Devoy slams ACT for Maori attacks

Last updated 18:50 30/07/2014

Relevant offers

Politics

Ella Lawton hopes to fulfil mother's dying wish to take her place on Otago Regional Council Chinese Premier Li rejects steel dumping claim, cites larger NZ dairy exports Bill English says SAS inquiry unlikely after Defence Force attacks Hit and Run 'inaccuracies' Damning Afghanistan war report criticises lack of planning for NZ deployment Defence Force chief slams 'major inaccuracies' in SAS Afghanistan allegations Dave Armstrong: Where was the caution at time of raid? Chinese Premier Li Keqiang arrives in New Zealand for visit and trade talks ACT leader David Seymour says party can't afford any 'screw-ups' Labour accuses Government of planning to 'asset-strip' state houses from regions Ratings agency Moody's gives NZ economy highest possible rating

As politicians seek the limelight in the run-up to the general election, Race Relations Commissioner Dame Susan Devoy has hit out at ACT attacks on Maori.

Devoy is urging politicians to "do the right thing and stick to those major issues that will help make New Zealand a better place for all our children to grow up in".

She labelled comments by ACT leader Jamie Whyte that Maori enjoyed legal privilege "grotesque and inflammatory".

Whyte particularly upset Devoy when he asserted Maori enjoyed a degree of legal privilege comparable to that of the pre-revolutionary French aristocracy.

"Equating Maori New Zealanders to French aristocrats who were murdered because of their privilege is a grotesque and inflammatory statement," she said.

"Accusations of Maori privilege are not borne out by Maori socioeconomic statistics.

"Whether we like it or not the reality is that ethnicity and disadvantage are connected and found in damning statistics that on average sees Maori New Zealanders' life expectancy, education and health outcomes lagging behind non-Maori New Zealanders'."

A connection between ethnicity and disadvantage did not appear overnight, she said.

"Treating everyone exactly the same will not necessarily make everyone exactly the same and anyone who thinks so is incredibly naive."

The United Nations in its latest review of human rights had recommended New Zealand do better in a range of areas, including the socioeconomic outcomes for Maori New Zealanders, Devoy said.


Ad Feedback

- Stuff

Comments

Special offers
Opinion poll

Should the speed limit be raised to 110kmh on some roads?

Yes

No

Vote Result

Related story: 110kmh limit moves closer

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content