It is fair to say that racism in New Zealand is not as crude and as brutal as that which plays out on indigenous communities in other countries such as Australia, Hawaii and the United State of America.
The lasting and continued impact of a more sophisticated form of racism, nonetheless has the same results.
I will not bore you with the details of the position Māori find themselves in 2021 Aotearoa that proves racism.
The question on many Kiwi minds must be: When does vigorous and robust debate about matters of our national character and direction tip from being fair and robust to outright racism that ends up fuelling a nobody craft brewer to enter the national debate with a racist rant?
That rant, and the other filth that followed the Judith Collins politics of division, must be defended against at all costs.
For 3 weeks, Collins has been slowly fuelling a campaign that Māori are receiving too many rights and too many benefits, at the expense of white New Zealanders.
Collins carefully framed her attack on Māori related matters as part of a coordinated stealth attack that any rights Māori were winning, was at a cost to white New Zealanders.
That plays into the negative framing of Māori as being untrustworthy criminals, always to be watched, and always therefore to be over policed.
When Collins states we must have a national conversation about Māori related matters, she is really running a national conversation amongst white folk only talking about brown folk.
At no time has she reached out to ask any Māori representative groups whether they could be part of her national conversation.
It is a very dangerous politician who plays divisive race-based politics, knowing it leads to a “them against us” pack mentality. Enter the Craft Beer Baron.
Collins political attack on Māori was dressed up around the issues of stealth. It has now moved on to a debate about our national character but excluded Māori from that national conversation.
That is not a vigorous robust debate. That is stoking the flames of division based on race.
The national conversation is about Māori rights as an indigenous people that is imbedded in the founding constitutional document of this nation called Te Tiriti o Waitangi.
That conversation is not race based. It is rights based, and Collins knows that.
Here is the final nail in the Collins coffin.
On Sunday, May 16 at a National Party Regional Conference in Queenstown, Collins stated – as a trained senior lawyer and long-time politician – that Ngai Tahu wanted ownership of the water, and worse it was underway.
There is, and was no evidence for that allegation. That was premediated, cold, calculated, callous Collins playing the race card.
It was simply and knowingly not true. Nga Tahu said so, noting Collins claims were deceptive.
South island Mayors want Collins to concentrate on the facts, and disagree with her “divisive and fear mongering” politics.
For the record, I absolutely know from a legal perspective that Māori do own the water. That is another debate for another day.
Ngai Tahu are welcome to their views.