MMP not necessarily better for Maori

Alternatives to MMP will not necessarily  reduce the ability of Maori to get into parliament:

Since its introduction in 1996 MMP has meant “More Maori in Parliament”. It is the best system, of those on offer, for Maori representation in the New Zealand parliament, says Maori politics lecturer Dr Maria Bargh.

On the contrary, in an excellent post fact-checking the referendum Graeme Edgeler writes:

Under MMP there are currently 7 Maori seats. A change to first past the post, or preferential voting, or single transfer vote systems would see an increase in the number of Maori seats to at least 12, and probably 13 seats. A change to the supplementary member system would see an increase at least 9 and possibly 10 Maori seats.

Any voting system which has more electorates will result in more Maori seats. Regardless of the system Maori will also have as much a chance as anyone else of seeking a general electorate seat.

Maori seats aren’t up for debate by the Electoral Commission should a majority of people vote to change from MMP but that doesn’t guarantee they will remain.

Abolishing them has been National party policy for a couple of elections but dropping that was one of the concessions the party made in coalition negotiations with the Maori Party.

I have no idea what National’s policy on the seats will be for the coming election but it’s a sure bet that Act will campaign on getting rid of them.

If National is able to form the next government and Act has a role as a coalition or support partner and the Maori Party doesn’t, the Maori seats will almost certainly go.

7 Responses to MMP not necessarily better for Maori

  1. Andrei says:

    Actually what would be best for Maori and for all of us would be for them to drop their Irredentism and for us move forward as a nation


  2. Josh says:

    Except many Maori are brought into Parliament through being List MPs, which wouldn’t be an option available for them under FPP, STV or PV. This is also how many other minorities and women have been brought in.


  3. gravedodger says:

    And of course we now have 121 New Zealanders (I hope) in the parliament, many of whom are mongrels with too many ethnic bloodlines in their veins to count and many are more than a little confused as to their gender. I mean to say Hon Tony Ryall’s pink shirts and Clare Curran’s footy Jersey.
    Sighs and removes tongue from cheek.


  4. dave says:

    The media release says a change to another system will “reduce the influence that Maori issues can have”. While there will be 12 or so Maori seats under FPP, which other electoral system, apart from MMP would return at least half of the number of Maori we currently have in the House?.


  5. homepaddock says:

    There are no guarantees under any system Dave, but why should Maori only come in through the list?

    And what’s better MPs answerable to their electorates and their parties as electorate MPs are or ones only answerable to their parties as list MPs are?

    Which MPs have advanced Maori issues? It’s not only Maori list MPs and it’s not only Maori MPs.


  6. dave says:

    They come in on the list because parties dont generally select them as candidates for general seats – safe or otherwise – unless they are first answerable to their party before Maori issues.. Those who do have a Maori as part of candidate selection process don’t often select the Maori – so Maori get to contest few seats. Any Maori who is to get selected as a general seat candidate – such as Jami-Lee Ross – has to be first answerable to their party.

    And Ross is a perfect example of a Maori in parliament who would rather be answerable to his party instead of advancing Maori issues. Some National list MPs are keen to promote Maori interests – but National wont select them in winnable seats.


  7. homepaddock says:

    But what are Maori interests? There will be many views on that.

    Only about half the people who identify as Maori are on the Maori roll – surely it’s just as important for them to have Maori representation as those in generals seats and Jami-Lee does that.


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