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Written By: - Date published: 8:23 am, July 18th, 2012 - 47 comments
Categories: capitalism, john key, Maori Issues, water - Tags: ,

Our PM seems determined to insult Maori at every turn at the moment. What to make of this odd little outburst last night?

Maori claims ‘opportunistic’ – Prime Minister

The Prime Minister has hit back at the Maori Council, describing its Waitangi Tribunal claim for water ownership as “opportunistic”.

I don’t know which is stranger, a currency-trading capitalist denigrating people for maximising their economic opportunities, or claims dating back to The Treaty being passed off as somehow superficial.

He added he doesn’t think the Maori Council acts for all Maori.

Probably not, but neither does the government act for all New Zealanders. Especially on this issue.

But John Key’s comments appear to be inflaming the row.

Which, sadly, is probably his intention.  At this point I don’t see any other way to read it.

47 comments on ““Opportunistic””

  1. Enough is Enough 1

    Not probably his intention, it is definitley his intention.

    He sees this as an opportunity to drive a big racist wedge between the 99% of kiwis who firstly want him to stop selling our assets, and secondly are embarrased to call him our Prime Minister.

    Please call an election Mr Key. Your time is up

    • Carol 1.1

      But also to drive a wedge between various Maori organisations and groups, while privileging the Iwi elite.

      • muzza 1.1.1

        Thats right Carol, racial divide and expanding it is a core component to any “takeover”.

        We see it happening in multiple fronts, gay, straight, race, union, non union, benficiaries, middle class sports teams, the list goes on.

        Divide and conquer will continue as long as there are people/groups still taking the bait, or playing along with the “game”!

        Key is simply playing his role, which is why his words are deliberate.

    • mike e 1.2

      Poor we johnny the
      Money Launderer from
      Merrill Lynch

  2. I agree wholeheartedly.

    The words used are designed to appeal to the red necks and insult Maori. Anyone with any knowledge of history will know that these issues have been important to Maori ever since the first breach of the Treaty occurred. To call them “opportunistic” for raising the issues again is as insulting as you can get.

    This is National’s foreshore and seabed issue. The only problem is that taking tough action will probably bolster support for National.

    As for the Maori Party they have to tear up the coalition agreement if they wish to preserve any mana.  The agreement itself provides the justification.

    It says:

    “The National Party and the Māori Party will act in accordance with Te Tiriti o Waitangi, the Treaty of Waitangi. The Treaty is our country’s founding document. It created a nation based on diversity and shared aspirations for future success and prosperity. ”

    It also states that “[t]he National Party and the Māori Party recognise the importance of mana maintenance and enhancement for both parties to this agreement.” 

    Key is definitely not engaging in “mana maintenance”. 

  3. Good post r0b

    I think key is a drip and i am also getting close to believing that maybe the Māori Party will walk – hope so anyway.


    • r0b 3.1

      Thanks marty, and likewise a good post on your blog – folk should go and read it. I hope you’re right…

      • rosy 3.1.1

        By the way I like the Annette Sykes line about “either get a law degree or stay quiet about Maori water rights issues”. A subtle reflection on Key telling Keisha Castle-Hughes to “stick to acting” when she was campaigning on climate change?

      • marty mars 3.1.2

        Thanks r0b and everyone who came to visit.

        I have just listened to tariana on the radio and there is no way she’s walking so my hopes and many other hopes are dashed on that one.

        I have voted for the Maori Party in the past before i realised, like hone, that they were false and i’ve posted many blogs pleading with them and trying to get them to realise how disgusting their support of key and his policies are, and how they are hurting tangata whenua. Tariana and Pita have lost my respect as they have lost their mana – if i never hear their names again that will be too soon.

        • JonL

          So have I Marty.
          I realised well before the last election, the Maori Party were sell outs!

  4. Olwyn 4

    I have had the sinister and slightly nutty thought that perhaps he wants to drive the price of the assets down, and wants someone to blame for it. NZ’s assets were sold at bargain rates during the nineties, and people like Key favour wealth being in private hands. Selling the assets cheaply so as to “keep his word” would serve as an excuse for further reducing government spending at at the same time put the wealth where his backers want it – in their pockets.

    • rosy 4.1

      Snap – I just wrote that on the asset sale delay likely thread. I really do wonder whether that’s the intended effect. He is a manipulator after all.

      • Colonial Viper 4.1.1

        The enemy within a city’s own gates who sounds and looks like one of us is far more dangerous than the enemy outside of them who is clearly identified as such.

