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Dr Muriel Newman

Time To Have A Say On Entrenching The Maori Seats

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Last month Parliament debated a Bill to entrench the Maori seats. It had been submitted into the Private Members’ ballot by Labour’s Rino Tirikatene, the MP for the South Island Maori seat of Te Tai Tonga. He wants to make it more difficult to abolish Parliament’s Maori seats by ensuring that a vote of 75 percent of MPs would be needed to get rid of them.

Submissions on the Bill have now been called. Labour is going around the country to drum up support, so in the interests of balance and fairness, I will outline the details here in the hope that you will not only consider putting in an opposing submission, but that you will encourage others to do so too.

In politics submission numbers really matter. If a bill ends up with overwhelming public support at a Select Committee, then those pushing it will claim the country is behind their cause. Given that New Zealanders have long insisted that the Maori seats have passed their use-by date, this is the opportunity to say so. Submissions can be made on-line HERE or emailed to the Maori Affairs Select Committee at ma@parliament.govt.nz by 14 December 2018.

The Electoral (Entrenchment of Maori Seats) Amendment Bill would add the Maori seats to the ‘reserved’ provisions of the 1993 Electoral Act, to prevent them being removed by a simple majority of Parliament. Reserved provisions can only be changed through the support of 75 percent of MPs, or through a majority vote in a national referendum.

The Electoral Act’s six reserved provisions can be found in Part 1 of section 268.  They are:

a) the term of Parliament
b) the Representation Commission to determine electoral boundaries
c) the creation of general electorates
d) the 5 percent margin to ensure electorates are the same size
e) the minimum voting age of 18
f) the method of voting.

Part 2 sets out the mechanisms for change:

“No reserved provision shall be repealed or amended unless the proposal for the amendment or repeal—

a) is passed by a majority of 75% of all the members of the House of Representatives; or
b) has been carried by a majority of the valid votes cast at a poll of the electors of the General and Maori electoral districts.”

In general, major changes to electoral law in New Zealand are only undertaken with the express approval of voters through a binding referendum process. Accordingly, one could argue that entrenching the Maori seats represents such a controversial change that it should only go ahead if approved by a referendum of all voters. 

Under Parliament’s rules – namely Standing Order 266 – any legislative proposal to include or remove an entrenched provision needs to be passed by the same special majority of Parliament: “A proposal for entrenchment must itself be carried in a committee of the whole House by the majority that it would require for the amendment or repeal of the provision to be entrenched.”

This rule was introduced through a review of Standing Orders in 1995 on the basis that it would be “inequitable” for a Parliament to pass a law under a simple majority vote that seeks to bind future Parliaments and generations.

As a result, the support of the Government and the National Party would be needed for the Bill to become law.

Since National voted against the Bill, this would appear to preclude it from succeeding, but as with many aspects of Parliamentary business, things aren’t always quite what they seem.

Under Standing Order 4, Parliament can suspend its rules by a simple majority. This means that while an amendment to the reserved provisions of the Electoral Act would normally need to be approved by a special majority of 75 percent of the House, it would be possible – though highly contentious – for Standing Orders to be suspended and the new entrenchment provision passed with just a simple majority.

Furthermore, as the Herald points out, while amendments to the reserved provisions within section 268 of the Electoral Action can only be passed through a special 75 percent majority of MPs or a nation-wide referendum, section 268 itself could be amended by a simple majority of Parliament. This would allow the Maori seats to be readily removed in the future – although this again would be a highly contentious move.

But more on the convoluted politics later.

The Maori seats were introduced on a temporary basis in 1867 to give Maori men the right to vote. The settler government had requested colonial authorities to waive the property qualification that conferred the right to vote under English law – since it did not apply to communal land – but they refused. As a result, four Maori seats were introduced as an interim measure while the Maori Land Court set about the complex task of individualising Maori land holdings. The seats were meant to remain in force for five years, but had to be extended for a further five years, and then indefinitely.

The property ownership voting qualification for men was not removed until 1879, giving Maori men who didn’t qualify the right to vote 12 years earlier than non-Maori men. The Maori seats should have been abolished at that time, but with the introduction of universal suffrage in 1893, any practical reason for separate Maori seats disappeared completely.

Over the years, there have been many changes to Maori seat voting but it wasn’t until the 1993 Electoral Act was introduced that the number of Maori seats changed from being fixed at four to being determined by the total Maori electoral population. 

The Maori Electoral Option follows a Census and gives electors identifying as Maori the option of transferring between the Maori roll and the general roll. According to Electoral Commission data, in 1994, 52 percent of Maori opted to register on the Maori roll, with 48 percent choosing the general roll. In 1997 the numbers on the Maori roll rose to 54 percent, in 2001 to 55 percent, then to 58 percent in 2006, before falling back to 55 percent in 2013, and 52 percent in 2018.

As a result of the numbers registering on the Maori roll, the number of Maori seats in Parliament rose from 4 to 5 in 1994, from 5 to 6 in 1997, from 6 to 7 in 2001, staying at 7 in 2006 and 2013. The result for 2018 hasn’t been released as yet.  

However, the 2001 change from 6 to 7 seats was not due to a dramatic increase in the number of voters switching to the Maori roll, but was instead the result of a unilateral decision by the Government Statistician to change the way the Maori seats were calculated.

Until that time, the Maori electoral population was determined by the number of people who indicated they had Maori descent on their Census forms. However, in 1997, the Government Statistician decided to include a proportion of those who had said they didn’t know, had left the question blank, or had given a confusing answer.

As a result of this ‘imputation’ calculation, the number of Maori seats increased from 6 to 7. Without imputation there would have only been 6 Maori seats since 1997 – and one additional list seat.

The problem with the situation as it stands is that section 3 of the Electoral Act requires the Maori electoral population to be based on “the total number of ordinarily resident persons of New Zealand Maori descent as determined by the last periodical census”. But the numbers used since 2001, have not been based on the census – they have instead been based on the census plus an estimate calculated by the Government Statistician. This raises doubts as to whether these methods and the results are entirely lawful.

