End of Māori Party a good thing - Don Brash

  • 25/09/2017

Former National Party leader Don Brash says the end of the Māori Party is "a positive thing for New Zealand".

Saturday's election devastated the party, which received just 1.1 percent of the party vote.

Labour also won all seven Māori seats, meaning the Māori Party is out of Parliament.

Mr Brash told The AM Show the Māori Party ran on "divisive" policies, and that "having them gone, I think, is good".

When asked by host Duncan Garner which of their policies were most divisive, Mr Brash said the Māori Party "strengthened" the existing Resource Management Act to increase Māori influence.

"I think that was a divisive, negative, backward move, so having them gone, I think, is a positive thing."

Mr Brash said he would also "love to see the Māori electorates go".

Because there are now more than 20 Māori MPs in Parliament, Mr Brash said the Māori electorates are unnecessary.

When asked if he thought a referendum on the seats should be on the table in coalition negotiations, Brash said either of the major parties could agree to it "without difficulty", despite Labour winning seven Māori seats.

Media commentator Verity Johnson countered Mr Brash's remarks, saying Māori needed "specific representation".

"I completely disagree with that ... I think there is a really strong cultural identity, and Māori people are the indigenous people and they have suffered historically."

Mr Brash has long opposed what he calls "race-based parties". 

He formed anti-separatist lobby group Hobson's Pledge in 2016, which was ridiculed by some as a "support group for white people".