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Maori Party v the rest of us

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer wrote a rip-snorter for the Herald on Wednesday.

She neatly explained how she divides New Zealanders into three groups: (1) tangata of the whenua (people of the land), (2) tangata of the tiriti (people of the treaty), and (3) people like me who disagree with her.

She leaves no room for doubt that her schema is hierarchical. The people of the land were first and had no need for the treaty. The people of the treaty need the treaty, recognise treaty partnership and are "comfortable loudly declaring they're recovering racists".

These people "stood side by side with us fighting for Māori wards" and other causes dear to the Māori Party.

The rest of us by implication are non-recovering racists.

She says treaty people report "the violence of white supremacists who are scared of what Māori will do if the balance of power tilts".

I am a “one person, one vote” guy that wants the law blind to skin colour. I am fearful of the balance of power shifting in favour of one race over another. It’s unclear whether for Ms Ngarewa-Packer that makes me a “white supremacist” but clearly she has me down as a “non-recovering racist” which is at least next door.

In her schema all non Māori are racist with her distinction being those who are recovering and those who are not.

Ms Ngarewa-Packer tells us she is "excited as heck" because as she sees it tangata whenua and tangata tiriti are uniting as a nation while "everyone else is being left in the past".

Maybe. Maybe not.

The New Zealand Herald published the following after her opinion piece:

“Kia ora,

After attempting to moderate this post, the NZ Herald social team has decided to disable comments. Racism will not be tolerated on this page. We understand that this is frustrating that whenever we share the opinions of Māori, we get bombarded with racist comments.”

What's not clear is whether there's a lot of racism or just a lot of people who disagree with Ms Ngarewa-Packer.

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