In 1986 the Royal Commission on the Electoral System made a series of recommendations that included abolishing the Maori seats if our voting system was changed from First Past the Post to Mixed Member Proportional. They warned that MMP would increase the Parliamentary representation of minority groups and that retaining the Maori seats would lead to an over-representation of Maori in Parliament.

Indeed, when the MMP legislation was first introduced into the House, the Maori seat provisions had been removed, but as a result of strong advocacy by tribal leaders, they were added back in.  

As a result, there are now 30 MPs of Maori descent in our Parliament – including the leaders or deputy leaders of all political parties. That’s a quarter of all MPs. If the 7 Maori seats were removed, Maori representation would be 19 percent – clearly demonstrating that the need for separate Maori seats no longer exists. 

When the Maori seats were first established – to give Maori men the vote – they were undoubtedly constitutional in nature. But once universal suffrage was introduced, the seats became a source of political power for the tribal elite.

That’s why they have no place in section 268 of the Electoral Act, which is reserved for key electoral requirements that are constitutional in nature. That’s no doubt one of the main reasons why past Parliaments have not entrenched the Maori seats and why future ones shouldn’t either.

In his First Reading speech, Rino Tirikatene explained the objective of his Bill: “This is a very small bill, but it cuts to the heart of the representation and the status of the Maori seats in this House. The general seats, under the Electoral Act, can be overturned or abolished only by a special majority – that’s a 75 percent or more majority of this House – but the Maori seats can be abolished by a simple majority. My bill seeks to raise us to an equal standard with the general seats. This is about equality and being treated the same.”

The Bill was opposed by National and Act, but supported by Labour, the Green Party, and New Zealand First.

The support of New Zealand First was a surprise to many, since, in the lead up to the General Election, the Party had campaigned on abolishing the Maori seats, not entrenching them. At the time they said they wanted a nation-wide referendum to be held on the future of the Maori seats.

However, New Zealand First’s Spokesperson for Electoral Matters, MP Darroch Ball, explained their reasoning during the First Reading debate. He said that while their Party believed in a single electoral franchise, on important matters such as the future of the Maori seats, it should not be MPs who make the decision, but the public through a binding referendum process.

He explained the Party had supported the Bill to a Select Committee because they saw it as an opportunity to provide for a referendum. Accordingly, they say they are planning to seek agreement for a Supplementary Order Paper to amend the Bill with a provision for a two-pronged referendum: “Should the Maori seats be retained? If so, should they be entrenched?”

New Zealand First claims they will not support the Bill any further if that agreement is not made.

A timeframe for a referendum would also need to be included in their amendment – to ensure that if the Bill became law a referendum would definitely be held.

This week’s NZCPR Guest Commentator is veteran political journalist Barry Soper, who spelt out very clearly his views on the Maori seats when the Bill was first pulled from the ballot:

“The seven Maori seats in Parliament should be scrapped. The need for them has long passed.

“The seats have become redundant; other than a political crutch for Labour, they serve no purpose and rather than entrenching them, Parliament should be doing away with them.”

Barry also pointed out that under the present race-based system, Maori disparity has grown: “Look at the statistics and see how well Maori have done. The Royal Commission was right, they’ve been marginalised…”

Indeed, the Royal Commission blamed increasing Maori underprivilege on our race-based Parliamentary system – reinforcing the view that separatism is not the answer to Maori disadvantaged, equality is.

But the problem is that the Maori seats have become the power base of the Maori sovereignty movement. With an agenda that prioritises tribal influence and control, rather than focussing on the needs of the individual, the Maori seats have contributed to the growth of an underclass and should go.


If a binding referendum on the future of the Maori seats was held, would you support entrenching them, or abolishing them?


*Poll comments are posted below.


