Can Judith Collins Make Don Brash’s ‘Nationhood Souffle’ Rise Twice?

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SEVENTEEN YEARS HAVE PASSED since Don Brash gave his in/famous “Nationhood” speech to the Orewa Rotary Club. On the strength of the sentiments communicated in that address, the Brash-led National Party leapt from a risible 28 percent in the polls to 45 percent. In a single 17-point bound, National was free of the clutches of its crushing 2002 election defeat. Had, National’s chief strategist, Steven Joyce, not played silly-buggers with the Exclusive Brethren Church, there was every chance that 18 months later Brash would have become prime minister.

The question is: Can National’s current leader, Judith Collins, rely upon Brash’s Nationhood Souffle recipe to produce an equally dramatic rise in her party’s fortunes? Or, in the intervening years, has the ideology of “Treatyism” persuaded enough New Zealanders to renounce the ideas which, in 2004, transformed National overnight into a serious electoral contender? More to the point, does Collins share Brash’s unwavering moral commitment to the ”single standard of citizenship” principle at the heart of his “Nationhood” address.

This is not an idle question. If Collins is unable to convince those voters who are either doubtful of, or openly hostile to, the Labour Government’s radical Treatyist agenda, that her opposition is authentic, then she is most unlikely to emulate Brash’s success. Love him or hate him, only the most rabid of his opponents doubted Brash’s sincerity on the “race issue”. Those who voted for him were absolutely certain that, if elected, he would fulfil his promise to remove all references to the Treaty of Waitangi and its ex post facto “principles” from the statute books; and that the Maori seats would, indeed, be abolished. Collins, if she is to capture the support National so desperately needs, must convince both her party, and the public, that the “separatism” she decries must – and will – be stopped in its tracks.

The slightest equivocation on this matter will convince even those who agree with Collins’ basic proposition that she cannot be trusted to see it through. Anything other than a rock-solid guarantee to uphold the core principles of liberal, colour-blind, democracy will only convince her potential supporters that her brave words are hollow: that, when push comes to shove, she, like all the others, will retreat before the relentless criticism of practically the entire political class. Does Collins have what it takes to hold her ground on the “race issue”? Does her caucus? We shall see.

The feeling that National needs to exploit, if it is to return to office in 2023, is the feeling shared by a great many voters that, no matter which party they vote for, the core settings of New Zealand society will not be changed. That the people “in charge” have absolutely no regard for, or interest in, the opinions of what Richard Nixon called “the great silent majority”. Indeed, many Kiwis are now uncertain whether or not their opinions are any longer shared by a majority of their fellow citizens, or whether they – and people who think like them – now constitute a minority of the New Zealand population.

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On the “race issue” and “Treatyism”, this sense of being shut out of the debate is very far from being a figment of their imaginations. The politician most responsible for inserting “the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi” into legislation is the former constitutional law professor-turned-Labour-politician, Sir Geoffrey Palmer. In a paper entitled “Māori, the Treaty and the Constitution” delivered to a Maori Law Review symposium on 12 June 2013, he observed:

“These [legal] developments, and indeed later developments, have meant that substantial grievances of the Māori minority have a good chance of being handled in a principled fashion. Insulation from the ravages of extreme opinion has been achieved. The settlements have become mainstream.”

“The ravages of extreme opinion”. It is difficult to conceive of a phrase that more vividly sums up the way the New Zealand elites view the thoughts and feelings of their less elevated citizens. It would be equally difficult to locate a clearer confirmation of the widely held conviction that nothing ordinary Pakeha New Zealanders might say in relation to the “race issue”, or the Treaty’s place (if any) in this country’s constitutional arrangements, is likely to have the slightest effect upon the conduct of the powers-that-be.

Palmer, himself, confirmed as much in the same address when he stated: “My mail about the Treaty was always adverse and voluminous, but I was not deterred by it.”

What produced that extraordinary 17-point jump in National’s poll-ratings following Brash’s “Nationhood” speech was the electrifying collective conviction that Brash had listened to the opponents of Treatyism, heard their grievances, and was determined to give effect to their wishes.

Nothing mobilises voters faster or more effectively than the belief that, for once, their vote might actually count. Whether it be Dominic Cumming’s invitation to “Take Back Control”, or Donald Trump’s promise to “Make America Great Again”, the idea that a visit to the ballot-box just might make a difference, almost always makes one helluva difference.

Collins’ predicament would be made a great deal easier if she and her team could avail themselves of solid data on New Zealanders’ views about the Treaty of Waitangi and the “race issue” generally. Twenty years ago this was a relatively straightforward process. In the 1990s, for example, one could turn to the reports of the New Zealand Study of Values (NZSV) for a very precise take on the public’s attitude to a whole host of economic, social and political issues.

In a little book entitled New Zealand Politics At The Turn Of The Millennium by Paul Perry and Alan Webster, which was based on these reports, New Zealanders attitudes towards the Treaty of Waitangi were set out very clearly.

