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Tribal elite imposes racism by stealth


The pre-eminent principle of justice that citizens should be treated equally without regard to race, religion or creed was hard fought for.

It’s hard to believe that it was surrendered in New Zealand without a murmur. It was done away with bit-by-bit and hardly anyone noticed.   

And now we have a bunch of taxpayer-funded worthies on the Constitutional Advisory Panel dedicated and determined to turn justice inside out. Their purpose is to entrench and embed injustice into our law.

The once well-regarded principle of equality before the law was a tremendous achievement.

Before that principle was established, people who disagreed with the governing religion were burnt at the stake. And the rights people enjoyed depended on parentage.

New Zealanders breaking free of the oppressive class system didn’t frame their egalitarianism as eloquently as Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin but were proud that in New Zealand “Jack was every bit as good as his master”.  

That’s now gone.

Ancestry again matters in law. And successive governments have re-empowered a new tribal elite.

No one explains why it is that special Maori get a special say about the use of privately owned resources under the Resource Management Act. Parliament simply says it is so.

And parliament itself is confused. It’s some messed-up mix of “Maori are disadvantaged,” “We have the Treaty,” “Maori were here first” and “We need their vote.”

No one can explain how the tribal elite became the elite or the status and power successive governments have afforded them. Government policy created the vacuum and Treaty entrepreneurs filled it.

And now an advisory panel is beavering away determining “the place of the Treaty of Waitangi in our constitution”. Its conclusion is predetermined through the panel’s make-up and the inquiry’s conduct “in ways that reflect the Treaty relationship” and “in ways that reflect the partnership model”.

The panel’s establishment is easily explained. It meant a lot to the Maori Party and it was next to free for National to agree to.

But now what? The panel will huff and puff and solemnly conclude that the Treaty means Partnership and that the Partnership needs constitutional recognition. The solemnity of the language and the panel’s status will overcome the absence of logic and underpinning rationale.

It will further elevate the Maori elite, putting them effectively side by side with elected government and making it even harder to return New Zealand to an egalitarian and colour-blind state.

The National-led government will reject the panel’s advice. That will be a huge relief for the population at large and National’s popularity will increase.  

Nonetheless, the rejection will create a new bone for the Treaty grievance industry to gnaw on. The racist constitution won’t be achieved with this government but it will be with a subsequent one.

That’s the panel’s purpose: to prepare the ground for the establishment of a racist state with special and powerful privilege for the select few.

The radicalisation of the New Zealand polity has not been achieved through revolution. It’s been achieved stealth-like, bit by bit. It’s a consequence of the rejection of political principle and embracing pragmatism and compromise.

These have been ruthlessly exploited by radicals in suits wearing bone carvings to the great cost of us all.

More by Rodney Hide

Comments and questions

MMP gives power to the marginal constituency. As long as (a significant portion of) Maori voters align themselves along racial lines (and why wouldn't they if they could get freebies out of it) this will continue.

It is how MMP works, but is ignored because MMP is viewed as, in aggregate, promoting the greater good.

But that wasn't enough, the Maoris managed to entrench their position by reserving special seats in parliament. The result, Maoris are the first group in the history that look like they may have won politics.

The only thing wrong with your theory is that the problem didn't begin with the Maori Party -- or MMP -- and sadly won't end with the Maori Party.

New Zealand's egalitarian dream isn't under threat from the highly emotive Treaty red herring you dangle here Rodney. Nor is it threatened by issues of gender inequality, sexual preference or religion. (Important as these issues are) You as well as I know that those red herrings are convenient, emotionally charged topics that divert debate from the really serious threat to the New Zealand dream and that is the increasing inequality of wealth distribution. The few rich get much richer. Good old honest middle New Zealand just work harder and harder to stay in the same place and the poor get poorer.

It doesn't matter what colour the elite are. They are the ones that benefit from ridiculous arguments over same sex marriages, so called bludging beneficiaries, Maori and treaty issues,religious intolerance or the inadequacies of the new race relations conciliator.

In the meantime, corporations, banks and mining companies quietly sneak around while we are all distracted by divide and rule tactics and fleece the "hide" off tax-paying, honest, loyal, hard working New Zealanders. Meanwhile, a complicit National Government holds the door open for them, gives powers of arrest to the military(!!!) and grants permits for exploring our iconic DOC estates and national parks for minerals and oil.

Trot out the Treaty distraction again. New Zealander's can you see past it? Hold on to the New Zealand dream.

Rodney Hide should choke on daring to use an egalitarian theme to one of his tirades. Rodney, you are your Banking Oligarch friends are the ideological enemies of everything thing that egalitarianism and democracy represent. You stand for the triumph of the few by the enslavement of the many.

Seems you don't like the truth. Why are you always in denial of documented facts or you like being a rebel, matching your non de plume

I, unlike you, use my real name for a reason.

Okay Shane, I will play along. Name one Banking Oligarch friend of mine! And explain how banking is an oligarchy.

