Dr Michael Bassett

Dr Michael Bassett

< Columns

Labour Sows the Wind and Reaps the Whirlwind


Sowing the winds of racial tension in New Zealand began decades ago under careless governments. Now we are starting to reap the whirlwind. Maori aristocrats have built up such a sense of entitlement, with a cornucopia of fabrications and grievances, that they are starting to fall out over how rapidly they can clap on the pace of the gravy train. Meka Whaitiri's desertion of the Labour Party is the latest sign that radicals are at sixes and sevens over pushing even harder for a Maori take-over of New Zealand.

In her naivete, Jacinda Ardern enthusiastically supported the Maorification programme of Nanaia Mahuta, Willie Jackson and their Maori cabinet colleagues almost as soon as the writs were returned after the 2020 election. During the campaign there had been no mention of this policy. Had there been, Labour's coalition partner, New Zealand First, would have denounced it. All of a sudden, in October 2020, New Zealand started incorrectly being referred to as Aotearoa. Radically revised versions of the Treaty of Waitangi were circulated, the authors inventing new principles as they went along. The four main cities that were all colonial creations because Maori didn't live in towns suddenly had Maori titles forced upon them. Government departments sprouted newly-invented Maori names. On radio and TV it became mandatory for announcers to spout Te Reo that few listeners understood. Because of Jacinda's new policy the daily papers started cozying up to ministers and suppressing anything that could be deemed critical of Maori. Their failing circulation figures necessitated access to the government's Public Interest Journalism Fund. The word "racist" was now bandied about by genuine racists supporting Mahuta's racially divisive policies like her Three Waters programme. It aims to give the tribal aristocracies control over water, leading to private Maori ownership. And the full shape of a new health system emerged with its twin sectors, one Pakeha, the other Maori, with Maori who constitute 17% of the population having veto rights over everything. Teaching of Te Reo in schools stepped up; a new history curriculum that is grotesquely skewed against 83% of New Zealand's non-Maori population began being taught in schools.

Underpinning the whole Maorification programme is a prize piece of mischief called "He Puapua". Hatched in secret by Mahuta, it aims at giving Maori effective control of New Zealand by 2040. It is the work of several radical Maori academics who believe they are doing their bit to further the interests of New Zealand's "Indigenous" people. No matter that almost alone around the world, New Zealand never had indigenous people. We are a land of relatively recent arrivals. In retrospect, what was a spectacular piece of carelessness, John Key allowed New Zealand to sign up in 2010 to the United Nations Declaration on Indigenous Rights when Maori were no more than first settlers, rightly proud of their feat of sailing to New Zealand from Hawaiki, probably Rarotonga.

Ardern gave Maori radicals free range from late 2020. She was woefully ignorant of her country's history and was conned into the notion that it was "fair" that Maori should be given paramount status in our country, and that the whole process was certain to improve Maori lives, and solve any disadvantages they suffered. Not only was this never going to occur: it was woke nonsense of a high order. Instead, as more ministers talked up Maori policy it stoked the notion amongst them that all national resources belonged to them as of right, and that their MPs could provide easy solutions to anything they happened to want. No exertion was required of them other than to board the gravy train.

Once it started moving, a rag-tail fringe of second raters began shouting "faster". Before long bits started flying off. First it was the Prime Minister herself who was run-over by the careening machine she'd set in motion. "I had nothing left in the tank" she cried. Then the ill-suited Te Whatu Ora chair had to be fired. Meantime that bizarre collection of misfits, the Maori Party, under the influence of its president, John Tamihere, was cooking up plans to decouple the Maori seats from Labour and attach them to the tattooed twins, Waititi and Ngarewa-Packer. For personal reasons that Meka Whaitiri doesn't wish to reveal, she decided to leap aboard the accelerating Maori Party gravy train. It is now conspiring to force King Charles to come up with free "reparatory justice" for "centuries of racism, oppression, colonialism and slavery, now...recognized by the UN as Crimes Against Humanity". Coming from a party whose own paramount chief, Te Rauparaha, slaughtered a slave as the centerpiece of a feast only a year before the Treaty of Waitangi was signed, this sets a record for chutzpah!

Increasingly, it looks as though Chris Hipkins is unable to free himself from Jacinda's unfortunate post 2020 policies. But the Maori Party's efforts are even crazier, and it is still possible that others in Labour's Maori caucus might fly off in search of even greater extremism. The new Prime Minister might yet be hit by a flying object. On its recent form, KiwiRail could easily oblige....

Whatever, surely it should be clear to every Kiwi that if a racially more harmonious New Zealand is something you want, defeating Labour in October is an urgent necessity.