Apr 21, 2021


Maori News & Indigenous Views

Rebuilding Maori Democracy | Potaua Biasiny-Tule

2 min read

We all know that over half the Maori population living in Aotearoa stayed home at last year’s election. The simple fact is that while democracy as a political system is gaining wider international acceptance, Maori still see very little direct relevance of casting their vote to determining our own political future.

Perhaps it was the rain, or that Hone Harawira had split the Maori Party by forming the Mana Movement, allowing Labour to walk through the centre and take the seat of Te Tai Tonga? Maybe whanau still think Pakeha invaded and that their imposed system still has no place here, or that some of us had better things to do with our Saturday. Whatever the case, the impending Constitutional Review Group may shake our very existence to its core.

Imagine if New Zealand wanted to form into a single state and join the Federation of Australia? How would that affect your hapu? Or that a Constitution for a new Aotearoa was drafted and then a civil war between Pakeha and Maori ensued, splitting homes and dividing the country even further?

After watching the fall of longstanding colonial administrations across the globe, it is not unthinkable to hear the call for an Occupy Our Marae Movement, blocking the current Government’s plan (and scam) to sell State Owned Assets to hand-selected Maori leaders, in a per-cursor to a deeper commitment toward Maori political assertiveness.

The component parts to greater political activity, ability and influence are there but being forced by artificial timelines or lacking the instruments and resources to create a clear, coherent, whakatika and whakapono political vision for all Maori may further fragment and confuse our immediate political growth.

Sure, some of the ingredients are order, power, structural & procedural organisation but what price will we pay reach at least a comfort stop on the longer road to rebuilding Maori democracy?

Will we have to again mass, rally and fight in the streets just to gain a little attention from the powerbrokers, who will inevitably initiate kupapa-styled talks with emphasis on compromise toward some form of all-encompassing national sense of healing and reconciliation?

Or will we just all get hoha and lose patience, further undermining any political function of worth and meaning?

2012 is shaping up to be an interesting year indeed…





2 thoughts on “Rebuilding Maori Democracy | Potaua Biasiny-Tule

  1. I am one of those who still feel the pakeha have robbed my whanau intergenrationally and continue doing it.

    If the Crown in addmitting illegal actions historical through compensation and in some cases an apology,then why do many Maori stand infront of a judge for crimes of need.

    The Crown stole our potential to look after our whanau in a sustainable way and we find ourselves committing crimes to feed our whanau due to the theft on all levels and we get convicted. Who is the theft?

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