Friday, July 19

Māori MPs – are they really the representation Māori need?

This week is proving to be a particularly hard one for Māori MPs so for me questions are now being raised in regards to their suitability as Members of Parliament.

Two days in a row Māori MPs have been kicked out of the house for their actions (Te Pāti Māori and Marama Davidson). News has come out that Meka Whaitiri consulted with the speaker Adrian Rurawhe before her defection. The Ombudsman has called Willie Jackson’s OIA breaches ‘unacceptable’. And then to top things off Debbie Ngarewa-Packer proceeds to call other MPs amateurs before casting too many votes and also voting against her own bill around seabed mining. If that’s not an amateur move, I don’t know what is!

What an absolute circus and all within 10 days. 

If these aren’t signs that Māori should be changing over from the Māori roll as fast as possible I don’t know what is. 

This is not the kind of representation Māori need, want or deserve.

What we need are MPs who are going to do right by ALL people because doing right by all people means doing right by Māori. 

Since the 2020 election where Labour won with a majority vote, we have seen the country slip further into a divide as the “Be kind” mantra went flying out the window almost as fast as it came flying out of the mouth of our former Prime Minister. What started as vaccinated vs unvaccinated has seen the country be divided on so many more issues to the point that if you don’t agree with certain viewpoints you are deemed a racist, a transphobe, or any other of the buzzwords MSM like to throw around these days. 

But for me, the racial divide being caused by Māori MPs is not only bad for NZ, it is especially bad for Māori. 

When we are over represented in some of the worst statistics in the country, our Māori MPs should be working on fixing the actual issues instead of arguing about the need for race-based policies. By continuing to focus on race, it takes away valuable time, money and resources that could be used to fix the problems that need fixing.

Te Pāti Māori today are not the same Māori Party under the leadership under Tariana Turia and Papa Pita Sharples (You can call him Dr if you wish, but to my whanau and I, he is Papa). 

In my eyes, Rawiri and Debbie don’t come close to the same level of leadership as their predecessors. Papa understood that in politics, as in life, concessions sometimes needed to be made and to his credit, John Key also saw the value in his working relationship with The Māori Party. It’s one Māori shouldn’t be so quick to dismiss so flippantly.

But Te Pāti Māori take a different approach to things. They demand rather than collaborate and openly stated back in December 2022 that water ownership is a bottom line for them.

This is also the party that yesterday said they remain open to discussions with any party committed to a treaty centric Aotearoa, despite saying in December 2022 that National would have to offer them a pretty impressive package. After Christopher Luxon’s statement, I don’t think it is going to happen come October. 

And if all of that isn’t enough to convince people to make the switch from the Māori roll or at the very least vote Labour in the Māori seats, which is effectively what Māori roll voters are doing anyway, take this into consideration;

The President of Te Pāti Māori is John Tamihere.

John Tamihere is also the chief executive for Whanau Ora Commissioning Agency where the following is stated under his profile

“Over the past two years John has successfully led the Whānau Ora Commissioning Agency (WOCA) COVID-19 response throughout the collective, including a legal win against the Ministry of Health last year to immediately release data giving hundreds more Māori access to vaccines.”

This raises concerns for me because during a Privacy Act request WOCA have told me they don’t have my information and that it may be with one of their ‘partners’ and so I am currently in the process of trying to find out who does possess it.

Whilst I don’t want to jump to any conclusions my concerns do have me wondering if a political party whose President went to court for details of unvaccinated Māori can truly be trusted, and when the agency he is the Chief Executive of claims they don’t have the data to answer a Privacy Act request?