In 1998 only 5.4 percent of those questioned believed that the Treaty should be strengthened and given the force of law. A quarter believed that Treaty claims should be dealt with through the Waitangi Tribunal “as it is at present”. Nearly 30 percent believed there needed to be greater limits on Maori claims under the Treaty. And 33.8 percent believed the Treaty should be abolished. Only 16.3 percent of those questioned responded positively to the idea of giving Maori special land and fishing rights to make up for past injustices.

When Don Brash delivered his “Nationhood” speech to those Orewa Rotarians in January 2004, his ideas fell upon fertile ground. We cannot be so sure that Collins’ views on separatism will be equally well-received. The NZSV ceased in 1998. For reasons one can only speculate about, academic interest in acquiring and publishing data on inconvenient public attitudes appears to have declined in the new millennium.

A great many of the New Zealanders who participated in those NZSV surveys more than two decades ago are no longer alive. Judith Collins must, therefore, make a big political bet. Have the numbers relating to the status of the Treaty of Waitangi, and to the “race issue” generally, become more favourable to the Treatyists – or more unfavourable? How many New Zealanders have changed their minds? More importantly, how many of them are willing to bet that National’s leader won’t change hers?

37 COMMENTS

  1. Interesting points and I think the ramming down the throat of local body Maori council wards is a chink in the armour and a catalyst for an area to highlight the growing distrust.

    We all know they’re coming, and like Canute trying to stop the tide, the current debates we know is window dressing from the political left elites to convince themselves that ‘a rigorous consultation period’ has taken place. When the whole process is a foregone conclusion.

    Brash’s stance on ‘one person, one vote’ IMO still resonates. People understand that, it seems just and is fundamentally democratic. And when politicians try to screw the scrum in favour of one team, and the ref is in the pocket of that said team, there is a real mistrust.

    But who will this target? The middle class women will vote for Jacinda til the cows come home. Forgive me but she is relatively Trumpesque in their eyes, and no blunder, election promise failure, unforeseen consequence or illegality will sway them. It goes back to Waitakere Man, who I know Chris has dismissed in the past. These voters are all about giving everyone a fair go. Maori wards, which let’s face will just go to the Maori elite class, just reminds them that not everyone is equal, some are still more equal than others.

    • You do realise, BG, that I am the political commentator who invented the political shorthand “Waitakere Man” way back in 2009? He (and his wife and family) are certainly a powerful electoral force – the importance of which I have never dismissed – quite the reverse in fact.

      I am actually quite proud of recognising the sort of voter who voted for Brexit and Trump a full seven years before Brexit and Trump.

      If you want to see the political future – visit New Zealand.

  2. Oh fuck the issues and fuck all the minutiae, we are a south Polynesian country first and foremost, we have obligation’s to Maori and the Pacific Islanders, as well as to the British Isle descendants,- that’s who we are. Take it or leave it.

    These latest immigrants, from India and China just have to accept that.

    You come here?… you have to accept that. You came here, well, then ,… this what you bargained into. We don’t have to buy into your recent arrivals attitudes and values,- you need to adapt to ours. And that’s the end of of the story. Just like any other country. And its your responsibility to learn up on NZ history and politics,- and not ours to teach you.

    As for Brash?

    Well we’ve all moved on since then. The fact is since well before the 1950’s the Pacific Islanders have been here, – back to the 19th century at least. The Maori even longer. Much, much longer. And its time we honoured that. Its time we honoured and accepted ‘that by the grace of God there go I’. On their good grace and forgiveness.

    Its time that we gave back to those who we stole from, its time we get over our colonial imperial bias and see people as human beings, not merely as obstacles in our self serving way of life.

    • Should I or Shouldn’t I ? (offer a reply).
      Yea fark it, I will.

      “we have obligation’s to Maori and the Pacific Islanders, as well as to the British Isle descendants”
      ABSOFUCKINGLUTELY. Although maybe British Empire descendants might be more honest – plus some of them have witnessed and experienced more harsher effects of colonialism than ‘lil ‘ole NuZUll that punches above its weight ever did. They’re probably better allies than enemas

      “You come here?… you have to accept that. You came here, well, then ,… this what you bargained into”

      Most do accept that.

      What they didn’t accept was being lied to by way of false promises that have often caused them to go into debt they or their families have incurred and which they feel obliged to pay. More often than not, they HAVE to pay.
      They didn’t bargain into that – especially from a country that professes to be open and honest and amongst the least corrupt (overt corruptness). We, (NuZull) like to do our corruption and dishonesty as covertly as possible.
      What they didn’t bargain into either was that WHEN they were told their skills and experience was in short supply in ‘lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight, they’d be expected to be robotic – to simply work eat shit sleep, work eat shit and sleep and that they shouldn’t expect to be in possession of any human quality such as any emotion, or the expectation they should have any sort of relationship with their families – just eat work sleep shit, eat work shit sleep.
      An of course, neither should they have ANY expectation or aspirations those noble savages or british isle descendants have when they swan around the world and do the things ‘lil ‘ole NuZull that punches above its weight do. (2 years or so of RNZ’s calling home is the least of it in providing examples).

