30 Jul 2014

ACT comments from "Dark Ages"

7:16 pm on 30 July 2014

A Far North iwi leader says the ACT Party leader's comments about axeing Maori seats from parliament are something out of the Dark Ages.

Jamie Whyte, and New Zealand First's Winston Peters have both said that ordinary Maori do not benefit from what they call race-based laws.

Dr Whyte said tangata whenua have legal privilege and the seven Maori seats are a direct example of that, because it's not available to other New Zealanders.

He said despite being labelled a racist, he would continue to talk about Maori seats being axed.

Jamie Whyte.

Jamie Whyte. Photo: RNZ

But chair of Te Runanga o Te Rarawa, Haami Piripi, said Dr Whyte's views were disrespectful and archaic.

He said it's just like going back to the Dark Ages and Maori have been to the Privy Council and back on those issues and re-established tangata whenua morally, legally and politically in the psyche of New Zealand society.

And Mr Piripi said despite that, there are still people, in positions of leadership, who are ignorant to those issues.