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Nationals attempt at misappropriating Apartheid must be called out: Tukaki

The Chair of the National Maori Authority, Matthew Tukaki, has said that the use of “segregation” and “apartheid” to describe Maori interest and rights by National and their supporters is nothing more than dog whistle politics and has no place in New Zealand. Tukaki has said they should apologise to people of colour for appropriating words that caused deep harm and grief in places such as South Africa and the Southern United States – words used to describe the “Oppression of black people and people of colour”.

The word Apartheid could apparently be heard from a member at the annual National Party gathering in Auckland.

“I find it remarkable and a disgrace that this sort of behaviour is somehow now the new normal in an opposition party that should be doing more to create good policies and to hold the government to account. The reality is that this notion of appropriating words that would then somehow describe Maori as now being the segregators shows more about where National are than Maori as a whole.” Tukaki said

“The other notion that somehow standing up a Maori Health Authority is going to see somehow Maori hospitals being stood up next to current hospitals or that somehow commissioning local Hauora to work with Maori on some of the many confronting health disparities in this country is segregation is a con. It is an absolute con. As is the dog whistling that somehow its going to lead to a separate Maori Government and the list just goes on.” Tukaki said

“This country deserves an effective Opposition that focuses on good policy and effective policy. National was wiped on the floor because they could not get there act together but then to use apartheid and segregation to build up a base is nothing more than striking fear into the hears of people – and using Maori interest and rights to do it.” Tukaki said

“Quite frankly if you are Maori or a person of colour inside the National Party today I’d hand in your badge and go and join an Opposition party that speaks for you not down to you. And that is the sad reality of a party that not only did things for Maori many years ago but where many of our leaders used to be such as Sir Graeme Latimer. And if National think that by running in the Maori seats they are somehow going to improve their vote – then for all of those Maori out there who are more conservative in nature – a vote for National right about now is a vote for the same old structures that have done more to keep us all down than build us up.” Tukaki said


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