Curia political poll is grim news for the Nats – but its measure of enthusiasm for “Aotearoa” will be vexing for Maori Party, too

The New Zealand Herald was not alone in reporting on the discomforting results for National in the latest Curia opinion poll and the petition mounted by Maori Party leaders to have the name of this country officially changed to Aotearoa.

The first matter was headlined The National Party’s polling company has the party crashing to within six points of Act

The writer of the report beneath this headline seemed to delight in noting who had conducted this poll.  

The National Party’s historic pollster has the party’s support crashing to historic lows, while Act is on the verge of overtaking it.

A Curia poll, conducted for the Taxpayer’s Union, has National on just 21.2 per cent, with Act close behind on 14.9 per cent.

The result is only a whisker above National’s worst-ever election result, 20.93 per cent in 2002. It is the closest National and Act have ever been in the poll.

Labour is at 45.9 per cent with the Greens on 9.6. Te Paati Māori is on 1.2 per cent. Continue reading “Curia political poll is grim news for the Nats – but its measure of enthusiasm for “Aotearoa” will be vexing for Maori Party, too”

Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops

Yes, we are aware of the Maori Party’s aversion to Parliamentary questions from Opposition MPs which aim to flush the PM and her government into the open on their programme of incorporating the “Treaty partnership” in their reform programme.

The Maori Party insists those questions are racist and has pressed the Speaker to rule them out of order.

It has also challenged the Speaker and Parliamentary protocol through expressions of dissent which culminated in one co-leader being ordered from the House for performing a defiant haka and the other walking out to show her support for her colleague.

This has won headlines around the world.

Not bad for an outfit which won 1.2 per cent of the party vote at the 2020 general election.

Māori Party co-leaders Debbie Ngarewa-Packer and Rawiri Waititi have also won publicity this week by declaring their intent to fight the Government’s proposed laws targeting gangs. Continue reading “Police and their Minister duck Maori Party question which drew attention to something troubling about children and the cops”

Free speech in Parliament challenged: Maori Party MPs press the Speaker to bar questions they regard as “racist”

The Speaker was reprimanded by the PM yesterday, in the aftermath of the furore generated when he accused a former parliamentary staffer – to whom he had previously apologised for claiming he was a rapist – of sexual assault.

Then he was chided by Maori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer for failing to stop “racist” questions being asked in Parliament.

Other than Hansard, the only account of this attempt to curb MPs’ right to speak freely in Parliament was a Newshub report headed Rawiri Waititi lashes out at ‘Māori bashing’ in Parliament as Jacinda Ardern challenges Judith Collins to say ‘partnership’

But to whom – we wonder – is the Speaker accountable?

To Members of Parliament, we would have thought, because they vote to elect the Speaker at the start of each new Parliament (after every general election).

 This is the first task of every new Parliament once members have been sworn in.
Candidates are nominated by another member and, after the election vote, the Speaker-Elect visits the Governor-General to be confirmed in office.
Continue reading “Free speech in Parliament challenged: Maori Party MPs press the Speaker to bar questions they regard as “racist””

A speech about NZ’s response to Covid-19, the pecking order for vaccines, and race-based ideas on who should be top of the list

Our Beehive Bulletin

Covid-19 dominated the latest news from the Beehive when we checked earlier today.

Associate Health Minister Minister Ayesha Verrall delivered a speech to an international audience of medical people.

And Covid-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced the Government has confirmed strict criteria for early vaccinations for people who need to travel outside of New Zealand on compassionate grounds or for reasons of national significance.

This announcement struck a sour note with the Maori Party, which unabashedly promotes race-based ideas for deciding what the pecking order should be.

The party has its dander up over the decision to allow national sports teams to be vaccinated early if they are travelling overseas for a big event.

According to RNZ, Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi said this is putting sports teams over indigenous people. Continue reading “A speech about NZ’s response to Covid-19, the pecking order for vaccines, and race-based ideas on who should be top of the list”

Oh dear – see who was offended when Goldsmith called for Kiwis to be treated equally in electoral arrangements

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s parents – according to a report in Stuff – delivered some strong mantra to live by.  One of them: “Don’t accept, you push back, be provocative, but always be respectful.”

But what happens when political opponents don’t accept, push back and  – dare we suggest it? – are a mite provocative?

Why, you interrupt their speech and complain you have taken offence as tangata whenua.

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, of course, is the Maori Party co-leader who now sits in Parliament promoting a political agenda that promotes the interests of Maori.

She has an aptitude for spicing her rhetoric with hyperbole while championing their cause:

“I stand here as a descendant of a people who survived a Holocaust, a genocide, sponsored by this House and members of Parliament whose portraits still hang from the walls.

The aforementioned Stuff report notes she stood for and was elected to the South Taranaki District Council and was deputy mayor between 2007-2010.

Nevertheless she argues for all local and regional councils to be required by law to establish at least one Māori ward in their area.

On the other hand, she bridles at the suggestion other ethnic groups should be entitled to electoral arrangements that ensure their representation.  

