Political Expediency Gone Mad
30 August 2005
Don Brash's comments in Tauranga this week are a desperate bid to bring out the worst in New Zealanders and are political expediency gone mad, says Green Party East Coast candidate, Catherine Delahunty.
"People in the East Coast electorate do not need divisive rhetoric. They need more information about our history, and the potential that Te Tiriti o Waitangi offers all citizens for a peaceful future. The Green Party supports more resources going into Te Tiriti education so that we can move forward with some shared understanding of our past. At present many Pakeha do not have a basic grasp of the issues because our education system has failed us. As a Te Tiriti educator in this area I can testify to a widespread lack of historical knowledge amongst Pakeha but a willingness to learn if treated with respect. However ignorance is fertile ground for misunderstanding, and the National Party is trying to capitalise on that.
"On the East Coast there is no evidence that tangata whenua have received special treatment under the law unless it is to end up in prison more often than seems statistically just. The Te Tiriti claims that National want to wrap up with such expediency are about complex property rights which were taken under duress. In an electorate where the large Maori population still lacks redress on many Te Tiriti issues limited access to land and resources still keeps them impoverished. The Brash remarks are particularly unhelpful to social development in our region"
Ms Delahunty said that acting out of political expediency could cause lasting social harm and a vision of respecting the indigenous people was essential to the nation. "The Greens are opposed to "one people" mantras which really mean Maori have to act like Pakeha except at ruby tests".