      “Take it or leave it”

      Indeed! Most, had they not been lied to, and/or been aware of the unspoken robotic expectations would have left it. There are better options elsewhere, and sadly they even include places we (“us”) see as completely fucked up.

      By the way (that’s BTW), there is never an ‘end of story’ – always just one damn thing after another – good and/or bad depending on your POV (that’s point of view). If you’re a wild katipo, you should know that. It took a while for Francis Fukuyama had to get learnings of that the hard way.

      There’s something you, and @SaveNZ might like to listen to because SaveNZ at least labours under a couple of misconceptions re what various unionists and class-left people are doing and where they stand.
      You can probably skip the first half because she is an example of what WE are allowed to do as we swan around the world, but not what THEY are allowed to expect as fully functioning human beings:

      https://podcasts.apple.com/nz/podcast/new-zealands-temporary-migration-scandal/id1558395118?i=1000518199637

      I don’t really expect you to listen to the 45 minutes or so in full given the “end of story”.

      Suffice to say though that if it ever comes to my being parked up in some Rymancare facility pissing and shitting in a bag, the least of my worries will be whether it’s a Filipino or Mary or Palangi/Pakeha wiping my arse.
      And prior to that, I won’t really give a fark whether it’s a Seth Efriken or Chink or Nargy or Somali that’s shoved that stent up me, OR reached out to my offspring and provided the kindness they received, OR managed the IT systems that support it all, OR whether they started out in some shoddy business management or hairdressing course in NuZull, OR, O R, or whether they had to spend half a lifetime driving bloody taxis around before they were taken seriously ……….

      End of Story? I don’t think so.
      Have a listen tho’. I know its via The Spinoff, but that should embolden you. Could have been worse. It could have been via The Herald, or it could have been the Corduroy Kid asking the questions rather than a reformed Hickey neo-lib.

    • Wild Katipo: “….we have obligation’s….as well as to the British Isle descendants…”

      You’ve lost me. What do you mean by this? Please elaborate.

      “….since well before the 1950’s the Pacific Islanders have been here, – back to the 19th century at least.”

      The very first arrivals were Polynesian, actually. The society we now know as “Maori” developed in the centuries following the arrival of those first Polynesian settlers.

      “Its time that we gave back to those who we stole from….”

      Speak for yourself. Nobody now alive either stole, or was stolen from. No victims, no perpetrators. What you suggest here is that people now alive (Maori and pakeha) are in some way responsible for the actions of their ancestors, or – certainly in my case – somebody else’s ancestors.

      This is the equivalent of the Catholic Church’s former stance of blaming the Jews for the death of Christ. And equally unsupportable.

      We live in a modern, representative, colour-blind democracy: whatever you may think about it, it’s open to all comers. From the very beginning of European settlement, there have been immigrants here from all over the world.

      Fortyish years of neoliberalism and the resulting open borders has given us NZ as it is today: even more immigrants, many very recent. There’s no going back. We are all NZ citizens, no matter how recently-acquired our citizenship.

      Our democracy serves us well, provided it isn’t white-anted by notions of separatism, no matter how well-intentioned the proponents of such notions may be.

      • D’Esterrre – it’s the Crown, not you or me, who perpetrated injustice upon Maori,
        particularly with the taking of land, and any legal and moral obligation rests upon the Crown to rectify this as far as poss – you or me being blamed for it sucks. It’s racism.

        In fact, many of us have far-flung family histories of terrible exploitation and deprivation which has, and can never be righted, and that’s that.

        We do have the opportunity to address past grievances here, and there is no good reason not to, but certainly setting up any apartheid-type systems in the ethnic melting pot which we are now, is a step backwards, and may be hopelessly impractical – my Maori whanau live all over the place, not en masse in reservations with each other.

        • Snow White: “…it’s the Crown, not you or me, who perpetrated injustice upon Maori…”

          Indeed. Certainly not you and me. But individuals acting for the Crown at the time. Nobody now alive, though.

          However: it’s increasingly clear that many people are of the view that “we” does mean “you and me”, along with our contemporaries. I will be forthright here: the people holding this view are pakeha and other non-Maori, who don’t understand history and haven’t thought the issues through. And a cohort of Maori who wish to blame pakeha for everything that’s wrong in their society.

          We see comments from both groups on this blogsite.

          Such people need to wake up their ideas and get acquainted with what’s happened around the world. Attempts to remedy past injustices by visiting fresh injustices upon inoffensive people now alive, who bear no responsibility for said past injustices, never ends well.

          “It’s racism.”

          You’ll be aware that I don’t subscribe to the view that what people think and say can be characterised as racism. But it surely is wrongheaded.

          In recent years, there’s been a rise in resentment and divisiveness in NZ. Elizabeth Rata blames kura kaupapa for fomenting ethnic division. She’s worth a read: when I first read this many years ago, I disagreed with her. Now, with the passage of time, and with recent developments in our society, I’ve been forced to reassess my opinion.
          https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/te-reo-immersion-attacked/S2YEIR2KJG6JLRR2KK7NLJASRE/

          “We do have the opportunity to address past grievances here, and there is no good reason not to…”

          I used to think that too. And I was a vocal supporter of the latest round of Treaty settlements (though not of Palmer’s revisionist “principles”!).

