Referendum on Maori seats promised

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters has announced plans for a binding referendum on the Maori seats, if elected to government. Photo: Tracy Hardy.

New Zealand First has made a binding referendum on retaining or abolishing the Maori seats part of their election campaign.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters made the announcement at the party’s convention in Auckland this afternoon.

“In 1986 the Royal Commission on the electoral system recommended the Maori seats should be abolished should MMP be adopted,” says Winston.

“Today I see a numberof Maori in Parliament who are the match for anyone else there.”

He says Maori want what all other New Zealanders want: a safe, affordable home; an easily accessible health system; an education system ‘with escalators onto which any child can step, and go as far as they wish’; and First World jobs and incomes.

However, he blames the ‘Treaty industry’ for enriching an elite group of Maori at the expense of the rest.

He adds Maori are ‘voting with their feet’ and leaving the Maori roll in droves.

“Today a majority of those entitled to be on the Maori roll are not, they are on the general roll.

“The fact is Maori don’t need to be told they are not good enough to be equal, or that somehow they should be handicapped, that somehow they should be pigeon-holed.

“That’s a terrible message to send young Maori.

“In the future that is coming, and it is here already: Maori don’t need the Maori seats. They don’t need tokenism.”

In addition to the referendum on Maori seats, New Zealand First is also promising a second referendum on maintaining or reducing the size of parliament to 100 MPs.


Duplicity, tutae, does not serve you well.

Posted on 23-07-2017 16:41 | By R. Bell

Without dedicated seats Maori are subject to standing in general seats. Name one area in N.Z. where general seats, dominated by Pakeha will elect a Maori standing on Maori issues. Most of the Maori currently in Parliament are list M.Ps. or even worse, campaigning on general electoral issues, bound by party policy. Get your head around one fundamental, Maori are not Pakeha and never will be. They need representation, and by all decent rules of society have it, and should keep it. That is true democracy kiwi style. Robin Bell.


Posted on 23-07-2017 12:20 | By tutae.kuri

The Maori Party, or some other representative entity, can look after Maori Interest in parliament. They can do this on their own, by appealing to those they wish to represent. They do not need special seats reserved for them. The Maori Seats have been traditionally held by Labour and those members have been subjected to Caucus whims.The seats were established by Parliament for the purpose of giving Maori Representation when they could not vote because of land ownership issues. This is no longer necessary as witnessed by the emergence of the Maori Party, by their own efforts. Parliament should disestablish those seats as being obsolete and not fit for the original purpose.It is not good enough trying to justify their existence for reasons not originally foreseen.

morepork I am sorry but you fell again.

Posted on 21-07-2017 12:46 | By R. Bell

Your reference to $50 billion was not ten yrs ago it was April this year,2017 not 2007. that you now say your sources are wrong is encouraging, and thank you for dropping the ’subtle" put down. The cost of reparations is no fault of Maori. The cost to the nation( your bottom line) is in fact miniscule and is almost over. In the 20 odd yrs the process has taken so far the N.Z. gov’t has disbursed at least one thousand billion dollars, payment to Maori 3 billion, much of which is in returned crown land, not cash. Robin Bell.

50Billion quote from 10 years ago

Posted on 21-07-2017 12:13 | By morepork

This was wrong because the sources were wrong. It was supposed to include not just payments but also the direct costs of MAKING the payments, plus the (estimated) indirect costs. It was some years afterwards that I realized it was a suspect number and I never used it again. BOTTOM LINE: For a small country, the costs of "reparations" cannot go on indefinitely and an industry must not be allowed to grow up around this issue. FAIR settlement. Move on and channel this money to the future rather than the past.

What a crock, tutae

Posted on 20-07-2017 13:17 | By R. Bell

but your almost there. Are you seriously suggesting people like Simon and Winston represent Maori interests? The only political party that can possibly do that is the Maori Party. All the rest are dominated by Pakeha and in the first instance are governed by party policy, determined by that domination, hence the high profile resignations of Tariana Turia and Mat Rata to name two. Democracy is determined by the right to representation as well as the vote. Constitutional......... it is tutae ie relating to " established" principles of state, you cannot claim Maori seats are not established in the state of New Zealand. Robin Bell.


Posted on 20-07-2017 12:13 | By tutae.kuri

The Government instituted the Maori seats when Maori had no representation. Now that Maori are represented in parliament, the seats are no longer needed.The last I heard is 23% of the seats are held by people with Maori ancestry, proving that they are quite capable of winning seats on their own ability, therefore, specific seats are not required.This is a Constitutional matter, quite rightly determined by Binding Referendum determined by the whole Electorate.Anything different would be an affront to Democracy.

