The guaranteed Māori seats are a distinguishing and controversial feature of New Zealand’s democracy. In recent years, a number of reports, commentators and politicians have called for the seats to be abolished on the grounds that they are no longer “needed” in New Zealand’s proportional electoral system. These claims are usually grounded in principles of equality. This paper makes the opposite claim: that principles of equality create convincing and coherent justifications for the Māori seats.
When racism is promulgated on a number of fronts, including the media, it becomes a powerful and pervasive force in society, detrimentally impacting on the lives of those who are its object. This paper analyses Māori focus group interviews that traversed a wide range of sites where racism occurred, including print and broadcast media. We utilised a framework for understanding racism that is in line with key racism theorists and identifi es four primary levels through which it operates: internal, interpersonal, institutional and societal.