Not an exhaustive list but remember that time when:
- Helen Clarke rammed through legislation so that Māori couldn’t test customary title claims to the Foreshore and Seabed resulting in the Hikoi
- Annette King then Minister of Police, organised Operation 8 culminating in the lock down of Ruatoki and the detainment of the entire community, including the holding of children at gunpoint
- Trevor Mallard tried to claim that he and in fact all New Zealand descendents of early settlers are Indigenous (that was around the time of the Foreshore and Seabed Act
- Labour refused to sign the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and rejected the government signing it in 2010
- David Cunliffe explicitly questioned the ‘mental health’ of a Māori protester for the act of protesting not long after he had proclaimed the Labour Party to be the Māori party
- Labour ruled out working closely, i.e. constructively with either MANA or the Māori Party should they be in a position to form the next government
Lastly, remember how:
- At this General Election, Labour’s Māori caucus won six of the seven Maori seats and many Māori returned their votes to the Labour Party and were only offered two of the top 17 places in the Party list?
Oh, if you don’t remember that, it’s because it just happened. Don’t forget that next time you think that Labour have the aspirations of Māori at the forefront of their policy. Two Māori, two Pasifika and 13 Pākehā representatives comprise the top 17 list placings. Also, note that there are fewer women now down to five from seven.
To be honest, I was surprised that there wasn’t a greater Māori presence in Labour’s front bench line-up. But I’m not sure why given the tenuous history between Labour and it’s seemingly consistent attitude toward Māori. It’s not just a slap in the face for Māori. It’s also a kicker for those Labour Party supporters who have been active advocates for Māori and other marginalised groups. Additionally, if this is the team the executive believe can bring Labour out of destruction mode then it should serve as a warning to Māori that mutual reciprocity of support is not exactly forthcoming.
 Note, the National Party and the Greens (the other two bigger parties), are not largely different in terms of Māori representation in their top 17 places. There are three Māori in National’s top 17 and four in the Greens. Although to be fair to the Greens they also have a history of advocacy for Māori that shouldn’t be ignored.