“Te Pāti Māori has been engaging in racial discrimination on its website with claims of genetic superiority, but when notified, New Zealand’s Race Relations Commissioner Meng Foon refused to publicly stand up to it,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Te Pāti Māori’s sports policy on its website makes the following claim: “It is a known fact that Māori genetic makeup is stronger than others.”

“The notion that some racial groups are superior or inferior has been discredited, used to justify racial discrimination and, when taken to its extreme, resulted in some of history’s worst crimes. It is deeply concerning that a sitting New Zealand political party is promoting such a divisive idea.

“ACT notified the commissioner of this on 9 September 2022, five days later he replied saying he had notified Te Pāti Māori of his concerns, but would not make a public statement as he prefers direct conversation with the parties involved and tends to only make public statements in a reactive fashion.

“Two weeks late Te Pāti Māori is still promoting the idea that one race is genetically superior to others on their website. They have clearly ignored Meng Foon’s concerns.

“The commissioner was quick to label NZ Police as racist over his concerns with Police Ten 7, and he had no issues laying into Simon Henry over his remarks about Nadia Lim, he also had a go at Amy Adams for getting a colleague’s ethnicity wrong by mistake. Why is he so reluctant to criticise Te Pāti Māori?

“ACT agrees with the goal of the Office of the Race Relations Commissioner to encourage harmonious race relations. However, to do this the commissioner needs to be willing to stand up to all examples of racial discrimination, not just pick and choose issues depending on his ideology.

“He should use his position to strongly and publicly denounce Te Pāti Māori’s position. Promoting the idea that one race is genetically superior has the potential to coarsen the tone of race relations in this country.

“If the commissioner is incapable of doing this that just shows what little value he is adding, and that he is perhaps even taking race relations a step backwards.”

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David Seymour