So TVNZ have a guest on their show, Breakfast, who says
“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”.
TVNZ then publish a story with the clickbait title
“If a cop knocks on the door, he’d better be Maori or I’m shutting the door.”
Note carefully the omission of the last seven words of the quote.
Online bigots and those who didn’t actually listen to or watch the interview latch onto that sentence and predictably lose their absolute shit.
TVNZ then publishes another story, this time about the “online backlash”, and here they use the full quote again.
Now, when this person says that “Maori have a different world view” immediately after that quote, the problem is that that’s open for interpretation. Those who are already riled up by the trolling of TVNZ’s shitty quote-chopping journalism would likely interpret it as some kind of seperatist and divisive statement. And on the face of it, that’s a fair enough conclusion.
However, looking at statistics published by Police that show an “unconscious bias” against Maori in arresting, statistics published by Corrections showing bias in sentencing resulting in longer terms for Maori for the same crime vs non-Maori, statistics published by the Ministry of Health that show that Maori are three times more likely to experience discrimination and 50% more likely to be victimised by ethnic-based assaults…
… and that’s just scratching the surface …
… now imagine you’re Maori and you see that kind of treatment of your friends and whanau, all around you, all the time. Then you can’t help but concede that: yes, some Maori do have a bloody different world view.
“Asking for an iwi liason officer” is therefore a protective action to mitigate the risk of undue arrest and unfair sentencing. In other words, it’s kind of like saying “I won’t speak to you without my attorney”.
It’s also one of the roles of an iwi liason officer to educate the rest of the Police force towards cutting out their arresting bias. So actually using them to this end is for the greater good of equality.
So congrats, TVNZ, for once again making us all stupider.