Wellington bar owners say drunk Maori will be specifically targeted during the World Cup, by a 50-year-old law that has been pulled from the archives by police and the city council. The law allows Maori wardens to enter bars and remove drunk or violent Maori.
It'll be interesting to watch the response from Maori politicians. No doubt this form of 'privilege' - having their own, additional security force - will be labelled as discrimination. That's what the bar owners appear to see it as. In practice the whole idea looks utterly fraught.
The law means Maori wardens can stop the bar selling liquor to any Maori who appears to be drunk, violent, quarrelsome or disorderly or likely to become so.
"Likely to become so." That is a licence to turf anyone drinking.
And just how do Maori wardens go about identifying Maori? Isn't ethnicity now about self-identification? The mind boggles.
Meantime overseas visitors will be given the impression that NZ has a problem with Maori drinking similar to that seen with Aboriginal drinking in some Australian cities. Great image to carry away with them.