary receipt of special treatment is racist! David
No, I don’t. Maori have for too long, held their hands out for freebies. Its about time this country was ‘one nation’ not divided. The time of the Treaty has gone. They need to stop asking and we need to stop giving. It is a one nation country, or meant to – I have doubts about that. Kerin
Free Speech! Mark
WHY? Ken
PC has gone mad. It is completely overdone. What a list of special treatments for Maoris, Dr. Newman has included this week. It is horrifying. Keep up the effort to avoid becoming servants in our own country. Chris
Of course it’s not, but the immediate reaction of people like Flavell is to attack such statements as racist because they have no valid argument. Terry
The treatment of Maori is racist and the constant pandering to their demands is obscene. If we had a tribe of pure blood Maori, I could understand some special treatment, however, as there aren’t any pure bloods left, why doesn’t their other genes dampen their right to demand. Ken
I don’t believe any particular group should receive special treatment, be they Maori, Chinese, Somoan, European or any other ethnic group. To refer to a particular group is not racist. Would you call the statement “I love Maori” racist ? I dont think so! Richard
This question is asking if a person believes Maori should be treated differently to other New Zealanders. It is not racists at all. There would have been not outcry if it had asked if Afghan refugees should be treated differently to other New Zealanders. John
It is a very important question of justice. Owen
Maori as a race do not exist any-more. That is where the discussion should end. Less than 200yrs ago, their only invention was a sharp stick to kill each other, yet now, after taking advantage of mainly European inventions & technology, for 150yrs, & interbreeding with all races on this planet, they still consider themselves Maori. Yeah right ! The real Maori, who would probably be ashamed of their mixed race descendants, were the Wise Chiefs who wanted a better way of life for their people, & could see that life under the Crown would lead them forward. These were the Chiefs who signed the Treaty of Waitangi. The thin lipped, fine nosed mixed race descendants of these wise leaders, have retained the cunning of the Maori, & inherited the greed of the Pakeha. {Can’t be racist ’cause I critticised both} With gutless governments desperate for votes, the lolly scramble continues. Interesting to note, the once proud National Party, are endorsing the appointment of a Communist to head the U.N.. A.G.R.
One people, one nation, one law for all, no ethnic division, so how can that be racist. Tony
In a free society free speech is fundamental. Ken
The basic premise to the statement is that Maori do receive special treatment already and therefore it is racist by design and reflects the truth as to the treatment of Maori. But then you need to get down to the definition and clarification of the meaning of the description “Maori” as to whom is getting special treatment. Basically the use of the word “Maori” in this context is racist. Neil
What a ludicrous, self serving idea! Neville
We should be one people, all being treated the same. Winifred
Give a person an inch and they take a mile. John
Surely we are all New Zealanders who reside in New Zealand and all should be treated the same and have equal rights in all respects I am sick and tired of hearing how Maori should be treated differently and should have special rights they are only 14.6% of the population. John
We are all NZer, white or brown. No racial bias is acceptable. Ted
Is the government totally insane or just as we see holding onto power by racist actions with Maori? Lance
We are sick and tired of maori whinging. which basically refers to the IWI and not the average maori. They obviously have their secret agenda. David
But additional support should be given to disadvantaged NZ children of any ethnicity, to raise them to the point of becoming useful, productive, adult citizens. Ross
Of course the statement “Maori should not receive any special treatment” is indeed racist in that it refers to the part-Maori section of our population; but it is not racist in a pejorative sense, which is apparently what the question is asking. Probably they in fact desperately need special treatment to help them resist the temptation to criminal activity and to encourage a more receptive attitude to education, but they should not receive special treatment in the way of Maori seats in Parliament or non-elected positions with voting rights on local body councils. All citizens, both part-Maori and the rest of us, should be treated equally. We should all have equal rights, with no special privilege because of race. Robin
How could they even remotely think this was racist age old thing truth always hurts so this is what is happening in this situation and all special privalages they receive. Russell
Why should we, the non maori people, be giving a free ride to the things they do NOT own. they should put their hnds in their own pockets and not in mine. Any priveledge should only be GIVEN to them after legal proof of being a Maori. And make them work for it. Not sitting on a talk fest committee. Racist my foot. Johan
