GUEST BLOG: Willie Jackson – Simon Bridges and being Māori


The elevation of Simon Bridges to National Party leader has sparked some of the most stupid comments that I’ve seen in recent years. Be very clear – there is absolutely no doubt about Simon Bridges’ whakapapa (or Paula Bennett’s, for that matter) he is Maori.

The argument is not about whakapapa, the argument should be, and must be, whether or not he will adopt pro-Māori positions.

A question for anyone who reads this is Can anyone recall Simon making a stand for Māori? Has he ever stood up for the reo, whenua, Maori seats, Waitangi Tribunal, is there any kaupapa Maori that Simon has advocated on?

To my knowledge, there has been nothing and that is the worry.

I’m pleased that he is proud of his Maori heritage and I know that some of my Ngati Maniapoto relations are pleased that our tribe now has the first Māori leader of a major political party, so congratulations to him and his whanau.

However the real test will be whether he advocates on his peoples’ behalf.

If he embraces strategies from the National Party that continue to see our people impoverished and destitute, will Ngati Maniapoto and Te Ao Māori continue with their support?

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Well I certainly hope not. The days of us supporting Maori just because they are Māori should be well and truly over. Sometimes, and people might not agree, you would be better off having a pākeha person or anyone for that matter who would advance a pro-Māori agenda.

If people want to support Maori just because they are Māori but would sell you out at the drop of a hat, then good on them, but I’ll never be one of those people.

Meanwhile, good luck Simon you’re gonna need it.


  1. Sometimes having a “pro” agenda is not enough – as a woman I have seen lots of men with a pro-women agenda flake at the first hurdle when they have to give up something. As a person who has mobility issues I am constantly being told that I am well catered for in society. If you struggle to walk 100 metres then the fact that the door of a pool is “only 150 metres away from the disabled carpark” means it may as well be on the moon – you can’t use the facility no matter how much the planners talk at you. I think people who are under represented need people who listen then act not people who tell you then act. The problem for many people who have a pro Maori agenda this comes from what they have understood rather than from asking what is needed.

  2. Yes Willie your right about some of the silly comments about their Mouldy-ness. However too many NZers do vote for people they like and think they can trust even if they haven’t delivered after 2 terms they give them another term. This is why our country is in such a mess many of those that voted for Jhonkey are still waiting for the brighter future just like the many that are still waiting for Bradford lower power prices.

  3. Speaking of continuing to see Maori impoverished and destitute, have you secured a living wage for those who are to be employed in the tree planting scheme?

    Moreover, when will Labour get around to ensuring the minimum wage is a living wage?

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