No Minister


with 23 comments

A new blog has hit the blogosphere. Its authors are Michael Bassett, historian and sometime Labour cabinet minister; Don Brash, ex Reserve Bank Governor and National Party leader and Rodney Hyde, sometime ACT leader, creator of the Auckland super city and perk-buster extraordinaire. Well worth a visit at

I intend re-posting articles that attract my interest. As a taster here’s one from DB four days ago discussing the claim that there were not enough Maori staff in Pharmac (the Government drug buying agency) ….

There was a very depressing article published by Stuff earlier this week. Under the heading “Pharmac’s lack of Maori staff ‘appalling’, ‘unacceptable on every level’”, the article lamented the fact that only three of Pharmac’s 130 staff identified as Maori last year, “despite the country’s drug-buying agency vowing to prioritise Maori leadership and uphold the Treaty of Waitangi as a way to ensure better health outcomes for Maori”.

It was noted that five of Pharmac’s staff identified as ‘British/Irish’ and another five as Chinese.

This lack of Maori representation, particularly within the senior leadership team of Pharmac, was described as “unacceptable on every level” by Leanne Te Karu, the associate dean (Maori) at the University of Otago School of Pharmacy. She is also the founder of the Maori Pharmacists Association.

Once upon a time, not so very long ago, government agencies were expected to hire staff on the basis of their ability to discharge the duties of the agencies that employed them in the most effective way possible. Discriminating against people on the basis of their ethnicity was frowned on, and employers were certainly not expected to employ people simply because they were of a particular race.

But now we seem to have swallowed the nonsense that only somebody who “identifies as Maori” (even though having ancestors of other ethnicities too of course) can help other New Zealanders who have Maori ancestors.

And pharmacists are not content to be a member of the New Zealand Pharmacists Association, but need to be in a racially defined Maori Pharmacists Association. We see the same absurdity cropping up all over our society, with advocates for separate racially-based organisations claiming that they are doing so because that’s what the Treaty of Waitangi requires.

But of course such advocacy is not only not required by the Treaty, it is in fact the antithesis of the Treaty which, in Article III, made it clear that all New Zealanders would have equal rights.

We are appalled at the extent to which tens of millions of Americans have swallowed President Trump’s lies about the 2020 Presidential election. Too many have not noticed that millions of New Zealanders have swallowed a gross misinterpretation of the Treaty.

Hat-tip to Lindsay Mitchell

Written by The Veteran

January 17, 2021 at 11:36 am

Posted in New Zealand

23 Responses

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  1. I would see a government organisation as having only 3 Maori out of 130 as having a pretty unacceptable lack of diversity. I am not surprised that Bassett, Brash and Hide have no problem with that, but if that was bought to a Minister’s attention anytime in the last 20 years, it would have been expected that something would be done. Not necessarily to 15%, but at least more than 2%.

    I appreciate this view might not be that popular among many commenters on this site. However it is the norm in government organisations that a serious effort is made to broadly reflect the overall population mix. Not literally a mirror, but at least enough to escape the charge of tokenism.


    January 17, 2021 at 1:00 pm

    • So the number one goal of government is to ‘escape charges of tokenism’?

      Welcome to Wayne’s World.

      An enterprising CEO would quietly identify half a dozen up and comers and let them know how rapid would be their promotions once they had self-identified as Maori.

      See how easy it is to be woke?


      January 17, 2021 at 2:00 pm

    • Wayne, That particular post is from Don Brash. That the three are blogging at the same site does not mean they all share the same view. As per No Minister. In any case I thought ‘tokenism’ resulted from attempts to make organisations reflect the population mix rather than appointing/hiring on merit.

      Lindsay Mitchell

      January 17, 2021 at 2:13 pm

    • “Diversity™” is a way political hacks divide human beings into arbitary grouping based on politcally useful definitions

      The most famous groupings to be preferred being based skin pigmentation, a prediliction for certain sexual deviations, or an adherence to a particular non Christian religion (provided they keep their mouth tightly shut on social issues)


      January 17, 2021 at 2:55 pm

    • My view is simply “why”. When you start differentiating like that you are part of the racial preference problem.


      January 17, 2021 at 3:55 pm

    • So Wayne competence and integrity are way down thelist for employment in Government and quasi Government departments these days.

      Plain bloody stupid.


      January 17, 2021 at 4:30 pm

    • Wayne, would you be equally unhappy if Maori were over-represented relative to population, say 50 Maori out of 130 staff? If not, why not?


      January 17, 2021 at 7:59 pm

    • Wayne, if they lack Maori representation, and you can be sure there’s plenty of pressure to hire Maori, then the rather obvious reason is a lack of suitable Maori applicants. That is hardly the fault if Pharmac is it?

      Are you seriously suggesting they should hire some Maori to make up the numbers, regardless of suitability? Before coming up with a kneejerk answer, remember that sick people’s lives are at stake here.

      So… do they hire the best available person and help Pharmac do the best possible jobs of sourcing pharmaceuticals within their budget capability, or should they hire some token Maori to beef up their numbers, even if it leads to poorer health outcomes for all Kiwis?

      John JohnO

      January 18, 2021 at 11:03 am

  2. Ethnicity is just one of many boxes these days.

    My son was telling me about a “diversity” course he had to attend.

