To quote from NRT - "...the hikoi has made it clear that an Auckland which excludes Maori will have electoral consequences."
This concept of excluding Maori intrigues me. It's cropping up in various news media, in statements from people who emailed in to Morning Report this morning, in interviews I've watched. But whereabouts in any of the proposals is it written that Maori will be excluded? There's been a lot of vitriol poured out accompanied by claims that Maori will have no voice if guaranteed seats are left out. Excuse me, but you do still get to vote, right?
In the same submission read out on the radio this morning, the submitter called for equality and quoted the Treaty of Waitangi as granting all Maori full rights as British subjects. Which to me says that they[*] have the same right to a vote as I do, and through this the same right of representation. But where does it say that there is a greater right of representation? Because I believe that's what guaranteed seats provides for.
[*] I actually feel somewhat odd using the concept of they/them and me, because as far as I'm concerned, I'm a New Zealander. And so is anyone who has Maori ancestry. Can we get over this them and us thing already? Apparently not, because a vocal section of the population seem to think that they want to be treated differently, and to have different rules applied to them.
For the record, when the elections come around, the race of the candidates isn't actually a consideration in my mind. Are they going to be good at their job, and serve the people well? (I'd love to say that I've found candidates who meet these criteria, but as yet I'm still looking. Still, one has to pick the best of the options presented). And those candidates should be there to represent everyone in the area they represent (however that area is determined) - Maori, Pakeha, Pacific Islanders, Asians...and New Zealanders. Not just one group. But whatever ancestry of the candidate, if they are one who has spoken in favour of this apartheid regime that some citizens seem to want, then I'm not voting for them.