Waatea News Column: The 5 big political issues for Maori in 2019


2019 was a difficult year politically with the promise of much but the delivery of little.

Here were the 5 big political issues for Māori in 2019.

1 – Oranga Tamariki

The enormity of weaponising CYFs uplift power into an unaccountable Government Agency with white saviour complex was always going to bode ill for Māori. The footage of OT staff lying and manipulating a mother into abducting her new born infant was horrifying and demanded immediate answers, that the Prime Minister and Minister in charge of the Department have still not seen the footage suggests that urgency has been ignored.

2 – Ihumātao

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A new generation of activists are openly questioning the pittance that has been paid in the past as compensation and see that payment as a continuation of the initial injustice rather than an attempt to heal. This new consciousness has ignited protests like Ihumātao and reset the debate. Settler NZ’s economic stability is built upon the right to steal indigenous lands without ever paying for them so this new wave of protest will be met with a reactionary fear in 2020 if a deal is not made quickly.

3 – Māori mental health

Earlier this year Māori mental health experiences were cut from a final report into the sector because the criticism was too damning to accept. The deeply flawed logic made here seems to sum up the Māori experience in all sections of Government policy, when that policy is found to be deeply culturally flawed, Māori are asked to articulate their experience, they do so critically and their experience gets white washed by Wellington bureaucrats.

4 – Health

There were deeper issues within health as continuing poor stats demanded Waitangi Tribunal intervention. At some point a debate needs to be had around some health services being directly run by Māori.

5 – Arming Police

Statistically Māori are the ones who get shot by Police so the sudden ratcheting up of armed cops and a spike in shootings is of desperate concern within many communities.

In 2020, these 5 issues will come to a head and the Government is going to have to prove that Māori were right to give Labour all their political representation.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. 6. Maori Representation MP’s M.I.A.

    A few individual Maori Caucus MP’s have shown their class and have (by their performance) put themselves ahead of the pack. Peeni Henare is well out in front, followed by, its hard to say with all of the “White Noise!”

    But the real problem is … This vacuous celebratory superficial government and population arent into solving any of the important issues that can heal & advance society. Sad really.

    Its all literally “White-Noise” to them.
    Whats more important to this government and ‘followers’ is image, EV’s (that increases mining production in impoverished nations, child slave labour), and Green Wash’n Capitalism where you can offset you and your families 4000 kgs/per person of CO2 emissions flight to the UK & back for a few bucks and still believe your contributing to Saving the Planet!

    The worlds been hijacked by vanity and individualism where you can opt-in or out of social issues and crises as and when you please, whichever cause makes you feel good about yourself, matters.

    Time for the Maori to send out eviction notices! 🙂

  2. Goodbye biodiversity, goodbye free natural environment for fishing and gathering water, and hello more trucks on the road! We all know that when it comes to big multinational business, that Maori are shafted!

    Don’t worry about sustainability and preventing more waste!

    Kaipara iwi join landfill protest

    North Auckland communities petition Parliament to stop new landfill

    Water rights given away too…

    Appeals against Chinese water bottling plant dismissed

    Let’s talk about Māori and fresh water shall we?

    Are Maori going to put up with just being a ceremonial part of NZ or are they going to fight with environmentalists to ensure that the natural environment in NZ is not sold off to big business, polluted and destroyed for the next generation!








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