Aug 10, 2011


The Police often wonder why people hate them

Wellington bar owners say drunk Maori will be specifically targeted during the World Cup, by a 50-year-old law that has been pulled from the archives by police and the city council.

The law allows Maori wardens to enter bars and remove drunk or violent Maori.

Many bar owners say it is a shameful, racist law and the Government now wants to take a look at it.

Firstly, this is racial profiling. Secondly, New Zealand is, supposedly, a liberal democracy. Liberal democracies do not invoke outdated and racist laws for social control. The major laws currently in use, for example the Sale of Liquor Act 1989, do the job. There is no need to drag out such a reprehensible piece of legislation. The particular part of The Maori Community Development Act, i.e. the Act the Police will invoke, is a testament to New Zealand’s ugly past. I expect every Maori MP, in fact every MP, to work to repeal this repugnant legislation. Every Maori MP is obligated to destroy the remnants of historical racism.

I struggle to understand why the Police consider it necessary to drag this law from its coffin. The current framework works well. I tend to think it’s an example of the authoritarianism that permeates the Police force. If a tool is open to them they will use it regardless of the moral implications and the consequences of its use. Make no mistake, if this law is invoked there will be consequences. We know that some activists have pondered the thought of peaceful protests during the RWC, however if this law is used those protests, assuming they occur, will quickly turn violent. Maori don’t take to persecution well, especially on a one on one basis, or on a crowd basis. Is this what the Police want? To inspire a violent uprising against historical racism and its modern application? Do the Police want to highlight what a racist swamp New Zealand is – in front of the world too?   

I expect the Maori Party to lobby the Government furiously. If they do not, or if the law is not repealed before the RWC, then the Maori Party are worthless. I expect Mana and every other Maori MP to swing in behind them as well. If not, then they are worthless too.        


  1. This is a racist policy because it targets brown skinned people not actually Māori. The colour of someones skin is not equivalent to ethnic background.

  2. Exactly. How do you define Maori? Would a Pasifika person be targeted due to their facial features and the colour of their skin? Would Maori be defined by appearance or by whakapapa (which is the correct way to identify Maori). But of course ones whakapapa is not evident prima facie. This is such a crude law that will never work in practise. I just cannot get over how fucking idiotic the Police are.

  3. I was really disappointed with Pita Sharples' response, while accepting it was dated law and needed review there was little outward concern about its implications or a sense of urgency to deal with it. He may be part of a National led government but he was put in parliament to represent the people that such laws discriminate against.

  4. To answer Morgan's point the Act uses this definition of Maori "Maori means a person of the Maori race of New Zealand;and includes any descendant of such a person".
    So theoretically is cannot be used to target people on the basis of their appearance, not that that makes it any less unacceptable.
    The National Party seem to be quick to use "parliamentary urgency" to change the law (e.g. for Warner Brothers) when it suits them or their mates, they should be using it to repeal such racist provisions without delay.

  5. How, in turn, does one identify a person of the Maori race? Were the definition provided in the legislation to be put before the Courts I tend to think the Judge would hold that identifying a person of the Maori race would be a value judgement and one taken with recourse to certain tests including skin colour, facial features etc... very crude, unreliable and racist.

  6. Your points are valid, but I suspect most police would have the same attitude to this as you and me. I have blogged it here

    What I want to know is why some dickhead in Police came up with this and why Collins said this shit.

    " Police Minister Judith Collins said she did not support the "attack" on the wardens. "There is nothing wrong with the work Maori wardens do."

    Nothing wrong with that but Maori wardens are not the issue the Police are and I think she needs to think about that.

  7. why are people acting surprised the police are doing this to Maaori?

  8. I once read some of the Maori Wardens' PR, which said that these provisions did more good than harm, as protection against excessive marketing of alcohol. I'm not sure whether that was ever true, but I think alcohol is still marketed excessively.

  9. if the law is not repealed before the RWC, then the Maori Party are worthless

    Haven't you already declared the Maori Party worthless for other reasons? You can't threaten to push somebody over the proverbial cliff if they don't shape up when they're already halfway down.

  10. I am astonished. I have observed police targeting non pakeha provocatively in bars on several occasions.

    Quite unnecessary.
    Quite disgusting.

    They have no need to rely on this legislative corpse.

    They do what they like anyway.



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