Tuesday, February 24, 2004


Today I was listening to Don Brash being interviewed on BfM, and when asked to give an example of a Maori "special privilege", he trotted out Ngai Tahu scholarships. For those unfamiliar with his talking points, he used the same story in the Herald the other day, so I'll quote it from there:

I got a very good email yesterday, for example, from a guy who is a student at Otago University flatting with four other friends.

He said: "I have predominantly European ancestry but some Ngai Tahu ancestry. One of the other four people in the flat also has some Maori ancestry". He said: "By chance the two of us come from the wealthiest families in the flat. The other three are pure European". But, he said, "We both have special scholarships to assist Maori". He said: "My European flatmates are angry and resent that fact that they are scrimping and are having difficulty getting by whereas we from quite affluent families get these scholarships".

What's wrong with this story? Simply the fact that these scholarships have nothing to do with the government. They are funded entirely out of Ngai Tahu's own pocket. But why should Don Brash let that get in the way of stirring up racial disharmony?