The Nats are beginning their sham consultation with a handful of tame ‘Iwi Leaders’ today. The hui will be by invitation and will not include the Maori Council, which iwi have appointed to lead for them on the water rights issue. Tainui and other iwi are boycotting. Of course, National doesn’t want a real debate. It won’t genuinely discuss shares plus. This is a fake process. And it will all end up in court next year.
The silly thing, politically speaking, is that National gave up the strategic high ground when they chose to delay the sales to talk with iwi. They conceded, in doing that, that iwi do have rights that need to be recognised in some form. Now, they only differ by degrees, rather than being able to stand opposed to Maori and on side with the rednecks.
Giving up the high ground might have been worthwhile if National was going to really negotiate with iwi and reach a solution. But they ain’t and they won’t. All National has given itself is another 6 months until the law suits start and a weaker political positioning.
All of which is great for the Left! No sales for at least 6 more months. 6 more months to whack the bastards on the stupidity of asset sales. And plenty of time to complete the referendum.