Is Māori Capitalism co-opting He Puapua?


The recent attempt by Judith to race bait He Puapua by using segregation and separatism has been a failure.

The truth is NZs next generation is less frightened about co-governance than the older generation and those dog whistles don’t work. They know their history better and know the historic injustices.

NZers on the whole will wearily wave co-governance through because decades of poor social stats have worn smooth any pretense that universal social services have worked for Māori. The majority attitude is ‘well you do it then’ rather than a gleeful skipping hand in hand towards a Treaty of Waitangi future designed in woke Twitter world.

So I’ve seen little to fear in He Puapua. The claims of a secret segregation agenda was more eye rolling than legitimate, however Comrade Trotter has drawn a direct link between the aspirations of the Neoliberal Corporate Iwi and He Puapua which requires more examination

Over the course of the past 30 years, the colonial New Zealand state has sought to head-off any resistance engendered by the brutal imposition of neoliberalism on Maori communities, by working closely with traditional Maori power structures to set up what the academic writer Elizabeth Rata calls “Neo-Tribal Capitalism”; alongside the creation of the educated Maori middle-class required to run it. There is scant evidence, to date, that Neo-Tribal Capitalism is any more inclined to encourage democratic participation than the common-or-garden Pakeha variety. It is, almost certainly, no accident that the radical recommendations contained in He Puapua owe a great deal to the ideas contained in Matike Mai Aotearoa – the report on “constitutional transformation” commissioned by the neo-tribal capitalist “Iwi leaders Group”.

…A romanticised view of Māori Capitalism is that it operates with cultural values that are more humane and empathetic but ever since the Slave Ships obscenity, that romanticised view has been shattered by the grim truth that Māori Capitalism can be just as exploitative as Pakeha Capitalism. The rapacious tourism and tragedy at White Island reminds us of that.

84% of Māori live in Urban centers yet it is the Iwi Leaders brand of capitalism calling the shots inside He Puapua, not the Māori Urban Authorities  and we are seeing this influence happening right now…

Tribal executives asked to pick Maori Health Authority board

TDB Recommends

Urban Māori are absent from the steering group put together by Sir Mason Durie to identify candidates for the interim board of the Māori Health Authority.

…if He Puapua is a genuine attempt at co-governance for the benefit of all Māori, great! But if it’s a trojan horse for Corporate Iwi to promote Māori Capitalism as venal as Pakeha Capitalism, what are we gaining?


Increasingly having independent opinion in a mainstream media environment which mostly echo one another has become more important than ever, so if you value having an independent voice – please donate here.

If you can’t contribute but want to help, please always feel free to share our blogs on social media


  1. I think it is dishonest journalism to claim Judith Collins was “race baiting”. How can it be r”race baiting” to want to have a discussion about a proposal that looks to bring in a race based system for running the country?

    The NZ I remember fondly was an egalitarian society, one where we were all kiwi’s first and foremost and we weren’t graded differently according to our skin colour (extremists/activists not included).

    Moving to a society where the race of a person is seen as a fundamental measure as to what political\ and social influence said person has is a step backwards and will cause much division and conflict in NZ further down the line.

    It feels like there are a group of people longing for the good old days before the Europeans arrived here, but those days are over, you can’t turn back the clock: we must look to the future now and be realistic not idealistic

    There simply has to be a better way forward than this that still meets the needs of all kiwis and respects all cultures without creating some sort of racial hierarchy of power.

    • Well it has finally happened Sam has made a comment that makes sense and does not use profanity .

    • I arrived here in the 70’s and noticed then that Maori were definately treated as second class citizens so do not know when this egalitarian period was . I remember as a KFC manager being laughter at when I suggested a Maori cook was made my assistant manager. Unreliable and posiblity dishonest was the reason to not take the chance. I threatened to leave if they did not give him a chance so he was hired . Long after I did leave he was appointed a training manager.
      I would agree with everything else said in this comment . Judith Collins as leader of the opposition has every right to bring up this example of possible race division and there cannot be a blinkered view of Maori history as being all good . As with all people of any race there was good and bad and we all need to live in the now and not dwell on the past . Errors were made and should be righted if possible

  2. Well beginning with Nania Mahuta, maori just need to prove that they have a role to play.

    It is in no one’s best interests to carry out a purge and neither is it on anyone’s mind.

    To gather along with tangata tiriti and maori can restablish something for good. Something that could eliminate poverty, but also establish New Zealand in places where only great people are welcome.

  3. “…if He Puapua is a genuine attempt at co-governance for the benefit of all Māori, great! But if it’s a trojan horse for Corporate Iwi to promote Māori Capitalism as venal as Pakeha Capitalism, what are we gaining?”
    Well, nothing, would be my opinion.
    But isn’t [that] always the case? Values and environments within which such forces prosper are always going to change the functionality of those values and environments to best serve [itself] ? Look into the abyss and the abyss looks back etc.
    That’s why capitalism needs muzzling. The last fucking thing we need is more of when capitalism’s the tail that wags the working dog. That’s why compulsory voting and that’s why the collective ‘we’ must re invent the socialist democracy. Lets be first? As AO/NZ was in so many ways, lets be the first to re invent the socialist democracy because it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to see just how disastrously dangerous for most of us at how capitalism’s become. Sure. It makes billionaires but then that’s the problem. And those billionaires become something else entirely and I’m not sure it’s altogether human.
    In my humble and no doubt hypocritically snow white opinion Maori generally should be extremely careful as to who’s beds they’re invited to lie in because I can see the dawn of a long period of exploitation coming and then of us all losing the fragile sovereignty we currently relish having over [our] beautiful AO/NZ. Wacky perhaps I know. Well then, lets wait and see?

Comments are closed.