How can it be racist on a democracy. David
Most certainly not. Mr Davis really needs to get his head around the real meaning of the word “racist”. And he should also appreciate that open discussions of the type instigated by TVNZ form one of the cornerstones of any true democracy. Les
Once again we have Maori trying to control what happens and spreading false accusations. Fraser
Absolutely not. It is my opinion, that if the term maori was replaced by European the comon sense answer would be the same. The PC mob will always drag out their perceived racist card. David
APARTHEID in NZ is alive and well. Indeed it is being further entrenched every day. Geoff
It never ceases to amaze me that as soon as someone questions anything to do with Maori entitlement it is called racist, in order to stifle the debate. Kevin
And we all know they do get and have speacial treatment , its unbelivable in fact and its time somthing was done about it!! Shane
It is the sort of question we should be asking. Murray
To give part Maori any special treatment is racist and divisive. Robbie
We are one nation, one people. We do not need apartheid in New Zealand. Violet
New Zealanders wake up and do something constructive support the NZCPR.  It’s time for the prime minister and the national govt to listen to greater new zealanders.and stop the nonsense and stop the rubbish that is killing this country of ours. I have just read through the maori only list and it makes me sick. Dianne
To say Maori should receive special yreatment is racist. Roger
How could that in anyway be seen to be racist. The only racist things I see are having Maori this and Maori that. We even condone having the Maori All Blacks which I personally feel is as dyeing as racist as it is possible to get. Bryan
Not if the reason for the special treatment is purely because the individual considers themselves to be a maori. Frank
Most Kiwis are very reluctant to voice their opinion about the blatant misuse of funding for anything called Maori. Since I lived here in 1982 this has become more and more a money making project. Some of the project Maori claim to have are nothing more then a scam to rip of the taxpayer. Any resistance to their schemes are called racist. The only one in parliament who seems to be honest about issues is good old Winston who from the time he came into parliament has had nothing but flak. (but often later proved to be right) People love lies better then truth as it suits their own purposes. As seems to happen world wide: power in the hands of a few who like to give the impression to favor democracy and in the mean time only have their own interrest in mind. Ido
‘Special treatment’ should be limited to defined disabilities, unrelated to ethnicity. For example, a sight impaired person might receive special treatment in the provision of a guide dog – and only for assistance related to their disability. Bruce
The statement could have been “No ethnically identifiable race of origin should be given special treatment”; but clearly I cannot find any other race of origin being singled out for special consideration other than maori, so how can such a statement be racist – it is a fact! Will this nation of ours ever get to a position where ALL citizens are considered and treated equally without reference to our forebears? Michael
Equality! Equality! Special treatment for Maori (or any other ethnic gp) is racism. Paddi
No. It is a genuinely held opinion by many NZers. It is not racist. It is a fact. jeff
Of course it isn’t racist. Another case of the race card being used arbitrarily to try and discredit a fair and reasonable question. Peter
That Maori should receive special treatment -now that is racist! Hugh
No it is not an abusive statement. It is only a question eliciting a reply. Dennis
No more than saying fat people should not receive special treatment. Peter
It is not stating that Maori receive special treatment. It is asking whether they should. While you can debate whether the answer to that question may be racist, the question itself is merely asking for an opinion in a neutral fashion- like thousands of other surveys. Jim
Facts cannot be denied – even by those who wish to re-write history! Andrew
I think all Media – TV/Newspapers – should speak up about the mess we are getting into in allowing Maori seats in Parliment and Local Govt with the demands the Maori persons in those positions are making. Elayne
This is a very relevant question to ask in our current political climate and an important topic for many Kiwi’s. Rod
Definitely not. Peter
I don’t believe they do receive any special treatment. Percival
The maori are NOT the original people of this country which can be well proven. Noel
It really is increasingly sounding like George Orwell world isn’t it. Tell the truth and get in all sorts of trouble. Roger
Neither should muslims or agnostics… Bernard
Is the statement “Non-Maori should not receive special treatment” racist? Because there’s no difference. Is it right that Maori can receive benefits that non-Maori can’t? Jacky
