Maori Politics Are Not A No-Go Area

For many pakeha, the Treaty of Waitangi is an exclusively Maori domain. It is seen as simply a mechanism for the pursuit of Maori grievance. This indifference to our defining constitutional document means that our country is weaker and less united than it should be. Similarly, Maori politics are seen as solely a Maori concern […]

Why Have Maori Leaders Got It Right?

As a chastened Prime Minister looks back over the last six months and registers the decline in his own standing and that of his government, his record over that period leaves a number of unanswered but increasingly pressing questions. It is clear enough, of course, that the Epsom cup of tea last November seemed to […]

Opening Our Minds

Over the past four years of recession, we have seen a re-run of the debate that surrounded the Great Depression. In the 1930s, there were those, like Herbert Hoover, who insisted that austerity – by cutting government spending – was the way to beat recession. Others, like John Maynard Keynes, were convinced that the remedy […]

What Do Maori Know That We Don’t?

So, now we know. When the Prime Minister said last year, in respect of the proposed sale of the Crafar farms to the Chinese, that New Zealanders would not want to be “tenants in their own land”, it was a statement “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.” The Prime Minister tells us now that […]

To Sell Or Not To Sell

It is I suppose inevitable, in the run-up to an election, that any comment on an issue of public interest – like the excessive deference paid by the media to the Prime Minister, or the proposed sale of publicly owned assets – should be seen by party hacks exclusively in terms of the inter-party battle. […]

The Maori Challenge

When I left New Zealand for the first time in 1962 to study at Oxford University, I took with me an LP (yes, real vinyl!) of the St Joseph’s Maori Girls Choir. I was amazed to discover over my years in Britain that the one thing guaranteed to make me homesick was playing that record. […]