Dame Susan Devoy.
Act Leader Jamie Whyte says Race Relations Commissioner
Dame Susan Devoy should resign for her condemnation of his
"call for racial equality" by putting an end to special legal
recognition of Maori, saying she is interfering in the election
year political process.
Dame Susan who last year refused to comment on Winston
Peters' claims that Auckland was becoming a "Supercity of
sin" due to a growing Asian influence, yesterday labelled Dr
Whyte's comments about Maori as "grotesque and inflammatory".
Dr Whyte said her response to his "call for racial equality"
would be "nothing more than a sign of ignorance if she were
still a professional squash player".
"But she is no longer a squash professional. She is the
Commissioner for Race Relations. Her role is specified in
Dr Whyte's speech last weekend took aim at the legislation
providing for the Maori electoral roll and seats in
Parliament, three of which are currently held by the Maori
Party and one by the Mana Party.
"Nowhere does the legislation say that, unlike other senior
state bureaucrats, the Commissioner of Race Relations' role
involves engaging in political campaigns to support
particular parties, such as the Mana-Internet Party and the
Maori Party," Dr Whyte said.
"It is astounding that the Commissioner of Race Relations
should condemn me for promoting legal equality between the
"If Ms Devoy believes that a person's legal rights should
depend on the race of her parents, and if she believes that
she should use her state-funded position to promote the
electoral prospects of race-based political parties, then she
is unfit to hold her position as the Commissioner of Race
"She should resign today."
Dr Whyte yesterday told the Herald Dame Susan either hadn't
read his comments "or she can't think straight" as she
appeared to miss his point that while Maori enjoyed legal
privilege - like pre-revolutionary French aristocrats - they
did not enjoy material privilege.
"She brings up the fact that Maori are not materially
privileged as if it's a refutation of my position, but it's
part of my position.
"It's utterly bizarre - either she hasn't read it or she
can't think straight. It's very very strange. I'm
dumbfounded. Sometimes there's just nothing you can say."
- NZ Herald