Parliament

Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 

Entrenchment of Maori seats is good for democracy

Entrenchment of Maori seats is good for democracy - Maori Party

Te Ururoa Flavell, Treaty spokesperson 
                        30 May 2008
EMBARGOED to 1.00am Friday 30 May 2008

Maori seats will remain until Maori want them abolished, and that is the aim of the Maori Party’s Private Members’ Bill to entrench the Maori seats, says Maori Party Treaty spokesperson Te Ururoa Flavell.

“The Maori seats are a legacy of the Treaty relationship in our constitution, guaranteeing Maori an independent voice in Parliament,” he said.

"Maori seats should be entrenched in the same way that general seats are, until our constitution is restructured on the basis of the Treaty. At that point, our people might have another look at the need for separate seats.

“A recent Business Round Table report tries to rein in the resurgent political power of tangata whenua. It recommends abolishing the Maori seats out of pure self-interest, and definitely not for the good of Maori,” said Mr Flavell.

“This report regurgitates the same old legalistic and ethno-centric arguments that have been used to deny Maori representation since 1840.

“It quotes the Royal Commission into the Electoral System of 20 years ago, which thought putting Maori individuals high on party lists would make separate Maori seats unnecessary.

“But tangata whenua opposed that, because the ‘Maori representatives’ would be selected by the parties, and disciplined to represent the party, not the iwi,” said Mr Flavell. “The Parliament agreed with the Waitangi Tribunal that Maori seats are a constitutional issue not a ‘race-based special privilege’, so the seats remain today.

“The Round Table says the Maori seats are outdated, and Maori have achieved proportional representation without the need for Maori seats. Utter rubbish! Without the seven Maori electorate MPs, Parliament would not be proportional.

“Then they say Labour’s domination of the Maori seats leaves other parties with little incentive to appeal to Maori voters. Where have they been the last five years? It’s the Maori Party that’s heading for a clean sweep of the Maori seats.

“The arrival of the Maori Party has really rejuvenated Maori interest in politics,” said Mr Flavell. “A strong and independent Maori voice in the Parliament guarantees Maori views are heard, if not heeded, on all issues. That’s good for our people, it’s good for democracy – and it’s the last thing the Business Round Table wants,” he said.

“Luckily we don’t have to worry about this report, because we are getting busy gearing up to win the seven Maori seats in October,” he said.


ends

© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Back Again: Government Approves TPP11 Mandate

The Government has approved a negotiating mandate for Trans-Pacific Partnership 11 (TPP11), which will ensure New Zealand businesses remain competitive in overseas markets.

Trade Minister Todd McClay says New Zealand will be pushing for the minimal number of changes possible to the original TPP agreement, something that the remaining TPP11 countries have agreed on. More>>

ALSO:

.

 
 

Gordon Campbell: On Why Labour Isn’t Responsible For Barnaby Joyce

As a desperate Turnbull government tries to treat the Barnaby Joyce affair as a Pauline Hanson fever dream – blame it on the foreigners! We’re the victims of the dastardly New Zealand Labour Party! – our own government has chosen to further that narrative, and make itself an accomplice. More>>

ALSO:

Rail: Greens Back Tauranga – Hamilton – Auckland Service

The Green Party today announced that it will trial a passenger rail service between Auckland, Hamilton and Tauranga starting in 2019, when it is in government. More>>

ALSO:

Housing: Voluntary Rental Warrant Of Fitness For Wellington

Wellington City Council is partnering with the University of Otago, Wellington, to launch a voluntary Rental Warrant of Fitness for minimum housing standards in Wellington, Mayor Justin Lester has announced. More>>

ALSO:

Treaty: Agreement In Principle Signed With Moriori

“The Crown acknowledges Moriori was left virtually landless from 1870, hindering its cultural, social and economic development. The Crown also acknowledges its contribution to the myths that the people of Moriori were racially inferior and became extinct." More>>

ALSO:

Susan Devoy: Call For Inquiry Into State Abuse Reaches UN

Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy is in Geneva and has asked a United Nations committee to urge the New Zealand government to initiate an inquiry into the physical and sexual abuse of children and disabled people held in state institutions. More>>

ALSO:

(Not National): Cross-Party Agreement On Pike River Re-Entry

The commitment was signed this afternoon by the leaders of Labour, United Future, The Maori Party, and the Green Party and, together with the earlier commitment by New Zealand First, means that there is now a Parliamentary majority behind the families’ fight for truth and justice. More>>

ALSO:

Earlier:

 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election