Enter miss adventure,

Posted on 20-07-2017 09:35 | By R. Bell

with equally misleading statements as morepork. Whilst it is true the Maori seats were introduced to give non land owning Maori the opportunity to vote, there was no provision for temporary status as suggested by miss taken. Article 3 gives Maori formal equality in the governance of their interests in N.Z. therefore they are guaranteed both voting and representative rights. If Maori choose to relinquish those rights, it is for Maori and no one else to decide. Its called Democracy. Robin Bell.

NZ First

Posted on 19-07-2017 18:18 | By MISS ADVENTURE

Actually in teh 1870’s these seats were to stop, when the NZ goverment got itself organised. The issue was that only land owners could vote, so these seats were necessary to allow the locals have a vote for someone for the interium. These seats were to be removed when NZ adopted one man one vote.

So morepork you always do your homework,

Posted on 19-07-2017 15:43 | By R. Bell

what an interesting comment. Clearly since being embarrassed in the debate on Maori re offending Sunlive, April 11 2007 when you claimed they had been awarded $50 billion, you have seen the error of your ways. That’s good. What the law against hitting children actually does morepork is to give children the same protection in law that you and I have. You just as clearly see criticism as a personal attack. Before you run away again , have the balls to give an example of the "milking" you claim is taking place. I will certainly debate that with you or anyone else. Robin Bell.

@R,Bell (last response from me (Part 2)

Posted on 19-07-2017 15:06 | By morepork

4. A total non sequitur (look it up..) in your comments on anti-smacking: Your Mother smacked you to establish boundaries (most good parents impose boundaries on their kids.) "It is a good law, setting obvious boundaries" No, it REMOVES one parent boundary-setting option...(and does NOT prevent the violence it was intended to. [FamilyFirst (may be biased)/ Statchat (trustworthy)]I know you are passionate about your beliefs, but as long as you believe that rhetoric trumps reason it is not possible to discuss meaningfully. You have made outrageous statements based on no facts at all (like my doing homework - I ALWAYS do...) and pressed personal attacks in place of actual debate, simply because I disagree with your position. I see you as part of the doomed "Treaty Industry" (Winston Peters) and I want no part of that. Increasingly more NZers don’t either.

@R. Bell (last response from me (part1)

Posted on 19-07-2017 14:21 | By morepork

1. "Ad Hominem" (an attack against the person, rather than their argument) is a much quicker way of writing... that. It is a device usually employed by arguers who are bankrupt of actual argument, so no surprise it is often found in your posts.2. "you constantly rave on about equality, yet blithely ignore the generations of inequality that plagued this nation." No, I am well aware of those inequalities and have always advocated FAIR reparation. However, I refuse to wallow in them for the purpose of milking them BEYOND what is fair, or what the nation can afford. The past we cannot change; the future we certainly can.3. Total settlements (corrected): In 2008, Treaty settlements were just under 1Billion; by 2020 it is estimated at 3Billion. (Wikipedia and Waitangi Tribunal figures.) NZ population: 4Million.(continues in Part 2, without pretentious "furthermore"...)

Sorry Sunlive, re. reply to morepork,

Posted on 19-07-2017 09:46 | By R. Bell

in an earlier post I said $50 million and $47 million. should have been Billion of course Thanks Robin Bell.

Even more, furthermore, morepork.

Posted on 19-07-2017 09:24 | By R. Bell

Winston is pandering to his support group, Grey power, conservative right wing christian groups who ALWAYS oppose social change. Opposition to the "anti smacking law"was driven by such groups. It is a good law, setting obvious boundaries. My own Mother used such tactics, all of my siblings agree it was not the smacking that helped us achieve but the work ethic and her attention to educating her children, giving us a hunger for the world and all it offers. Robin Bell.

morepork, I just love your contradictions,

Posted on 19-07-2017 09:04 | By R. Bell

they are obvious to anyone remotely interested. In your first post on this thread you state " as they were set up by elected government ( Maori seats) It is right and proper for the SAME authority to abolish them) you then propose a referendum of the people to achieve that end. Furthermore you constantly rave on about equality, yet blithely ignore the generations of inequality that plagued this nation. As for "Philosophical Logic" the first requirement is knowledge of subject matter, you have little or none, evidenced by your recent claim that Maori have received $50 million in settlements, and that the process is finished. Out by $47 mill, and many have not yet been settled. Do your homework before pontificating and throwing Latin terms around. Robin Bell.


