Judith Collins' recent supposed race-baiting 'is racist', should be called out - political commentator

Judith Collins' recent supposed race-baiting "is racist and we ought to call it out", a political commentator says.

The National Party leader has been recently accused of playing the race card, using terms such as segregation and racist separatism to describe the new proposed Māori Health Authority - one of the Māori kaupapa put forward in the He Puapua report. She's also opposed Māori wards in local councils, and last week raised concerns about a document she was leaked proposing the transfer of Department of Conservation land to Māori.

A Newshub-Reid Research Poll released on Sunday shows her allegations of Māori separatism aren't working for National, with 44.5 percent of respondents saying the party is being divisive. Collins is also on 5.6 percent in the preferred prime minister poll, down 12.8 points.

Political commentator Shane Te Pou says her gamebook is to "divide and rule", and her recent attempts of supposed separation are a continuation of her politics that were rejected in last year's election.

"I think that we've danced around it too carefully - I think that her race-baiting is racist and we ought to call it out. And I think her days are numbered," he tells The Hui.

"The problem that National Party has is they don't have a brave Georgina te Heuheu that has called it out, so they are all tarred by the same brush.

"Shane Reti, Chris Bishop - who's a supposed liberal within the party - they've been cowardice in the fact they haven't called their leader out, unlike Georgina te Heuheu when she called Brash out."

Appearing alongside Te Pou, former New Zealand First Cabinet minister and National MP Tau Henare says New Zealand has changed as a country, not only with the re-election of Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern but because of the COVID-19 pandemic too.

"We're looking at a different New Zealand in the future and we're working towards that," he says.

Shane Te Pou.
Shane Te Pou. Photo credit: The Hui

Te Pou says National having just two Māori MPs, both of whom are on "the wrong side of the argument", is the problem and shows its lack of diversity.

"There are more Māori in the new lineup of Star Wars than there are in the Māori caucus of the National Party. They're out of touch."

Another issue, Henare adds, is the "Christianisation" of the National Party.

"There's that religion clique that we've seen come in the last 12-24 months. I think it's going to be the end of the National Party [in terms of] how we know the National Party."

"It's no longer a hybrid liberal-conservative party," Te Pou adds. "It's no longer conservative on economic issues and reasonably liberal on social issues. The fundamentalists are taking control of the National Party."

Te Pou believes Christopher Luxon will put his name forward as leader, but brushes off Henare's suggestion of Nicola Willis because she's "too liberal".

Made with support from Te Māngai Pāho and NZ On Air. 

Judith Collins' recent supposed race-baiting 'is racist', should be called out - political commentator