  5. One further thought.  Key the forex trader was used to driving things to the edge.

    His actions are more and more likely to cause the Maori Party to withdraw support.  Banks is in trouble.  Is Key thinking of an early election? 

    • Enough is Enough 5.1

      He most certainly is.

      His government is on life support and certain to collapse in the coming weeks. What options does he have. He will call an election and play on red necks kiwis fears of the ‘Priviliged Maori’. He will run a Brash Orewa type campaign claiming only he can save you from those Maaris

      • McFlock 5.1.1

        option b is to go for broke over the next 2 years, selling everything anf fucking us worse than douglas.
        National don’t strike me as looking to call a snap election, drunk or not. I think they’ll pick a point at which they say “fuck it” and slam the foot to the floor until the engine blows up. Although anything they do in that mode will not be as well considered and drafted as e.g. the asset sales legislation :roll: 

  6. Tom Gould 6

    They have the focus group analysis back, so they now have proof the wedging is working. Now just keep saying ‘ownership’ and ‘opportunist’ to crack open Maori unity, roll out Blinglish as the honest broker on water rights, hint at a deal, meet with Tariana and Pita so they can grumble a bit, Key can stand firm on ownership but offer an olive branch, the Tribunal report becomes a dead letter, the Court action starts to look greedy, all sorted. Cue the TV ads for the MRP shares.

  7. vto 7

    When I heard Key calling other people “opportunistic” I laughed and laughed and laughed and laughed.

    He can be quite the comedian.

    But seriously, the die is cast in terms of Tribunal claims and hearings and all actions that will follow from those, so those who Key is insulting are best to not buy into the slanging match. Keep quiet and let the actions do the talking. Make no comment whatsoever. No more commentary from anyone. No elder from somewhere who is not widely know making comment. No leader well known making comment. Nobody. Shush. Quiet.

  8. ak 8

    Classic tory gambit when power’s on a knife-edge. Race Card followed by multiple Divide and Conquer.

    Any minute now the flattery-trinket “relationship building” blankets and beads that have been showered on the ILG and the MP over the past few years will be totted up and blared to the public through the usual tory organs in a double-wedge attempt: maori/maori and maori/pakeha in one filthy stab.

    But it’s over. Maori now stand with catholics, jews, women, disabled, gays, you name us. And will never lie down again.

  9. Key has the gall to label people ‘opportunistic’ when he can easily claim that honor,
    was it also ‘opportunistic’ of key to have his hand in the crash of our dollar in in
    80’s and was it ‘opportunistic’ also to deal in leverages that made him hundreds
    of millions of dollars in income,a businessman he is not and ‘opportunist’ he is.
    His main ‘opportunity’ this time around is to ground nz into the dirt and have
    absolutely no public assets at all and the inhabitants under his and the capitalist
    thumb,complete control, something he was looking forward to before the election,
    he was looking forward to ‘unbridled power’ which he did not get,thank god.

    • Draco T Bastard 9.1


      Exactly. He didn’t give up his highly paid job as a bankster to become PM for the good of the country. He did it to sell the country to his rich mates and make serfs of everyone else in NZ.

  10. Wyndham 10

    Were Key to go to the country and call an election on the water/Maori rights issue, I have the awful feeling that his party would be returned. Sadly it seems that Key is deliberately stirring the racist pot for all he’s worth knowing full well, again sadly, that there is a large redneck voter bloc out there. The racist vote would perhaps cap the anti-assets sale sentiment? Our “gambler” PM will be watching his party polling very closely!

    • bad12 10.1

      Remember Iwi/Kiwi from Dr Dullard, how well did that work for National??? whatever happened to that bloke Brash who fronted that particular piece of racism for the Tory’s???,

      In any such conflagration of a future election based upon deliberate racial division the Maori Party is likely to become a casualty in the cross-fire,

      National have run out of ideas, coalition support partners with the hope of gaining further electorally, and, their only hope of a third term in Government that was the smile’n’wave politics of the Prime Minister has been cruelly exposed as the empty suitcase of intellectual rigor that it always was,

      What hasn’t been widely explored, (yet), is the Prime Ministers behind closed doors negotiations with the Iwi Leaders Group over Maori water rights where the prime Minister himself is said to have admitted to the Iwi Leaders Group in a letter in 2009 that Maori do have rights to fresh water,

      The real ‘opportunist’ in this whole matter is Slippery the Prime Minister attempting to make political capital, being driven by the fear of National’s falling polling and opting to interfere in the process of justice from the side-lines…

      • felix 10.1.1

        “Remember Iwi/Kiwi from Dr Dullard, how well did that work for National??? whatever happened to that bloke Brash who fronted that particular piece of racism for the Tory’s???”