          But further reading and reflection – and debate of the issues with a very smart young relative who was studying this at uni – have again forced me to reassess.

          The most recent round of Treaty settlements aren’t the first “full and final”, and they certainly won’t be the last. This was pointed out by those old enough to remember, at the time negotiations for the latest round began in the late 1980s-early 1990s.

          And the question arises: whose money has paid for those settlements? The contemporary taxpayer, who wasn’t responsible for the grievances in the first place. Yet here we are, de facto shouldering the blame by paying restitution.

          Finally, the question many of us are now asking: given the desperate situation of the very poorest Maori, where has all that money gone and who’s got the benefit of it? The Maori elites, of course. Those at the bottom of the economic heap have seen none of it.

          It was pointed out during the Ihumatao imbroglio, that it was a stoush between the Maori elites and the Maori working classes, who’d seen no benefit from the Treaty settlements. And the unfortunate Fletcher, caught in the middle, was bullied into selling its legitimately-owned land to the Crown. I suspect something similar will happen with Shelly Bay: the precedent has now been set.

          “…setting up any apartheid-type systems in the ethnic melting pot which we are now, is a step backwards, and may be hopelessly impractical…”

          Yup. It’s just plain unethical, to have such systems in what purports to be a democracy. My generation campaigned against apartheid-era injustices. Yet here we are: the government, of all entities, forcing the exact same system on us. You couldn’t make this stuff up.

          And yes, hopelessly impractical for another reason: since before the Treaty was signed, there’s been so much intermarriage between Maori and immigrants, that it’s very difficult to ascertain who counts as “Maori”. Does it include the members of my – and your – extended family? Or all those other former immigrant families which have Maori connections or ancestry?

      • “We live in a modern, representative, colour-blind democracy: whatever you may think about it, it’s open to all comers.”

        I think you’re right, D’Esterre. New Zealand’s democracy is open to anyone who is willing to contribute. Māori who have taken up the tools of modernity have excelled in fields ranging from computer programming to novel-writing. Migrants from diverse ethnic and cultural backgrounds have succeeded in NZ. Māori and migrants have of course faced prejudice and injustice, but at least in recent years that’s a function of individuals and not of “systemic racism”.

        • Pope Punctilious II: “Māori and migrants have of course faced prejudice and injustice, but at least in recent years that’s a function of individuals and not of “systemic racism”.”

          Exactly. And to those who imagine that only people with brown skins experience prejudice in NZ, we in this household can attest to the contrary. But we have survived and prospered. Such is life….

  3. Excellent commentary Chris

    I think Judith has unwitting allies in the form of the Maori Party and some of the more useless Maori MPs in the Labour Party (of which there is ample choice) : All she has to do it point to them and say “Is this really what you want?” and the voters will come.

    There is, however, a problem: National seems not to sing from one song sheet so large swathes of the electorate are abandoning National for ACT which has a far more consistent and logical message. Too often in the past National has gone back on promises and done dirty deals with the greedy iwi elite.

  4. Bg the councils are one of the worse groups when it comes to adhering to the TOW our rivers and waterways are toxic. And they have basically destroyed our Hutt River with algae bloom being present for more than ten years, I know this cause I lived on Taita drive for thirteen years and couldn’t walk my dog due to the danger. And we can’t just blame the farmers for toxic waterways when there is others contributing to our rivers and streams demise.
    To make matters worse our drains and sewerage system are more than one hundred years old with old clay pipes needing to be replaced. Our roads are fill of pot holes that wreck your cars and I see them doing cheap patch up jobs that don’t last. Our rates keep going up and yet we are receiving less and less services but paying more money. As for Maori wards aren’t we talking about one representative on each council hardly a threat when they are but one person. Given the dismal job most councils have done since there conception I think it is high time for major shakeup.

    • Michelle: “Our rates keep going up and yet we are receiving less and less services but paying more money.”

      So how will white-anting the democratic process help with any of the issues that you raise? I’d really like to know that.

      “As for Maori wards aren’t we talking about one representative on each council hardly a threat when they are but one person.”

      So remind me: why are Maori so all-fired keen to push Councils into it? And how come there’s been so much self-congratulatory back-slapping on the part of Maori Councillors at WCC?

      Where the Mayor, it seems, is so sure that the rest of us would agree to the cockamamie notion of unelected iwi representatives, paid and with voting rights, on all but one Council committee, that he’s abandoned the quaint notion of consultation with ratepayers and just voted in favour of it. Well: I have news for him. So, I’m guessing, will many other WCC ratepayers.

      • D’ Esterre – I doubt Wellington’s mayor thinks the ratepayers will buckle under – we are too big a group to be easily bullied. The Mayor may be non- charismatic and colourless, but he’s no worse than his two predecessors, and possibly more of a fundamentally decent chappie, which goes a long way with me.