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


Click to view x 120


A binding referendum would would do it Brian
No longer relevant. People should stand on their personal merit, not the tinge of their skin. Charles
They have to go. No more racial bias.. Dene
It is about time that the so called elite Maori accepted that they are no different to any other race living in New Zealand. Allan
Absolutely NO to entrenching Maori seats or any kind of continuing racial separatism. A deeping racial separatism/apartheid is in the community draining the spirit of New Zealander’s with the constant Iwi pressure to cement their world view on everyone else, language/culture. Sam
It is well passed the time when we should all become one people. Race based seats in Parliament has no place in this the 21st centuary Robert
They should have been gone years ago. They were only a temporary measure ahen they were introduced. Murray
there is no reason for raced based politics Barry
For Goodness sake lets get back to being all New Zealanders and cut out this racism Brianb
NZ is and must always be a DEMOCRATIC country with one rule of law for ALL. We are ONE people. To set aside separate parliamentary seats exclusively for the self interests of Pakeha, Black power, IRA, KKK, Sounies, Iwi leaders groups etc. would be an absolute NONSENSE. and must never happen. Bruce
They are long past there used by date with many part maori members of parliment Ian
No abolish them Jan
It is easier to control us in our so-called tribes and political correctness makes us so compliant. We need to stop being so obedient to racism and demand this binding referendum that got Winston Peters into his government position. Also sick everything being named in Maori because I cannot stand the sound of the language. Monica
Long overdue to get rid of this blatant racism Henry
The only reason Labour are interested on maintaing these seats is to have those seats as a support to maintain power Rick
I would support abolishing them. I just do not understand why politicians try to convince us to keep them. I bet we don’t get a referendum to vote on or if we do whether Parliament will just ignore it again. Fraser
One Man One Vote and all equal not some Orwellian theory of all being equal but some being more equal than others. They should have been abolished when their reason for existence was lost. That did not happen but Bolger who has stated that he wanted an upper house with 50% Maori representation is the real problem My worry now is that will the people be brave enough to vote for to have them removed Robin
Should have been abolished in 1877. Ten years after they were set up. Richard
We are supposed to be one nation one people Bob
They are an offensive bit of state approved racism and should be abolished immediately without further nonsense of “conversations and working groups”. John
This was only temporary measure, and was not supposed to be for all time. The Maori propaganda machine and the likes of this government and the Willy Jacksons Shane Jones are only looking after themselves. All this money that the taxpayers have given over the years has made part Maori worse off and lazy. Ron
Past use by date. Donald
Toooo much bloody Maori Athol
No longer required as orogonal purpose no longer exists in our society Grace
Get rid of this racism. We are a multicultural society I thought. Robert
Past their used by date well and truly as evidenced by the high proportion of Maori in Parliament now per head of population Carolyn
Out dated now. Sheena
Maori are now well represented in parliament without the seven Maori seats. They are OBSOLETE. Gordon
As there are no true Maori’s left and are now like the rest of us made up from many different ethnic groups if you go back far enough the y should be abolished Tom
For all the reason above Rex
There is no need for Maori seats. Penelope
We need equality in this country, not racism. Rick
Its racism verging on apartheid. Russell
The bunch of brown nosing politicians we have will never have a binding referendum as even winston has backed out which will be the end of nzf which may be good for the country if national decided to stand up to the half caste mob and say enough of your parasite people as labour will never tell them to bugger off and will keep on giving into them. Richard
They had a sunset clause 100 years ago. They should be gone. Maoris have the ability to elect an MP in all seats. They don’t need separate favouritism. The dreadful MMP system was supposed to replace the Maori Seats. Why didn’t it? Asians, and other races do not have separate seats. Why should Maoris? Maori MP’s are over represented in Parliament in relation to population percentages. Why? It should match the ratio. Chris
Maori seats are an anachronism in a modern multi-cultural society. Stan
To take a leaf out of the bills proposer, the vote to entrench the maori seats should need a 75% majority in order to pass the proposed bill.. Mike
They are “race based” and therefore must be abolished now ! All seats should be on ability not race ! As we are a multicultural Country why not have some special “Chinese” seats as well ? Yeah/Na !! Andrew
STOP the APARTHEID in NZ . We should ALL be New Zealanders and EQUAL Mike
wake up NZ Graeme
The need for them is long gone..We need , no demand, one people ,one nation James
They are apartheid and must go. Further, no change should be made to the electoral system other than by a citizen referendum. MMP was created by referendum and any change without a referendum should not be lawful, including the Waka Bill. Martin
They should go. We need to form our Country as a one people land and stop the continuing push towards separatism. Jim
I can see no valid argument to keep them. They should have gone years ago. Murray
Are we one nation or are we divided? Having race based seats is a no no Brian
Maoris? What Maoris? Mitch
Get rid of the Maori seats fast… it is entrenching Maori preference and is discriminatory Jeremy
It is apartheid! Sharon
They don’t need Maori seats Ben
Let nz be made up of new zealanders Brian
There is no need for such racially based membership & should be abandoned now! Cyril
We ave many Maori in Parliament and only the few who clutch to their Maori seats. Stand up Maori and be counted. Don’t hide and pretend you are in Govt by the vote of the people because you are not. Elizabeth
There is enough representation of Maori in parliament now it does not warrant in the day and age that we have racial representation. Andrew
We fought agaisnt separate development in the 80’s. This is a step backwards if we allow Maori seats. It’s not acceptable. Catherine
Definately abolishing them David
Get rid of them. It is the recommendation of several who have been deeply involved in making sure that the electoral system is fair and reasonable. Only political expediency has prevented their demise. Out they go Mike
We are all New Zealanders Mac
We are One Nation and One people Simon
Of course Maori seats should be abolished, there is no place for race based seats in a modern democracy, by ensuring that a vote of 75 percent of MPs would be needed to get rid of them is politicking at its worst. This is a very straight forward yes/no issue and could easily be put forward as binding referendum on the next election ballot paper. MP%u2019s have no business voting on an issue such as this, put it to the people. Who knows it might well increase voter interest and turn out? Rob Boston Robert
equality for all charles
One country one people all N.Z people equal rights for all. Maori do not need seperate Maori seats in Parliament. This would be discrimination against all the rest of us. Margaret