Maori ( Elite Iwi ) are the biggest racists in NZ. Marc
They don’t deserve any special treatment on any thing. Graham
Its a very important question while blatant inequality exists in so many areas and is indeed increasing. All NZers should be treated equally and there should be no race based privileges – this is divisive and plain wrong, Carol
One country one people. Jim
Time the Maori became New Zealanders, and contribute to the county instead of being a useless drain on the country. Maybe we could give them the Auckland islands for them to create a separate nation and provide one way transportation free. There is serious racism in NZ let us get rid of this NOW. Robert
No, because NZ has always had free speech and we have always been encouraged to believe that all New Zealanders are equal. Historically Maori have always had certain advantages which were accepted. It is only in recent years when the demands are expected to be met that the race card has been played. Sue
Words have; post their meaning in New Zealand if it is racist to oppose racial privilege. John
NO .. the special treatment is racist ! Kabe
Kelvin Davis should be ashamed of himself for claiming the statement is racist. I’m heartily sick and tired of these people who are distorting the truth in order to promote their own agendas. Wah
NZ has turned into a Nut Job Country. I try to tell people how rascist it is towards all but Maori and their reaction is ‘you are kidding arent you’. But sorry NZ Citizens, you sat back and let it develope therefore you deserve what you are getting and the heap more of what is to come. Maori just shout The magic word ‘rascist’ and what they want is given to them. Especially by this Key Government. Chris
Of course its not look at all the things they get special treatment on. Peter
The use of the word ‘racist’ is a coward’s way of silencing any dissent. Dave
Haven’t we had enough? Derrick
Maori receive untold special treatment and have access to many things that non Maori don’t. Time to stop this inequality. Kevin
Bollocks. John
To think that this silly thought still permeates in NZ is an indication of how silly the author is. Warren
In fairness to all would I be offended if the Maori word was replaced with Pakeha. I wouldn’t’ really care because the answer would still be the same and if Pakeha were receiving special treatment and privileges then I would have reason to feel not ok about myself. Don
Further, the very word “racist” has too much emotional freight these days, is used as a silencing weapon, and needs much more effort and commentary to restrict its meaning and use to where it is valid and describes serious situations. Crying “racist” is getting to be crying “wolf” and will lose its power to identify real racism. Mark
As we live in a so called democratic country, we all shoud be equal. But, some are more equal than others. Frank
Yet another attempt by a politician of maori descent to keep the race issue alive and well. Where is the attempt to achieve “oneness” as a people? This is a deliberate and malicious attempt to keep the races apart and to further Maori dominance. Utu by any other name! Don
I prefer for all nzers to be equal in the eye of the law. At the moment it is very one sided, leaning, ever increasingly to Maori, to the detriment of other NZers. Barbara
Kelin Davis is Racist trying to Divert Attention. I for one have had a gutsful and I am not Afraid to express my views. Greg
“Special treatment” is itself racist. Keith
One thing is for sure – Maori receiving special treatment IS racist. Folkert
If the answer was “yes” , that would be racist. Ray
No, quite the reverse. Kerry
Is it not possible to make a comment about Maori without being called racist? Graeme
t is a well known fact that they receive special treatment. Treatment that disadvantages all other New Zealanders. They shouldn’t be talking about others being racist when their whole demeanour is racist, especially between their tribes. Dave
Free speech must be maintained. Alan
In a Democracy, we are all guaranteed equality, but to some, power is more important than equality. Joyce
The problem is that New Zealand is so completely addicted to Political Correctness, that a Maori saying that is racist probaly means to many that it is. Graham
Only someone with an ulterior motive would consider this statement to be racist. Bruce
Maori are pushing their clever political barrow knowing how weak politicians are when it comes to ‘how to win (or hold) votes’. Politicians ‘buy’ votes and Maori are riding high and surfing on a very long wave . Why not? There’s tons of (settlement) gold at the end of that never ending wave. After all ALL beneficiaries claim benefits are just receiving their entitlement money. Keep feeding and recipients become addicted! Why work for a living when weak politicians feed you more and more – the more you ask (and abuse) the more money or ‘settlement’ you will likely receive! Many call it bludging; most will observe no-one grows as a person while bludging! Stuart
NZ should have one law for all! Barry
