War of words over alleged Māori privilege

updated By Mānia Clarke-Mamanu

A war of words has ensued between the Green Party's human right's spokesperson and the Hobson's Pledge Trust who are against an investigation into state care abuse of Māori children is racist.

Marama Davidson, says, “We should not pay any attention to the rhetoric by Hobson's Pledge. Most of what they say is racist and also ignorant.”

Hobson's Pledge Trust spokesperson Don Brash says, “In my view, it is she who is racist.  What the Hobson's Pledge Trust is arguing for is a colour blind society where every New Zealander irrespective of when their ancestors came to New Zealand, is treated equally at law.”

The Trust disagrees with an urgent inquiry claim that has been lodged with the Waitangi Tribunal, as to why many of the children under welfare care who suffered abuse, were Māori. 

Brash says, “There's always a case for investigating situations where children may have been abused, whether they're Māori, Pasifika, Asian or European.  I don't think there's any particular grounds for doing this simply because the Waitangi Tribunal calls for that inquiry.”

Davidson, says, “They don't understand the Treaty or self-determination of sub-tribes and tribes.”

It's the latest campaign by the NZ lobby group against Māori privilege since they campaigned for the closing of the Waitangi Tribunal and abolishing Māori electorates last year.  An open letter to support a public enquiry into the abuse of children in CYF care is being circulated.

Davidson says, “The important thing to me is that we stand together to ensure these significant arrangements are in legislation.”

Hobson's Pledge spokespersons Brash and Casey Costello will speak at a public meeting in Waikanae on the 4 April.