Friday, May 09, 2003

Maori bashing for fun and profit

In calling for the abolition of the Maori seats, Bill English is attempting to appeal to the redneck vote... at the same time he is addressing a problem that really doesn't need fixing.

He is correct in pointing out that the Maori seats are an anachronism however a large number of Maori have decided that this is the way that they wish to be represented in parliament. In fact since the introduction of MMP more Maori have chosen to enrol on the Maori roll increasing the number of Maori seats from four to seven.

More importantly, because of the nature of the MMP system, the Maori seats do not actually have any affect on who gets to put their bums on the treasury benches. They ensure that an important minority group always has a voice in parliament without affecting anyone else. So why get rid of them? Ideological purity? Wanting to appear tough on Maori? Neither of these are particularly good reasons when it comes down to it.

National would do better to address some of the genuine problems that exist with the way we deal with the Treaty of Waitangi rather than indulging in pointless window dressing.