        Ironically, Mayor Kerry P criticised Andy Foster for triggering some democratic process to question an activity of hers, saying, if I remember rightly, that it was an abuse of the democratic system, when in fact it was a perfectly valid utilisation of the democratic process – and that was posted in the Dom-Post.

        I’m trying not to blame Foster personally for this, but think that any non-elected reps on a city council, with voting rights, may be misuse of the democratic system. From what I can see, the WCC has been pushed around by noisy femmes who may not be greatly amenable to due process or circumspection. Others may see this.

        I only voted in the last council election because of the Shelly Bay assault which I did talk with Foster about, and his concerns were much the same as mine and maybe most people, struggling to accept the despoliation a beautiful tranquil place for big bucks and miscellaneous virtue signalling ; one non-elected WCC rep – paid for by me and the neighbours – would likely just show that Goliath usually wins – except in mythology. Even Peter Jackson missed out there – and may have been Andy Foster’s albatross.

        The legality of this does need to be looked at forensically by the Min for Local Government et al, it sets an unfortunate precedent.

        • Snow White: “…I doubt Wellington’s mayor thinks the ratepayers will buckle under – we are too big a group to be easily bullied.”

          If he really thinks that, I wonder at his voting for it. And I wonder further at his airily saying the he was sure that we’d all support it. In fact, had he been determined to rile us up, he couldn’t have picked words more likely to bring that about.

          “I’m trying not to blame Foster personally for this….”

          You’re a good deal kinder than I am. I blame him, right enough. The Mayor must show leadership, even when it’s tough. Were he unwilling or unable to demonstrate that quality, we’d all be better off, had he not put himself forward for the position.

          “…any non-elected reps on a city council, with voting rights, may be misuse of the democratic system.”

          It’s undemocratic, pure and simple. It doesn’t matter a damn what these people think the Treaty says: this move is outrageously undemocratic. Foster of all people ought to be able to see that.

          “…the WCC has been pushed around by noisy femmes who may not be greatly amenable to due process or circumspection.”

          A perceptive assessment. I would like to give them the benefit of the doubt: they are young and inexperienced, and don’t fully comprehend the damage they’re doing. However: that would, I suspect, be too generous: they know full well what they’re doing, and they don’t care about that damage. They’re in the grip of radical activism, and they’re determined to see this through. They’re zealots.

          The Mayor and a bunch of other Councillors look like possums caught in the headlights, over both this and the Maori ward issue. Lindsay Mitchell identifies the problem as being white guilt. I’ve often disagreed with Mitchell, but on this I think she’s right. The Mayor and Councillors come across as scared. And really: we need them to be courageous, especially right now.

          Though I guess they look at the way Sean Rush was bullied into line, and don’t have the guts to withstand that sort of treatment.

          “I only voted in the last council election because of the Shelly Bay assault…”

          I voted for Foster precisely because of it. But the die was cast very soon after the 2019 election, when Cassels’ project was given an independent resource consent. Foster would have known that: it’d have been to his benefit and ours if he’d come right out and said so at the time.

          “The legality of this does need to be looked at forensically by the Min for Local Government et al, it sets an unfortunate precedent.”

          I wish I could believe that the Minister of Local Government would take a clear-eyed look at this. But that’s Nanaia Mahuta: not a snowball’s chance in hell, I’d say. She’s much more likely to support it enthusiastically: she and others see this as a manifestation of Maori “partnership”, as per Palmer’s revisionist Treaty “principles”.

          And she has the backing of the current government, which apparently wouldn’t recognise democracy if they fell over it.

          This country cannot have a partnership between an elected government and unelected tribal elites, and still call itself a democracy. The Treaty wasn’t – and couldn’t have been – about any such thing, no matter what contemporary Maori wish to believe.

          • D’Esterre – Glad you mentioned Rush – that’s an interesting one. I think that he was previously put in the naughty corner for something like querying a version or interpretation of the Treaty, seemingly provided by a councillor’s cohort, to teach them all about Treaty issues. I think there was another issue too, about singing songs at council meetings; that sort of thing can be irritating and disruptive; we the ratepayers do not necessarily pay councillors to burst into song – we’d prefer water pipes not bursting into curbside geysers. The odd bus would be quite welcome too, especially when the Hong-Kong owned electric lights go kaput on cold winter’s nights and the cbd resembles a twilight zone, and one could trip over an unseen pothole or person.

            Rush is a smart awyer, he’ll have studied all this – and it’s permutations – and it would not be unreasonable if he found it tiresome utilising possibly questionable interpretations. Indeed, as an officer of the court, he probably has an obligation to speak out if he sees possible legal error.

            It looks as if he and Mayor Foster may have simply been cornered by the Hounds of the Outlying Suburbs, and I query how many councillors do enter politics to serve the community.

            I agree with you about Foster not speaking out more publicly about the turning unique Shelly Bay into something more suited for the mud-slicks of the Styx, or the keepers of Hades, but so many N Z males – in the time-dishonoured meaning of that word – are gutless wonders when it comes to speaking out ,and are not particularly articulate compared to eg an American high schooler – except maybe for the demagogues, who can be more dangerous. The Mayor would also have needed media coverage of a quality which may no longer exist, nor suit their own crippled agendas.

