Saturday, 14 May 2011

"Both of us have nowhere else to go."

Chris Trotter talks sense when it comes to the Treaty debate. He gets to what I think the heart of his criticism of identity politics actually is. The quote above stood out for me for two reasons - because I fundamentally agree with it, and because I also think looking at the numbers its clear that Maori do have "somewhere to go" - Australia. With an ex-pat population of over 110,000 in Australia, the proportion of Maori amongst New Zealand ex-pats in Australia is greater than in New Zealand itself (the total is 500,000, meaning Maori make up 22%), it's clear that Maori are leaving New Zealand in greater numbers than non-Maori.

The question is why - better economic opportunities seems to be the obvious answer, but why would Maori leave New Zealand at any greater speed than the rest of us?