This became evident when National’s Paul Goldsmith was questioning why separate seats in Parliament based on ethnicity should be extended to local government.

Hansard records what he said next:

So it is a question of extending that focus on difference and dividing the country on ethnic lines in the way that we organise our democracy at the local government level. I can imagine that there are many people in Auckland, where I come from, which is an intensely multicultural society, with many people of different cultures, wondering, “Well, hang on, why is it that all other New Zealanders are treated one way and Māori are treated another way when it comes to how we organise the local government elections?” Yes, and so people rightly … 

We didn’t get to hear the rest of the sentence because Ngarewa-Packer interrupted to raise a point of order.

As tangata whenua, I take personal offence to what is being said by the member.

When National’s Nick Smith spoke to the point of order, she cut him off too.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Speaking to the point of order. I listened very carefully to what my colleague Goldsmith said, referring to the way in which Auckland was—

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: Point of order. I am tangata whenua, I can say how I feel. As tangata whenua, I take personal offence to what is being said by the member.

Nick Smith had cause to complain about being interrupted while speaking on a point of order.

Assistant Speaker Jenny Salesa – curiously – disagreed.  Moreover, without hearing arguments in response to Ngarewa-Parker’s point of order, she required Goldsmith to apologise.

But apologise for what?

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Madam Speaker, it’s very unconventional for a member in the middle of a point of order to have another member simply stand up and interrupt them, and is not consistent with the way in which the House is run. The point I wish to make—

ASSISTANT SPEAKER (Hon Jenny Salesa): The member Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s point of order was before your point of order. Can you please take a seat, the Hon Dr Nick Smith. So let me deal with Debbie Ngarewa-Packer’s point of order. She took offence to what you said, the Hon Paul Goldsmith, as tangata whenua. Can you please withdraw and apologise.

Nick Smith tried again.

Hon Dr Nick Smith: Point of order, Madam Speaker. Simply because a member may have a particular view about a privileged status of a group of New Zealanders, surely this cannot mean that my colleague Mr Goldsmith, whose comments were simply around the lines of Auckland being a multicultural city with people of multiple different ethnicities, somehow being offensive and being required to withdraw and apologise. Wokeness is not part of the Standing Orders of our Parliament. The member should not be required to withdraw and apologise for such inoffensive, normal remarks.

The Greens’ Chlöe Swarbrick then pitched in (no guesses on which side of the argument).

Chlöe Swarbrick: Speaking to the point of order, Madam Speaker, if I may, in contributing. The contributions of the Hon Paul Goldsmith spoke to the supposed privileged status of tangata whenua in Aotearoa New Zealand. If you look at any statistics, we find that tangata whenua do not occupy that space of privilege.

And then Goldsmith grabbed a chance to find what exactly he must apologise for.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: Can I just have a simple point of order. I’d just like to understand what you are asking me to apologise for. What particular words are you asking me to apologise for?

CHAIRPERSON (Hon Jenny Salesa): So the point of order that the member Debbie Ngarewa-Packer raised was that she was personally offended when you called tangata whenua being of a certain status. Can we move forward from here and can you just complete your speech, the Hon Paul Goldsmith.

Hon Paul Goldsmith: Sorry I can’t apologise for something that I’m not quite clear what it is, what specific words—and maybe the member can help me—I said that the member requires me to apologise for. A general feeling? I’m just not quite clear what it is.

CHAIRPERSON (Hon Jenny Salesa): Can I please have further clarification from the member Debbie Ngarewa-Packer about what she found so offensive.

And so  Ngarewa-Packer was given a platform to explain her grievance (and after she explained it, at Point of Order we remained bewildered).

Debbie Ngarewa-Packer: Thank you, Madam Chair. There was an offence of privileged implication and there was an offence that we belong all in one. Tangata whenua are not multicultural; we are tangata whenua. We need to stop being drifted and floated into every little pool or blanket that you believe we belong in culturally. We have a status: it’s tangata whenua.

National’s Michael Woodhouse meanwhile had been trawling through the rule book to find if Ngarewa-Packer had a case for demanding an apology.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: Speaking to that point. I’m very much trying to find the appropriate Speakers’ ruling on the taking of offence. There is a Speakers’ ruling that says that somebody cannot take offence on behalf of another member. The inference in that Speakers’ ruling is that a class of persons, also, a member could not take offence on that. I would argue that the comments made by Mr Goldsmith were debating points. If we come to a point where people can take offence on generalisation, general comments that are otherwise within Standing Orders, I’m afraid that we’re going to get into a situation where we’re going to have a lot of it. Can I also just, while I’m on my feet, make another comment for your consideration? When Dr Nick Smith spoke to the original point of order and was interrupted by Ms Ngarewa-Packer, that was not in order. He had a right to finish his point of order without interruption, and you enabled her to basically cut across that. So I’d like you to consider both of those two points.

CHAIRPERSON (Hon Jenny Salesa): So we have had this discussion. The member has raised that she has been offended. My ruling is that we just move on and to rule that when a class is offended as a class, tangata whenua, would be a significant point of order for me to rule on. I now ask the member if he would like to complete his speech in the last 12 seconds, he is most welcome to.

