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‘Public will reject blatant power grab’

Opinion Piece

This nation is in a battle for the hearts, minds and property of all freedom-loving people who swear allegiance to our founding principles. It is not something we want to take part in or have personal responsibility for, but the result will determine the type of society we bequeath to future generations of New Zealanders.

It is a fight (whoops, got to be careful using that word these days — in some quarters it could get you strung up) that we must win.

Our opponents are those who are acting like the “colonialists” they claim to despise.

They want to take from you your legitimate rights acquired by birth.

This proposal to impose Maori wards is an act to subvert the will of the bulk of the people who don't want it in any shape or form.

And the tragic fact about it is that it doesn't need to happen in order for the invading forces to get what they say they need. They already have it to a greater degree and in a more beneficial form than in the capacity they are using to force it upon us.

The proposed racist legislation will put race relations in this country back 100 years.

I don't know anybody who wants that.

However, in all battles, the leaders (l hasten to add l am not one of those) must decide when to make a tactical withdrawal. In that context, now is such a time for those of us who have been forced to become reluctant participants in this current skirmish.

However, it should not be seen as an admission of defeat.

It doesn't mean that we are abandoning the struggle to save this country from descending into just another failed state that showed so much promise in its early development. But it is time for a “David Lange” breather and cup of tea.

Make no mistake — we will return, armed with public opinion that will reject this blatant grab for power that the protagonists can't achieve through the normal democratic process. We will sweep them and their vassals from their positions of authority illegally gained because of a sense of entitlement that is not legitimate or real.

It doesn't even represent a true reflection of the state of race relations in this country.

And l believe the majority of the supposed beneficiaries of these cowardly actions are more than a little bit embarrassed that their good name should be used as a motivating factor in this war of attrition. If and when this incitement to violence is put to a national vote, we will see the true nature of support for these unwanted and unneeded measures.

So, it is timely for a word to those who have been involved with or have already signed the petition to force a vote on this issue, and say a big thank you for your response. Please believe that this movement has and always has had the moral high ground. We are right to protect the very basis of our existence as a multicultural, sovereign nation.

Our mixed-race forebears who died in defence of these freedoms would expect us to do so.

■ See today's editorial

  1. Lara says:

    Clive,
    What country do you think you reside in? Calm down man, you will give yourself a nosebleed!
    Your hyperbole sounds like the feverish nonsense spouted by some of the white people in America who resent sharing power with minority groups.
    NZ’s public will not see the decision to allow for Maori Wards as a ‘blatant power grab’. I am pretty sure the majority of NZers who are fair minded will be quite happy to see Maori have equitable representation at council tables. After all, many of us are part of interracial families and know how important this will be for our Maori whanau members.
    Thankfully we will have Maori Wards now and about time too. So just be gracious and give this dog a bone.

    1. G R Webb says:

      So what is inequitable about having four Maori at the Council decision-making table?

      1. Lara says:

        Well Gordon,
        They at the moment are not at the council table to ensure the Maori world view is actively considered. Now that we will have Maori Wards, the Maori world view will be at the table. Which is going to be very helpful for local Maori and long overdue.

        1. Gordon Webb says:

          So what are they at the table for? You have some deluded view that representatives of Maori wards represent only Maori and their “world view”. Sorry to torpedo your stance but the Council’s Booklet on Maori Wards suggests that “All elected members, whether elected from General or Maori ward(s) represent the entire community”.

    2. Kathryn Truscott, Wairarapa says:

      This proposed law change undermines the basic democratic principle that governs modern NZ. If you cannot see that, and that to which it will inevitably lead, then further debate is pointless.

    3. Brian Mullane, Wairarapa says:

      Lara,
      Re: your comment of American white people’s resentment of power sharing with minority groups, I assume you are meaning with the black citizens of USA.
      May I suggest you research how the US black population have been represented in the USA Congress.
      They win their way into Congress by standing in the same seats as the ‘white’ people do. They don’t have a ‘special side door’ for them to enter as poor, under-represented waifs, but have got there by pride, determination and the will to be part of the democratic system. To do otherwise would be portrayed as tokenism, even nepotism.
      You earn your right to be where ever you are in any station in life and to be handing out seats at a decision-making council, that impacts everyone in that community, is wrong.

      1. Lara says:

        Brian,
        African Americans are not USA’s first people and do not have a treaty with their government. There is no equivalence in your argument in relation to Maori and the Crown.
        Native Americans are still suffering greatly in terms of health, education and income outcomes compared to white Americans and Native Americans continue to be treated very badly in the United States.

  2. Clive Bibby says:

    You’re a sad act Lara.
    You ought to check a few facts before rushing off to lambast me over my use of the English language.
    It can’t be hyperbole if it accurately expresses the author’s feelings, and my words are designed to do just that. My comments are definitely not exaggerations and it isn’t my fault if you and your ilk can’t handle the truth.
    And anyway, your criticism of my column should be directed at the editor who chose to ignore my suggested rather mild heading and instead added his own interpretation of my piece that was obviously designed to get a rise from the usual suspects. Talk about incitement.
    It looks as if he succeeded.