Rodney let me refer you to an article on this very paper

Your ex-party was founded by banking money. You also know that the links between the merchant bankers are close and intimate, John Key NZ PM worked for Cameron PM of Britain in a merchant bank, his appointment for the Takeovers Panel (Tina Symmans)worked for a merchant Bank, the Head of the GCSB Ian Fletcher also worked for Merchant bankers. The 4 Major Australian banks act as an oligarchy in the NZ market charging more for services, fees and penalties than elsewhere. And that is just the start.....

Shane -- the only person i know in that article is Winston Peters. It's true he helped ACT. But he's not a banker. He's something else.

Wake up, Hori, the world is a constant dynamic - i.e., evolution ... everything has a lifespan. What was current and of value yesterday is not today. Either you adapt to the changing world around you or bellow your troubles to an ever-decreasing audience. Your quote that "the rich ger richer" is so out of touch and passe. As a technology business owner all I see is people from out of nowhere make an idea come to fruition and then end up as one of your despised rich and I, as one of them, are sick of supporting the dross.

I really want someone other than a blind socialist to explain to me why that after creating new ideas that I export to the world, I am forced to pay tax of over $500,000 per year to support the dross simply be cause I have put the effort in to achieve more from life, yet based on personal consumption, I only consume as much or a little bit more than you.

How is that fair?

So Hori what rights does a banker, a miner or a company director enjoy that I you and I don't enjoy? And remember success, achievement, and wealth aren't rights.

Are you talking about human rights Rodney? Are you talking about individuals or are you talking about mining companies, banks and corporations? My response is dependent upon your clarification.

I assume the dross you are talking about are the likes of Warner Brothers, Americas Cup campaigns, 'bailing out SCF investors, paying tax to service the interest on a massive National borrowing campaign, paying huge SOE CEO bonuses, tax cuts for the likes of you and golden handshakes? Passe and out of touch? Sorry to offend your sensitive nostrils. Did you realise that the 300 wealthiest people in Europe and North America between them hog more than the 4.5 billion poorest people on earth? Passe and out of touch, you reckon. You sound like the French aristocracy.

Those numbers are nothing compared to the ongoing borrowing for welfare that will never cease as the dross continue to exponentially breed, or have you conveniently forgottten? Welcome to the future Cyprus of the South Pacific.

South Canterbury Finance alone cost the taxpayer over $700,000,000. That was shared among 35,000 already wealthy people. You are one of the distracted idiots who promulgates prejudices against a vulnerable segment of society. Sounds 1930-ish to me.

You're right Hori, corporate welfare is no better than welfare in general. The govt handing out our cash to those who don't deserve it is why there should be less govt and why people should take responsible for their own destiny.

Rodney Hide's libertarian political views agree with your point on SCF. The other reason govt should be reduced is that it is prone to take over by those who look to rip off the taxpayers and install their agendas by stealth - you know, like the institutional racism installed by the tribal elites.

People would not need government assistance if wealth was shared equally between capital and labour. Without labour there would be no capital. A values based approach not overwhelmed by power, control, exploitation and greed would see wealth shared equitably. That is a pipe dream. Ordinary NZ citizens need a big government to share the wealth around a bit because of corporate greed. When greed is modeled so eloquently by a greedy elite of course busy middle NZ will follow suit to keep up with the Jones. It becomes the zeitgeist and we surrender a little more of our humanity each day as a result. Little acts of generosity, empathy and love done often are the cure.

My wife grew up in communist China and saw 'wealth shared equally between capital and labour first hand', where a street cleaner with no qualifications, skills and responsibility earned almost the same as a doctor who had studied hard at university for a long time, worked long hours, and carried a world of responsibility on his shoulders. Is that fair?

Your suggestion of wealth redistribution so that 'wealth [can be] shared equally', is what's known as communism. If you the think it's such a good idea go and have a look at North Korea, Cuba, Vietnam, Venezuela and all the other countries that embrace your philosophy.

Examine the general wealth of these countries and their citizens, their living conditions and the human rights violations record. If you like the way things are in these countries move there (I'm sure they'll take another one of their own). If not, then I suggest you take a good look at yourself and your beliefs.

Sorry Hori, been missing for the last 24 hours. Decided to leap aboard on my private jet to my favourite hax haven and have a swim in my vault of cash for a bit of entertainment for the weekend ... in keeping with my 1930's greed and the French aristocracy lean that you accused me of..." Qu'ils mangent de la brioche.

If the beret fits wear it mate.

Ha ha ha, that's hypocrisy coming from a former Act Party politician who contributed immensely towards creating a separatist culture in this country. Maori deserve their seat at the table. The quicker we sort out our differences, the quicker we can move forward.

But it appears that the goal is now to lock in those differences forever in legislation. With your blood quantum defining where you sit in society. The egalitarian dream seems gone.

Anonymous -- no one deserves a seat at any table. It has to be earned. That's the point. And when you say Maori deserve their seat at the table, which Maori and which table?

The quicker we sort out our differences, oh dear. The 1957 labour party manifesto stated that a labour government would bring an end to all Maori grievance issues.

So how quick do you want. Maori grievance is a never ending whinge programme.

How exactly did Rodney 'contribute[d] immensely towards creating a separatist culture in this country'?

Rodney was the perk buster. There was those who were good, and those who were bad, and then there were the Maori.

