NZ’s experience proves the Voice is not a ‘simple request’

How best to understand the danger of the activists’ divisive Voice to Parliament?

Ask a Kiwi like Casey Costello, an equality campaigner with Maori and Irish/English heritage, who as spokesperson of Hobson’s Pledge, knows the grave consequences of dividing our democratic system by race.

She joined Fair Australia spokeswoman Senator Jacinta Nampijinpa Price in Canberra this week to issue a grim warning about what Australians can expect if New Zealand’s version of the Voice is a guide.

Remember this is what is coming if the dangerous and divisive Voice gets up.

In an interview with former Senator Amanda Stoker on Sky News, Casey spoke about how New Zealand’s government has given the Maori “a special kind of constitutional status”.

She said New Zealand’s Voice and Treaty for the Maori – in the form of the Waitangi Tribunal – has become a “co-governance” model.

This means there are two governments in New Zealand, one for Maori, one for non-Maori.

And they are constantly in conflict.

Casey said this system has divided New Zealand by race on the assumption that “better decisions will be made because the Maori’s will have a voice”.

The reality?

“Instead, it is a self-appointed, elitist minority advocating that they speak for all Maori, and the outcomes aren’t being achieved. In fact, in some areas we’ve gotten worse outcomes,” she said.

The specifics are terrifying.

Firstly, Casey told us that “the system perpetuates a narrative that the Maori are pre-determined to failure because of their race. This is the worst thing we can do for young people. The idea that they need special representation. The idea that you won’t get a hand-up, but a continuous hand-out.”

Second, she said, “those that claim to represent these most at-need people, have the perfect opportunity to deny any culpability for failing to deliver because they blame things like systemic racism and colonisation for their failure to deliver. So, we just end up with a downward spiral of welfare dependency and no tangible benefit.”

Even New Zealand’s Supreme Court is now taking into account the “idea of tikanga Maori – which is an idea referring to our traditions and our protocols. It was introduced into the court system to determine an outcome in a court case. We’ve also introduced the idea of cultural impact at sentencing.”

For instance, “if an offender is determined to have been affected by colonisation, that impacts their sentence. As a victim of crime, how do you combat these things?”

“Law should be the law for all. It should be the same – no differentiation. It's really dangerous,” she said.

Believe it or not, it gets worse.

In 2011 the New Zealand government passed a law, the Marine and Coastal Area Act, which confiscated public ownership and created Customary Marine Title, which only Maori could claim. 

580 claims were lodged and the very first Agreement awarded a tribe title to 15 kilometres of beach, even though it had been used by the public for fishing, swimming and hiking since 1840.

Casey said this caused the creation of a “coastal-owning tribal aristocracy”, which owns “valuable seabed minerals, charges for boat ramps, blocks competitors wanting to set up businesses such as mussel farms, and charges fees for cultural consultancy, which nobody wants or needs”.

This is the end result of the Voice. It’s really about a treaty and “co-governance”.

It’s about dividing our nation.

So, make sure to take the pledge today to fight back against the Voice before it tears our country in two…