Following on from the article on Elizabeth Rata in the weekend, the Herald has run a counter to this by one of Rata's colleagues, Alison Jones, who points out that Rata is in fact pakeha and because Rata avoids talking about her background in relation to her views on ethnicity and public policy this means the reader can't properly evaluate her arguments. See the opinion piece below.
I too often like to know who is making an argument and what their background is. But I think Jones' argument is yet again an attempt to say 'You aren't from the group that you are analysing, and therefore you aren't fully entitled to speak about such things'. The fact that Jones states that 'outsider interpretations rarely provide genuinely useful insight' backs this up. And while she acknowledges that Rata is entitled to her point of view, you get the impression that Jones simply wants to close down debate. More than all this, I think Jones is simply politically opposed to Rata's viewpoint and is looking for an easy way to negate it. It's hard to see what Jones thinks someone critically-minded like Rata should do if she's interested in seriously analysing Maori inequality, other than ignore her conclusions.