Monday, 30 January 2006

Sharples still wants something for nothing

Both Lindsay Mitchell and David Farrar are excited by today' Herald headline: Fresh from enjoying some of the benefits of modern medicine, Maori Party leader Pita Sharples vows war on culture of dependency":
Dr Sharples said there was too much dependency on welfare in Maoridom - something Labour had not addressed. "It's like a kid - if you keep giving your kids everything, at the end of the day they don't have the skills and knowledge to do it themselves." More prisons and welfare agencies were not the solution, he said.
Says Mitchell: "He is right. The proportion of Maori on benefit is steadily rising. Four in ten single parents on welfare are Maori. And that will affect coming generations. But this isn't the first time Pita Sharples has made these encouraging noises." No, it's not, and neither is it the first time commentators have taken Maori Party utterances at face value.

Speaking to the Listener last year for example, Sharples's co-leader Tariana Turia said their party
is telling people they have to stop allowing the state to take over their lives... Labour has always believed the state will provide. Labour has kept our people trapped in dependence. This so-called welfare state has not done us any favours. We didn’t want welfare. We wanted independence.
Great stuff. Except for one thing: neither Tariana nor Sharples means by that what they've been taken to mean, as I pointed out at the time:
[Tariana's] idea of ‘independence’ is one that is funded by taxpayers. She still wants Maori to suck off the state tit, she just thinks the manner of the suckling needs to change: "[W]e believe we have a right to rangatiratanga, as guaranteed under Article Two.” What exactly does she mean by that? “It’s our firm belief that money being spent on Maori needs to be unbundled. It is being spent on them, on behalf of them, but not effectively. It’s a waste of public money… We’re just tired of it. We also think there is a more effective way of spending that money.”

Well, she’s partly right. It is a waste. As Charles Murray pointed out in 1984, from the late sixties to the early eighties the so-called War on Poverty in the US spent almost the equivalent of the country’s entire Gross National Product on ‘relieving poverty’ and it didn’t. “That’s $3,800,000,000,000 – enough to give every poor person in America $117,000 [in 1984 dollars] to start his own war on poverty.” It didn’t. A similar calculation here would I’m sure show a similar result. Said PJ O’Rourke of the lesson learnt: “You can’t get rid of poverty by giving people money.”

And you can’t pretend it’s not welfare just by calling it rangatiratanga. Whatever 'unbundling' might mean it's clear she's not calling for welfare spending on Maori to end.

So the Maori Party is in favour of race-based funding, then? “For sure. Unabashed, upfront,” says her co-leader Pita Sharples. So it's clear what the Maori Party wants is independence and ‘rangatiratanga’, and they want someone else to pay for it. So much for independence. Rongo Wetere has recently given a master-class in what this kind of independence means. So what's new?
What's new is that everyone seems to want the Maori Party to be saying what they want them to say. But these puppies are not the people that some of you would want them to be. It's worth re-reading LibertyScott's fisking of the Maori Party platform for the last election to remind yourself what they're really after. And don't forget Sharples's denial in his maiden speech that Maori are privileged before the law -- "It strikes me as somewhat amazing that half the country and probably half of this House actually believes that Maori are the privileged group within our society," said he before the House and truckloads of cheering tangata whenua in the gallery.

Amazing. No,
what he and is MPs are after is more legal privilege and more "resources" for tangata whenua -- ie., more taxpayer dollars -- just spent in "a more effective way."

What they're after in short, what they've always been after, is Rangatiratanga -- ie., independence -- but at someone else's expense: Yours.

UPDATE: Oh Crikey comments on Sharple's latest:
Fighting words and a laudable aim but somewhat hypocritical, IMO, considering his party voted FOR Labour's Working for Families package which further entrenches welfare, even for middle income earning families.
Another fair point, although I would lose the word 'somewhat,' and even the word 'hypocriticat.' The man knows what he's about. As Ayn Rand used to say, don't bother to examine a contradiction, ask yourself only what it achieves -- what Sharples is after is a Browntable of influence with himself and his colleagues sitting at the head dispensing the scraps.

Links: Sharples vows war on culture of dependency - Herald
Modern Day Maori Wars - Lindsay Mitchell
Maori Party declares war on dependency culture - David Farrar
Rangatiratanga - at whose expense? - Not PC
Maori Party = Marxism - LibertyScott
Sharples talks shit - Not PC


  1. "Excited" is not quite how I feel. Skeptical, ho-hum, maybe. But he stuck his head up again and I want more. The gist of my blog comment is, where and what is the Maori party welfare policy. They don't have one and he shouldn't be allowed to go on building popular support by merely voicing widely held sentiments.

  2. You are right to question the detail of what is vague policy; but your comments do not shed much light either. You seem to be lumping all state provision (eg. health, education, roading etc.) as "welfare".

    When you use the phrase "truckloads of cheering tangata whenua in the gallery" what are you trying to say exactly?

    When you say "but at someone else's expense: Yours." you are addressing "your" people, supposedly ie. non-Maori? Didn't you mention a week or so ago about Maori having "our people"? Aren't you doing the same thing here?

