6 Aug 2014

ACT candidate protests, quits party

7:35 pm on 6 August 2014

An ACT party board member and Dunedin North candidate, Guy McCallum, has resigned from the party in protest at the leader's controversial race relations speech last week, which appalled some tangata whenua.

Jamie Whyte

Jamie Whyte Photo: SUPPLIED

The ACT Party leader, Jamie Whyte, said in his speech that Maori were legally privileged in New Zealand, and said Maori do not benefit from what they call race-based laws.

He has also talked about scrapping the seven Maori seats.

The race relations commissioner, Dame Susan Devoy, called the speech grotesque and inflammatory.

Others within Maoridom were appalled with the comments, calling them ignorant and from the dark ages.

Mr McCallum said the speech lacked any sort of calculation and sympathy for race relations in New Zealand.

He said the so-called privileges for Maori Jamie Whyte had described were, in fact, legal rights.

Mr McCallum said that if those rights were taken away, he as a Pakeha male would still have privileges, and he saw something wrong with that picture.