            I agree with you too, about the assault on democracy, and it is certainly not just a racist issue, even if it suits some to frame it as such to silence – or intimidate – their critics – The use of race as a socially divisive tool is yet another tawdry American import, and a giant-sized time-waster.

            • Snow White: “Glad you mentioned Rush…”

              Yup, A lawyer, bullied into line, by the looks of things. I guess it’s difficult to be the holdout, as it were. And I noticed the way he was bullied by the iwi in that meeting last year, broadcast on YouTube. I also noticed that NOBODY stood up for him. not even the Mayor. That’s when I realised that there’s a want of courage among those people.

              “…we’d prefer water pipes not bursting into curbside geysers. The odd bus would be quite welcome too, especially when the Hong-Kong owned electric lights go kaput on cold winter’s nights and the cbd resembles a twilight zone….”

              Haha…yes, I completely agree. Anent the kaput lights, ours in this street died some years ago. It was black as the inside of your hat out there at night, and our street is on the side of a hill. I had the devil’s own job getting WCC to do anything at all about it. Had to resort to the health and safety thing in the end. Seriously not good enough.

              “…but so many N Z males – in the time-dishonoured meaning of that word – are gutless wonders when it comes to speaking out…”

              When said males are elected to the mayoralty, we expect them to a) have cajones in the first place, and b) show that they have them when in office. If they can’t or won’t, they need to leave the job to the sheilas. Or other blokes with the requisite equipment.

              With regard to the issue of Maori reps on WCC committees, and of the proposed institution of Maori wards, I wonder if you’ve seen this:
              https://www.nzcpr.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/04/He-Puapua.pdf

              I’ve read about half of it; now I understand the provenance of the lightning raid on our democratic rights to object to anything Councils do by way of reorganising wards, not just to Maori wards. And Foster’s dismissal of the need to consult with us about iwi reps.

              Likewise the provenance of the proposed Maori Health Authority – which, it’s proposed, will have veto rights over Vote Health generally.

              It also explains a good deal about what’s been happening in this polity over the last couple of years. Note the suggested timeline for government actions.

              I recommend it to you. As far as I’ve got in it, democracy hasn’t been mentioned, and “all NZers” only briefly.

              This is what the government for all NZers – for which I’m relieved to say I didn’t vote – proposes, didn’t intend to tell us about, and hopes that we won’t notice until it’s too late.

              Not my idea of democracy.

  5. Judith Collins isn’t Nelson Mandela. Her version of separatism is really just being afraid her (historical) victims will get away and be given protection by law. Ironically, the general conditions required for separatism should be a goldmine of endless votes for a competent political party. (ACT are starting to clue into that idea, but they can’t get past their own stupidity, and their policies are like bus stop shelter advertisements.) I think what Collins might want to say is the National Party are interested in a form of “soft” segregation, which is what their policies have tended to encourage, and indicate. If NZ want to sign up to that now, then they have been closed to dialogue for a long time. I might just swim to Antartica, while I wait for humans to arrive in NZ. It will probably scare most people here that one of the ways through this mess now would have been a grand coalition agreement that included an equal maori body, way back when we shifted from FPP to MMP. It can’t happen now, for obvious reasons, maybe not even then, but it’s nice to think that intelligent adults might’ve ruled once.

  6. Chris, have you not heard of the 20-year New Zealand Attitudes and Values study? I’ve been doing their comprehensive annual questionnaire since the survey began in 2009. You can read more here: https://www.psych.auckland.ac.nz/en/about/new-zealand-attitudes-and-values-study.html

    Interesting post, as always. A succession of National Party leaders have been more like partly trained parrots, some of the squawking is almost convincing until you realise it’s learned by rote and repeated ad nauseam.

  7. The hints of racism still evident in New Zealand as well as the USA and the UK point to the necessity of establishing further fundamental rights to ethnic minorities such as Indian and Chinese migrants, especially within the context of current world events.

    It is not good to adopt a stance whereby you feel that migrants should simply have to put up with the way things are done in New Zealand simply because they are outnumbered by English settlers and their ancestors.

    I fully believe in quotas in parliament based on gender, sexual orientation, and ethnicity including Chinese and Indian quotas for MP’s in all major political parties. Otherwise, the political agenda is skewed, affecting conscience votes so severely that extreme social legislation is able to be passed in urgent global circumstances. Without quotas, as it stands currently, inequality will continue to exist, and beyond whatever can be considered reasonable.

    Reaganomics in the United States gave significant tax cuts and deductions to the wealthy on the premise that it would trickle down to the lower socioeconomic classes. It didn’t work, the negative effects lasting until the late nineties. Likewise, loose mortgage lending based on futures contracts, derivatives and the like resulted in the 2008 financial crisis. The banks were bailed out; the workers had to foreclose on their homes. Successive natural events across the world since then have even further locked the doors on home ownership to the poor and the working class. This includes earthquakes, volcanoes, hurricanes, and a global pandemic.