It is time all Polictical parts said this is enought, get rid of Maroi seats, & stop the race based free bes. Geoff
Give us a break, whose driving this racist crap? Maori that’s who! Kelvin Davis is the worse. He has no ideas so uses the racist card continually. Graeme
Tariana Turia used to “rabbit on” about “Our people ” all the time. Racist? If the question was “Should Maori receive special treatment?” would Kelvin Davis be lambasting that as racist too? Lesley
….absolutely NOT…!!! Christopher
Of course it is not. The media seem to have already been cowed into submission….I have written two letters to the NZ Herald neither published when usually my letters are and still not a peep from media about the whole issue. We cannot do much if the media refuse to inform! So really important people email MP’s. Gail
All New Zealanders are or should be equal. Power to the people who make up the majority of New Zealand. Ian
A statement of broadly held understanding which is based firstly on the treaty which made all races equal under English law is not racist. The radical lefty activist mongrels who promote racism based privilege to their own self serving benefit are the ones who make the label but in irony are the racist ones themselves. After two hundred years of special conditions and the dilution of blood entitlement to the ethnic claim, if Maori are not equipped to make their own way they never will and that is because of lax cultural habits not any lack of rights. The Country is well overdue to Abandon Racist Maori Seats and Abandon the Treaty OF Waitangi, Abandon pretensions of separate law and administration, and set once and for all future time, confirm equality to all persons, all citizens under the law. And we need to do it under English law before a aian framework or UN framework is imposed over us. Richard
Self-evidently not racist. Ron
The very fact that this question has to be asked is an indication of how stupid things have become. It is symptomatic of an attitude that is become a pandemic across the globe. it seems to stem from a mixture of insecurity, paranoia and ignorance. of which all parties are guilty. John
The Govt policy of intergration of all races cannot be realised when they are the political division creating the problem, are we all not supposed to be equal New Zealanders? IAN
It’s far too easy to play the ‘race card’ in order to close down a debate when you know you have no leg to stand on. Tony
Kelvin Davis, you should look seriously at your seat and entitlement to it. Be brave and stand in an electorate seat and see if you can win??? Greg
In a democratic egalitarian society everybody should be treated equally. There is no need for special treatment, and it is time the admitted injustices of the past should be left where they belong, in the past. richard
It is a fair and reasonable question in a parliamentary democracy… Graham
One law for all. Mark
No …just another Pakeha bashing I believe.Guess, as always,they are just trying to protect their gravy train. Audrey
At the treaty signing it was declared (by a Maori?) “now we are all equal”. This is no longer true. Bryan
Definately not! In fact maori getting anything that the rest of us are not entitled to is racist. so those pointing the finger are the racist ones. Stevo
All New Zealanders should be treated the same. Do away with any and all maori privileges. Maurice
Definitely not. The ones who want special water rights are the racist ones! Kevan
I think the wording could have been better arranged. I.E. In NEW ZEALAND should any one racial group have favourable treatment over other racial groups. Answer. NO. Brian
I firmly believe in all for one and one for all. Beryl
Do we want deny Kiwis the right to free speech? Peter
Equality for all New Zealanders should not be changed by giving special treatment of one group over another. Fair & equal treatment for all! Louis
Silence, like a cancer grows. Song lyrics yet so apt. Tracy
This is typical of this sycophantic bureacracy in central and local goverment. Mike
On and on it goes. Perhaps if you make rediculous claims against free speach often enough and loud enough they will then be accepted as correct! Tim
We are all one people and it should be the same law for everyone! Pam
The treaty is being abused and it is time for proper equality to become the norm henceforth this can in no way be racist. Elizabeth
Property rights should be allocated on the basis of citizenship, not race/ethnicity. James
We are all equal to nz law. Why should it be any different! June
The usual despicable beat-up. Peter
Definitely not. Joe
No it is not at all racist. It is a very legitimate question and one that should be investigated more closely as race-based funding is an unneccessary drain on public finances. Roger
It is not racism to ask questions about race. Paul
Racists try to prevent anyone discussing race. Yet with the Iwi Leaders pushing to get their hands on more and more public resources, we definitely should be eliminating all race-based government initiatives. Simon
No, absolutely not! George
We should learn to oppose all attempts to increase Maori privilege. Chris