The Independent Statutory Maori Board’s recommendations to the Auckland City Council might well include some good ideas.
But the ones which have got the most attention are NCB – not council business – or at least they shouldn’t be.
The powers of general competence which Labour conferred on council does let them stick their noses into all sorts of areas which aren’t their core domain.
One of the recommendations is for Maori to be compulsory in schools. I have some sympathy with the idea of teaching Maori - learning a second language has many benefits, regardless of which language it is. But the school curriculum is the Ministry of Education’s business, it shouldn’t be a council’s.
Another recommendation is that all Maori homes should be insulated. That won’t go down well with ratepayers in general and will be even less popular with those of limited means who live in uninsualted houses but won’t qualify for council support by dint of race.
Recommendations like these will fuel red neckery and also provide more impetus for a tighter rein on local bodies to ensure they stick to their knitting and stay well clear of activities which are NCB.