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Racist Representation on Councils

© Peter Zohrab 2008

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An article by K Gurunathan in the Kapiti Oberver (April 2008) highlighted the way that Maori radicals have done their maths and worked out that democracy will not give them absolute power, so they had better use back-door methods! After all, traditional Maori society was not democratic, either.

In fact, Article 3 of the Treaty of Waitangi guarantees that Maoris should have the same (not more) rights as other citizens, but my tutor at Law School, Thalia Rowden, just concidentally never managed to have time to get to Article 3, because she was so busy talking about Maori rights in Article 2 -- so beware of the hidden agendas and forked tongues of law lecturers on this issue! When I was teaching at the Correspondence School, we were force-fed a particular anti-White interpretation of the Treaty, with Deputy Principal Denys Latham standing behind me to make sure I did not ask any democratic questions -- so beware any interpretations of the Treaty that emanate from the education system, period!

We can't trust legal opinions emanating from the Greater Wellington Regional Council, either, with people like Chris Laidlaw involved there. Any decision by the Council to impose apartheid upon us should be challenged in the courts, who have never really been presented with competent non-Maori arguments on the Treaty, in living memory.

According to the Kapiti Observer of May 12, 2008, Greater Wellington Regional Council Chairwoman Fran Wilde claims that appointment of Maori representatives to council committees with voting rights is not a deviation from democratic principles, but that is clearly wrong in law.

Fran Wilde cited the Local Government Act 2002 as her justification for saying that, but subclause 3 of clause 31 of Schedule 7 of the Local Government Act 2002 states only that

"The members of a committee or subcommittee may, but need not be, elected members of the local authority, and a local authority or committee may appoint to a committee or subcommittee a person who is not a member of the local authority or committee if, in the opinion of the local authority, that person has the SKILLS, ATTRIBUTES, or KNOWLEDGE that will assist the work of the committee or subcommittee."

Having a Law degree, I can confidently state that the broad legal test is always what the intention of Parliament was when it passed the Act concerned. The intention of Parliement here is clearly to enable certain individuals' expertise to be called on as and when needed. There is no evidence, in the above wording, that Parliament intended a whole class or category of people (e.g. Maori representatives) to be appointed - especially to every single committee! Such an intention by Parliament would have had important constitutional implications and would have to have been spelled out explicitly.

Being a Maori representative does not imply that you have special skills or knowledge that is relevant to every single committee, so the the relevant word in the above subclause must be "attributes", rather than "skills" or "knowledge". Otherwise, every single ethnic group should be represented on every committee. However, if people are to be appointment because their attribute is that they are Maori, then that is clearly racial discrimination, and is arguably illegal under the Bill of Rights Act Act 1990, in terms of the grounds of discrimination set out in the Human Rights Act 1993.

This would also be a breach of the Treaty of Waitangi, since Article 3 guarantees that Maoris will have the SAME rights as other citizens -- not more rights. It is funny that the Maoris, for decades, have been shouting "Honour the Treaty!" (and good on them for doing that!), but when what they want is a breach of the Treaty (as here), they conveniently forget to quote the Treaty!

Obviously, the full Council cannot relitigate every issue in detail that has already been debated and discussed in one of its committees, and many committees' recommendations will be passed by the full Council substantitally unchanged, as a matter of course. If every committee has Maori representatives who have researched every issue from their point of view, but no Non-Maori representatives who have researched issues from a Non-Maori point of view, what will result is a de facto Maorification of Council policy -- whether this be the regional council, the Kapiti council, or whichever council is involved. Non-Maoris on Council committees are not selected to represent Non-Maoris, and do not see themselves as doing that, although they may have Non-Maori biases, of course.

This Apartheid-style initiative has extremely serious constitutional implication, because Maori radicals have long been proposing -- in clear breach of the Treaty of Waitangi -- that we move to a constitutional system at the national level, where individual Maoris have more rights that other New Zealanders, because the votes of all Maoris will be taken as having the same political weight as the votes of all the rest of the population. Giving Maoris racist privileges on councils is the first step in a process of making this seem normal and acceptable.

 

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6 August 2015

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