The Herald has an exclusive claiming that National will go with ACT and reject the Maori Party over the issue of Maori seats on the Auckland supercity council. The Herald doesn’t present any rock solid evidence to back up this claim but it’s pretty obvious that’s the way National will go.
Creating Maori seats in the face of ACT’s opposition could cost them votes going to ACT whereas not creating the seats is unlikely to cost them any votes.
It’s not going to cost them in their relationship with the Maori Party either. The Maori Party have pinned all their pride on showing they can work with the Right. Every dead-rat that’s come up they’ve swallowed and each time they do that it just increases their determination to hold the relationship together – otherwise all that dead rat eating will have been in vain. This is a rankest rat of all but expect Sharples and Turia to put on a brave face, make some attacks on Labour, and get back to their flag competition.
It has emerged that Key wanted to put the Maori seats in and even considered a technical workaround of introducing an amendment to the legislation after Hide had tabled it so Hide could claim he hadn’t created the seats. But Hide wasn’t satifised with these currency trader tricks. He played brinkmanship to the hilt. He created a cost for National in going against him. The Maori Party, on the other hand, can’t risk even the appearance of a major split with National. So, they will bow and take whatever they’re given. Hide wins and his anti-democratic project in Auckland continues.
[PS. Just as I write, Sharples is on National Radio saying 'we've made some incredible gains, you don't throw the baby out with the bathwater'. Well, Pita, I see the bathwater, but I don't see any baby]