Nats not Maori enough?

The leader and deputy leader of the National Party are Maori.

So is Labour’s deputy, the leader and deputy of New Zealand First, and one of the two contenders for the co-leader of the Green Party.

That ought to be something to celebrate.

It is except that several commentators don’t think National’s Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett are Maori enough.

 . . Bridges’ generational change then is about as solid as his claims to his Maori heritage and that of his deputy, neither of whom have made much of it in their rise up through the ranks; not altogether surprising considering their new leader is just three sixteenths Maori and Bennett’s grandmother was half-Maori. . . 

Funny how it’s only an issue when it’s the National Party.

That aside, the  furore illustrates one of the problems with identity politics – they divide rather than unite.

There is no single way to be a Maori, any other race or ethnicity, gender or any of the other groups people may or may not identify with.

There will be a lot of urban Maori whose experiences are similar to those of the National leadership duo, does that make them any less Maori?

Of course not.

Let’s celebrate that we’re in a country where race, gender and any of the other factors which separate and are used to discriminate against people in other countries simply don’t matter without nit-picking over what does or doesn’t constitute this or that identity.

3 Responses to Nats not Maori enough?

  1. Will says:

    Good luck with that.

    Like

  2. adamsmith1922 says:

    Comment I thought I had reblogged:-

    Homepaddock looks at the furore in some quarters over Bridges and Maori not really Maori enough. This concern over blood % from some smacks of racism of the worst kind and is reminiscent of regimes of the past elsewhere in the world.
    However,there is an issue which tends to be ignored and that is those who for a variety of reasons choose to play up their Maori heritage and to effectively deny other aspects of their ancestry.
    As a Maori colleague of mine once remarked, these are the ‘professional’ Maori and he meant it disparagingly. Indeed, some ‘activists’ seem to belong to that category.

    Like

  3. adamsmith1922 says:

    Reblogged this on The Inquiring Mind and commented:
    My apologies, this was originally meant for this post, but I made a mistake. My comment on this excellent post from Ele:-

    Homepaddock looks at the furore in some quarters over Bridges and Maori not really Maori enough. This concern over blood % from some smacks of racism of the worst kind and is reminiscent of regimes of the past elsewhere in the world.
    However,there is an issue which tends to be ignored and that is those who for a variety of reasons choose to play up their Maori heritage and to effectively deny other aspects of their ancestry.
    As a Maori colleague of mine once remarked, these are the ‘professional’ Maori and he meant it disparagingly. Indeed, some ‘activists’ seem to belong to that category.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: