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Pakeha Party launches for 'equal rights'

06:30 Mon Jul 8 2013
The founder of The Pakeha Party is sick of Maori-based political parties asking for race-based entitlements - and he wants equal rights for pakeha.
The founder of The Pakeha Party is sick of Maori-based political parties asking for race-based entitlements - and he wants equal rights for pakeha.

"If the Maori get it, we want it too."

That's the rallying cry of The Pakeha Party, a new group which stands for "equal rights for pakeha" - and its founder David Ruck claims there's no racism involved.

He launched a Facebook page for The Pakeha Party on June 20, and with more than 3000 members, Mr Ruck wants to register the party with the Electoral Commission.

The group was borne out of Mr Ruck's opposition to Mana's recent policy announcement of a new Maori home loan scheme.

"I'm a busy business owner, I employ Maori people, got a lot going on in my life. People always talk about these things behind closed doors and no one ever says anything," he said.

"I know that there's huge issues to do with the Treaty and the history, but this isn't really about that. It's when certain Maori start asking for things that only they will be entitled to - that's what's annoying me, and obviously a lot of other people out there as well."

So Mr Ruck launched The Pakeha Party, with Facebook statuses like: "So who thinks it's fair that the Maori keep getting more benefits than us? Should any race be given more privilege and free money over any other race?"

Mr Ruck says the group is not about separatism or racism, and its name is "a blatant stab" at the Maori and Mana parties, who should put the past to bed.

"If they want to start arguing about it, there's certain things that don't get portrayed from a European settler's perspective," he says, recounting how his ancestors came to New Zealand expecting a wonderful life, but instead got a stony patch of land.

"One ancestor died on a ship on the way over," Mr Ruck says.

"So what's to say that the Crown didn't do my ancestors an injustice as well?"

But he doesn't want to tie up the rest of his life "bleating on about what happened 150-200 years ago".

Mr Ruck says supporters who sign up to its website - which is currently under construction - will be able to vote for its policy platforms in the coming weeks.

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