Twelve seconds left, huh!

Goldsmith gave it a go, only to have Swarbrick interject.

Hon PAUL GOLDSMITH: So as I was saying, before I was interrupted—

Chlöe Swarbrick: What, race baiting?

This (inevitably) triggered another point of order.

Hon Michael Woodhouse: Point of order. Madam Chair, I’m sure Mr Goldsmith won’t ask for a withdrawal, but the accusation by one member to another that that member is race baiting is clearly unparliamentarily language and shouldn’t be used.

CHAIRPERSON (Hon Jenny Salesa): The member the Hon Michael Woodhouse is not able to take offence on behalf of another member. We shall move on. Six seconds.

Goldsmith at long last finished with time for just one succinct sentence:

Well, what I’m saying is that the inference of this bill is that this Government does not trust the judgment of New Zealanders.

Exactly.

An apology from the Crown but not from the Maori Party (although its founder once apologised for talking of a Holocaust)

In a political week distinguished by Stuff’s apology to Maoridom, the Crown was in the business of apologising to Maori, too, while the Maori Party pressed for even more apologies.

One Maori party co-leader – in his maiden speech to Parliament – pledged to be an unapologetic Maori voice while the other railed against early New Zealand governments as “monsters, murderers and rapists” and projected herself as a survivor of a “holocaust”.

A “holocaust”?

That same powerful word was bandied by the party’s founder, Dame Tariana Turia, some 20 years ago.  She later apologised for using it to describe the experience of Maori.      Continue reading “An apology from the Crown but not from the Maori Party (although its founder once apologised for talking of a Holocaust)”

Stuff and nonsense about a change of name for NZ and its capital by 2026

Brace for a change of name for our country, fellow New Zealanders, and prepare to become Aotearowers or some such.

According to this report on the Stuff website: 

New Zealand could officially become Aotearoa, Wellington could be Te Whanganui-a-Tara, and Christchurch could be Ōtautahi, if the Māori Party takes power at the 2020 election.

This piece of pap, penned by a political reporter who portends a comprehensive rewriting of New Zealand place names, is posited on an improbable “if”.

Let’s look at it again – it’s

” … if the Māori Party takes power at the 2020 election.” Continue reading “Stuff and nonsense about a change of name for NZ and its capital by 2026”

Mollifying Maori Party president about discriminatory words would call for much rewriting of NZ law books

Point of Order has plucked a piece of legislation from the law books – the Fire and Emergency New Zealand Act 2017 – which mentions the power to enter homes and marae.

It says:

A FENZ inspector must not, except with the consent of an occupier or under a warrant, enter any land or building that is a home or a marae or a building associated with a marae.

We wonder if this is acceptable to the president of the Maori Party.

The Food Act contains provisions on marae food. 

This seems troublesome, too, after the Maori Party’s president was quoted as saying “prejudice” tainted the highly contentious Covid-19 Public Health Response Bill from the time it used a term that pertains to Māoridom.

Really?

Similarly, the Charities Act 2005 might be problematic. Continue reading “Mollifying Maori Party president about discriminatory words would call for much rewriting of NZ law books”

The PM’s Waitangi challenge: delivering enough transformation to ensure the Maori Party is not re-energised

Even though the  general election is  seven  months distant, this  may be a    week   which  offers  a  pointer  to  the mood   in a  critical  element in Labour’s support base.

The cameras  will be   focused  on   PM  Jacinda Ardern   and daughter  Neve  at  Waitangi Day celebrations.  But  will  the message her government is  delivering – transformational  change   for Maori – ring true  with  her  audiences?

Two years  ago  she  said at  Waitangi  she wanted to  be held to  account   each  year for the performance of her  government.

A  year  ago  she talked of  how  her government   would reduce  unemployment, strengthen  education,  and eliminate   inequality between  Maori and  Pakeha.

And this  week  there  has been  a  series  of announcements  involving  millions of   dollars  for  projects  in  Northland.  Continue reading “The PM’s Waitangi challenge: delivering enough transformation to ensure the Maori Party is not re-energised”

Broadcasters who have interviewed Marama Fox perhaps could help liquidators who can’t find her to serve papers

Liquidators of Marama Fox’s failed consulting company have had to engage agents to track down the former Maori Party leader, according to a Newsroom report today.

The report says creditors have claimed Fox owes them more than $111,000, which she said she planned to pay back through personal finance, soon after her company went into liquidation last year.

It also says Fox has not fronted up with any money and the company’s liquidator Grant Reynolds said he had not been able to get in contact with her for the past few months.

Reynolds said he now planned to serve legal proceedings against Fox, for a breach of her duties as a director.

However, he was not able to serve her with the papers to launch the proceedings without knowing where she was.

Some people believed Fox had moved to Australia, and a photo on her Facebook page pointed to her being in Australia at some point during the year. Continue reading “Broadcasters who have interviewed Marama Fox perhaps could help liquidators who can’t find her to serve papers”