“Who is making these decisions and why is Nelson doing it?”
Rt. Hon Winston Peters
Leader NZ First
Date: November 9 2011
Time: 12 Noon
Venue: Age Concern
9 The Octagon, Dunedin
Today let’s talk about democracy.
And a quote from Thomas Jefferson – third president of the United States and the author of the declaration of independence.
He said “A democracy is nothing more than mob rule where 51 percent of the people may take away the rights of the other 49 percent.”
That might sound a bit extreme for a peaceful, tolerant country like New Zealand but it is has been happening under our noses.
Back in 2008, National forged a coalition with the Maori Party and Act.
From this union the Auckland Super City was created and it's the biggest council in New Zealand or Australia.
To say it has been a bit of a shambles is an understatement and emerging from this shambles is a threat to democracy as we know it.
This threat takes the form of unelected, appointed members sharing responsibility with elected members of the council.
This situation is being repeated in local authorities all around the country.
We are referring to a thing called a Maori advisory board.
The danger about this situation is that they are not advisors at all,
They are members of the various committees with voting rights.
It doesn’t end there.
The ratepayers are legally required to meet the ‘reasonable costs’ of the Maori members in the performance of their functions and powers.
And these guys don’t come cheap!
If this is happening in the biggest local government authority in Australasia then all around provincial New Zealand the scene has been set for this to be repeated many times.
The end result will be a nation with a dual system of local government.
Some council representatives will be elected, some will not.
The rest of New Zealand does not care much about what happens north of the Bombay Hills as a rule but the alarm bells are starting to ring where democracy is important.
Why is it that Maori could not get elected to the new Auckland council?
Why is it they have to be “appointed” and given the rights of elected councillors.
Fifteen years after the introduction of MMP (whatever you think about it), we are surely heading into a system more suited to a tinpot African state than “God's Own”.
Remember, the commission, which gave rise to MMP, said that over time this new system would demonstrate to all New Zealanders, including Maori, that there was no need for the separate franchise based on race.
If two Pacific Islanders can get elected to the Auckland Super City why couldn’t two Maori?
If Ming Foon can be re-elected countless times as Mayor of Gisborne, why can’t a Maori?
Peter Chin served two terms as Mayor of Dunedin. And before him Mayor Sukki Turner.
If you look at the Porirua City Council you can see a true mixture of New Zealanders – all elected – and Maori well represented.
My brother Jim Peters led the Northern Regional Council for many years.
So the answer is that Maori can and have been elected to local government.
And under MMP there are more MP’s with Maori in their heritage than the Maori vote would justify on a percentage basis.
So why create a separate system of government?
Deep down the Maori Party does not believe in democracy, and nor do their Parliamentary fellow travelers on this issue, National, Labour and the Greens.
Co-leader Pita Sharples said during the arguments over Maori representation in Auckland that democracy was not working for Maori.
He said: "There is a democratic process but it's not working for Maori, they are outside of that system."
He said the principle of one person one vote would not give Maori representation.
This is utter nonsense and an insult to Maori.
It is part of a widespread movement in which radical Maori and Treaty travellers specialise in guilt tripping white liberals.
They portray Maori as the perpetual victims of colonisation and the only treatment for these unfortunate victims is the soothing application of taxpayer funded therapy.
And lots of it.
Appointing Maori to these undemocratic positions is sending the wrong message to other New Zealanders.
Just last week the Nelson City Council decided to have a separate, unelected group of Maori on their Council as well. There was no consultation with their rate payers on this.
So New Zealanders must be asking themselves how we can ever progress as a nation if one group is treated differently and operates under a separate set of laws.
This is not a cultural issue.
All New Zealanders owe it to Maori that their language and culture survive and flourish.
It is an essential part of our social structure.
Likewise it is important that serious past grievances be addressed and settled in a fair manner.
Other fair minded New Zealanders agree with this and also with granting customary rights where these are appropriate.
But to flout the democratic process by appointing a select few Maori to positions of governance and then be forced to pay handsomely for this privilege leaves a sour taste.
How many people do you know who have gone to Australia – or are thinking of going – and one of the reasons they give is “I am sick of all this Treaty b......t?
What they are sick of is not the Treaty, but the exploitation of the fictitious Treaty “principles” which are so flexible they can be adapted to suit any occasion.
We have tried to get an accurate legal interpretation of these Treaty principles for many years.
Although they are actually written into law there is no interpretation.
They are there to exploit and for spurious judgements to be issued from the courts as the judiciary makes its own interpretation.
The Treaty of Waitangi is a founding document for the nation of New Zealand.
It is not a strictly legal document. It is a statement of intent and it is a well meaning statement of intent.
The colonisation of New Zealand from the British Isles was relatively benign.
If you look at the colonisation methods of the Spanish, the Portugese and the Dutch and other European nations, and compare them with the British, the Maori were treated with kid gloves.
And of course the Maori were not averse to giving their colonisers a good clip over the ear from time to time and chopping down the odd flagpole.
(By the way it was Hone Heke and not Hone Harawera who wielded the axe! His mother might have been there though!)
There ARE times when there is and should be different treatment for different ethnic groups in this country.
For example, in the summer months there are campaigns aimed at the descendants of the Celtic races to get them protected against harmful exposure to the sun.