    When the presenter got to gender and the 64 possibilities he ask if it was ok if he just used their first name.

    He was jumped on by the presenter claiming he was an example of white privilege.

    “Nah I’m not taking that shit” he said. “Told him my Maori ancestry and the fact that he was bullied through school because of his disability and restricted work opportunities”.

    Presenter ignored him from that point.


    January 17, 2021 at 4:09 pm

  3. What a ghastly triumvirate these three make.

    I find Brash’s lack of empathy for Trump especially galling. If there’s any NZ politician who resembles Trump, complete with all the dog whistles, infidelities, and repeated crucifixion by the left wing media, it’s Don Brash. He even had an election stolen from him FFS! Remember the KFC vote in South Auckland? Remember Steven Joyce and Bill English white-anting that campaign? I do! Brash of all people should have figured out the Trump situation, because he lived it. And now he’s back on the margins whining about Maori while probably complaining about how racist Donald Trump is. Complete cognitive dissonance there. What a strange man.


    January 17, 2021 at 8:12 pm

    • I find Brash’s lack of empathy for Trump especially galling.

      Decided to turn a comment reply to this into a post, A fatal lack of political awareness

      Tom Hunter

      January 18, 2021 at 3:24 pm

    • Don Brash is just a Davos wannabe – sadly for him he has the charisma of a week old dead rat and the inabilty to keep his hands off other peoples wives.

      Not a man to take the opinions of seriously


      January 18, 2021 at 3:40 pm

  4. Government organisations should have some level of recognition of the make up of their country because we all pay for them. People needs to see some credible level of reflection of themselves in these organisations. And given the number of Maori graduates over the last 30 years, it will be possible for Pharmac to employ more than 2%. Particularly true of health related organisations.


    January 18, 2021 at 5:54 am

  5. “Government organisations should have some level of recognition of the make up of their country because we all pay for them.”

    I don’t disagree with that but I would prefer to see and independent investigation to determine if diversity hire new graduates over experienced applicants is beneficial.


    January 18, 2021 at 9:38 am

    • “Government organisations should have some level of recognition of the make up of their country because we all pay for them”

      Good one Wayne. So they will have quotas for New Zealanders of Chinese. Indian and Ughur ethnicity too? I guess they will need a hundred or so categories for this. What a great new government bureaucracy. Cardigan wearing lefties are getting moist at the prospect!

      It has nothing to do with the number of Maori graduates and everything to do with the number of suitable Maori applicants.

      John JohnO

      January 18, 2021 at 11:08 am

  6. Its a feature of Wayne’s world that diversity means in the New Zealand Parliament the Rainbow Community™ are vastly over represented while Catholics are under represented and are only tolerated if the they check their faith in at the door.

    And Russian Orthodox don’t get a quota spot at all


    January 18, 2021 at 10:12 am

    • Andrei – no place for Bhuddists or Sikhs either.


      January 18, 2021 at 12:34 pm

  7. Wayne appears to be suggesting that Pharmac has discriminated against Maori job applicants. I very much doubt that. Or is he arguing that Pharmac and all government agencies should recruit Maori and employ them if they are suitable ie not a competition between applicants of all races but just select those that can do the job only from Maori applicants. But only Maori – he’s apparently not advocating agencies do that for Islanders, Indians, Chinese or Russians. I’d define that as racism. Wayne’s view of the world is a very strange one. Mine is that we all get an opportunity in this country and those that try the hardest do the best. Of course genes help, along with upbringing. My working class parents (Dad left school at 12) would be horrified at Wayne’s attitude. As is their son.

    Max Ritchie

    January 18, 2021 at 12:32 pm

    • And I assume the Wayne in question is the former politician?

      Max Ritchie

      January 18, 2021 at 12:34 pm

    • Max Ritchie I wondered the same thing – especially as Wayne Mapp is a sometimes guest blogger at No Minister..


      January 18, 2021 at 12:37 pm

  8. Max and PDM, you are both correct. To specifically answer Max’s question. Yes, I would expect Pharmac to be proactive in recruiting Maori. For instance, making sure their recruiters advertise on sites where they know young Maori graduates will be present.
    This happened when I was a Minister. For instance, there was a huge effort, driven especially by the women Ministers, to get more women in senior public service positions. This was largely successful and is now very evident in the public sector. These things take a while to impact, The actions of the early 2010’s is now very clear.
    I must say I was surprised to see the situation in Pharmac. It must surely be almost unique in the Public Service in having so few Maori employees (as a percentage).


    January 18, 2021 at 3:04 pm

  9. Max,

    You have said that my “view of the world is a very strange one”.

    In fact my view is standard orthodoxy across the public service, and in virtually every New Zealand political party. I would even say ACT. They may not publicly state it as their position, but from what I observe, it is certainly part of ACT’s practise. Certainly National is very much aware that the make up of the caucus has to at some level reflect New Zealand. The reason it doesn’t at the moment is that no-one thought they would get only 25%. Just about all those on the party list who ethnically reflected important constituencies, sit between 25 and 30%.

    It is clear from some of the comments on this site that some commenters are unaware of the socio-political changes that have occurred in New Zealand over the last 15 years, or alternatively, they are fruitlessly railing against them.


    January 18, 2021 at 4:22 pm

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