Really? Give some evidence of this 'There was those who were good, and those who were bad, and then there were the Maori.'

I agree they're entitled to a seat at the table. The problem is they are not content with just a seat at the table, they want a special seat at the table, a better seat at the table, a bigger seat at the table and it's not only the seat they want. Because they arrived at the meeting 5 minutes before others they also want the table. And not being content with the table they want the room that houses the table and the air in the room.

Their greedy, racist demands go on and on.

To hell with the biased Constitutional Advisory Panel.

Equality, how I resent the context of that word. 600,000 on superannuation, 400,000 on WFF, 200,000 with interest free loans, 350,000 on welfare, 1.7 million ACC claims per annum, paid parental leave etc etc.

How much more do you want. Well over half our adult populations living partly or fully off someone elses earnings. Well over half our adults whose contribution to NZ inc is a nett nothing.

There is so much so desperately wrong. Ministries, agencies, commissions, tribunials, boards for everything. New Zealanders owe so much to the so few who actually generate production, employment and taxes.

In the 70s for every one person on assistance we had 28 working and providing taxes. Now that ratio is 2:1

If you add in the government sector the ratio becomes 1;1

An absolute impossible situation and even with John Key we still do not have a government that will reverse these ratios.

Talking about ratios in 1950s USA, corporations contributed 33% of the tax take. Now they contribute less than 10%. Where has the other 23% gone? Not to the poor that's for sure. Tax havens in the British Virgin Islands and the Cooks I'll bet.

Rodney; would you consider forming a new party with Don Brash, with initial policy centred around ridding NZ of the land claim injustices being inflicted on all NZers? Id vote for you and so would a lot of people who've had a gutsfull of being made to feel guilty for something done two hundred years ago.

Why would Rodney want to associate with Brash? Much as I disagree politically with his libertarian views he certainly wasn't a turncoat. Mr Brash was a backstabber, and worse than that in politics, an incompetent one. There has to be some quantity of loyalty in Politics and Brash has none.

Their policies on land claims seem aligned, and between them they might attract enough votes to get into parilament and make some changes to this very polarising and devisive greedy Maori money grab.

Congratulations on a good article Rodney.
We do, of course, have to try and correct some of the wrongs of the past. But there is no reason to now manufacture wrongs for the future.

One wonders if such constitutional mayhem can arise given NZ is signatory to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. But if a lopsided Fiji-like system arises then one can imagine that the Hobbit will become Te Hopiti and with a constitutional tax to the "renters" which Sir PJ won't be able to duck.

The wanderings of the untrained mind are indeed a delight to behold.

Oh! He's not untrained. He went to school. Quite extraordinary.

All of you take and read the history. Maori have a justified grievance under English law, your law, the one which this country was recently founded by your ancestors, the English. Read Claudia Orange, Judith Binney, Michael King, Geoff Park, et al. All Pakeha scholars, learned, well-read researchers. New Zealand was never egalitarian or devoid of racism. Our country was built on greed and racism.
Take off you myopic, anglophile glasses and get in touch with our wonderful Maori/Pacific culture that your children and grandchildren will marry. Your descendents will be a part of, speak and understand.
Rodney, you are a dinosaur and your future is pre-determined.
By 2050, 50% of New Zealanders will be Maori and Pacific Island.
The Maori economy is growing at 7% without government bailouts such as the Pakeha business sector, (BNZ, Air New Zealand, SCF, NZ Rail and, next, probably Solid Energy and Meridian!)
The Pakeha economy is growing at less then 2% including bailouts that, incidentally, closely equate with Maori benefits but to far fewer, greedy people who don't need it to feed their children (John Key's "Ma and Pa" investors. Read: Retired business people; friends of the National Party). Essentially, the Pakeha business economy is holding back the Maori economy or, the Maori economy is supporting the Pakeha economy; you choose.
I am Maori, educated, wealthy and damn hard-working. Look out dinosaurs, I'm making my way with the weight and support of the growing iwi's billions. Watch me roar as I also pay my way to helping those less fortunate than I.
Left? Right? Pfaff! Compassion! Humanity! Co-operation! Understanding!
Read history. Read research. Stop the platitudes and racism. Under the Convention of the United Nations, the Treaty of Waitangi lives.

Thank you.

A smart black American once said "the quickest way to disenfranchise a race is to give them welfare". That was in the 60s. Seems nothing has been learnt.

Why Richard, you forgot "Dishonour agreements, then steal their land."

I do not read anonymous posts, but I did read 'economic student's', and like him I've read Orange, Salmond and others. Good history.
I am supportive of the Waitangi Tribunal process dealing with long and real held grievances, which even when upheld and apologised for, nowhere near make good what was lost/taken/won/ bought cheaply by those unauthorised to buy or sell, etc.
As for the investigation into a possible written constitution, I am wary. So too is one of the commisssion members, namely Michael Cullen. But I will assess what they report back and work from there.
It is sad so much of the above comment is investive and of little relevance to what Hide has actually written. I am happy he's expressed his view here as it is a valid one and it will help make people aware, including those on the commission (the Worthies, Rodney calls them)...