Winston Peters


Winston Peters is furious that a woman’s career might be put on hold because she declined to participate in a Māori values course. The uproar began when real estate agent Janet Dickson denounced the course as “woke madness” on social media, as reported by Open Justice.

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Dickson, having refused to undertake the Te Kākano course, was potentially facing a five-year suspension of her license by the Real Estate Authority (REA).

Belinda Moffatt, CEO of the REA, stated in a release that Dickson’s concerns pertained to “continuing education requirements” mandated by law, which are conditions for holding a license. The REA couldn’t provide further comment as the matter might be subject to legal proceedings.

PC gone Mad? Real Estate Agent faces a five-year ban for refusing Māori values course

The REA clarified that license holders must fulfill continuing education requirements as outlined in the Real Estate Agents Act 2008, with exemptions granted only under exceptional circumstances. Failure to comply results in license cancellation and a five-year prohibition from reapplying, as stipulated by the Act.

Despite this, Dickson is contesting the decision, with support from the advocacy group Hobson’s Pledge, led by former National Party leader Don Brash, who is documenting her case and raising funds for a judicial review.

Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters voiced support for Dickson, aligning with NZ First’s previous warnings about the imposition of cultural “wokeness” and its repercussions on employment.

What is the REA compulsory Māori course – that has some real estate agents unhappy?

On the other hand, Auckland real estate agent Tama Emery expressed the belief that the course was beneficial, emphasizing its importance in incorporating Māori perspectives into the real estate industry.

According to the REA, Te Kākano, previously mandatory, is a 90-minute online training video providing an introduction to Māori culture, language, customs, and the Treaty of Waitangi within the context of real estate work. It covers relevant legislation such as the Resource Management Act 1991, Urban Development Act 2020, Heritage New Zealand Pouhere Taonga Act 2014, and the Māori Land Act 1993. The course material was developed in partnership with Te Whare Wānanga o Awanuiārangi and REA. Te Kākano is listed as an elective topic for the current year.