Collins warns Government is planning separatist New Zealand with special car parks and gender segregated bathrooms

The Government is accusing National of scaremongering over a proposal to establish separate Māori governance in New Zealand, pointing to its long history of ignoring recommendations.

The Government is accusing National of scaremongering over a proposal to establish separate Māori governance in New Zealand, pointing to its long history of ignoring recommendations.

National Party interim leader Judith Collins has deepened her attacks on the Government’s proposed Māori Health Authority this week, alleging that Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern’s plot to “divide New Zealand in two” goes far beyond health, and will involve a series of additional measures that will create “two systems” in many other facets of kiwi life, including special car parks for small, protected groups of people, and even separate bathrooms, something that was once seen under Jim Crow in the United States and in apartheid South Africa.

Collins first laid out this warning in her National Party conference speech over the weekend, where she told an audience of party faithful that separatist policies would leave the country “unrecognisable”, and may even result in totally different systems of governance “depending on where you live.”

“This will be a world where, upon your arrival to the supermarket, or the mall, or even your local bakery, a place that you don’t even like very much, where you only go to develop some semblance of being a functional human being who does things, you’ll find yourself categorised and discriminated against,” she said.

“Imagine you arrive at one of these places, and there are car parks, maybe hundreds of them, all around you, far as the eye can see, because a good pair of glasses is genuinely expensive. But they’re full, they’re full of other people’s cars, some of them aren’t even very big cars, they don’t really fill the spaces, they’re fruity little cars that frankly shouldn’t even be on the road.

“But you drive around in circles again and again, hoping one will open up, because as far as you’re concerned, everyone is equal, everyone is the same, no person who has an appropriately sized car has any more right to a parking space than anyone else with an appropriately sized car. Yet every time you go around, you notice a series of five car parks, and good ones, too, arguably the best ones, right outside the supermarket, or the mall, or the awful bakery.

“But you can’t park in those. You’re not allowed; they’re not for you. They are part of a separate system of car parks for only certain kinds of people.

“Now we all grew up thinking we were one people, one New Zealand. When, in 1840, the Māori chiefs and William Hobson agreed that we were to be one people, is this really what they imagined? Did they imagine that not only would some people get their own special parking spaces, but that those same people would be given the best ones, too?

“Isn’t this apartheid?”

“It’s segregation!” yelled one party member.

“That’s right,” nodded Judith, with a sombre expression. “Segregation. Very right.”

“And it doesn’t stop there,” she added. “I know it might sound far fetched now, but if we allow Jacinda Ardern and her government to take us down the path of two health systems, one for Māori and one for Pākehā, there will be nothing to stop her from taking us down the path of two education systems, maybe one for religious kids and one for normal kids, perhaps separate roading systems, one for people who drive cars, and another for people who like to show off. 

“And where does it end? Could we conceivably end up with different bathrooms, with different facilities and urinary technologies, depending on something arbitrary like your gender? Could we end up in a system where there is totally different governance depending entirely on where you happen to live?

“New Zealand, like all countries, works best when we are one people.”

ACT Party leader and temporary custodian of National votes David Seymour echoed these sentiments today in Parliament, arguing forcefully that New Zealanders should “never be separated” by things outside of their control.

“In New Zealand, the health services you receive, should never, ever be determined by your race, or your gender, whether you burn easily or do not, whether you have a prostate or a womb,” he said. “In New Zealand, the only things that should separate us are our own personal choices, such as what career we choose to pursue, how much money we choose to earn, or what combination of assets we and our siblings jointly decide we will inherit from our parents.”

The rhetoric from the opposition is reminiscent of 2004, when then-National Party leader Don Brash railed against Helen Clark’s government for establishing a whole television channel for Māori, while white people had only five.