Waatea News Column: Whoever wins the election, when are Māori going to be given a real agency?


Whoever wins the election, there is a renaissance within Māoridom that refuses point blank to co-operate any longer with a system that is structurally biased against them.

Black Lives Matter has lit a cultural fuse that won’t extinguish when it comes to directly challenge the status quo.

Māori are disproportionately represented in every negative social statistic and that demands radical reform, not more of the same.

At the root of the issue is giving Māori the agency, and resources, to fund their own social services from health through to housing through to mental health through to education.

New Zealand’s economic success is based on the theft of Māori land and never paying that theft back, as a result, the promise of the Treaty is crushed.

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Repairing the damage from that theft requires more than the present solutions.

One fear of giving Māori the agency and resource to run their own social services is that it erodes State responsibility to ensure Māori needs are being met in the public services provided.

The way forward needs to be a hybrid creation where public services lift in terms of ensuring Māori outcomes WHILE ALSO giving Māori the resource and agency to run their own health and education kaupapa.

The next Government must get its head around this new reality and center the debate on results.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. The British came here and basically beat the Maori in the land wars and then overwhelmed them with vast numbers of immigrants who settled the land and changed it into what we have today . Those that keep saying the land was stolen perpetuate the myth that Maori had any choice . Their culture and lauguage should be honored and there is no excuse for discrimination but the Maori will never grow in success if they keep using the so called theft of their land as an excuse to not achieving.

  2. Yes having just returned from the King country/Waikato I get upset when I see how much of our Whenua/land was confiscated and who ended up with it all, not us, and most of it confiscated under the Rebellious Act.

  3. I see Trev you know nothing about the detrimental effects and impact of colonisation, its not just about the theft of land, what about our entire culture that has been and continues to be trampled on. You should know aren’t you a Pom?

    • If you look at my piece you will see I said culture and language should be respected and while it is not perfect there is much more respect for things Maori than there was when I arrived in 1972 . There is a saying I read once that you cannot go forward if you are always looking back. Can you answer the question where to from here and what needs to be done to improve the out look for the Maori over the next 50 years . Now is a good time because the old normal has gone along with the dreams of so many due to the virus


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