Hipkins: “Non-Māori have nothing to fear”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch
Oct 11, 2023 |

Labour leader Chris Hipkins has delivered a speech at Nga Whare Waatea Marae to address the self-determination of Māori.

In his speech, he said “If Christopher Luxon wins, Maōri lose.”

Hipkins unveiled his decision to directly discuss race during this electoral season.

“I’ve made a conscious decision this election to speak openly about race.”

Hipkins went on to praise Māori Ministers, stating, “We have amazing Māori Ministers who have made so much progress in the face of incredible odds.”

“I want to build real support for the more equitable country promised in Te Tiriti and which is the ongoing goal of Labour. Our campaign slogan is ‘In it for you’ not ‘in it for some’. So, I’m going all in for everyone.”

“I believe that non-Māori have nothing to fear and everything to gain from Māori having more self-determination, better health outcomes, better education outcomes or co-governance arrangements,” he declared.

“I will speak out against racism. And will continue to call out race-baiting that targets our Treaty partners.”

“We are temporary, but Māori, their place in Aotearoa is permanent. They will remain tangata whenua long after we are all gone. Not a single election campaign, a divisive slogan or a racist candidate will change that.”

“Christopher Luxon says that he doesn’t want to talk about race relations because he doesn’t want to focus on the negative. That way of thinking is a cop out. Race relations are only negative if what you bring to the table is negative.

“I think when Māori thrive New Zealand thrives.  I think more kiwis learning te re Māori is good.  I think embracing and celebrating Maōri cultural identity is good. Learning our history in schools is good. And I think by Māori for Māori solutions work. National used to think that too.

 “In this election I’ve talked about how disappointing it’s been for National, ACT and New Zealand First to use race to divide us. It’s a strategy that seeks to make New Zealanders believe if one part of society is getting something, then maybe others are missing out” Hipkins said.

Political commentator Graham Adams said “telling critics they have nothing to fear is not an argument; it’s a condescending ploy to cast opponents as irrational and anxious.”

“The burning question now is whether Māori should be given places only as the result of due democratic process or also from a particular interpretation of the Treaty mandating an equal partnership.”

“Opponents would object to any group having decision rights without democratic backing.”

He concluded with a pointed criticism of the ‘nothing to fear’ narrative, saying it often circumvents genuine debates and concerns.

“They avoid acknowledging that most opponents have a strong and principled objection.

Instead, the Prime Minister and his Cabinet oscillate between implying that critics are racist or fearful.”

Chris Lynch
Chris Lynch

Chris Lynch is a journalist, videographer and content producer, broadcasting from his independent news and production company in Christchurch, New Zealand. If you have a news tip or are interested in video content, email [email protected]

Have you got a news tip? Get in touch here

got a news tip?