From a logical point of view the Maori seats should be abolished and I would vote for abolition. However, from a political standpoint it may be better were the seats to be retained, as I suspect that were the sets to be abolished the vast majority of Maori would vote for left wing parties and we may have left wing governments forever. Bugger! Peter
It’s high time we all voted as one people. Anything else is another form of apartheid! Ron
Let is look forward as a Nation without an Albatross holding back the will of the people. All people of voting age should have equal rights & responsibilities. Doug
One people, only selected and voted forto be in parlaiment. No one appointed by some group or organisation should be there Johan
If Maori seats continue there will be disproportionate power given to a minority Nigel
Totaly unnecessary, clearly a race based move by a minority who contribute nothing to the devlopment of the country, but demand to be given race based benefits and colossal amounts of money. We are polluted with inept and ignorant politicians who support their racist demands, the country is an embarrassment. David
Part Maori and Pakeha should all be equal alan
No longer required. Mark
The reason for them being there is no longer valid. Peter
Racist Allan
Abolish them. They definitely are obsolete and long passed their use by date. I certainly agree with Barry Soper they are only used as a political crutch for the Labour Party. Suzanne
There is a book available called “Forbidden History” which provides pretty clear evidence that there were people in NZ before Maori arrived. It is time to stop preferencial treatment for them. Every one in this country should be on an equal footing. John
Beware all who seek equality in issues such as this may be branded as a racist. Geoff.
Get rid of it!! Maori representation in every party of the political spectrum is more than assured. But the tribal elite and their zealots want it all and more . So for them it is totally out of the question to have these seats abolished. And no discussions allowed either. Where is W Peters and his promise to put Maori seats to a binding referendum. He has all the leverage in this current coalition to get that happening and – as far as I can see — he would certainly improve his ratings by satisfying the wishes of countless NZ landers who want to be rid of this political oddity. Michael
End all racism and Maori favouritism – and all Maorification and Maorifictation! Replace ‘colonialisation’ slogan with ‘civilisation’ (which is what actually occurred). Paul
I understand that there are more MPs in General or List seats who consider themselves Maori than then7 in Maori seats, so there is no need for the Maori seats Geoffrey
Without any doubt abolish them. They smack of racism. John
no way , must go Owen
Apartheid Peter
It is racist to have Maori seats. Why not Chinese seats, Pacifica seats? Time to unify the country. Peter
They no longer serve a useful purpose in Parliament Laurel
We are all one . Brian
Surely it is time we lived up to the expression–We are one people . Jenny
We should not have racist unelected seats. Maureen
Abolish with immediate effect – and without any additions to the general seats to keep up the total numbers Francis
Abolishment is LONG overdue Alan
Maori have proved they are capable of getting in parliament without any special treatment. Time for them to go. Bev
Time to end the race based privilege of the maori seats Tim
Should have been abolished a long time ago. Paloma
Abolish the Maori seats Dolf
There should be no race based seats in Parliament Campbell
We do NOT want a seperatist Country . Heading down the track of Sth Africa ….Why cant we learn from their mistakes….. Ngaire
No comment is required on this matter. It is blindingly obvious that the Maori Seats are as Barry so rightly points out, they are simply a power base for the Maori Sovereignty movement and a vehicle for race based marginalization. Get rid of them ASAP. Dianna
MMP recommendation should have been implemented. Bruce
All New Zealanders are equal therefore there is no requirement for seperate seats for one race of people. Dennis
Nothing will change unless Maori are forced to start helping themselves and not to rely upon the tax-payer to provide a life style.. Then they may realise that there’s a lot to be said for personal responsibility,and joining the 21st century. Erin
Regretably the retention of the Maori seats show Maori lack mana. They rely for their condition not on any belief in their own endeavours but upon the action of someone else, a politician they think can deliver for them in substitution for their own actions. They have essentially enslaved themselves. It is a great pity and I it is only the belief in self determination that pakeha would help them of throw these chains chains. The economic and social outcome for particular groups arising from political dependency has been well researched in America by Thomas Sewell, who concludes that economic and social progress is inverse to political representation Mervyn
Should have been done years ago. Helen
They were only a temporary measure until we were all one people as provided for in that grossly exaggerated treaty — it was to be for 5 years. Alan
They are out dated should be abolished Ian
The race-based Maori seats are a stain on New Zealand’s democracy and should be abolished ASAP. Colin
Well past their useby date!! Lloyd
They need to go. The retention of “Maori Seats” is racist in my book and they were only introduced in the interests of fairness back in 1867 for 5 years. The only fair way to go about the process would be by binding referenda. Real democracy. Ronmac
A binding referendum will abolish the Maori seats to the dustbin of history. robert
In this Year of 2018 ,& beyond, the idea that any race within our country, NZ should have some executive, demanded (Why?) preferential ability in the natural, legal, advancement & progression of our country is a great big NO Linton
Parliamentary seats based on ethnic elitism has no place in New Zealand. Mike
The seats are nothing more than a political football. Labour wants to retain them as they traditionally have gained power through those additional seats and Maori for negotiating advantage which is nothing more than political blackmail. We live in a democracy supposedly so on that principal alone they should be abolished. Personally I can see no downside for Maori. Chris
It’s time we all become one country one cpeople the past is gone let it go! Bill
Abolish abolish abolish Carole
Abolish the Maori seats. This country won’t run smoothly until the racist Maori faction back off all of their spurious claims. Unfortunately we have gutless politicians who hide behind that terrible outfit called the UN Mike
Maori lack Mana, when they continue to seek or need positions on local boards and government, when not having been elected by the voters. This can also apply to List MP’s. Darryl
Unfair thought we were all meant to be NZers not specific groups Colleen
As an ethnic European I am concerned at the increasing domination of Maori culture at the expense of our rich European heritage. Ethnic Europeans in New Zealand now have no connection with their ancestral roots. Social engineers have worked to supplant European heritage with Polynesian culture as witnessed by the push to make learning Maori compulsory in schools. David
Their very precence is racism at its very worst.. One country one people regardless of colour or any other factor. Mike
They’re a waste of Tax Payers money Barry
passed used by date Jonathan
I Thought we were all equal. Peter
Race based politics is an anachronism. Do the Maoris a favour and give them equality. Fred
Waste of bloody time having seats for Maori .They have fucked the country enough already Graham
We are supposed to be one people Loraine
