The almost never-ending description of Maori progress as separatism is embarrassing. The accusation of separatism does not make sense. People are completely misusing the word separatism.
Maori separatism would be the Maori community wanting their own district council and running their own affairs with their own funding. Nobody is asking for that. Laws, regulations, and policies based on ethnicity are not separatism.
The Treaty of Waitangi is based on ethnicity but it is integration not separatism. We have been a bicultural community with different cultures operating in parallel for many years.
In our local community Maori language and culture co-exist peacefully with non-Maori language and culture, each with their own separate identity.
There are separate Maori schools, sports clubs, and marae that have their own separate identities, but they also join in activities with the wider community. This is integration not separatism. It does not divide us. It enriches us.
Similarly Maori electoral wards would be integration not separatism, and the suggestion that Maori ward councillors would only promote Maori interests is arrogant nonsense.
P Dey, Welcome Bay.