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NZAF kaumatua: No brown quotas please

Tue 26 Jul 2005 In: New Zealand Daily News

The kaumatua of the AIDS Foundation has made an impassioned plea to the embattled board to abandon plans for "a quota of brown bums on seats". In a column for GayNZ.com, Henare Te Ua, also a life member of the NZAF, says he has become uncomfortable in recent years with some in the Foundation who have been harbouring a separatist agenda. “I felt uncomfortable in that the takatäpui section although given a certain degree of the Foundation's governance, either intentionally or unintentionally, was seeking its own autonomy - to be a stand alone subsidiary of the Foundation rather than being part of its overall structure,” he says. Te Ua says appointments should always be based on the specialist expertise of the individual: "..there's a tendency, at least in public, to treat Maori as special cases to be given kid glove treatment with assured positions on a City Council or the Board of an organisation...I plead with any organisation, NZAF included, against Maori gaining Board status by right under Treaty principles, against having a quota of brown bums on seats. How we get around the principles need wiser heads than mine to determine." The work of the Foundation should be pan-people, he concludes, because HIV/AIDS does not respect ethnicity. "The Treaty may have been the blueprint for our modern history but we must be bold enough to ensure the Treaty does not confine us within box-like parameters."    

Credit: GayNZ.com News Staff

First published: Tuesday, 26th July 2005 - 12:00pm

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