Justice v political privilege
Western Bay of Plenty District Council mayoral candidate Margaret Murray-Benge (Local Focus, July 16) , believes that her campaign for political equality is not racist, but in my opinion, she seems not to see the difference between justice for Māori and political privilege.
Our Parliament and courts have accepted legally since 1987 that the Treaty of Waitangi requires the government to treat Māori fairly and to make amends for stealing Māori property.
The Treaty promised Maori continued possession and protection of their lands, estates, forests, fisheries and valued possessions (taonga), which did not happen.
Governments now doing things for Māori but not for Pākehā to make amends for injustice to Māori and for stealing Māori property is economic justice. Opposition to economic justice and fairness for Māori by calling it political privilege is seriously unfair to Māori, which invites the accusation of racism.
We already have political equality, one person one vote and the majority rules. Justice for Māori is economic, not political, and fairness is not a privilege.
The refusal of the Government to listen to the Business Advisory Council's suggestions for getting urgent roading programmes done is going to create huge inertia and stifle economic growth, in this area.
It seems clear, in my view, that there no funding is available to start local projects such as the Northern Arterial, Katikati Bypass, Tauriko and 15th Ave / Hairini bridge work.
Western Bay of Plenty people have been let down, in my view, and list MPs Clayton Mitchell, Jan Tinetti and Angie Warren-Clark should be strongly lobbying Transport Minister Phil Twyford and Prime Minister Jacinda Arden to get these projects underway, no matter the cost.
They could start by demanding that the Government fund the four lanes for the Hairini Bridge, now, to tie in with the council's proposed work on 15th Ave.
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