Joris de Bres has a knack for hitting the headlines. And the Race Relations Commissioner has managed to do it again today; on a day when we should be celebrating as one people; the Dom-Post reports:
The race relations commissioner has criticised some Pakehas' "lack of generosity" towards deprived Maori as Waitangi Day celebrations have again turned violent.
A small group of protesters charged at Prime Minister John Key yesterday as he arrived at Northland's Te Tii Marae and his speech was abandoned after he was drowned out by angry taunts.
Mr Key was challenged over deep sea oil drilling and plans to drop a Treaty of Waitangi clause from legislation allowing the partial privatisation of state-owned power companies.
"This place is about the Treaty of Waitangi and any threat to the Treaty of Waitangi needs to be defended," Mana Party leader and Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira said.
But while some Maori activists were protesting at Waitangi yesterday, Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres criticised those Pakeha who still resisted moves to give "special treatment" to disadvantaged Maori, thousands of whom suffered inequality.
"I still have a sense that there is a lack of generosity in some Pakeha attitudes to Maori and there is a lack of will to see measures taken that will help to remove that disadvantage and there is a lack of understanding of this notion that it is actually fair to deal specifically with people who are suffering unfairness."
Joris de Bres has politicised his office far too frequently. Instead of criticising Pakeha in general, de Bres needs to condemn the behaviour of those, Maori and Pakeha alike who spat on the mana of Te Tii Marae yesterday, and whose abuse included blatantly racist language.
Yes; there are extremists on both sides of the racial divide. But de Bres is so blinkered in his thinking that he only ever seems to see one group, and not the other. If he cannot be even-handed in his criticism, he should be replaced.