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Speech: Tamihere - Broken Promises - One Nation - Two Classes Of Citizen

E aku rau rangatira, ngā karangaranga maha, tēnei ka mihi.

Tēnei mokopuna nā Porou Ariki, nā Tūtāmure, e tuohu ana i runga i te whakaiti mō tēnei hōnore kua taka mai ki au; kia tū hei māngai mōhau ki roto o Tāmaki Makaurau mō te Paati Maori.

E te iwi, kua tae te wā kia tahuri mai tātau ki tō tātau taha Maori.

Me kōkiri tātau i roto i te kotahitanga mō te oranga o wā tātau tamariki mokopuna te take.

Tahuri mai ki tō whakapapa. Tukuna mā Maori a Maori e kōrero.

Tukuna mā te mana motuhake tātau e kawe. Tukuna kia kawea tātau i Te mana nui o te Tiriti o Waitangi ki roto i te whare mīere.

Broken promises - One Nation - Two classes of citizen

180 years ago this year, Māori across Aotearoa signed the Treaty of Waitangi. The nation building moment that saw 2000 non-Māori come together to negotiate with over 100,000 Māori. Māori held the upper hand at the signing of the treaty and our sovereignty was never ceded away. And that's why the Māori party is not a race based party but an Indigenous party based on the bedrock constitution of this country, the Treaty of Waitangi. It is the only party that can without fear or favour advocate Maori matters.

The three simple articles acknowledged: Article 1; that the crown would be granted custodianship. At no time did this mean ownership. Article 2; that for the avoidance of all doubt, Māori retained total Rangatiratanga, total control and ownership of their lands and all other assets. Article 3: Asserts that Māori must have equality of opportunity and equality of treatment under the custodianship principle of the treaty.

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There was talk and debate at the time of the signing of the treaty about wairuatanga and faith. All Māori accept the right of all Iwi, hapū and whanau to practice the faith they see fit, and to that extent we rely on our whanaungatanga to deeply respect others’ rights to practice their faith as they see fit.

One hundred and eighty years from the signing of this constitutional document we ask ourselves, have the promises set out in that treaty been met by the Crown? I put it to you that the treaty allowed for the evolution of our nation, but instead of having one law for all and one cohesive and connected society, in 2020 New Zealand there are now two classes of citizen. First class white, second class brown.

We are all New Zealanders but we are all not the same. In light of a Prime Minister who talks about closing the poverty gap, who talks about wellbeing, the Labour Party, the National Party, the Green Party, the New Zealand First Party, the Act Party are a disgrace as to the upholding of standards, ethics, honour, good faith and just plain fairness in overseeing the entrenchment of one nation but two classes of citizen. So what does a snap shot of one nation but two classes of citizen look like?

Every statement I intend to make is evidence of the existence of two classes of citizen – first class white second class brown. The facts cannot be denied, they cannot be rejected and that makes their existence totally reprehensible, totally unacceptable. Across the whole of government, without digging too deeply around matters of justice, there is one law for white folk and one law for brown folk.

Let’s have a look at justice

· Regardless of socio economic status, Māori are four times more likely to be multiply charged. · They are 7 times more likely to be incarcerated.

· They are 9 times more likely to be remanded in custody than a white man from the same socio economic background.

· Regardless of the charge, Māori are penalised with longer sentences and with less beneficial sentencing options than Pakeha. Let’s have a look at health.

Life expectancy

· Māori die on average seven years earlier than non-Māori.


· Māori are two-and-a-half times more likely to die from diseases that are preventable with timely and effective health care.

· Māori self-rate themselves as having poor health 2.2 times more than non-Māori have.

· Māori were experiencing 1.9 times more racial discrimination than non-Māori Mortality

· Mortality as a result of chronic lower respiratory diseases are 2.8 times more in Māori than non-Māori.


· Māori are more than three times likely to be hospitalised, as well as die because of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

· Māori suffer from diabetes almost two times more than non-Māori.


