This is a selection of some of the more interesting tweets about Simon Bridges becoming the first Maori leader of a major party in New Zealand. The most recent tweets are first.
People who diminish someone for identifying as Māori because they don't fit a construct of what Māori should be - STOP. Whakapapa Māori? Then ya Māori!
I'm no fan at all of National or Bridges, but you don't get to determine how Māori he is. That's little different to going back to the ignorance of "people "only" being quarter or half Māori, so not really "properly" Māori".
Dear fellow white political commentators. Can we not have hot takes on what percentage Māori blood Bennett & Bridges are and whether that means they’re really Māori or not. That’s not our call to make. Focus on their work, not their ancestral legitimacy.
Denying that national party leaders are Maori is the purest ideological form of identity politics that relates a bunch of ethical and political traits to racial, gender, ethnic markers. Its extraordinarily reactionary
Beyond disgusting racism/bigotry from @barrysoper to @simonjbridges @paulabennettmp discussing their Maori-ness. Never ever seen him measure a Labour MP’s blood. I saw @WillieJLabour on DNA Detectives. No comment there Barry !
I'm sorry, but we've only found out recently that Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett are of "Maori Descent", now they're running with it to get voters, but remember, their party has never really represented Maori. #WakeUp people! #nzpol
The increasing thinkability of Māori and women leaders for our political parties is simply a good thing. Even if it says little about what PM Bridges or Bennet would be. We can hold both thoughts in our heads.
I see what you mean. But it is striking how easily the NZ elite has been able to incorporate Maori individuals into its institutions, over many decades. I just don't think Bridges' elevation necessarily represents much of a change.
Ahh, and Simon Bridges is embracing his Maori heritage lmao. You've ignored your people's calls for years, particularly concerning the environment, and now you're all about them. Maori aren't stupid. They'll see right through you.
Bridges is Māori He is also annoying. The two are not mutually exclusive.
Pundits claim Bridges' elevation to leaders of the Nats is some sort of progressive leap for NZ. Do these folks know that, nearly 90 years ago, NZ had a Maori as acting PM? Was Apirana Ngata's role proof NZ was a bicultural paradise in 1930? Or is identity politics a bit silly?
Nobody loves representational politics nearly as much as shady conservatives. Credulous rubes thinking Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett will do a single damn thing for Māori or the working class in this country are the types of people who would buy their stolen watch back twice.
Huge numbers on the left, Maori and Pakeha denegrating Bridges because either a) not pure enough Maori blood or b) he is plastic c) he betrays his own people. I thought we were passed the days of racial purity and I know we have stopped owning people.
Instead of talking about how Māori Simon Bridges is, let's judge him for what he does, or more importantly doesn't do, for Māori.
Simon Bridges: Don’t like his politics but I’m proud there’s a Māori leader of a major political party for 1st time. For those questioning his “legitimacy” as a Māori: Please don’t. I’ve struggled w/ belonging as a Māori and it sux. There are many ways to be Māori. #nzpol
This all came about from a conversation with a Māori academic leader I respect a lot today. She called Bridges a 'Clayton's Māori', happy to use the badge, but display NONE of the leadership responsibilities that come with it. Her words not mine.
Not surprised. Look, I don’t have much time for either Bennett or Bridges, but to suggest they are not Maori enough is pretty offensive. Like there’s one way to be a proper Maori?
My face when people shame Simon Bridges and Paula Bennett for not speaking Te Reo, all the while ignoring the whole urban Māori disengagement from Te Aō Māori thing
I think it'd be different if, say, Bridges had won a Maori seat, or had a substantial Maori base within the Nats, & then b/c leader. That really would represent something new & interesting. But he's become MP of p'haps the most prejudiced electorate in NZ, by pandering to it.
I hear that so much on FB...more galling when it’s Māori on the attack. I find myself defending Bridges, Bennett & Seymour - even though I don’t like their policies.
Under 50 *and* Māori. It's great to see how far we've come, but is it... A Bridges Twofer?
It's becoming apparent that the election of Bridges to National Party Leadership is more a PR exercise than anything else. Hoping to appeal to Working Class and Maori electorate. I think voters will see through this tactic.
Personally couldn’t care less about your race. Not interested in your category. Don’t think you’re oppressed because you tick lots of the appropriate boxes. Horrified if you want to dissect somebody’s heritage by their percentage of blood. In NZ u should be better than that.
Remember the "How Māori are you?" interview with Hekia Parata? Let's not do that again eh.
Today is the day Simon Bridges finally became Māori.
I'm cynical about how long it has taken for Bridges and Bennett to talk about being Māori MPs, but to be fair, there are many Māori around the country who hide their identity. Especially at work.
From this Māori, under 50, proud Westie (Swanson, Te Atatu, Waitakere), to you two Māori, u 50, Westies, congrats to the new leadership team for the @NZNationalParty. While our politics may differ significantly, kudos from this Westie (and Bay of Plenty) kid to my fellow kin.
Yes, we get it Simon Bridges is Māori... but has anyone ever heard him kōrero or mihi? If this is a moniker he's proud to wear, walk the walk & talk the talk young man
Here’s what I won’t put up with: “Bridges isn’t a ‘real’ Māori” or variations of that. That kōrero is so belittling and reinforces the whole quantum bullshit argument.
Similarly, the assumption that as Māori he will represent “all Māori”. Yeah, nah. That’s no one. No one person will ever have a mandate to do that.
I think it's really great the National Party have two Māori leaders who come from relatively working class backgrounds with roots in West Auckland. Parliament should look like all of us. I also think Simon Bridges' track record on LGBT rights, abortion & climate is terrible.
Amazing to realise that the National Party not only gave New Zealand its first woman Prime Minister, but by 2020 could give the country its first Maori PM too #nzpol
I detest white left wing media subscribing to talking about ‘how much Māori’ (percentage) someone is. You’re perpetuating an argument that is highly draconian and irrelevant. We don’t base our culture on blood quantum. That’s backwards. If you’re Māori then you’re Māori.
Two Maori being elected to lead the National Party makes for an historic day.
It does. Māori who are committed & experienced kaupapa-driven advocates for Māori...not so much.
He has to earn that privilege. Time to walk the walk and do the mahi.
This is seriously cool, looking at the four largest parliamentary parties (National, Labour, NZF + Greens) with their leader + deputy, five out of seven are Māori. Ka rawe!
Will their policies benefit Māori? No. But let's leave that debate for tomorrow. For now, let's acknowledge that this is momentous.
It should be to Labour's eternal shame that National beat them to it. You would hope the Greens don't make the same mistake too. Right now, New Zealand's classical liberal and conservative parties are led by Māori. And yet its left parties...
The New Zealand National Party is now led by two working-class west Auckland Māori people under 50