Duncan Garner: Playing discrimination card on car smoking ban is letting down Māori kids

Opinion 21/08/2019

Who on earth calls themselves "globally renowned"?

Dr Marewa Glover of Torbay does.

She's a public health researcher who has focused on reducing the rates of Maori who smoke - a great cause - and she has a particular interest in pregnant Māori women and women in general. 

That's also good stuff. 

But the problem is Marewa comes across like a moron.

She's muddled, she's confused, she's torn and, sadly, she's totally compromised due to being a Māori woman herself who is putting a deluded sense of loyalty to iwi, to Māori, ahead of children whose parents are pushing 400 toxins and chemicals into their lungs by smoking in cars - just an arms length away from their babies. 

Māori women remain stubborn when it comes to smoking.

Thirty-seven percent of Māori women smoke cigarettes, just 12 percent of Pākehā do. Glover says passing a law to target those who drive with kids in the back is discriminatory, and it's a shambles. 

Here's the thing, if we carry on her logic, prisons are discriminatory against Māori because 50 percent of the jail population is Māori.

White-collar fraud laws unfairly penalise white males because they make up most of that industry.

Road taxes discriminate against car owners, the list goes on and on. And tobacco tax targets smokers.

Yes, that's right, surprise! 

The best thing Dr Glover can say is that the law is well-meaning but flawed.

Can I suggest Dr Glover may well be on her own on this one?

I think she has let down her people and all our kids with this ridiculous position.

Duncan Garner is host of The AM Show.