16 January 2014

Is NZ politics dominated by wealthy pakeha male Aucklanders?

A decade ago, lefty liberals used to boast about how New Zealand's Governor-General, Prime Minister and Chief Justice were all women. The latter is still in the job. But, in government and politics, it now looks like the patriarchy is striking back, and NZ is becoming an Auckland-based plutocracy.
Mr Key is the obvious leader of this. But the launch of two new political parties – the Conservatives and the Internet Party – suggests that being white and wealthy, and in Auckland, are now the essential qualifications for a leading political voice in this country.
Even the incredibly waspish David Cunliffe, by the standards of the average Labour voter, has to be rated as a wealthy Aucklander. And don't even mention Len Brown!
Like the recent debate about marae protocol, it looks like women in politics are being shoved into the back seat. But the anti-PC sentiment in the media discourages them from complaining about it publicly. It's so uncool to be a feminist these days.
Just as inequality and poverty are starting to feature as widely acknowledged political problems, the rich white guys are more firmly grabbing the reins of power, and political influence is determined by how much money you have to launch media campaigns, hire consultants, and throw free parties.
If this diagnosis is correct, then it's predictable that the attack on the poor will not cease for the time being. But does anyone out there care?


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