November 08, 2023
No place for guilt-tripping in NZ First policy
New Zealand First MP Shane Jones says colonial guilt is not a good starting place for Māori policy.
He says just 87,000 of the 280,000 New Zealanders on the Māori roll voted for the Māori Party, which campaigned on a platform of Māori liberation and indigenous solutions drawn from the past to unlock the wellbeing of the nation.
It’s not what motivated past leaders like Matiu Rata and Koro Wetere, whose reforms delivered the benefits for Māori that Te Pāti Māori is now capitalising on.
“Empowering, developing and giving people the skills is challenging enough without having to be the purveyors or bear the burden as Māori politicians and making sure the whole country feels guilty. I think that’s where the Green party, that’s where the Labour Party has lost substantially large swathes of support from garden-variety kiwis. It is anathema to how New Zealand First believes both the country and Māori should develop,” Mr Jones says.
He says political parties need to gain the support of their fellow New Zealanders before making constitutional changes.