They are a racist anachronism that has long outlived its purpose Tom
Let’s have democracy. John
There is not enough transparency and their issues should be a discussion with the other kiwis in this country. Denise
Maori are over represented in Parliament now and quite capable of having their own party, as they did have. John
Rather than entrench them, Maori seats should be abolished forthwith, they have long outlived their usefulness. Doug
Well past their use by date. Maori have shown that they are well capable of representing themselves without the crutch of “reserved” Maori seats. It is time for them to join main stream democratic NZ. Gary
They are redundant Arthur
If Maori intentions were honourable they would welcome equality with every other NZ’er. Considering the billions of dollars they have been given in claims there is no need for special seats dedicated to their demands. NZ’ers are fed up with demands, with the attitude ‘this is our right – you owe it to us’. This has to end and realise the only way forward is equality and be thankful for it., based on the % of the population – a just and fair assessment. Let Maori stand for election like everyone else – if they are elected, it will be because they focus on the good of ALL NZ’ers, not themselves only. This policy has to make itself known to them – no special privileges for anyone – equality and get used to it. Anon
This is a racial provision and should be abolished Gareth
They should be abolished. They’re well past their use-by date, they’re patronising, divisive and surely they’re racist in a supposedly democratic system of government. As a proportion of New Zealand citizens, Maori and part-Maori are amply well represented on a percentage basis even when the Maori seats are discounted. I’m with Barry Soper on this one. Les
Over representation of the so called “Maoris” in parliament Mike
We are the only western country still implementing legislation based on race. These seats represent the genesis of what is now clearly an unacceptable emphasis on race . John
Gone past their use by dates David
With the rapidly changing racial demographic in NZ and the very small number of people who can claim to be more than half-blooded Maori it would seem very strange to think they have a given right to 7 seats in our Parliament. Ken
To entrench them continues to add to the imbalance that currently exists between the rights of Maori having predominance over other races in New Zealand Kerry
This is the 21st century. Maori as a race, no longer exist. Only descendants of Maori who fall into two categories. [1] The greedy elite, who care for nothing except their own selfish agenda.. [2] The rest, who are getting on with their lives as best they can, or are indoctrinated lefties who believe life should be a free ride, & every-body else is to blame for the predicament that they find them-selves in. Separatism has no place in a freedom loving country such as ours. Maori should not be treated as inferior citizens that need preferential treatment. The realists know this & promote assistance when needed regardless of ethnicity. Globalist agenda; Divide & conquer.. A.G.R.
GO GO GO my response is not even political….it is more a case of You have grown up and get rid of this perpetual nannying. Oh sure it has given Maori a whole heap of benefits which their 3/4 pakeha backgrounds cannot just take, but so what, if you want to stay second class people with the hands out all the time, then go stay in the dark ages….. Your children deserve better than this! MABEL
Way past their use by date. Andrew
I agree with Barry Soper. The Maori seats are well past their use by date. This will never suit the Maori elite who do not seek equality they seek dominance. They should read the first copy of the treaty. That’s the one before it was bastardised and the one which stated “We are now One People.” Jim Jim
Where are the Maori? All I see are New Zealanders, some of whom have a fraction of their total origins as Maori ancestry. Look at the present makeup of Parliament – quite a representation beyond the 14% Maori. I stress – we are all New Zealanders with a variety of ancestral origins. The only discrimination that I get frequently reminded by media, is the “special case” of being sensitive to purely Maori needs/concerns. What do they do with the 75 to 80 % European blood in these people? Does that get defeated by the 25% or less of Maori in them? It’s a con job for more money, usually tax free, or special privileges not afforded to those who cannot trace any Maori in them. I know many people who have Maori blood ancestry who are most content being New Zealanders who share equally with all other New Zealanders who don’t have that ‘magic’ difference. They don’t see any need for the apartheid generated by such Maori Elitists! Rod
What about Muslim demanding this and that!! Ray
The world has moved on, with the population increasingly diverse wrt racial/cultural aspects. This is seen clearly in NZ. Maori seats are indeed obsolete and should be scrapped. Russell
Separate Maori seats in Parliament should be made a thing of the past. In the modern day Parliament every citizen of New Zealand should be regarded as an equal citizen and no group should be separated from the majority because of a racial claim. WE MUST DO AWAY WITH THEM. Ernest
Well past their use-by date Graeme
The apartheid privileges afforded Maori should have been abolished years ago Peter
All Maori should be embarrassed by the thought that they need to have specific seats to ensure they are represented when it is clear they do not. Tipene
These people who are called maori were never the first to arrive here. They were a group of people who assumed the name, or the name stuck and has now been dredged up from the depths because it sounds more impressive. they were a group of people that arrived at seperate times from different places and land at different places. Ian
Well over century late. Dick
Maori are well represented in parliament without Maori seats, and keeping then is racist and separative. Neil
Maori have a good representation in Parliament now and should not have seats entrenched . There are too many handouts for Maori so it is time to make this one nation and stop all this nonsense of pitting everyone against the other. Time to get on with life for us all. Patricia
They have outlived their purpose and are only being used as a political lever for gain — own agendas — bargining power – or manipulation John
It is only the maori elite who want to further enforce their influence within the country who want to guarantee their position in Parliament by entrenching the maori seats Maurice
I feel that they have gone way past their Throw away date. Keeping them further fuels apart-hate in this country where everyone should be regarded as being equal in all respects They were only introduced in 1867 to give Maori men the right to vote at that time Harry
The Maori Seats are race based. David
NZ’s true founding document is that which separated us from inside the boundaries of New South Wales into a British colony in our own right, Queen Victoria’s Royal Charter of 16-11-1840, ratified at Russell on 03-05-1841, the day New Zealand was born. The Treaty of Waitangi was judged a “simple nullity” by Chief Judge Prendergast in 1877 on the grounds it did not comply with “The Law of Nations”. To comply with The Law of Nations a country must have a stable Government with a Head of State and the Head of State should be the only signature on any international agreement. It is well known over 500 Maori chiefs signed the Treaty for lack of the foregoing because the Maori Declaration of Independence was a complete failure due to the signatories continuing their intertribal wars with one another within the first year and that these signatories never met nor passed any laws. It is illegal within English law for any British subject to be in partnership with the Crown and both above Royal Charters gave Maoris British citizenship. Maori partnership with the Crown is false. According to the above any Maori racial privilege is illegal under English law, English law carried no racial advantage George
