Incite Politics

Abolition of Maori seats would spark a civil war

Was there ever a time when the Maori seats could have been abolished safely? It is tempting to suggest the year 1950, when the first National Party prime minister, Sid Holland, abolished New Zealand?s upper house, the Legislative Council. Had he tacked-on the elimination of the Maori seats and presented the whole package as a ?modernisation? of the New Zealand constitution, then his government would probably have got away with it.

There would, of course, have been an outcry. Maoridom would have protested strongly, reminding Pakeha New Zealanders of the Maori Battalion?s heroic wartime contributions in North . . .