“Make the Switch Easier”
Each year about 6000 Māori voters request to change electoral rolls. That number jumped to around 19,000 at the last election. These requests for changes are often declined because switching electoral rolls can only be done every five to six years. Māori councillors, academics and leaders have rallied together to call the Māori electoral voting system unfair and the Ministry of Justice are starting to listen.
Rangatira in Te Ao Māori are asking why the Māori electoral option coincides with the census but not an election. The last time Māori voters were able to change roles was in 2018 which means the next opportunity isn’t until 2024. These official processes often lock and pressure voters into electoral rolls they signed up for on account of ‘pushy’ voter enrollers.
Having already recognised this to be a problem the Electoral Commission had recommended since as early as 2014 that Māori voters be able to change roles at any time. A request for feedback by the Ministry of Justice on their website has been brought on by the robust debates. But Te Pāti Māori says the review and its timing has taken Māori by surprise. “No one knew that this was coming up so the timeline allocated to it is quite surprising. Heoi anō, it’s important that we encourage our whānau to participate and to put in submissions,” said Debbie Ngarewa-Packer.
Minister for Justice Andrew Little has said he supported the right of Māori to change between rolls outside the current cycle. Alongside feedback the Ministry of Justice is amidst organising a small number of focus groups to gather feedback around the country in early August. The Government is suggesting a potential change could be to hold the Māori Electoral Option every three years, aligning with the electoral cycle.
Māori Party Vote to Ban Conversion Therapy
The first reading of the proposed law to ban conversion therapy has just passed and is now on its way to the select committee for public submissions.
Following on from years of advocacy, by independent groups such as Ending Conversion Therapy, Labour MP Marja Lubeck had introduced a bill in the members’ ballot seeking to prohibit the practice back in 2018. After 20,000 people signed two petitions calling for the ban, Labour had lobbied on banning the practice. As a part of last years election campaign Labour had promised to conversion therapy a criminal offence.
If the bill passes into law, it could see someone imprisoned for up to three years in jail for performing conversion therapy on someone under 18 and up to five years where it has caused serious harm. Māori Party’s Rawiri Waititi said that he was “going to be on the right side of history for this debate.”
Te Pāti Māori alongside Labour, Greens, and ACT voted for the bill while National voted against it, saying the bill was “anti-parent”. In his speech Waititi believed conversion therapy to be a “direct attack on whakapapa” and believed, “Takatāpui are whanau. No ifs. No buts.”
After public submission the bill will come back to Parliament for a second reading, before going to another committee, a third reading and Royal Assent before becoming law.
Who tf cares about the Aotearoa ‘Debate’
Certain as the sun ( Certain as the sun~ )
Rising in the east
Tale as old as time
Song as old as rhyme
Beauty and the Beast
In this case the beast is the ugly head of the Aotearoa ‘debate’ that seems to pop up every now and then — like a bad pimple. Rearing his own ‘white head’, Stuart Smith of the National Party has suggested putting the name Aotearoa up for referendum. Smith wrote a column saying that while he did not have a personal view on the use of Aotearoa, ‘Kiwis’ should be consulted on the use of it by the Government. So campaigning for a public vote Smith has been ‘demanding the debate.’ Unsurprisingly, no one but Smith and his party Leader Judith Collins have entertained the idea.
Defending her position Collins maintains that those who urge her to sponsor this campaign do so because they are afraid to give voice to their concerns for fear of being called ‘racist.’ She has pointed to large corporations and government departments using the term Aotearoa as evidence of its spread without consultation ‘by stealth.’
But press releases from National’s time in Government show the word being used frequently to mean New Zealand, including past speeches made by Collins when she was Ethnic Affairs Minister. New passport designs launched by the National government in 2009 featured the word “Aotearoa” on the cover and Collins launched the 2014 Race Relations Day as Ethnic Affairs Minister with the theme “I am Aotearoa/New Zealand, together we grow.”
Māori are sick and tired of having to defend the name of their ancestral homeland. Marae Uncle and Labour MP Willie Jackson said Smith was being “stupid” with his call for a referendum. The general populace think the debate is a waste of time and there are better things to talk about. Even David Seymore isn’t entertaining the idea and we can’t tell you how happy that makes us.
Fala Muncher Wraps Up Production
Fala Muncher: A derogatory term, which refers to the act of a female of Pacific descent partaking in the licking and eating of another woman’s Fala.
Coming back for its second iteration, Fala Muncher has just wrapped a week-long run in the Basement theatre. After its well received debut in 2018, director Amanaki Prescott-Felatau has come back to give viewers more sex, more laughs and more brown experiences. Exploring the intersection of Pasifika and Queer idenities through short, sharp monologues performed by Lyncia Muller, Jaycee Tanuvasa and Disciple Pati, it’s a raunchy, heart-felt story that’ll put your panties in a twist, and then keep them there! A play for the wicked it’s racy, it’s crude and it will keep you laughing throughout. With pole tricks, jazz accompaniments and dancing sequences this production is for all the little brown gaybies on the marae, the fale or wherever you may be.
I think the All Blacks played? 😛