Posted on 18-07-2017 16:51 | By morepork

You’re welcome. Bleating about my "constant contradictions" without actually showing a single example of it, just shows that a lecture on the principles of Philosophical Logic would probably improve your posts here significantly. It’s time you realized that simply saying something does NOT make it so. Make your argument and support it with evidence, or accept that it doesn’t hold water and leave the field. I took issue with your ARGUMENT (on purely logical grounds); you respond by trying to disparage my posts generally (an indirect Ad Hominem attack), WITHOUT providing support for that position. Clearly, you either have no idea HOW to refute my argument, or you are simply unable to do so. Maori seats WILL be abolished... eventually. (probably around the time we all grow up enough to know they are no longer necessary, and simply serve to divide.)

Morepork you seek to usurp,

Posted on 18-07-2017 12:53 | By R. Bell

the authority of the elected governments of N.Z. by calling for referendum. You contradict yourself constantly. Perhaps you should consider your statements, before putting them into print. Robin Bell.

morepork, I thank you for the lecture, however,

Posted on 18-07-2017 08:57 | By R. Bell

I suggest it is you who is illogical, given the intrusion of reality. The Maori seats were originally set up to "allow" Maori representation, individual land ownership being a barrier to the rule of the day. Now the barrier is minority status in their own land, albeit shared. If you understood the treaty that "allows" for shared governance, you would understand the need for guaranteed representation. Just this morning a long time member of the Peters party Pita Parone agrees with my stand. It sets no precedent, it is part of the unique status of Maori as founding partners in this nation."Condescending tokenism" is perhaps preferable to NO representation and exist only in the minds of the devious. It should be for Maori to decide, without the interference of you and others who have no idea what it is to be Maori. Robin Bell.


Posted on 17-07-2017 20:07 | By morepork

I share your optimism and I believe a growing number of people (of all races) share it too. We can have a successful and diverse nation with respect for (even celebration of) all cultures, where all NZers get a fair slice of the pie and those in need get helped. But the pre-requisite for it is a level playing field. Equality of Rights under the Law and equality of opportunity, not based on colour or religion, or gender, or anything else. And probably NOT believing that "the world owes me a living".

@in the last few days...

Posted on 17-07-2017 19:54 | By morepork

Yes, 3 referenda. And every one of them designed to resolve an issue that needs to be resolved. Ill-conceived laws like anti-smacking have done far more harm than good. There are some things you cannot legislate for; you have to change people’s attitudes. The small minority of people who think it is OK to beat up on their families are not deterred by the Law.

@Blatant posturing

Posted on 17-07-2017 19:46 | By morepork

Your statement is illogical, Robin. For the only way for a referendum to have "credibility" is if only Maori take part, would only be true if the Maori seats had been set up by Maori. As they were set up by the elected Government of the nation, it is right and proper that only that same authority has the right to abolish them and, as that body represents ALL the people of the country (including Maori) it is right and proper that ALL should be allowed to vote. Personally, I see Maori seats as condescending tokenism that is completely out of place in today’s world. If I were Maori, I’d be offended by them. It’s another card in the deck of Separitism/Apartheid which is not how I want to live. If we can "prune" representation to 100 seats without serious effect, we can certainly lose Maori seats.

Not unlikely to happen surfsup,

Posted on 17-07-2017 14:45 | By R. Bell

impossible, but typical of the kind of comment dumbkof makes. Totally without foundation, and totally misleading. Robin Bell.


Posted on 17-07-2017 13:45 | By surfsup

Understand what you are saying, but in my experience that is unlikely to happen, yes there will be the extreme radical side of Maori that will want the impossible but I know enough Maori through work and social networks to feel comfortable that if we all work together positive results can be achieved.

In the last few days,

Posted on 17-07-2017 12:52 | By R. Bell

Mr Peters has promised three, yes three referendum. Maori seats, number of politicians, and now one to decide on child smacking. If he carries on like this till the election, we’ll all be broke. Robin Bell.

surf up

Posted on 17-07-2017 12:44 | By dumbkof2

if r bell gets his way we wont be able to get to the surf

Surfsup, there is hope for us all,

Posted on 17-07-2017 12:29 | By R. Bell

but not if Winston Peters has any say in the matter. Robin Bell.

Blatant posturing by Peters,

Posted on 17-07-2017 09:28 | By surfsup

This is the 2nd time in as many months that I agree with Robin Bell. What’s happening to me Robin?

No One

Posted on 16-07-2017 18:27 | By Capt_Kaveman

Should have a voting right in chambers unless elected otherwise that becomes a dictatorshipa native voice representation but thats it

Blatant posturing by Peters,

Posted on 16-07-2017 16:12 | By R. Bell

Any referendum on whether to retain or abolish Maori seats can only be credible if only Maori take part. Otherwise it becomes yet another majority wish list. Robin Bell.


Posted on 16-07-2017 15:40 | By namxa

About time.

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