    How can $1 that is going to Maori through the present system be any more or less at someone else's expense if the quantum is still $1? It is quite false to make these sweeping statements that self-determination must be at the expense of someone else. That is the implication and the assumption from which you make your statements. From a libertarian I would expect more positive arguments about property rights and how the Govt. have screwed Maori over and what can be done to remedy that rather than bleating about supposed "privileges" for which there is always little, if any, evidence provided.

  3. T Selwyn said re Maori: "'supposed privileges' for which there is always little, if any, evidence provided."

    You are joking, surely. The public sector is chock full of special Maori health programmes, in addition to regular funding, for those specifically with Maori ancestry. There are Maori trusts for Africa. The irony is that in spite of this extra funding, the stats never seem to improve. But there are loads of bods sucking up the dosh, so that's nice.

    And a friend of mine was very surprised to receive a letter from her son's high school assuring her that her son's 'Maori-ness' would be both respected and catered for within the curriculum.

    The only thing was that neither she, her ex-husband and son have any Maori blood whatsoever. Her son is dark-skinned and the politically correct twats at the school were presumptuous.

    She was not aware of any other parents of non-Maori students who received similar touchy-feely correspondence.

  4. Tim, you asked: "When you say "but at someone else's expense: Yours." you are addressing "your" people, supposedly ie. non-Maori?"

    No, I'm addressing taxpayers, ie., all those who are expected to pay for Sharples's and Turia's bid for aposition of privilege in dispensing and spending Other People's Money on their people.

    "Didn't you mention a week or so ago about Maori having "our people"? Aren't you doing the same thing here?"

    Um, no. ;^)

  5. Thanks for clearing that up PC.

    Sus: Thanks for amplifying my point. Your evidence consists of these points:

    1. "The public sector is chock full of special Maori health programmes," - yes, but because they have higher health needs. Is that a "privelege" or a rational targeting of scarce resources?

    2. "in addition to regular funding, for those specifically with Maori ancestry." - ? In health?

    3. "There are Maori trusts for Africa." - So what? There are religious trusts for Africa too.

    4. "But there are loads of bods sucking up the dosh" - ?

    5. Hearsay about a letter from a school - and when you put quote marks around 'Maori-ness' I doubt your credibility on that one.

  6. TS: Perhaps you haven't been here long .. I say that in your defence because I can't believe you're this obtuse.

    Yes, I refer to the health sector after 11 years in the industry. Come along to any conference and see the delegates from the various Maori trusts waddling around. They appear to achieve nothing with all the money they receive from taxpayers because they whinge about the same 'problems' every year.

    But then why would I want to fix a problem, when those problems guarantee me regular public money? Besides, the conferences are always a talk-fest in a nice venue for a few days, all of which is paid from the trust funds, ie 'sucking up the dosh'. Ah, the beauty of statism.

    And yes, this is *extra* funding (denied to others) on account of the spectacularly unimportant fact of someone's DNA.

    To make the comment that Maori 'have higher health needs' is typically socialist, racist & collectivist. Not to mention insulting to those who choose to look after themselves and their families.

    *Individuals*, regardless of DNA, make choices. Those choices are either successful or not.

    Oh, and one last point. There was nothing 'hearsay' about the letter from the PN High School. I saw it for myself.

    Apartheid's alive and kicking in NZ - and Peter Sharples & co are proponents.

  7. "TS: Perhaps you haven't been here long .. I say that in your defence because I can't believe you're this obtuse."

    Sus, Tim S. threw an axe through Helen Clark's window over the Foreshore and Seabed Bill and to this day most people still have no idea why, partly because the note he left behind with the axe was so obtuse: "By attacking the electorate office of the chief instigator, the Prime Minister - who is due to abandon the mess she created by fleeing the country today - we signal that a threshold has been crossed.

    "The broken glass symbolises the broken faith, broken trust and shattered justice, our axe symbolises the steadfastness of our determination."

    Translation: I have no idea.

    "Apartheid's alive and kicking in NZ - and Peter Sharples & co are proponents."

    And Tim S. is apparently a defender. 'Ake, Ake, Ake,' eh, mate?

  8. Sus: Thanks for stating your relationship to the health industry. I agree that people who have a vested interest in a problem don't really want a problem to go away - I'm sure that's not exactly exclusive to Maori trusts. I don't have enough information and background to argue over whether Maori DNA or Maori lifestyles/beliefs are more important to health outcomes, so I won't start - I'll just say that your assumption that it is purely a DNA issue is moot. Eg. If the Irish Society received some "extra" funding for melanoma awareness and the Congolese Society does not I don't think that would be racist. Then again I am unaware of the funding formulae so once again I can only ask the question - not answer it. Then again I could argue that Pakeha have higher health needs just because they live longer on average.

    If you have the letter from that school, you should give it to PC to publish.

    PC: I won't talk about the case because it's before the courts, but I will say that you ought to win some sort of award for the most selective quotation this year. "to this day most people still have no idea why" - Even if that were correct, am I responsible for other people's ignorance? You could start by quoting the relevant parts of the text. Maybe it's a bit too hot where you are on this fine weekend.

  9. -sorry, I mean "on that fine Thursday."


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