“Unusual and inappropriate” – that’s how the Waitangi Tribunal has described National’s ‘report by August 24th or we’ll ignore you’ ultimatum. Imagine if you or I were party to a court case and tried that! Now, the Tribunal is going to deliver a truncated report before that deadline and the full one in September. This is going to the courts. Injunctions will delay the sale.
National has handled this terribly. In an effort to win back some rednecks by looking tough on Maori, it has acted with appalling bad faith towards the treaty partners and disrespect for the Tribunal. That will all add to the case for injunctions.
The Nats could have settled this at any time. Instead, they have kept on going with their politics of division. And ho that has backfired. By trying to portray the Maori Council as not representative of Maori – another play to the redneck audience, they forced Maori into a single united front.
Now, Key’s strategy just seems to be praying that something will show up. Not only is he going to miss the October/November sale window, I reckon he’ll miss the April/May one as well. Have you ever heard of an issue of this complexity, which will go to the Supreme Court, being settled within six months? And, by then, we’ll be looking at the October/November 2013 window – the same time as the referendum is likely to be held. There might even be injunctions to prevent a sale pre-empting that too.
Key’s whinging now. He says that a delay would cost “a lot of money” in extra interest costs if he has to borrow instead of having the sales revenue. Key needs to go and read his government’s Budget. It shows that the extra interest cost from more government debt is more than offset by the profits that the Government gets to keep by not selling its shares.