Racist remarks by an academic have created an angry backlash in the wake of the shooting of four police officers this week. The outrage from the public has been overwhelming, as it should be from a country that still prides itself on its justice system: a system that is based on the fundamental principle of the rule of law that it should be applied universally to everyone.
A Maori academic's comment that he'd shut the door on a non-Maori police officer has sparked an angry backlash online, including from many Maori.
Massey University communications lecturer Steve Elers made the remark in an interview on TV ONE's Breakfast programme today following the 22-hour Bay of Plenty siege.
The siege ended when a Maori police officer, Taupo area commander Inspector Warwick Morehu, was instrumental in talking Rhys Warren out of a property near Kawerau after four officers had been shot and injured following an aerial cannabis search.
"If a cop knocks on the door, he'd better be Maori or I'm shutting the door and asking for an iwi liaison officer," Mr Elers told Breakfast.
A video of his interview had reached more than 240,000 people on the ONE News Facebook page, and drawn more than 300 angry comments among a total of more than 800 responses by this afternoon.
"I am a Maori woman and this angers me. How the hell do we move forward as a country if this kind of talk is happening," Ruby Rapana posted.
"It separates us as people for eg: You're pakeha and I'm Maori (Who cares, I don't!) The law is the law and if you break it, regardless of what colour the police officer is or what race, you should and will be dealt with. I'm so tired of racism."
Jane Wildman posted: "Unbelievable!!! The worst racism in this country is from the Maori. How many Maori cops are there anyway?? There wouldn't be enough to go around if all the thugs that needed a "Maori" officer instead of any other race needed to turn up on a door step at the same time."
Yet race based injustice is rapidly becoming the norm. It is promoted shamelessly in academia. It is promoted shamelessly by this National government. It is leading to a growing divide in New Zealand where treating everyone the same is being replaced by race based privilege. The rule of law no longer applies. Injustice is everywhere.
Two examples emerged this week into the public arena; race based tax privilege and race based unelected representation. Each deserves separate treatment and will form the basis of two further blogs.