Two more Maori MPs (Kiwiblog)

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Jami-Lee Ross does his maiden speech today, and I expxect Louisa Wall will be sworn in as an MP next week.

What hasnt been on is that this increases the number of Maori MPs by two (and sadly reduces the Ginga MPs by one).

The House now has21 MPs of Maori descent:

  1. National
    Paula Bennett
  2. Simon Bridges
  3. Tau Henare
  4. Hekia Parata
  5. Paul Quinn
  6. ?Jami-Lee Ross
  7. Georgina te Heuheu
    Labour
  8. Kelvin Davis
  9. Parekura Horomia
  10. Shane Jones
  11. Moana Mackey
  12. Nanaia Mahuta
  13. Mita Ririnui
  14. Louisa Wall
    Green
  15. David Clendon
  16. Metiria Turei
    Maori Party
  17. Te Ururoa Flavell
  18. Rahui Katene
  19. Pita Sharples
  20. Tariana Turia
    Independent
  21. Hone Harawira

So that is 21/122 MPs are of Maori descent, representing 17.2% of Parliament. Now this means that Maori are over-representeed in Parliament, relative to their population proportion. Now I dont think this is at all a bad thing. My belief is that Parliament should be diverse and broadly representative of NZ, but we shouldnt have quotas trying to match the makeup of Parliament to the exact population.

But what it does show is how well MMP has worked for Maori representation. We now have seven Maori MPs in Maori seats, three Maori MPs in general seats (all National) and 11 Maori List MPs.

It also reflects my view that one could do as the Royal Commission recommended, and abolish the Maori seats (in exchange for no 5% threshold on the list for Maori parties). Even without the Maori seats, there would be at least 14 Maori MPs in Parliament (and probably more).

Currently as I said Maori make up 17.2% of the House. This contrasts with being 15.2% of the total population and 12.0% of the adult (18+) population (which I deem as the appropriate comparison).

If there were no Maori seats, then there would be at least 14/120 Maori MPs which is 11.7% of the House almost exactly proportional to the adult population.

Im not an advocate of removing the Maori seats, without significant consent of Maori. It would cause significant disharmony to do so. But it would be good to have a sensible debate about whether the time has come to implement the Royal Commissions recommendations.

What I like about the RCs recommendations is you wuldnt have the tensions of the Maori Party trying to represent all Maori something that is impossible. With no threshold (effectively meaning 0.6%) for Maori based parties instead, it means you may get say three different Maori parties in Parliament a radical Hone type party might get three MPs, a more right ring urban Maori party might get one MP, and an Iwi based party might get say two MPs. It would allow for better diversity of Maori opinion (in my opinion). Plus youd have the Maori MPs in National, Labour and Greens.

Thanks to KiwiBlog for this cool korero and timely reminder…

http://networkedblogs.com/giZJr

Thanks also to Stuff for the choice pic:

http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/4613024/Just-who-is-Jami-Lee-Ross

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