Likewise, Maori are targeted for Type 2 diabetes because it can be a bigger problem for them.
Maori needs are like everyone else. They need jobs, proper housing and healthcare and better education.
Like a lot of people, many Maoris are struggling to survive in this harsh market driven economy and that is where their leadership should be directing their efforts.
Not one Maori at the bottom of the heap will benefit from all this nonsense peddled by a small elitist group of Maori backed by meddling governments.
To suggest that we should be governed at a local level by non-elected groups whose only qualification is their race goes against all the principles of democracy.
This is where I heark back to Thomas Jefferson and his quote that majority rule can turn into mob rule and take away the rights of the minority.
Not one political party in Parliament attracted a vote of more than fifty percent at the 2008 general election.
However a collection of four parties achieved a majority and to appease a small minority of that governing coalition, the rights of New Zealanders to elect their local representatives is being taken away.
In return, racially chosen individuals are being appointed.
It seems almost unreal that a country like New Zealand with a relatively harmonious history of race relations that can head down the path of separate development.
Once it is approved and started at government level, it seeps right through the system.
Given the curent situation, our children will soon be taught in schools that it is right and proper for one race to be separate from the rules of democracy.
And that the taxpayers and ratepayers have to finance this separate development.
Already some Maori tribes are describing themselves as nations and want to live as separate states within New Zealand.
They want statehood, self governance and self determination, all financed by the taxpayers.
It is not general known that a new constitution is being drawn up for New Zealand.
You don’t know a lot about it because it is all being done behind closed doors.
The Treaty of Waitangi is the cornerstone of this constitution.
Not a universal declaration of human rights for everyone but a declaration of special rights for less than 12 percent of the population.
And none of that 12 percent is a full blooded Maori.
And don’t forget that National and the Maori Party sneaked off in the dead of night to sign another declaration at the United Nations.
That declaration also favours the minority over the majority.
It all starts somewhere and once it has started it becomes hard to stop.
Ask the Nelson rate payers.
At some point in the future it is inevitable that people wake up and realise what is going on.
When that day arrives, I fear there will be serious conflict in the streets.
There will certainly be campaigns of civil disobedience.
And the tragedy is that ordinary Maori people are not clamouring for a separate system.
Their biggest achievements and their major social advances have resulted from the efforts of enlightened people in past governments and in government departments.
Many of these enlightened people were not Maori.
During the second world war the wartime government of the day had grave concerns about sending Maori to the battlefront because they feared for the survival of the race.
They worried about the casualty rate. In the event Maori went and served with great distinction but my point is they were not trying to set up a different system, they were trying to protect Maori.
New Zealand First stands firmly on the principle of one law for all and one person one vote.
The people of this nation once stood proudly for egalitarianism – for equality and a fair go for everyone.
Now we are heading in the direction of George Orwell's “Animal Farm”. You will recall the devious pigs in that novel.
They betrayed their fellow animals. They posted a sign on the wall of the barn.
It said “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others”.
That is my point here today. We are into a situation where we are supposed to be all equal, but sadly, some of us are now more equal than others.
National, Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party have all encouraged this inequality, this separatism, this divisiveness.
There is one other point I want to repeat today.
After this election New Zealand First is not going with National.
New Zealand First is not going with Labour either.
New Zealand First is not going with the Greens or the Maori Party.
There is too much at stake.
Do you know the Greens policy on the Treaty?
Here it is …”We are committed to honouring Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the living constitutional document of Aotearoa.”
They also want a separate Maori justice system.
They are another branch of the Maori Party.
We could not live with that!
How can you go in to alliances with political parties with agendas as dangerous as this?
So all those people lumping us in with groups and making us part of some fictitious coalition should stop right now.
MMP is criticized by those who believe they have been born to rule but since this system was introduced, the party with the most votes has always formed the government.
We believe that the party that gets the most votes should try to form the next government.
But there’s one condition – the one safeguard that voters have – the one get out of jail card.
And that is do not let any political party in New Zealand govern alone under any circumstances. It is too dangerous!
Even in the National Party there are those that believe there needs to be checks and balances – that going it alone is dangerous for New Zealand.
The results of this election could be a lot closer than the so-called experts are picking.
Don’t forget that 17 days is a long time in politics.
Today’s speech is just one more example of why you need an effective Opposition in Parliament. When do hear of all these things happening in the last three years. We have the credentials to be that effective Opposition.
We have the record. Our CV is second to none when it comes to holding the government of the day to account.
We will oppose any plan to privatise and sell New Zealand, and create a separate state within a state – all based on some mythical element of the Treaty of Waitangi.
The real battle of this election will start after November 26 when the enormity of the plans for New Zealand will see the light of day.
That’s when you will need New Zealand First. That’s when you will need the political street fighters on your side.
Ladies and Gentlemen, the position of Opposition is important.
It is not powerless. Used wisely a party can deliver on its election policies. Remember between 2002 and 2005 New Zealand First made many significant policy gains from being Opposition.
Used properly there is power in being the peoples’ voice.
The architects of democracy designed it to act this way.
New Zealand First stands for a fair go for all.
New Zealand First stands for New Zealanders first. All New Zealanders
Give us your PARTY VOTE and we’ll give you your voice back.