        Yep I remember. I remember he very nearly became PM when he fronted that particular piece of racism for the torys.

        I hope I’m wrong, but I don’t reckon middle nz has grown up that much since 2005.

        • vto

          Felix … have to pull you up here “but I don’t reckon middle nz has grown up that much since 2005.”

          How is that middle NZ differs from bottom NZ and top NZ on this?

          • felix

            Fair call v, but all I meant by that is that it’s the ones in the middle who supposedly swing from left to right and win / lose elections.

            On your general point I entirely agree.

        • bad12

          Aha, ‘very nearly’ being the operative words here, as just reward for such Iwi/Kiwi racial division on behalf of the National Party Doctor Dullard,(aka Don Brash), dipped out on Government, and, got relieved of the leadership of 2 political party’s,

          ‘Natural Justice’ has it’s own score-card and Brash can now only be heard as a silly old man, way past His use-by date, moving no-one with His comments from the sideline…

          • felix

            I hear you, but I wouldn’t put too much in Brash’s demise as a measure of anything in particular. He backed a loser when he went with ACT, a 2-bit party already on the way down, and massively cheapened his own stock in doing so.

            And yeah “very nearly” isn’t a win, but nonetheless the racist old bastard got almost half the country to vote for him. It was a close election. That’s nothing to be sniffed at.

            And the fact that he did it by promoting racism is not something I’ll forget in a hurry.

    • Fortran 10.2


      He could call our bluff and call a General Election on this issue.
      Are we ready – do we have a Leader with understandable policy for the required Labour voters not for the committed, or hypothetical ?

  11. Jim Nald 11

    It would be nice to hear a progressive party in NZ saying that the NZ leadership and people must not go down the path of rednecks.

  12. Nick 12

    Key said at the same time that Maori didn’t claim water rights when Trustpower or Contact were privatised.

    To me it came across as though he though they were picking on him and his particular grand scheme when they didn’t pick on past Governments.

    Whinge whinge. I don’t even know what point he’s trying to make? “Those tricky Maori are waiting until I’m trying to make my mates rich before they start causing trouble and claim centuries old guardianship rights over major and significant waterways?” or is it “Lets push everyone as far as possible, drive the price down and sell the assets anyway?” – appease the rich who will get shares at a cheaper price and appeal to the rednecks who can then all blame Maori for not getting a reduced price for the shares.

    Either he’s being mindless and stupid or he’s tricky and opportunistic himself.

    • weka 12.1

      Key said at the same time that Maori didn’t claim water rights when Trustpower or Contact were privatised.

      Why is the media not pulling him up on this shit? A quick look on the internet yields this –

      I am pleased to present our 2003 Environmental Report on Contact’s activities. During the past twelve to eighteen months, our company has embarked on a number of major new programmes in the pursuit and fulfilment of its environmental policy. Some of these initiatives include:-
      •    A multi-million dollar programme to be implemented over the next few years aimed at improving the quality of water discharged from our Wairakei Power Station to the Waikato River.
      •    Fisheries enhancements to the Clutha River / Mata-au, including flow regimes to enhance spawning, greater permanently wetted areas and a fencing programme for riparian margins.
      •    New programmes to enhance recreational enjoyment of the Clutha catchment including visual amenities improvements, a contribution to the creation of kayaking features, and management regimes for historic places.
      •    Development of a Lake Hawea management plan in consultation with the community, the implementation of which will deal with issues of foreshore and land erosion surrounding the lake.
      •    A new agreement with Ngai Tahu that includes (inter alia) management and enhancement of native fish species in the Clutha River / Mata-au, resources for the preservation of traditional food-gathering campsites along the riverbanks and lakeshores, and funding of tertiary studies particularly for environmental and ecological purposes.

      Many of these initiatives result from the process of applying for and securing new resource consents under the Resource Management Act for our hydro and geothermal operations in the last few years. They are a direct result of consultation with interested and affected parties as well as being part of Contact’s strong commitment to environmentally responsible development.


