One of the most common arguments against Maori wards is that they would be a racist development but that is a misuse of the term. Racism generally means to act against people simply because of ethnicity and Maori wards will not do that. They are a positive rather than negative concept but are they really justifiable? Many non-Maori don’t think so but seem reluctant to say so in case of accusations of racism.

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A couple of weeks ago, following an unseemly bout of infantile intolerance over the use of te reo Maori at a Grey Power meeting, I asked in this column if we had become a little too sensitive about the differences between Maori and non-Maori social and cultural norms. It had been suggested, in a Grey…

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In spite of more than 200 years of European settlement of, and presence in, New Zealand can we still hear the faint echoes of the clash of cultures or have we become a little too sensitive about our differences? The use of te reo Maori by Opotiki District councillor Louis Rapihana at the opening of…

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Has the Tauranga City Council embarked on a new era of inclusiveness with the decision to establish a Māori Ward for the 2022 local government elections, or have they driven the wedge of division even deeper into an already seriously divided community? Wellington City Council has also recently discussed the same possibility and both councils…

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Monuments and memories of the past have been in the news in recent weeks and on almost all occasions for all the wrong reasons. It is appropriate from time to time to examine and question how we remember our past but that needs to be done in a reasoned and intelligent manner by reasonable and…

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Many people will be relieved that a group of amateur explorers have given up their search for evidence of a race of eight-foot pre-Polynesian people in caves in the remote rural area of Waikaretu. Every culture has ancient legends of unusual people in their folk lore. The Irish have their mischievous leprechauns and Maori have the…

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From the first settlement of Māori claims against the Crown for breaches of the 1840 Treaty of Waitangi about 20 years ago there have been uninformed comments and accusations that the money iwi received went to a privileged few and most Māori saw nothing of it. Many commenters still hold the belief that these settlements…

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The Kingitanga is, by its very nature, a political organisation but should it dabble in politics or not? Earlier this year the current Maori King Tuheita made the surprising announcement to endorse specific political parties in the lead up to the NZ general election. Was it a desperate move or a mistake?

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Does New Zealand need a formal constitution of rights for it’s citizens? Some politicians suggest it would be a hinderance to government. Others say it would be impossible to include the rights of The Treaty of Waitangi (image courtesy of Archives New Zealand). 

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