'It's about Māori aspiration' Calls for more Māori seats in Parliament

The AM Show 01/07/2021

Former National Party leader Don Brash and Chair of the National Māori Authority Matthew Tukaki, went on The AM Show this morning to discuss their thoughts of the controversial He Puapua document.

When asked about what co-governance looks like, Matthew Tukaki said, "For me it's not about co-governance. It's about Māori aspiration,"

"If you talk to everyday Māori right across this greatest country of ours, what you're hearing is people that just want to aspire - hope, opportunity, aspiration. They just want to make sure that we bring down health disparities; they just want to make sure that they're in their own house they own, that they're not renting from somebody down the road; they just want a job; they just want to make sure their kids go to school with shoes on their feet. That means having a say in decision-making."

"I would obviously like to see more Māori seats in Parliament, and I'll tell you why. That's because the Māori population is increasing - if you look at the average size of an electorate, and then you have a look at the average size of the Māori population, my goodness - we should have, you know, another couple of electorates in Parliament...

"Let's have a conversation about the future of the Treaty of Waitangi and constitutional arrangements - look, I love [Queen Elizabeth II], but she ain't lasting the next decade. Let's have a conversation about what the future looks like not only for Māori, but for New Zealand."

Dr Brash believes that there is already enough Māori seats to cover the population.

"There are lots of Māori who have won electorate seats, for example - Simon Bridges"

"Obviously we want Māori to participate in our country and our decision-making and so on, but 12 months back - I don't know the data right now - the leader and deputy leader of National, leader and deputy leader of New Zealand First, deputy leader of Labour, co-leader of the Greens and even the leader of the ACT Party were all Māori."

"We're making people choose between their Māori ancestors and their Pakeha ancestors, every single person who identifies as Māori in this country, also has Pakeha ancestors. We're forcing them to choose."

Matthew Tukaki replied to Dr Brash's statement saying his views are the from the nineties.

"You would like to take us back to a place where you and the people that you represent would like us to be. The fact of the matter is, we need to look at the future. And the future is okay with brown people being able to have ideas Don. You know- you're using that word seperate. Seperate, seperate, seperate. Māori are not using the word seperate, we're not the ones using the word apartheid as somehow we invented that system to seperate us from Pakeha."

"The words that your using, the words that your movement and your people are using, seperate this, seperate that, its not what we're talking about. We're talking about aspiration, we're talking about lifting Māori from the depths of poverty quite frankly that they are in right now."

Don Brash responded, "I want a situation where every New Zealander is treated equally, I want a situation where people are dealt with on the basis of their need - if they need help with housing, with healthcare, give it to them. That's the way it's always worked,"