A new grassroots political party aimed at ending what it sees as racial separatism in New Zealand launches today with hopes Tauranga will be its biggest supporter.
One Law for All has a sole objective - that all New Zealanders are treated equally in law, regardless of race.
The party’s policies include abolishing the Waitangi Tribunal, abolishing race-based seats and positions in central and local government and stripping all references to the Treaty of Waitangi from legislation.
With the party yet to select a leader, 74-year-old Napier man Tom Johnson is temporarily fronting the party and says racial inequality is the most important issue facing New Zealanders.
“I have felt that for some time. I love my country and I am not prepared to see myself become a second class citizen here, and I don’t want to see my nine grandkids grow up in a country that becomes an apartheid state, in whatever form.
“Our history has been revised, sanitised and all of the sudden the truth is not being taught, and that’s unfortunate, in my opinion.”
Today’s launch is about getting the party’s policies out there and gathering members, says Tom.
“Our organisation is starting itself from the grassroots up…we want to get our policies, what we believe in, well and truly established.”
Further to the above policies are to:
• Ensure that no individual or group has preferment in legislation or funding on grounds of ethnicity.
• Ensure that there is no constitutional change without the support of three quarters of those voting in a referendum.
• End the official state promotion and enforcement of divisive biculturalism.
• Repeal the current foreshore and seabed legislation.
• Withdraw New Zealand from the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
Tom says the response so far has been overwhelmingly positive – from a variety of ethnicities.
The party’s website received about 4000 hits across two days last weekend.
“My phone has been red hot, and I don’t think I have had a derogatory comment yet, no doubt they will come.”
He specifically recalls a phone call from a Maori woman who phoned twice to tell him she supported the cause.
Tom knows it’s a “sensitive” issue, but is encouraging people to stand up for equality.
“Many people are afraid to put their head above the parapet. And they avoid it. This is unfortunate because we have ended up enduring a lot of things that shouldn’t have happened.
He stresses it is not an attack on Maori.
“We want to be a part of principal that appeals to all New Zealanders, regardless of their ethnicity, hence one law for all.”
“We have to convince a lot of people. We are very hopeful that all the wonderful Maori people I have played rugby with, that I admire and call my friends will also support us.”
Today the party’s steering committee is officially launching its policies, with hopes of building enough support and members to register in three months’ time.
The goal is to eventually win enough seats to hold the balance of power, says Tom.
“The more people we can get the more waves we’re going to make.”