    The social and political power in developed countries remains too concentrated. In the UK, it lies with the Windsors and their various acquaintances such as the Blairs, the Spencer-Churchills, the Guinness’s, and the Rothschilds. In the USA, there remains political dynasties like the Bushes and the Clintons.

    For New Zealand going forward it is imperative to expand our horizons. Be inclusive of our ethnic minorities. Retain the Maori electoral seats. Keep a three year parliamentary term. Bring in quotas to level the racial playing field. To do otherwise is to perpetuate a jaded and distorted system that’s almost toppeled over on itself.

  8. Chucky is desperate for relevance so throwing a few pieces of raw meat to her 47 supporters fits into that slot. When thinking about Chucky, you should recall a short list of facts to give you the only perspective that matters.

    1) Her history with Cameron Slater etc and her role in DIRTY POLITICS.

    2) The nature of the beast.

    3) Her appalling and diabolical performance through the 2020 election campaign highlighting all you need to know about her.

    4) The fact her style of politics is in the rearview mirror and drifting further away every month.

    5) She will NEVER get traction with enough New Zealanders to ever make a difference.

    6) People including her own alleged supporters are on standby just waiting for the appropriate moment to arrive for her to be replaced by Luxon who incidentally is another person whose style etc is at least a decade too late.

    Only possible conclusions.

    Chucky is history and the National Party in its current form is totally irrelevant…..to everyone except of course, the TVNZ one news.

  9. The problem with this idea is that National in 2021 have little credibility as a conservative party. What sort of conservative party stands a 17 yr old in a general election? https://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/117668485/national-selects-17yearold-william-wood-as-palmerston-north-candidate-for-2020-election

    In fact what sort of party FULL STOP thinks someone with no life experience and whose brain isn’t fully formed is a suitable candidate for a national election? Even the Greens aren’t THAT woke. And now there’s the very woke review of the 2020 election loss.

    The Nats look very disunited. Even if Collins wanted to have a second go at the Souffle of Nationhood, she would have a tough job reining in the progressive neoliberals who’ve invaded the party.

    • Pope – I think the Nat’s 17 year old candidate stunt was an idea-steal from a young Swarbrick standing in Auckland – the novelty value – and brains have never been a National Party priority anyway.

      Brains, to a Nat, are the sheep’s head offal which Grandma cooked with a white, yep, a white parsley sauce, and above which humble – even if honest – origins they are totally desperate to be seen to have risen, and they do so primarily by sporting garish jackets picked up cheap in the alleyways of poor exploited Asia- and whether as camouflage, or as camera-focus, is a matter of conjecture – and not that important as they just plop plop plop away.

    • Pope Punctilious II: “What sort of conservative party stands a 17 yr old in a general election?…..In fact what sort of party FULL STOP thinks someone with no life experience and whose brain isn’t fully formed is a suitable candidate for a national election?”

      Agreed. It’s a great pity the the Natz are in such a mess. They constitute no sort of credible opposition.

      In any event, I wouldn’t trust them to change any legal or constitutional arrangements that the current government institutes, or allows to be instituted. I’ve not forgotten that Key allowed Pita Sharples to sign up to that UN declaration on the rights of indigenous peoples. And it was the Natz who established Whanau Ora, a separatist enterprise.

      There’s little point that I can see in voting for them, if one wants an alternative to the current government.

  10. Daniel L – If you think that New Zealand should have quotas in Parliament based on gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity, then please think again.

    For a start, the constitutional changes required would be major, tedious and constant.

    Secondly, it’s bloody dangerous.

    Thirdly when in Rome, do as Rome does. That’s just basic good manners.

    Fourthly, apart from the 501’s, people aren’t forced to inhabit New Zealand . If they don’t like this place, they can look around for a place which suits them better, and not choose to come here and expect the country to change to suit them. Nuanced evolution has tended to work quite well, historicallly.

    Fifthly many of us have lived and worked in different cultures successfully, and New Zealand is more tolerant, and flexible than many, if not most others. We don’t toss dissenters out of aeroplanes , or make families pay for the execution of baddies. In fact, we don’t even execute.

    Sixthly your description of how democracy works in Great Britain, errs. Try living there. In fact, they are more tolerant of difference and eccentricity than we are here – they’ve been going thousands of years…

    • The concentration of social and political power is still in existence today. So that some families have been unfairly powerful and influential for hundreds of years. This is the case in many countries and not just the United Kingdom. Quotas based on race, gender, and sexual orientation, would go some way towards absolving this issue. There has been past talk from political leaders in New Zealand about voluntarily establishing gender based quotas in their parties because they recognise the unfair influence that a majority of male MP’s has had, particularly with party policies and on conscience votes.

      You get people who are career politicians like Helen Clark, Judith Collins, Winston Churchill. Their influence in the political sphere is large and their family connections play a part in this. Legislation is passed into law to relax lending criteria, or to legalise abortion, based not on what is good for the people on the whole including migrants, but based more towards what suits these politicians and their personal agendas.

