Monday, 12 September 2005

One Country, One Law, and One Electoral Roll

"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has." This was one of the few valuable observations made by the otherwise foolish Margaret Mead, and one I was reminded of yesterday when old friend Warwick Malone showed up at the Auckland Central candidate's meeting made infamous since by Hurricane Judith.

Who the hell is Warwick Malone and why should you care? He's a thoughtful committed person who supporters of the National, ACT and NZ First Parties need to thank for making respectable their policy to abolish the Maori seats and to rid ourselves of racial favouritism before the law.

Warwick launched his petition to abolish the Maori seats just four years ago at Hamilton's Anti-Apartheid Convention put together by Tim Wikiriwhi, another thoughtful committed citizen, to highlight the tide of race-based separatism that is engulfing the country & to lay the groundwork for turning that tide around. It promoted the view that all New Zealand citizens, regardless of skin colour, should be equal before the law.

Following the launch of the petition, Warwick took to the road with petition forms, a ute, and a desk. Showing up in the main streets of towns across the North Island, Warwick would set up his desk and collect signatures and plaudits. The enthusiastic responses indicated this was clearly an idea whose time had come, and he was happy to be the catalyst for it.

Just four years later that policy is now mainstream. Time to say "Thank you, Warwick."

You can download a large version of the petition form here. It quotes the words of former slave and abolition advocate Frederick Douglass from 1883:
In a composite Nation such as ours, made up of almost every variety of human family, there should be, before the law, no rich, no poor, no high, no low, no black, no white, but one country, one citizenship, equal rights and a common destiny for all.
His words are as true today as they were then, and just as relevant.


  1. I hope you did your bit to reminded this Malone person that New Zealand isn't a bad sort of place for a guy to live.

    Better than some other places that are competing for his patriotism at the moment and look to be about to get it. :(

  2. Cheers for that PC, collecting signatures was easy and fun. The responses were at times amusing (Of the "you have to laugh or you'll cry" variety)like:

    "I have to check with my husband/wife/neighbour if I can sign."

    "I don't sign petitions...I'm too apathetic eh." accompanied by a thumbs up.

    ...but generally response was positive, conservatively 8 out of 10 people signed the petition when presented with it. That means that there must have been some Labour/Green/Alliance/Nats (still too wishy washy IMHO) supporters amongst them.

    So to those that hold, as a principle, that it is wrong for gummint to treat people differently based on their race, consider carefully what you are voting for this weekend.

    Special thanks to Tim W and others that attended New Zealands first anti-apartheid conference...gave me a big kick start.

  3. Bravo, Warwick. You're an example to us all. :-)


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