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Everyone hears what they want to hear

Written By: - Date published: 9:41 am, July 23rd, 2012 - 7 comments
Categories: john key, Maori Issues, maori party, water - Tags: , ,

One of the things that makes politicians lives easier is that we all have a tendency to believe what we want to believe, and thus to hear what we want to hear. Some politicians play on this tendency by telling different groups different things – what they want to hear – knowing that each group will disregard the messages to other groups.

That’s where we are on the water rights debate. As well covered last week, the Maori Party believes that Key has promised that the government “will not legislate away their rights and interests over water”. But subsequently it was reported:

PM: Govt could legislate against court finding on water

Prime Minister John Key said today he did not think the claim Maori own water would make it to court but in theory the Government could legislate against a finding by a court that Maori do own water. …

So where does that leave us then? As many commentators have observed, it leaves us with no certainty about anything:

Water ownership remains ill defined

Unless the Maori Party and the Government agree on what ownership means, its concession in the joint statement is meaningless.

And whatever agreements they reach, they have no control over other Maori to claim ownership rights over specific waters and have the courts uphold them.

And unless the Maori Party and the Government are in agreement about the rights and interests that hapu and iwi have in water, the Government’s pledge “not to legislate over those rights and interests” is meaningless.

There has been no indication from the Maori Party that they are going to seek further clarification from Key. It looks like they are going to be content to believe in their own interpretation of what Key said (disregarding all the other mixed messages).

They should know better, we’ve been here before, when the Maori Party believed they had been promised a range of concessions, and found out that Key had taken them for a ride.

On that experience alone the Maori Party should be seeking urgent clarification of what Key’s “promise” means. They won’t, because they are very comfortable indeed, believing exactly what they want to believe.

7 comments on “Everyone hears what they want to hear ”

  1. xtasy 1

    John Keys promises are along the lines of “promis cuity”, I suppose.

    A promise is made at various opportune times to different players National and Key have to deal with. So “promises” were made about narrowing the income gap between NZers and Australians, for example, as in other areas.

    From where is the wind blowing today, Key asks. Put the finger in the air, sense some public concerns and sentiment, and bang, a former promise is replaced by a new promise. He is a mater in merry go round promises, always trusting that NZers have short memories and fall for smiles and waves.

    He does all to get the media on his side (tough love if need be), and polls keep holding up, no matter what the truth and impact of his government’s policies may have on the wider public.

  2. ak 2

    Spot on r0b. A firm “We won’t” from the head of state becomes “we hope it doesn’t come to that” within mere hours, and it’s totally ignored by all players and the media.

    The latter has been even more blatantly toryfellatic than usual of late – eg stooping to quoting anonymous tory crowd plants and “sources” of internal polling – which along with ramped-up Labour/Green-bashing from Joyce et al, is a good sign.

    Angst in the Nasty party. Hanging in by a hair, kicking their last cobbers, and now lying like flatfish.

    Greedies propagandists unite: your fat assets are on the line.

  3. Carol 3

    There’s an op ed piece from Turia in the Dom Post this morning that is not easy to find:

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/the-press/opinion/perspective/7327773/Relationship-with-water-pivotal

    In it she reaffirms the attempt to find common ground with National. But she also raises the issue of the Nat government having signed up to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights:

    Article 25 of that declaration notes: “Indigenous peoples have the right to maintain and strengthen their distinctive spiritual relationship with their traditionally owned or otherwise occupied and used lands, territories, waters and coastal seas and other resources and to uphold their responsibilities to future generations in this regard.”

    But instead of pursuing the significance of this, and how it may impact on the tension over water rights, she spends most of the article justifying the continued relationship between the Mp and National.

    Way to lose the plot, Tariana.

    • bad12 3.1

      Ummm, Tariana hasn’t lost the plot, as we will find out at the 2014 election She may well have lost ‘her people’ tho,

      The continued marriage of the Maori Party to National is one of ‘the Slushy love affair’, otherwise known as Whanau ora,

      There’s no oversight of this little policy directly paid for off of the backs of the users of tobacco products, in most cases where there is ANY benefit to the individual from Whanau Ora, (the Maori Party Slushy Fund), the individual is a user of tobacco products and in effect Turia is using the oldest of political shysterisms, taking X with one hand and giving x back with the other,

      So, exactly how much of the little Maori Party Slushy Fund has now been distributed and just whom that distribution has benefitted we don’t and never will know,

      Anyone studying ‘corruption 101’ knows that step 1 in the corruption of the political process is to allow for X politician (in this case Turia), to have a fund which can and is distributed without the direct oversight of the Parliament,

      If ‘where the money went’ ever reaches the light of day as far as the Whanau Ora Slushy goes it will make the reported payments made from inside previous Enviroment Minister Nick Smith’s portfolio look like very small change indeed,

      Slippery of course has ‘some’ idea just which gurgler the coin is all disappearing down, BUT, chooses not to look so as to remain with an air of deniability should this particular pile of excrement become publicly entangled within the confines of the news-medias ventilation system…

      • Carol 3.1.1

        So, bad, you are saying that Whanau is thicker than water? Turia’s article confused me, because it has 2 story-lines, and doesn’t fully resolve the water one. She seems more intent on keeping onside of National/Key.

        And yet, the reference to the UN Declaration of Indigenous Rights, would seem to be in direct conflict with Key’s waffling around, maybe they would legislate over water rights/ownership. But Turia just throws the Declaration into the mix, and doesn’t explain its significance.

  4. bbfloyd 4

    ” Way to lose the plot Tariana”…Since when does sticking our finger in the air at the party that wouldn’t let us be queen of the world in nz constitute a plot?

    • Carol 4.1

      Is that a reply to me, bbfloyd? Because your use of “plot” looks like it has a different meaning to my use of it.

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