I have already made my submission to have them removed. There is no place for Maori seats and the Maori Roll. WE are one People Ken
Well past the time that Maori should be treated as most New Zealanders are when it comes to voting John
Racist, undemocratic, a no-brainer! What is wrong with NZ dwellers? How can we let this happen? Despair is not enough! Bob
I simply will not support sepratisim or racisim of any sort. People MUST be judged on their strength of character NOT thier colour or race. Thats just me. Obviously our newly elected commisar sees things differently. Tracy
Maori seats should go, as they are all New Zealanders with Maori Heritage, the same as us all we all came here as emigrants. Geoff
Racism at its best! Bill
It’s racist! Gerhard
The thing that New Zealand needs most is equal rights and standing for all. The continuation of racially based electorates will continue to be a divisive force within our Country. We have minority Party Leaders agreeing that the Treaty of Waitangi gives those claiming to be Maori, or having Maori heritage, joint sovereignty and joint governance of our Nation, completely against the intent of the Treaty. The sooner we lose these racist seats, and get closer to being one people under the law with common rights and privileges, the better off the Nation will be. The Treaty agreed with a group of disparate tribes, none of which constituted a unified nation, that in return for each of them ceding their tribal rights and governance to the reigning sovereign, they would in turn gain the same rights, privileges and protection afforded to all subjects of the Crown. Despite numerous Acts and regulations that drive us towards co-governance, they are in error and are certainly not was intended at the signing. Retention of these racially based seats only props up racial divisions and privilege and should be expunged from our legislature today! Michael
About time Dave
Irrelevant in MMP structure; must cease being a prop for whichever party needs them to ensure a majority Barrie
Entrenching these seats will only needs to escalated racism, especially when people wake up to the gravy train the Maori have now courtesy of our gutless politicans. David
Time well past to remove the anachronism, and remove privilege. Peter
IT’s Time common sense and democracy ruled in New Zealand. We are ONE people and this” them and us” attitude must go. There are no reasons for this temporary measure to be still in force after over a hundred tears. Graeme
There is no place in a so called democracy for individual race protected seats. Joe
Irrespective of Teriti o Waitangi, any allowances for special interest groups based on race are a recipe for future racial unrest… One NZ for All NZLrs! David
The continued special treatment and privileges of one ethnic group over everyone else in New Zealand is an anachronism that must go. The alternative is disunity, division, unfairness and corruption Martin
There is no need for separate Maori seats, after all we are supposed to be equal in citizenship. Ron
Time to make New Zealand a one nation country. End race based policies. Colin
I don’t want to entrench apartheid Laurence
They served their purpose but now there is no justification other than the aid the tribal elite further extort the parliamentary system. Steve
1 man 1 vote end of story Tony
Abolish them and all laws that create aparthied, where is Minto when you need him.have we got a single politician with the balls to tackle the issues. Harry
Its LONG OVERDUE to REMOVE them.There are FAR MORE RACES in N.Z. but they DONT ask for SPECIAL rights like maori do.its NOT DEMOCRTIC Cindy
We are all New Zealanders Peter
We don’t need the Maori seats. Wendy
It is racist to have these special seats. Imagine if we had something special for non maori. what a stink there would be Rick
The current level of elected and list member Maori in the House removes the need for dedicated Maori seats. Maori are more than capable of entering parliament on their own ability. Alan
The maori should go as they currently represent straight out racial favour to Maori.Question is what government will have the guts to act on any referendum.We saw Key and his mates use and pay Maori to get things done and Ardern and her absolute rabble of a Government hold the Maori seats so dead end there. The Maori movement in this country is racial,greedy and corrupt all ably supported by the Maori seats. Don
They should have been abolshed long ago Carolyn
Totally not required in this era… Maddi
maori are only 5% of the population with the rest of those claiming to be maori 12% absolutely ridiculous graeme
NZ HAS to abolish APARTHEID. Those of us opposed to APARTHEID need to start a campaign to alert the world to this crazy situation in NZ. Why was apartheid not tolerated in SA yet it seems to be OK in NZ? Geoff
One country, one people Barbara
Abolish apartheid and its tribalism….. and get civilised ! Don
Everyone has the right to stand for election doesn’t matter who you are Peter
These seats have become redundant in our time and have served there purpose long ago. Jim
The Maori seats in parliament are well past the use by date sooner they are gone the better Russell
There needs to be a new Maori Party and the Maori can get seats in Parliament if Maori want representation. Gordon
In demanding these seats and other race based allowances, the maoris are acknowledging their inability to thrive in a modern world without special help. If I was a maori I would be demanding the abolition of all these insulting special considerations, instantly! TOBY
The separatist maori will go to all lengths to avoid a binding referendum on the abolishing of maori seats, as they know they would lose. Better to leave it to the politicians most of whom either agree with the separate seats or their vote can be bought. John
I don’t believe in apartheid i.e. separate development. We are one people. June
The Sooner the Better Barbara
Any and all kinds of race based benefits/concessions are always wrong regardless of the reasons given for them. It is discrimination against the rest of the population, pure and simple. Porus
They are well beyond there use by date.We are all new Zealander’s so we only need one Electrial roll. Richard
Racism has no place in society Richard
The Maori seats are a symbol of apartheid and do not belong in New Zealand. Michael
Past use by date Joe
The Maori Seats are a ‘political anachronizm’ and are undemocratic in our proportional voting system . Anthony
Long since out of date and now just racist. Time for them to go. Robbie
We are one people country? New Zealanders.. Ian
It is creating RACIAL problems Bob
One law for all, stop the drive for racial separatism Graham
They’ll not be entrenched during the term of this parliament: Winston Peters will see to that. It’s his opportunity to strike back at his foes: the corrupt iwi elite and their hangers-n. Graham
They should have been abolished in the 1930’s. Maori have exceeded by far any promise made in the Treaty of Waitangi, basically a treaty to stop fighting and live together as one people. The Treaty principles have been perverted so many times by National’s last Attorney General that we have lost sight of what the Treaty was for. Abolish the seats now!!! David
One rule for everyone Steve
Agree with Barry Soper and the earlier report recommending their being made obsolete. Murray
