SOLO-NZ Op-Ed: The Turpitude of the Maori Party Must Be Challenged

Scott Wilson's picture
Submitted by Scott Wilson on Thu, 2008-04-17 10:10

Tariana Turia’s comment that Wanganui’s proposed ban on gangpatches is akin to what the Jews went through in Nazi Germany should spark outrage and calls for resignation from all who have any sense of perspective and morality. This is not because I support such a ban. I don’t, and there are a range of useful arguments against it. However, it is the despicable equivalency granted to wearing gangpatches and being labelled as a group which was slaughtered en masse which demonstrates her philosophy. It was first displayed by an earlier comment by her that Maori went through a “holocaust”, so the point is plain and simple. Tariana Turia at worst is anti-semitic and a calculating liar, at best she is a thoughtless fool.

Since the Maori Party was formed it has enjoyed a significant media honeymoon. This is partly due to the self-policing of reporters who fear that criticism of the Maori Party will be seen as being racist. This, of course, is a well known technique of the likes of Robert Mugabe and Thabo Mbeki, both of whom have thrown the word “racist” at their opponents whenever either of them have been accused of poor performance, which as you well know, is being supremely generous to them both. The Maori Party itself refused to condemn Mugabe’s thuggery a few years ago, and despite criticism from many quarters, it still got a “get out of jail free” pass from the media.

One of the most crippling, almost Maoist phenomena in New Zealand political circles is the delicacy used regarding Maori politics. This is because of the “racist” moniker that is thrown about like Zimbabwe Dollars, as if the dominant discourse about Maori in New Zealand is racist. At one point it was, albeit in later years in a patronising way – but who dares be racist now? Those on the mainstream left, in Labour and the Greens accused Don Brash of racism when he openly advocated the precise opposite. Some, of course, clinging to the tribalist view of politics that sees the National Party as some repositary of white conservative heterosexual men who are racist, sexist, homophobic and intolerant, honestly believed Brash was being racist. I don’t doubt Helen Clark thinks that, as she has been in the hothouse of the feminist left of the Labour party for most of her life, and surrounded herself with people of that persuasion. Others on the left know the right is vulnerable on this, if only because those who fought against racism, sexism and homophobia predominantly came from the radical left in the 1960s and 70s. The liberal “right” if I dare call it that was very few in number then, but not invisible. National MP and former Transport Minister George Gair cast the deciding vote in favour of Homosexual Law Reform, at a time when Labour’s Maori MPs were voting as a bloc against it.

So the discourse about Maori in New Zealand is actually about avoiding ever being called “racist”. Plenty have written on the liberal “right” about how seeking a political and legal system that is colourblind is anything but racist, and it takes a curious contortion of post modernist cultural relativism to believe it is.

Nevertheless, the Maori Party is, in fact, racist. By this I don’t mean because it is a party of race – though it is. It would be better saying it is a party of identity, because being Maori is, for many who are, an important matter of identity. Being Caucasian, except for a rather pathetic handful of largely white male malcontents and low to modest achievers, is not. There is undoubtedly plenty of academic work that can be done on this – why do those who identify as Maori regard it as important, but Caucasian New Zealanders do not.

I don’t have to explain to anyone with a moderate knowledge of history, or the basic ability to undertake research, what the Holocaust was about. Also, before the claims of “it wasn’t the only one” are thrown about, the genocidal and mass murderous actions of other regimes are only distinguished by the target groups and the less efficiency by which they operated. The Nazis were coldly efficient and organised, almost all of the other mass murderous campaigns were a combination of hyped up, but relatively short term savagery, or slightly detached, as in the ludicrous policies that created enormous famines in China, Ethiopia, the USSR and North Korea. Whether it be Rwanda, Burundi, Equatorial Guinea, Croatia, Armenia, Cambodia, the Kurds, Darfur, Bosnia Hercegovina, Nazi Germany, Maoist China or the USSR, these cases were marked by the identification of a group to be killed indiscriminately.

To treat the rather stupid policy idea of eliminating the choice of criminal gang members to wear their patches as akin to these is an insult to the victims of those horrors, and a despicable attempt to shock and invite Maori to think of themselves as being subject to the same dehumanisation and hatred that characterised Nazi Germany. You would have to be insane or an evil manipulative racist to claim that this is what many New Zealanders think of Maori. It is despicable beyond words.

It is what characterises far too much of what the Maori Party is about – it is about inciting Maori to vote for it, on the basis that only the Maori Party can protect Maori from the racism of the “mainstream”. It is about painting Maori as victims, not simply a group that, on average, performs worse at school, has a higher proportion of criminals, and maintains lifestyles that shorten their lives, but a group that others think “should be eliminated” and have long thought that. This is why the word “racist” is thrown about, and also explains the empathy some in the Maori Party have for Robert Mugabe – who makes exactly the same claims, when he demonstrably is doing exactly what he claims the Opposition is about. Mugabe is murdering black Zimbabweans – except he doesn’t do it by race, he does it by political affiliation – much like his comrades in North Korea, who have trained many of his goons.

The Maori Party gets a relatively free ride from the media because some of its MPs, such as Hone Harawira, will spit the “racist” dummy when he can. It can demean the memory of those slaughtered in the Holocaust and get away with it, daring to grant moral equivalency to peaceful men, women and children who were dragged, transported like cattle, stripped, demeaned and murdered on mass, to the knuckle dragging violent criminal scum in New Zealand gangs. That in itself ought to deny Tariana Turia and the party any seats in Parliament, for such an abject void of morality.

However the Maori Party already has an electoral system that effectively grants it a significant advantage over any other party. The Maori Party is highly unlikely to ever cross the 5% party vote threshold, and has not come close. Whilst three parties get into Parliament because they have leaders with strong local constituency bases of support, the Maori party enters because it has race based seats it can campaign for. It can, and by and large does ignore voters on the general roll. It is a party based on race, campaigning in constituencies that are racially defined for voters who distinguish themselves politically by race. As such it has won more race based seats than it would be entitled to on a party vote basis, so it is disproportionately represented in Parliament compared to every other party which has representation broadly according to party vote.

So a party that thinks Jews in the Holocaust and Black Power and Mongrel Mob gang members face “similar oppression”, that thinks that having a liberal democracy where all constituencies are based upon geography and none by race are racist, and which has refused to judge the murderous tyranny of Robert Mugabe, which cheers the socialist Evo Morales, which excuses child abuse as being “families under pressure”, which doesn’t think Islamist terrorism is a problem, isn’t held accountable for that. It is about time the light was shone on the Maori Party, in election year, and its inevitable cries of “racism” were confronted for what they are – the bleetings of the morally contemptible, protecting their own racist privilege as they peddle the philosophy of perpetual victimhood.

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Articulate rants

Scott Wilson's picture

seem to come near the end of a hard day at work, the problem is I start about 3 at once and then just scroll through one of them to see if it makes sense.

I constantly rant about Thabo Mbeki, who is surely the vilest truly democratically elected leader in the world today.

Thoroughly well written

Sandi's picture

Quality work Scott.

It will ...

Lindsay Perigo's picture

... go to the Herald and all other NZ media shortly, as an op-ed. Smiling

I've just heard the Maori Party...

mvardoulis's picture

...has just invited Rev Jeremiah Wright to speak at one of their upcoming events... seems perfectly appropriate as they both criticize and embrace racism simultaneously.

This is absolutely

Kasper's picture

This is absolutely brilliant. Thank you for posting this. Have you sent it to the NZ herald?

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