    Footnote from Ed: Clive’s suggested headline (which I admittedly forgot to copy from his email subject line, to consider as a potential headline) was:
    The fight we don’t want but need to have

    1. Lara says:

      Clive,
      You really don’t help your causes when you attack people who respond to you. I am not sure whether calling me a ‘sad act’ helps people to take you seriously, it does make you sound like an angry man though.
      Additionally the word hyperbole means to make statements that exaggerate.
      So your comments, whilst being your opinions can also be hyperbole. Your commentary is emotive and seeks to scare people. Cut it out.

    2. Aimee Milne says:

      Crikey Clive. That’s a bit dramatic. You’re not losing anything and you’re certainly not a victim. We’re moving forward now. Everything will be ok!

  3. Clive Bibby says:

    Don’t want to speak for Gordon but I take from his comment that he was referring to the 4 councillors who claim Maori heritage who are already seated at the Council table – Crs Akuhata-Brown, Wharehinga, Burdett and Dowsing.
    I also assume Gordon was asking how that number out of 13 councillors equates with inequitable representation or an even more insulting suggestion that these councillors, collectively, are unable to adequately put the local Maori point of view each time it is requested.
    But he is more than capable of correcting any confusion arising from his remarks if he feels it is required.

    1. Gordon Webb says:

      Not only those 4 Councillors but at least 2 others correctly paddle the waka when necessary. I applaud that. And so separate representation becomes otiose.

  4. Clive Bibby says:

    Lara and Aimee
    I’m a grown up and realise that if you want to get into these types of public discussions, you have to take a fair amount of criticism, most of it unjustified but it is part of the price you pay for entering a public debate.
    Most of my opponents seem perfectly happy to defame and malign me at every opportunity but become rather agitated when I respond in defence of my own reputation. They can dish it out but can’t take the heat when the blowtorch of public opinion turns against them.
    But I’m happy to let the readers decide who has the backing of majority support.
    I doubt it is either of you two and if we were ever allowed to have a vote on this issue
    I am confident you would find that simple statement to be true.
    Wonderful rain. We really needed it.

    1. Will Dobbie says:

      “Wonderful rain. We really needed it.”
      Yup,
      from Matthew 5:45….”He causes his sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sends rain on the righteous and the unrighteous.”
      For this too I am most thankful.
      Cheers, W

  5. Pamela Crawford says:

    Clive, we are a bi-cultural nation not a multicultural one. Although, yes, we have other ethnicities living in Aotearoa. Having other ethnicities living here does not make the bi-cultural relationship, between Māori and the Crown, under the Treaty, void.

  6. Cameron Hunter, Harataunga says:

    Wow! This talk of, “fights, cowardly actions, incitement to violence, illegitimate authority, protecting the very basis of our existence, subversion of will, swearing allegiance, we will return” etc, has all the inflammatory hallmarks of a disgraced US President!
    It’s difficult to imagine that since Maori don’t control our country’s military, police force, its law-making machine and represent a mere 15% of the vote, that such comments are well-founded.
    One of the freedoms our forebears (including Maori) died in defence of was speech. Including, unfortunately, that of bigots.

  7. Clive Bibby says:

    With respect Pamela, I appreciate that some would prefer we had remained a mono-culture but we are what we are and while recognising that simple fact, need to find a way that will celebrate the positive contributions that each culture brought to this country – including that of tangata whenua which began with a migration of its own.
    I can’t imagine the Muslim families, whose newly granted citizenship was attacked with such vengeance last year, would disagree with the assumption that they are entitled to the same rights as you and I even though we are descendants of the two groups who signed a bi-cultural document.
    After all, the constant critical refrain of those who oppose my stance is that we all need to move on.
    I don’t see how we can do that while your hope is for a future not shared with a significant number of new arrivals.
    I believe those who were signatories of the treaty would have been hoping for a shared future with equal status for all who gave allegiance to its founding principles – irrespective of origin.
    You seem to doubt that was their intention.

  8. Thelma Karaitiana says:

    Conflict and disagreements are inevitable in all relationships because people simply do not always have the same needs, opinions, and expectations. But when the disagreement is irrational and runs amok so as to deliberately generate conflict, then others have an obligation to challenge it.
    Disagreement is commonplace enough, but it becomes dangerous when it seeks to invoke bias towards other members of society. The threats and bullying threaded throughout Mr Bibby’s article are frankly a poor choice of words which do nothing to foster freedom, creativity, and safety in our communities. I fail to see how inciteful behaviour provides protection in a society so desirous of safety and wellbeing. If the point is to disagree with the tangata whenua activating their democratic right to challenge the norm of the local government statutory process, then surely making a submission will suffice.

    1. Kurt Mastrovich, Auckland says:

      Fantastic comment Thelma, you hit the nail on the head! I couldn’t help but feel deeply saddened by Clive’s quite frankly abhorrent opinion and I’m glad that the reality is those of us who are the future reject his opinion.