      Ngai Tahu
      As part of its consultation process, Contact sought to build a strong working relationship with Ngäi Tahu. The company recognises that the Clutha River / Mata-au, its tributaries and entire catchment from the mountains to the sea is an area of immense cultural, traditional, spiritual and historical significance to Ngäi Tahu Whänui. Te Rünanga o Ngäi Tahu, Ngä Papatipu Rünanga, and Contact eventually reached agreement on appropriate mitigation measures, which included funding and resourcing for mahinga kai species management and enhancement, measures to improve the relationship of Ngäi Tahu, as kaitiaki, with the Clutha River / Mata-au catchment, resourcing for nohoanga site development and management, and Ngäi Tahu tertiary scholarships and school educational packages aimed at promoting Ngäi Tahu traditional and contemporary associations with the Clutha River / Mata-au catchment.

      Contact was privatised in 1999.
      There is also some talk on the webs, mostly from right wing blogs, about a $1.6m settlement between Contact and Ngai Tahu, but I can’t find any reliable details.

  13. John Connor 13

    key; “measured, weighed, found wanting”.
    key; not here; there.

  14. Kevin 14

    Cabinet Manual 2008
    Section 7.60 : Compliance with legal principles and obligations.

    Ministers must confirm that bills comply with certain legal principles or obligations when submitting bids for bills to be included in the legislation programme. In particular, Ministers must draw attention to any aspects of a bill that have implications for, or may be affected by:

    (a) the principles of the Treaty of Waitangi;
    (b) the rights and freedoms contained in the New Zealand Bill of Rights Act 1990 and the Human Rights Act 1993;
    (c) the principles in the Privacy Act 1993;
    (d) international obligations;
    (e) the guidance contained in the LAC Guidelines.

  15. Kevin 15

    Principals for Crown Action on the Treaty of Waitangi.

    Principle 1.
    The Government has the right to govern and make laws.
    Principle 2.
    The Iwi have the right to organise as Iwi and, under the law, to control resources they own.
    Principle 3.
    All New Zealanders are equal under the law.
    Principle 4.
    Both the government and the Iwi are obliged to accord each other reasonable co operation on major issues of common concern.
    Principle 5.
    The Government is responsible for providing effective processes for the resolution of grievances in the expectation that reconciliation can occur.

  16. freedom 16

    Would now be a good time to ask John Key if any memories of 1981 have returned ?

    • fender 16.1

      Key was pro tour without a doubt. Pretending he cant remember just shows how he thinks NZ’ers are fools.

      But hes the fool for thinking he could be opportunistic by selling our power generation assets to his rich mates was going to be easy.

      • Tiger Mountain 16.1.1

        Anyone with a pulse had an opinion on the ’81 tour at the time. There were less diverse media outlets and obviously no internet so it was constantly in your face, radio, TV, the daily press all hammered it. ShonKey will never man up or recover his memory on this but it needs to be revisited to line him up. What a flabby toupee wearing whimp.

        I met ANC members who were later killed in the South African struggles and their faces remain with me. But the NZ Prime Minister cannot recall what his view was on an apartheid rugby tour that divided the nation?

  17. Leopold 17

    You’re dreaming if you think that Uncle Pita and Aunty Turia will pull out of govt. Some pro forma grumbling from the back of their ministerial cars, some backroom deal with the Brown Table, then back to their salaries and perks

  18. Why would sharples and turia stay with a man who badmouths the indigenous people
    of our country?
    Many nz’ers respect maori and recognise their rights without condemnation and for
    key to attempt to stir up a race division in this country shows how dangerous he is
    for nz.
    Sharpels and Turia should walk out of respect for their people and to send a strong
    message to Key that his ‘loose lips’ are just not acceptable.
    If Turia and Sharples leave they should not fear having less money and trinkets
    in their hip pockets,the taxpayers will take care of them for the rest of their lives,
    not the same can be said for the millions of taxpayers carrying the burden of politicians
    who are surplus to requirements.

  19. bad12 19

    ‘Opportunistic’, nah, not really, simply good timing to get the Government of the day to sit up and take notice of claims over fresh water rights,

    ‘Opportunistic’ nah, opportunistic would be if the Government of the day was to have been blind-sided by such claims over fresh water, which is hardly ‘fact’ as what Slippery the Prime Minister would have us believe,(while He conducts negotiations behind closed doors over the very issue of fresh water rights),

    ‘Opportunistic’, nah, since 1896 3 different Tribes have taken 3 different cases to the then Native Land Court over (1) rivers, (2) lakes, and (3) streams and in each case the Native Land Court has declared that yes Maori do have the ability to ‘own’ such rivers, lakes, and, streams and yes the specific Maori who put those cases befor that Court did in fact ‘own’ those rivers, lakes, and streams…

  20. Tracey 21

    which of the following key is our PM?.