Removal of this now apartheid system is a requirement if we are to retain electoral Democracy in New Zealand. The big question is even with a binding referendum being well in favour of removing this anomaly, whether our Parliament would take any notice of a Public Vote in the final analysis? They certainly did not over the smacking vote by a complete disregard for the will of the people. There is little doubt that our politicians have little intestinal fortitude to deal with the more and more Iwi demands; because they see in overseas examples that to ignore or refuse radical indigenous demands backed by the United Nations, results in terrorism. With the Labour Party the loss of electoral power from no Maori seats means a loss at the Ballot Box. Frankly, I already suspect that these Maori Seats will be retained come hell or high water, and that Iwi will continue on their merry way to gain more control.  Brian
Abolish. Jack
This is too serious a matter for party political Members of Parliament to deal with. Do we have a democracy? We must have a binding referendum of all voters on this, and the sooner the better. Rob
Too much brown nosing going on Reg 
One country, one electorate Peter
They were ment to be only temporary qriginaly I believe they were ment to be abolished in the late 1800,s but that never happenrd. Digby
They are now a racist abuse of democracy Bruce
IT will never serve any body”s best interest especially the Maori people in general to promote race. Maurice
Not needed Gaz
We should have assimilated Maori Seats into the general Parliamentary Seats years ago. Putting aside the very obvious Political agendas by having Maori Seats, are we not ONE Nation. Geoff
We are all New Zealanders,we will only go forward if we are as one people !! Ross
Feel strongly that these are not necessary and are discriminatory. Judy
Racial privilege for ANY race has no place in a fair and just democratic society. Apartheid by stealth needs to be reversed. Frank
Separatism is ruining our country. Peter
I believe in the one law for all in NZ and Maori should just be like everyone else in our society, there is too much us and them as things stand and they seem to be getting priority. Barbara
Having separate Maori seats has not done the ordinary Maori any good With 15% of the population filling 50% of the jail cells and their greedy IWI leaders ripping off the system with their ever increasingly ridiculous claims is it any wonder that the anti Maori feeling is rising throughout the land. over 25 years ago I met a Maori man with his wife and good looking young children on the interisland ferry. He said to me that they should burb the Treaty of Waitangi as it will cause the biggest disruption in the country . How right he was as the IWI and the ridiculous Waitangi Tribunal continue to Find more and more outrageous ways to extract money from the sucker taxpayer. Colin
Past their usefulness Konrad
One country one people….. Yeah right Bruce
An anachronistic law that requires abolishing Warren
Time to get rid of our Apartheid Govt. We have been an Apartheid country for too long Kay
The reason and purpose for its introduction in 1867 was removed in 1879 when maori men received voting rights (without property qualifications). They are obsolete and only continue to act as a power base for the maori sovereignty movement. Tony
Most Maori have less than 25% maori blood. anyone can call himself a Maori. the maori seats no longer support true Maori..They are just another political party.. Judy
Time to move on. Enough is Enough John
We should not have raced based seats in parliament. There are plenty of Maori’s in parliament who have got there on there own merits. The way it should be. John
No principles based on race, please Jo
Total Anachronism Peter
This is the year 2019. Not 1848 and it is time to abolish these Maori seats. They need to go. Maori are far better look after this day and age than they have ever been. Robert
They are an anachronism – out of time and purpose and a curse to NZ politics and cultural integrity Russell
Maori are able to achieve without special treatment. Chris
There is no need for special Maori seats as the number of parliamentarians claiming Maori descent is now huge in comparison to the Maori percentage in our population. Some fanatical Maori have said that they are still needed because the Maori parliamentarians have been elected by the general public and are not there for Maori alone – but is that not what parliament is for – the running of the whole business of New Zealand. Those who wish to vote for people who would represent Maori only, have their outlet in the Maori Party. Liz
Must have binding referendum on Maori seats, whether they get entrenched or not John
We are one people S
Maori are well over represented in our parliament and it has become patronising and insulting to suggest they need special representation. Just look at all the successful ones, lawyers, accountants, truckers, forestry experts, they are capable of doing anything they desire to do. There are dropouts and unemployable in every nationality. Let them join the real world without the need for more special treatment. Carolyn
It’s about time the media started acknowledging the fact that most New Zealanders want ONE COUNTRY, ONE PEOPLE. NOT APARTHEID !!!! Rod
Time to be NZ for all without laws based on genda. Mike
We either abolish Maori seats and strive for a ONE NEW ZEALAND society or we will likely have radical internal and external racial factions which I believe will eventually lead to a disastrous broken divided (on this racial basis) New Zealand. The ramification of this divided / split country (instead of a ONE NEW ZEALAND) presents potential destructive African like degradation and poverty. Stuart
This is gone on way to long, the goverment and I mean all govermnets need to grow a set of balls and take some control of this country. Simon
Definitely Kerin
The Maori seats should be abolished as Maori are now well-represented in Parliament via the general seats. Our representatives should be elected on merit rather than on descent. It remains to be seen if Winston and NZ First will keep their promise to demand a referendum. However, in such an important, as well as a potentially divisive issue, everyone on the electoral roll should be given the opportunity to voice their opinion. Laurence
We are one people. There must be no racist privileges based on race. Laurie
There is no place for racism in a democracy, all race based legislation needs to be removed fromNZ Bud
There is no need for separatism as 100% Maori do not exist today. “Maori” if you can find one today are all more than 3/4 non Maori having the same rights and opportunities as every other New Zealander. Vernon
We need to get rid of tribalism in NZ. It disappeared in other countries centenaries ago. tony
Never to the Maori seats we are all New Zealanders they should have been abolished years ago. Clark
Abolish them! – this should have been done years ago. If Rino Tirikatene really wants”equality and being treated the same” then he would have to agree. Unfortunately the Maori elitist idea of “equality” is much the same as the pigs in Orwell’s “Animal Farm” – “all animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Scott
We are long past the time they were necessary. Race based policies do not serve this country in any way Matt
It is long over time that we became ONE people in our wonderful country NEW ZEALAND William
A Divided Nation is a ‘basket case’. ABOLISH Maori SEATS forever… CHowes
Why should we have separation. It’s one country with equal rites and the same laws. This used to be called apartheid. Barry