· Māori have higher rates of registration for cancer than non-Māori.

· Mortality as a result of all cancers are 1.7 times more likely in Māori than nonMāori.

· Lung Cancer is 3.6 time higher in Māori

· Breast, cervical and lung cancer registration is higher for Māori women than nonMāori.

· The rate of death for Māori is twice as high in breast cancer.

· Four times higher in cervical cancer.

· Five times more in lung cancer.


· The Māori suicide rate in 2019 increased from 23.72 to 28.23 per 100,000.

· Māori males were about 1.5 times as likely as non-Māori males to be hospitalised for intentional self-harm

· Māori females were more than twice as likely as non-Māori females to commit suicide Let’s have a look at housing.

· Of the 13, 996 who in September applied for social housing 47% were Māori.

· A further 2,901 (41%) applied for a transfer from one house to another.

· In 1976, Māori home ownership was at 52%. · In 2019, that dropped by a staggering 20% to have Māori home ownership at 32%. Let’s have a look at eduction.

· Māori are 13 points behind non-Māori (79.1%) when it comes to obtaining school qualifications.

· Of the 76,000 15-24 year olds not engaged in employment, education or tertiary training 30,000 are Māori who have few options – apart from level entry to gangs or the criminal justice system. Let’s have a look at work opportunities.

· Māori in employment represent only 12.0% of total national employment

· Māori are over-represented in the unemployed - 28.1% or 36,800

· And underutilised (79,000 or 23.5%) categories with nearly a third of youth ‘not in employment, education and training' (NEET).

· Māori have higher proportion of workers employed in lower-skilled occupations, and in industries particularly vulnerable to changes in technology and economic cycles (eg manufacturing, wholesale and retail trade and construction).

· The Māori unemployment rate (10.8%) remains the highest and well above the national unemployment rate (4.9%).

· The Māori unemployment rate is particularly high for youth (20.4%) and women (12.0%).

When your people, after taking into account all of the above, are living life under the constant pressure of anxiety and stress and are only one incident away from the whanau tipping over through the loss of a job, or one domestic violence issue, or one visit from a crown agency just waiting for Māori failure, or one alcohol and addiction incident. Within these whanau there is no resilience. It has been beaten out of them and they merely become a feeding frenzy for a state agencies. There is an old saying, that when poverty walks in the door, love goes out the window. A third of our families are living on benefits and another 40% can be deemed to be the working poor. First fired last hired. In a constant search for stability, that they are never meant to achieve. Always judged, always put down.

Poverty often plays out by being internalised into the impoverished community. So Māori difficulties whether they are from violence, petty theft, to having nowhere else to go but into crime to try and make ends meet is internalised. This is the politics of poverty playing out. We have become numbed that this is our new normal. We have grown to accept the unacceptable. The political parties that have had all the power in this country over the last 180 years have treated us with constant disdain.

Over 40 years, I have tried all sorts of avenues and tactics to change the normalisation of the abnormal. With the election of a Labour led government with 13 Labour Māori MPs, I thought we could finally achieve change. I have been a member of only one party – the Labour Party – given my grandfather and father’s total commitment.

The day though, that all 13 of Labour’s Māori MPs have been silenced, and that the only policy programme that can change the difficult position we’re in, is now being destroyed by stealth - by a Māori minister with the support of his Māori caucus and being endorsed 100% in these activities by the Prime Minister - means that change can only come by, through and for Māori by liberating ourselves.

This was the event that triggered my standing for the Māori Party.

That sense of freedom and liberation that sense of clarity, that sense of purpose is one of the most invigorating happenings in my life. We must always look to redeem our position, make good where we have gone wrong and my continued support of the Labour Party, my continued belief that the goodness in white folk would shine through in retrospect was one of my greatest mistakes.

I hope for my children and grandchildren that they learn deeply from the mistakes of their grandfather and father and that they live a life proud in just being Māori. That they live a life where they care nothing for the views of non-Māori if those views continue to make them second class citizens in their own land.

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