Mrs Robertson - A Wake-up Call For Maori

  • John Delamare

Te Tai Rawhiti MP, Tuariki Delamere, says today's revelation that Mrs Margaret Robertson, the anti-MMP reformer, is somewhat more than a mere housewife and is in fact married to the spokesman for the anti-Maori One New Zealand Foundation should serve as a timely wake-up call for Maoridom.

"I have long considered, and in recent months publicly warned, that the backlash against MMP has been driven by a reaction against the obvious gains in political influence that MMP has given Maori.

"It is for those reasons that I strongly believe the major political battle for Maori is the battle to retain MMP in its current form. Many in the majority culture resent the influence MMP has given to Maori and want to go back to first-past-the-post (FPP) or modify MMP in order to bring back and reinforce the advantages the majority culture enjoyed under FPP.

" I have made no secret of the fact that I believe this is a battle that can not be fought within the confines of political structures controlled by the majority culture. It is obvious that for Maori to maximise, and indeed even retain, their current level of influence under MMP, then this is best and most effectively achieved within a political vehicle that is controlled by Maori and supported by the broadest possible spectrum of Maori."

"This has been an uphill battle. I am truly disappointed that some Maori leaders seem to be more concerned with protecting the vested interests they currently enjoy within Pakeha-controlled political structures than the interests of Maoridom as a whole.

"Despite the roadblocks, and despite the fact that it is probably not in my own best political interests, I am going to keep on pushing this message to Maori. Trusting Pakeha to protect Maori interests is, as the Chinese say, like trusting the tiger to guard a goat. One of the problems with some Maori leaders is that they think the goats can control the tiger."