It is time we were all considered equally as New Zealanders. Past elections have proved conclusively that Maori have as much chance of being elected as anyone else. Brian
Enough is Enough. The Maori’s want control of everything. How about 1 vote per person regardless of race. I do not care who gets into parliament as long as they look after the whole county and not one small section of it Cherryl
Totally agree with Barry Soper’s comments on this issue. Philip
I suspect a good number who voted for Peters was on the basis that he would carry out his promise to get rid of our parallel society. Maori & everyone else. Get rid of the racial seats. David
Should have happened years ago. Barry
Maori are well represented in all political parties, no need for selective treatment frank
Bolger to blame for current situation. Bolger overulled the Electoral Commission recommendation they be abolished when NZ changed to MMP. Chris
Maori were never this first here and have never been a race of people the name was given to a group of diifferent people arriving here. Ian
One nation, one voice. Karen
We are one people. All New Zealanders should have same voting rights Terry
They are well past their use-by date and the purpose for which they were established in teh first place. They only serve to keep us divided and seperate. Brenda
There are no sensible reasons for continuing with them. Rob
They are well past their use by date, and are not necessary Hugh
sooner the better!! Eddie
Very good commentary on why they should be abolished George
There are already more Maori members of parliament proportional to their percentage of the population so there is no longer any need to provide any form race based privilege here. Brian
They are past their use by date. There should only be one electoral roll in N.Z no separatism & only New Zealanders in parliament ‘not self serving descendants of a prehistoric race. Allen
We are all the same Richard
No longer needed John
Stop apartheid now! Put a halt to this creeping communism where we no longer are allowed an opinion, told what and how to think and do Anne
They are a gift to Labour. They should have been abolished with the introduction of MMP. Willy
We are well represented now, it is all about Maori, time for a change. Graeme
Recognising the average so-called Maori has only a small proportion of Maori blood, Maori seats have passed their use-by-date and are, in fact, racist and separatist. Graeme
These seats are an anachronism and an insult toour so-called “democracy”. Bring on the referendum! Andrew
Race based parliamentary representation has no basis in a modern society. Is is ‘racism’ at its worst and contributes to divisions in NZ society, not adding to it. This especially if the definition of being Maori is now ‘if you feel like one’. It is further nonsense for Maori to be able to choose at to either being on the Maori or the General Roll. Maori are already over represented in Parliament at this time, making the Maori seat concept even more ludicrous. The Chairman of the Royal Commission on Electoral Reform that recommended MMP also voted to abolish the Maori seats as they were ‘racist’. This was an honest stake in the ground by the Chairman of the Commission, the fair and liberal thinking the late Sir John Wallace Hylton
They should have been abolished after the first 5 years as was the plan. Get rid of them … and get rid of unelected maoris that have been put on council seats as well. Des
Racist Eric
It is racist! Abolish them. Tom
Let’s finally try for equality. Terry
All eligible NZ citizens should have the the same voting rights.. NZ might actually pull more together if all race based items were made equal. Norm
Every individual in NZ should be treated equal. There should be no race based privileges. Peter
Time to stop race based privileged seats for Maori. It’s way overdue!! Kevin
Because it is racism, if they deserve a seat then work for it. Joe
The Maori seats have to go Neil
Its time we collectively stood up & demanded the clowns in Wellington who are meant to represent us, to have a binding referendum on them Rex
They were supposed to be only a temporary measure when introduced! Bruce
All for one for all Terry
They are a continuing insult to Maori who are well represented in Parliament without this crutch. Mike
If the seats were to be entrenched then to be eligible for the Maori roll or a Maori seat candidate a person should be genetically at least 50% Maori. Alan
Abolish! They don’t need them. Kate
Long overdue!! Abolish them now and get rid of race-based politics. Tony
No longer any need for them and it is about time that Maori became an integral part of NZ society Michael
Well past their use by date. Allan
They favour a minority race Garry
These are an insult to us all. We are presumed to be an intelligent society so what on earth do we need special seats for Maori. Maori themselves make no particular use of them as Maori seats in any event except to castgate the rest of us. They are divisive and a nonsense in a modern Society. Any good government would get rid of them. Steve
It is time we had a proper definition of what a Maori is . It is generally accepted that there are no pure bread Maori left and as time goes on there will be lees and less people of Maori heritage . Why then entrench states for people who have only a smidgen of Maori blood ? Jock
There enough maori representation in parliament now. Graeme
They are racist Cutty
and at Local Council level as well Apartheid\Racism works both ways Leslie
Absolute NO to entrenching Maori Seats. these seats are no a right they are an apartheid aberration and need the whole country to vote a specific binding mandate, not an advisory mandate leaving it to politians and whips but a binding mandate. If the provisions of Hobson are to be changed (distorted) every Citizen needs to approve by majority. We certainly cannot trust List MPs with this vital provision. Richard
Well past their use by date. Paul
We are and have to be ONE people if we are to retreat from and avoid further effects of separatism aka tribalism along with division eternally, in this country Dick
Long past their use-by date, these seats are a sign that we have a race-based electoral system and must go and NOW! Roger
Any Maori seat or position is to me very racist. If we had white seats or positions of any sort there would be hell to pay!!! John
The Maori seats are a corruption of democracy but this government through climate change nonsense wants to get rid of rid of democracy Stalin killed 20m people setting up his socialst system Michael
Sooner the better for all Kiwis. Alan
They have out served their needs. We need to get away from any race or ethnic privilege. New Zealand for all New Zealander’s Peter
The current situation s an anomaly David
Maori have opportunity to enter parliament by normal process, as can be seen by current parliament makeup Anthony
I am against racism in any way, shape or form. This includes racism against white people. John
These were designed to be abolished 140 years ago. Gerfh
Isn’t it about time we stop acting like a British Colony in the 1800s, move into the 21st century, and act like an independent nation? Please? Pavel
The Maori seats should have been abolished long ago. It is the fault of gutless politicians that they are still here, dividing our Parliament by race.  Ronald
Separatism has no place in NZ. The sooner everyone realises that the better! Matthew
No No No to Maori seats. Andrew
The real question is can Winston Peters be trusted to pull this off or will he just ensure the Maori seats are entrenched. He lied at the election when he said a referendum on the seats was a bottom line issue. Is he lying now? Jim
No to the Maori seats. No to racial division. No to tribalism. If NZ wants to move forward, all of those things should be removed. Betty