Waatea News Column: Brown Wave joins a Labour Red Wave to reshape NZ political landscape


I started 2020 arguing that Māori would be a decisive voting block in this election, but not even I could have hoped for the kind of result we ended with.

Labour Māori voters not only returned 6 of the 7 electorates to Labour, they poured huge numbers into the Labour Party vote in those electorates as well.

Māori voters are the icing on Jacinda’s cake that allows her to rule with an outright majority so Labour MUST listen to those Māori political aspirations.

What else does Willie Jackson who ran the Māori campaign for Labour have to do to get a promotion to Deputy Leader?

The Māori Caucus inside Labour are now the largest and most powerful faction but it wasn’t just a Brown Wave helping rise the Red Wave, there was a clear message sent by Māoridom with the phenomenal success of the Māori Party that an independent political voice for Māori is essential to get those changes in place.

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There have been a host of issues where Labour have let down Māori in favour of State organizations, Oranga Tamarki, the censoring of the Māori voice in the mental health review and the refusal of a Māori Health Agency all highlighted that despite Labour in power, the interests of the Ministries still trumps the aspiration of Māori.

The simple truth is that with this win, there are no more excuses for Māori aspiration to be held back.

It’s time to deliver.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. Yes your right Martyn many Maori are sick of playing second fiddle particularly with immigration increasing. Now if our people had voted more strategically we could have got more Maori in parliament. But at least the wero has been put out there and Labour know they must deliver. I don’t want to take any thing away from Labours success but there are some very hard decisions that need to be made and some of these decisions might not be very popular. But strong leadership requires a leader to make those hard calls.

  2. Another great thing that is overshadowed is the representation of our non-maori minority. we currently have a high number of Pacifica representation, 1- Chinese born, 1- Indian born, 1- Srilankan born, 1- African born, 1- Dutch MPs in the labour caucus. Finally, the govt looks like the people it represents.


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