Yellow Peril by Tze Ming Mok

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Yellow Peril: Well, you all asked them for a 'national' vision...

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  • Emma Hart,

    Metiria Turei is Maori and has much better and more thought out policies, IMHO.

    I have a friend who switched over to the Maori roll after Georgina Beyer stood down in the Wairarapa. She now splits her vote, and I had thought that was what a lot of people on the Maori roll do, despite wandering reporters asking people at Ratana which one party they vote for. After examining every party's treaty policies at the last election, she party-voted Green.

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2006 • 4651 posts Report Reply

  • Katie Brockie,

    I remember the good old PEP schemes. I was employed to be an actor and general all-round performer when the Arts Centre in Wgtn was set up in the late 70s, early 80s. There were heaps of talented people there - musicians, artists and performers, many of whom are now cherished kiwi institutions.
    That was a brilliant scheme. It actually employed us to create shows, music and art and perform in the community.It sounds hideously hippyish, but it launched lots of people on to their careers.

    Dunedin • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • Tze Ming Mok,

    Here's an email from a Maori roll voter in Tamaki Makaurau:

    I don't expect the work-for-dole concept to survive debate on the marae, which according to Maori Party tikanga anyway, should occur before the MP's drop a vote on it in the House, or confirm it as an Official Party Policy. Pita will listen, and I would be very surprised if he or the Maori Party will push the work-for-dole idea very far.

    I agree with you - the trail leads back to something like the Community Employment Group. The Brash time-warp may have put us back a few years, but if Pita wants to cut the benefit-depedency strings, Iwi-based community development & employment projects promise more for Maori and NZ than work-for-dole (a tired and suckful idea that doesn't work for all the reasons you and others have pointed out).

    As for the Maori Party swinging right, left, up, down, wherever; they'll go where they're told... I think. And I don't think Maori are currently inclined to demand right-wing policies. Maybe one day, but not just yet.

    For my part I'll be telling Pita: "No work-for-dole, Yes iwi-based community development and employment projects".

    SarfBank, Lunnin' • Since Nov 2006 • 154 posts Report Reply

  • Manakura,

    I don't quite see why Maori need to feel obliged to vote for the Maori Party against their political judgment

    You misunderstand, voting with Maori Party is not some obligation to support the resistance or something. It adheres with my best political judgement because i agree more than I disagree with what the Maori Party has done/said. Isn't it the same for everyone? How many people would vote again for Helen Clark and/or Labour but disagree with say, the handling of the Ahmed Zaoui saga?

    Here's an email from a Maori roll voter in Tamaki Makaurau

    Ae, Kai te tika korero tena. This is what I was inelegantly trying to say about Papa Pita - I don't agree with everything he does but his integrity and mana ensures my continued support. I 'm pretty sure that if the people give a resounding no he and the rest of the party will listen.

    Of course he's a politician - running for election makes you a politician straight away.

    Thanks for that insight into Papa Pita's job title, to make it painfully obvious - politician in the context of my comment meant 'person who will sacrifice ideals, sense of justice and propreity to focus group polling and career ambition'.

    And before the obvious is pointed out again there is no contradiction between WFD not surviving the marae and the above paragraph. Leadership from the flaxroots up is integral to the kaupapa of the Maori party, therefore dropping the idea at the peoples say-so is consistent with Papa Pita's ideals for leadership.

    Whaing─üroa • Since Nov 2006 • 134 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Pita Sharples wouldn't be the first to want to change the status quo on welfare policy.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • DeepRed6502,


    I couldn't give a stuff if Maori are overrepresented. I see that as most likely because of historical reasons than for cultural or racial reasons.

    Regardless of whether one agrees with Samuel Huntington's politics or not, he had a point when he wrote in Clash of Civilisations : "The West won the day, not through the superiority of its ideas, but through the superiority of its organised violence. Westerners often forget this fact. Non-Westerners never do."

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 19 posts Report Reply

  • bronwyn,

    Re. ' a re-launch of the Community Employment Group' scheme - it has been resurrected, albeit on a much smaller scale and with what seems to be a much more stringent application process as the 'Enterprising Communities Scheme'.

    Of course I can see the need to be accountable with use of public money etc. etc. but it seems to me to be a pretty inflexible source of funding of exactly the sort of thing, such as community/iwi based employment and education programmes, that Pita Sharples would seem to support. Part of my job is assisting people with applying for funding, meaning I do it a lot, and even I have struggled a bit with the Enterprising Communities application - a current one is sitting here at about 60 pages long.

