Posted on September 9, 2011

Margaret Mutu Says She Cannot Be Racist

3 News, September 7, 2011

Auckland University academic Margaret Mutu has defended her comments on white immigration, saying she cannot be racist as Maori are not in a position of power.

Ms Mutu said the number of white immigrants coming to New Zealand should be limited because they, perhaps unwittingly, brought with them attitudes of “white supremacy”, which held back Maori.

She made the comments in response to a survey which showed Maori had higher negative attitudes towards immigrants in New Zealand than other ethnic groups.

On RadioLIVE today she said:

“Racism is definitely associated with power and using power to deprive another group,” she said.

“Maori are not in a position of power in this country and therefore cannot deprive Pakeha.”

Ms Mutu said she was looking to highlight the fact that racism is alive and well in New Zealand.

“I’m actually highlighting the fact racism exists in this country and it is a matter that this country needs to address, to debate, to identify what racism actually looks like, then talk about how we are going to fix it up,” she said.

Ms Mutu was defended by some on RadioLIVE with some people saying the believed Maori were not given enough enough say on immigration laws.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris De Bres does not agree the definition of racism is dependent on the person being racist holding a position of power.

“Racial prejudice is the same whether it come from a Maori or Pakeha,” he said earlier.