      I believe that most of the migrants we have are respectful and hard working who are missing out on what should be a fundamental right, for their voices, opinions and views to be fairly represented in Parliament. Or do they gain residency and pay tax so that their views continue to be under represented, because of the continued presence of a stubborn white majority in Parliament? That is unfair. That is dangerous.

      • I’d be interested to learn about how Clark and Collin’s family connections have played a part in their political influence. Please expand on this.

        And if you’re suggesting that without them, women would not be free to choose to have legal abortions, then it seems to me that you might be the person with your own little agendas here , and segueing this to then say that abortion isn’t good for people on the whole, including immigrants, is convoluted, hypothetical, judgmental, barmy, illogical, meddlesome, and not your business unless you are a woman with a problem pregnancy requiring to be terminated before reaching full gestation, and it would behove you to butt out and mind your own business.

        • Applewood: “…it would behove you to butt out and mind your own business.”

          Hahaha: fantastic! And your entire response is a cracker. That’s telling him….

      • Daniel what rock have you been hiding under? Three of NZ’s last six prime ministers have been women. 21% of NZ’s current MPs identify as Maori, meaning Maori are slightly over-represented in parliament. Pasifika make up 7 % of NZ’s MP’s, exactly the same percentage they contribute to the general population. Shortly before the last election, Tamati Coffey was crowing about how NZ was going to have the queerest parliament ever in world history. Or something to that effect.

        And another thing. Daniel let’s imagine you’re a lesbian trans-woman of Chinese descent, and that your utopian intersectional parliament is now a reality. It so happens that the lesbian trans-woman of Chinese descent elected to represent your particular cell of the constantly-evolving intersectional hypervolume of human diversity turns out to be a demagogue who’s intent only on feathering their own nest. Are you better off, now that you have intersectionally correct representation?

        We need parliamentarians who have the cardinal virtues, and who are relatively free from ideological delusions. That – and not your intersectional utopia – is what will give us good policy.

    • Snow White: “If you think that New Zealand should have quotas in Parliament based on gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity, then please think again.”

      Hear hear! I agree with all of your comment.

      • D’Esterre – Gender based quotas got me. I don’t even know what the word ‘ gender’ means any more, except that there are now dozens of them, and some pollies are far more concerned about sex than about climate change, or children without shoes, or the millions dying from coronavirus – and only a moron would voluntary surrender details of their sexual proclivities to bureaucrats – upon whom I won’t waste any more time when I could be counting stars in the Milky Way or deboning hypothetical whitebait.

        • Snow White: “I don’t even know what the word ‘ gender’ means any more…”

          When I was at uni many years ago, I recall a lecturer defining the difference between”sex” and “gender”: the former is biological, the latter sociological.

          “….there are now dozens of them…”

          Doubtless a reflection, either of the febrile political environment nowadays, or of something that has become a fad. Rising rates of mental health problems may also have an influence.

          “…when I could be counting stars in the Milky Way or deboning hypothetical whitebait.”

          Haha! Your apt turns of phrase are greatly appreciated in this household. Would deboning whitebait be the biological equivalent of counting angels on the head of a pin, we wonder?

  11. Applewood: “…it would behove you to butt out and mind your own business.”

    Hahaha: fantastic! And your entire response is a cracker. That’s telling him….

  12. Just to repeat my comment from a few days ago on Bowalley Road:

    (1) 2020 Vote Compass:
    Q: “How much of a role should the Treaty of Waitangi have in New Zealand Law ?”
    A Lesser role 36%
    Current role is sufficient 35%
    A Larger role 27%

    (2) 2014 New Zealand Election Study
    Q: “Reference to the Treaty of Waitangi should be removed from the Law. Do you agree or disagree ?”
    Strongly Agree 24%
    Somewhat Agree 18%
    [= Overall Agree that ToW should be removed from Law = 42%]

    Neither / Neutral 15%

    Somewhat Disagree 15%
    Strongly Disagree 18%
    [= Overall Opposed to ToW being removed from Law = 33%]

    Don’t Know 10%

    (3) 2017 New Zealand Election Study
    Q: “Reference to the Treaty of Waitangi should be removed from the Law. Do you agree or disagree ?”
    Strongly Agree 15%
    Somewhat Agree 18%
    [= Overall Agree that ToW should be removed from Law = 33%]

    Neither / Neutral 14%

    Somewhat Disagree 20%
    Strongly Disagree 22%
    [= Overall Opposed to ToW being removed from Law = 42%]

    Don’t Know 10%

    (4) 2017 New Zealand Election Study
    Q: “Maori should have more say in all Government decisions. Do you agree or disagree ? ”

    Strongly Agree 6%
    Somewhat Agree 13%
    [= Overall Agree that Maori should have more say = 19%]

    Neither / Neutral 23%

    Somewhat Disagree 27%
    Strongly Disagree 25%
    [= Overall Opposed to Maori having more say = 52%]

    Don’t Know 6%

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