Solve Māori inequality with pan-Māori not iwi organisations – Peters

By Heta Gardiner

New Zealand First leader and Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters says that we need to invest in pan Māori Organisations to stop from ‘diluting’ the talent and resources into many different iwi organisations.

“Well it’s always been my belief that you can only solve it (Māori inequality) with sound pan Māori organisations, not iwi organisations." 

"Pan-Māori organisations can be overseeing the iwi organisations and what we have in this country now is iwi by iwi development and you so dilute your talent you so dilute your skills you so dilute your cost structure when you’re paying over and over for the same thing."

Continuing on with his critique of Māori organisations Peters talked about the need to avoid favouritism among Māori

“In the Māori world, we need to understand far better that you need the best. Far too many of us and our relations don’t get that, they say blood is thicker than water. Not when it comes to money it’s not, you need the best possible person there even if they happen to be a European or dear I say it an Asian, or an American."

A veteran of over 30 years in parliament Peters reflected, often unfavorably at the current batch of MP’s compared to those when he started.

“A lot has changed, the whole character of parliament has changed and not always for the better. Back then parliament was full of characters and different people and many of them had gone off to war gone to hell and back and had a different attitude to some of the younger ones coming in my time in the late 70’s. There have been some changes, some better, some not."

Peters was non-committal when asked if this would be his last term, saying “Well you never say last term. If you asked me when I started in this place that I would be standing here in 2017 I would have said you’re mad. But circumstances change. And I’ve stayed because there is a reason to stay and I would never give up on what I believe to be a dream case for this country.”