    So, perhaps Sharples and like minded politcians could look at what's already in place and see how they could make it work better (i.e. make it easier for people to actually use the money) instead of hatching grand plans to establish yet another scheme...

    (or maybe that's just too simple)

    tamaki makaurau • Since Nov 2006 • 86 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    So, perhaps Sharples and like minded politcians could look at what's already in place and see how they could make it work better (i.e. make it easier for people to actually use the money) instead of hatching grand plans to establish yet another scheme...

    (or maybe that's just too simple)

    In the end, I think that's what Sharples does want - the work for the dole talk is just fluff. Anyway, you can judge for yourself now. Richard Beniston's interview with him yesterday is now online:,

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22850 posts Report Reply

  • WH,

    Thanks for that link Russell.

    I agree with Sharples in that our previous work for the dole scheme does not make all efforts to help people out of welfare with incentives and assistance inevitable failures.

    If done with thought and care (incorporating the efforts of people such as Bronwyn and avoiding the punitive elements introduced to the debate by National and Act) ideas of this kind can be made to work.

    That said, Labour has had great success reducing our unemployment rate and I'm generally happy with that. I've have been on the dole only once, and only then for a few weeks (between university and the start date of my first full time job); but WINZ offered to buy me a suit and give me interview training - although I couldn't in good conscience accept I appreciated the thinking behind the offer.

    Since Nov 2006 • 797 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    I'm all for community based schemes.

    But they'd have to be voluntary - otherwise, how would you avoid discriminating between someone who belonged to a community with an employment programme (and had to join it or lose their dole) and someone else who didn't belong to such a community and could sit at home with impugnity?

    You wouldn't want people disavowing their community just to avoid being forced into a WFD scheme?

    Which brings me back to the benefit of a UBI - people would be able to transition into employment *without*losing their benefits. Which is empowering people to take control of their lives rather than forcing them to do what the state tells them.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Excellent article Tze, but crikey - what with all that reasoned argument and actual data to substantiate your claims, for a moment i forgot i was reading political journalism. don't let the corporate hacks find out or they'll run you out of town for fear the general audience might develope a taste for it.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    As for Pita, I agree a good man with good intentions but that really doesn't count for much until the sentiment is backed by detailed and practicable policy - not to mention at least a skerric of evidence to support its feasibility.
    As for Tariana's new best mate John Key, Mr Millionaire Banker Who's Just Discovered Poor People, I really doubt he could give a flying f*** what happens to the unemployed as long as he squeezes a few more red-neck votes for exploiting their plight. If he DID really care, he'd be a truly new look for National, but all he seems capable of at this point is rehashing the tried, tested and failed policies of the 80s and 90s. I would have expected a little more effort in pretending to offer something new in terms of policy.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Ben Austin,

    Key maybe a fresh face, but I think perhaps you over estimate the ability of one person to totally change a political party. Is a political party an entity that has a conscious will to evolve to survive, or is it a collection of people and views?

    I incline more to the latter view, although I am sure it in some ways has a life of its own. I have no doubt in my mind that there is a large section of the community that whole heartily support the economic changes of the 1980s/90s and do not hold the negative views that other parts of the nation do. I also think that these people would be overly represented in the National Party membership, the people who actually make the party a party, who do the organisational work for elections and the like.

    Plus, unlike in the case of Cameron, the National Party has already restored its fortunes, with the Orewa line. So there is no widespread air of crisis like there was in 2002-2003 that would allow a visionary leader to reorientate National to your preferred option Riddley.

    London • Since Nov 2006 • 1027 posts Report Reply

  • Lyndon Hood,

    Key: If elected National will abolish Maori seats circa 2014 and won't support the foreshore repeal.

    So much for that.

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 1115 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,


    Repealing seabed and foreshore, umm not now.
    Abolishing Maori seats immediately, umm not now.
    Making Corrections separate from Justice, umm not now.
    Pepperpotting state houses is bad, umm not now.
    Fabulous champion of the poor.

    That's FOUR FLIP-FLOPS in one week folks, a fabulous new National record.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

  • Riddley Walker,

    Oops, hard to keep up for us slow peasant types...
    That's FIVE FLIP-FLOPS in one week.

    AKL • Since Feb 2007 • 890 posts Report Reply

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