May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

An Open Letter to Dr. Don Brash from Dr Pita Sharples

2 min read

Dear Dr. Brash,

How sad and disturbing to read your negative ACT party advertisement in the NZ Heralds Weekender July 9, as you once again bring the Maori peoples aspirations into contempt and ridicule. Your views are not only inaccurate and ill-founded, but are totally out of tune with middle New Zealands ideals and aspirations for our country.

It is clear that since your exit from Parliament, you have learnt zilch about fostering an inclusive culture to take our nation forward. Your entire article while posing as an advertisement for the Act party, is devoted almost entirely towards discrediting the Maori drive for a measure of equity within our distinctive genre de vie. Your own culture of Maori bashing is totally designed to appeal to that negative minority within our community (for party votes) and has absolutely no place in a modern society.

So, it is with some amazement, that I note the very positive measures that have been achieved through responsible negotiations between the National government and the Maori Party, have been listed and labelled by you, as negative. Surely, co-governance of the countrys greatest river, Waikato, reflects and respects our history and our aspiration for the river; and equally, the inclusion of a Maori voice in the EPA and the RMA reflects our bi-cultural origins as a base from which to service all our NZ cultures.

In turn, the establishment of the Auckland Maori Statutory Board, recognises our largest citys unique history while promising a united future for the growth and development of the place that is home to the largest grouping of Maori in the world.

Dr. Brash, your divisive style of leadership that is used to discredit one section of our community, has no place in todays politics. As we emerge somewhat slowly from an economic recession, and give our attention to the revitalisation of Christchurch city and its community, and as we work to reduce our overseas debt, it is clearly a time for our nation to be united and working within an air of positivity.

And ironically Dr. Brash, the measures which you have condemned as negative in your party advertisement, are the very issues for which I am approached and congratulated for (on behalf of the Maori partys efforts in Government) by members of the general public EVERY day sometimes by as many as 10-12 a day.

In closing, I would like to draw your attention to the various social, health, and human rights reports that summarise what many of us already know that is, that Maori people are still amongst the most impoverished, the most marginalised, and the most socially at-risk communities in New Zealand. I do not see much evidence of Maori privilege in these statistics. Please do feel free to review such reports at your earliest convenience.

Kati mo tenei wa

Heoi ano

Na Hon Dr Pita R Sharples CBE, MA, Dip Tchg, PhD, TH, JP

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