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Sunday, August 23, 2009

Mauri party seats on Auckland City Council

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There is a debate raging in NZ over whether Maoris should have seats on the Auckland City Council. The arguments between vested interests appear to be divided over:
1. Democratic representation: This argument holds that we live in a democracy, and the principle of democracy is that each person has a vote, irrespective of their race.
2. Treaty settlement: This argument holds that Auckland is not simply about democratic traditions, but rather was the result of a Treaty settlement with the original inhabitants of the area.

The problem I have with each of these arguments is the following:
1. Democracy is not a desirable political system in as much as reason is not the standard of value. Numbers matter more than reasons, so I would argue that Maoris have too much 'numbers' power in the Greater NZ political system, so I would not be so keen to offer Maoris a similar share of a bad system. Having said that, Maoris should have a voice in a system where reason is the standard.
2. Auckland is not a national government. There is a great deal of difference between a national government which subsumes universal education, defence, etc policies and a regional government which tends to dictate land use patterns. I think there is an important distinction to be made in terms of traditional Maori issues, and the origin of those issues. I think Auckland is a Western 'modified environment', so it ought to be evident that it should be driven by Western values, not Maori values. That said, Maoris still have a presence in Auckland. They therefore ought to have recourse through the court system, and of course they do on matters of principle.
3. Maori Party is not necessarily representative. The Maori Party does not necessarily represent all Maori people, even if most Maoris do vote with the party, there should be no necessity that they do. Clearly a push by the Maori Party for more representation in the Auckland City government is an attempt to get more 'arbitrary' power. What is really needs, and only has a right to is the power and influence of a better argument. Judging by their lack of 'influence' in national politics, they would hardly be the best custodian of Maori interests anyway. That is of course the decision of Maoris to decide, and to the extent that democracy and legal provisions offer that participation, that is the sensible approach. Of course I maintain my objections to democracy. Its a poor system that shackles the creative genius of the human mind.

In conclusion the Maori Party does not deserve seats on the Auckland City Government. If it wants to protect the interests of its people, it should engage with the national government on sovereign issues. It could greatly benefit by engaging in judicial activism.

Want to learn about a better system? Read here.

'Buying NZ Property – Download the free sample readings!

NZ presents some of the most alluring property in the Western World; particularly given the greater easy of residency, the low cost of property, and the liveability of the country. In addition, there is no capital gains tax, transfer taxes, VAT/GST or wealth taxes in NZ, so rest assured that NZ property is tax-effective! Learn more now!

New Zealand Property Report 2010 - Download the table of contents or buy this 180-page report at our online store for just $US19.95.


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