    MONKS: [chanting]
    Pie Iesu domine, dona eis requiem.
    Pie Iesu domine,…
    …dona eis requiem.
    Pie Iesu domine,…
    …dona eis requiem.
    A witch! A witch!
    A witch! A witch!
    MONKS: [chanting]
    Pie Iesu domine…
    A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We’ve found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! A witch! We’ve got a witch! A witch! A witch! Burn her! Burn her!
    Burn her! We’ve found a witch! We’ve found a witch! A witch! A witch! A witch!
    VILLAGER #1:
    We have found a witch. May we burn her?
    Burn her! Burn! Burn her! Burn her!
    How do you know she is a witch?
    VILLAGER #2:
    She looks like one.
    Right! Yeah! Yeah!
    Bring her forward.
    I’m not a witch. I’m not a witch.
    Uh, but you are dressed as one.
    They dressed me up like this.
    Augh, we didn’t! We didn’t…
    And this isn’t my nose. It’s a false one.
    VILLAGER #1:
    Well, we did do the nose.
    The nose?
    VILLAGER #1:
    And the hat, but she is a witch!
    VILLAGER #2:
    We burn her! Right! Yeaaah! Yeaah!
    Did you dress her up like this?
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGER #2 and 3:
    No. No.
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGERS #2 and #3:
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #1:
    Yes. Yeah, a bit.
    VILLAGER #3:
    A bit.
    VILLAGERS #1 and #2:
    A bit.
    VILLAGER #3:
    A bit.
    VILLAGER #1:
    She has got a wart.
    What makes you think she is a witch?
    VILLAGER #3:
    Well, she turned me into a newt.
    A newt?
    VILLAGER #3:
    I got better.
    VILLAGER #2:
    Burn her anyway!
    VILLAGER #1:
    Burn her! Burn! Burn her!…
    Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! Quiet! There are ways of telling whether she is a witch.
    VILLAGER #1:
    Are there?
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #1:
    What are they?
    Tell us! Tell us!…
    VILLAGER #2:
    Do they hurt?
    Tell me. What do you do with witches?
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #1:
    Burn! Burn them up! Burn!…
    And what do you burn apart from witches?
    VILLAGER #1:
    More witches!
    VILLAGER #3:
    VILLAGER #2:
    So, why do witches burn?
    VILLAGER #3:
    B–… ’cause they’re made of… wood?
    Good! Heh heh.
    Oh, yeah. Oh.
    So, how do we tell whether she is made of wood?
    VILLAGER #1:
    Build a bridge out of her.
    Ah, but can you not also make bridges out of stone?
    VILLAGER #1:
    Oh, yeah.
    Oh, yeah. True. Uhh…
    Does wood sink in water?
    VILLAGER #1:
    No. No.
    VILLAGER #2:
    No, it floats! It floats!
    VILLAGER #1:
    Throw her into the pond!
    The pond! Throw her into the pond!
    What also floats in water?
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #3:
    Uh, very small rocks!
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGER #2:
    Uh, gra– gravy!
    VILLAGER #1:
    VILLAGER #2:
    VILLAGER #3:
    Uh, churches! Churches!
    VILLAGER #2:
    Lead! Lead!
    A duck!
    Exactly. So, logically…
    VILLAGER #1:
    If… she… weighs… the same as a duck,… she’s made of wood.
    And therefore?
    VILLAGER #2:
    A witch!
    VILLAGER #1:
    A witch!
    A witch! A witch!…
    VILLAGER #4:
    Here is a duck. Use this duck.
    [quack quack quack]
    Very good. We shall use my largest scales.
    Ohh! Ohh! Burn the witch! Burn the witch! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Ahh! Ahh…
    Right. Remove the supports!
    A witch! A witch! A witch!
    It’s a fair cop.
    VILLAGER #3:
    Burn her!
    Burn her! Burn her! Burn her! Burn! Burn!…
    Who are you who are so wise in the ways of science?
    I am Arthur, King of the Britons.

  21. Quasimodo 22

    .. your point being ?

  22. Quasimodo 23

    What is so objectionable about not being afraid of

    1.) breaking with convention,
    2.) not being afraid of looking weak,
    3.) and of carrying out thorough research

    before trading .. or playing poker ?

    Dammit, he may have dabbled – but he made his reputation as
    trading floor manager at Merrill rather than at the sharp end.

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