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Get it in writing

Written By: - Date published: 11:05 pm, September 23rd, 2009 - 48 comments
Categories: housing insulation, maori party, same old national - Tags:

Watching the Maori Party get done over by National is getting painful.

The MP thought they had a good faith dialogue on the issue of Maori seats on the Auckland Council, but before the select committee process was even finished Key announced that there would be no seats.

The MP abandoned all its environmental principles to support National’s gutting of the ETS. They thought they were getting something in return (increases to the benefit, free insulation for low income Maori homes) but they were wrong wrong wrong.

The MP is supporting a National government which works against the interests of low income people and is only pretending to have changed its divisive Iwi/Kiwi ideology. The MP may think they are going to get progress on the foreshore and seabed as a result. Is that really enough? On current form – will they really get anything at all?

Here’s my advice to the MP. When dealing with National get it in writing. Don’t just roll over and announce your support for National’s latest folly (whatever the cost to the Maori people). Instead, get National to announce the concessions that they have promised you first. It’s the only way to be sure that National won’t just stab you in the back. Again.


48 comments on “Get it in writing”

  1. luva 1

    I would suggest the same advice could be given to ACT, “Get it in writing” Get National to announce all the concessions now so they don’t retract them closer to the election.

    The only concession so far has been Maori seats in Auckland. But where is the co-operation on those things that relly bug ACT voters. Crime (already watered down), WFF, Benefits, Interest Free Student Loans, Tax cuts. Do not get screwed on your fundamental principles ACT.

    Will ACT get anything meaningful at all?

    I hope they don’t, as I agree with the governments current approach but I think the fundamental policies of both the MP and ACT are being ignored by their much larger Coalition partner.

  2. Ianmac 2

    I thought that the MP had only agreed to support the ETS to the Select Committee stage? And wasn’t Nick Smith sort of suggesting today in Question time that Labour could consult if the reely reely wanted to?

  3. watchingthezoo 3

    dreamon rob,

    a few labour press releases dont make it true. maybe the mp should have stayed in bed with labour, like the greens, and screwed every which way.

    • r0b 3.1

      Like the Greens? The Greens didn’t get the baubles of office (thanks to Peters and Dunne), but they worked productively with Labour and scored many significant achievements.

      The MP has the baubles of office, it’s looking like their achievements may be thin on the ground. This post was about how they might start to achieve some of their goals.

    • burt 3.2


      (thanks to Peters and Dunne)

      You are become a joke rOb, it was Labour who said ‘last cab off the rank” and Labour who decided to get into bed with any strangers they could to ensure their illegal theft of tax payers money was not wasted and that they would live to validate themselves and keep their leader from standing in court.

      Stop making shit up to protect the most self serving govt NZ has ever had.

      • Tigger 3.2.1

        burt – if you’re going to make allegations of ‘illegal theft of tax payers [sic] money’ I suggest you get some facts to back it up or shut up – if you can’t prove it it’s defamation.

      • burt 3.2.2

        I’m just repeating what the Auditor General alledged. Remember that “bumbling fool referee” that didn’t know what he was talkign about….

        • r0b

          I’m just repeating what the Auditor General alledged.

          No you aren’t Burt, you’re making shit up. Please indicate where the AG said anything about “illegal theft”…

        • burt


          If you really think I said Labour had been in power for 14 years then you are much more twisted than I though you were. I said Labour validated an unknown amount of money over 14 years do you dispute this? If so please explain.

          You then decided to distract the issue by taking a cheap shot pretending that I THINK Labour had been the govt for 14 years. Wow talk about trying to divert from the real issue with some noddy distraction.

          I know it’s hard for you rOb, having taken a position that parliament are above the law and that is OK when Labour are in govt leaves you very compromised blithering on about the conduct of the National party. However this is the position you took when it was convenient and expedient for Labour and you can either say you got it wrong being a partisan apologist OR you can continue to paint yourself as a partisan apologist It really is your choice.

          • Armchair Critic

            That will be a “no, I can’t” to the “Please indicate where the AG said anything about illegal theft” question, then.
            Another question you won’t answer, burt. How much of the amount validated was for spending by parties you support?

          • burt

            Armchair apologist

            I don’t know how much was validated – that is the whole point you idiot. I would have rather seen all parties who were alleged to have stolen from tax payers stand in court and defend their position. But the Labour-led govt didn’t like being held accountable as killing of Darnton VS Clark demonstrated.

            The AG said something along the lines of ‘illegal practice’. You look it up and you decide if rOb is just distracting from the real issue because he has in the past been an appologist for govt being unaccountable and undemocratic in it’s actions to cover it’s own ass.

            • Armchair Critic

              Burt – I don’t read comments past “I don’t know”, because once you say “I don’t know” you lose all credibility.
              If you don’t know, STFU.
              If you do know, please do tell, rather than spout crap.
              And another one for you to answer, please tell me where I have tried to justify the validating legislation. I reckon you will come up short on that, too. Until you do you are spouting crap again, I see a theme developing.

            • burt

              Armchair Apologist

              You don’t get it do you – nobody knows how much money was validated over the 14 year period. This is why it was wrong. Name one other time when a democracy has validated an unspecified amount of money spent in ways that were alleged to be illegal.

              Plenty of examples in dictatorships….

            • Armchair Critic

              “You don’t get it do you nobody knows how much money was validated”
              So, leaving the issue of amounts aside, how about proportions of the total amount? According to your statement no one knows, but it won’t be too difficult to have a bit of a guess and get close. And on that basis, was it just Labour validating its own expenditure or did it go further than that? Did any of the parties you support benefit from the validating legislation? If your party of choice had been in power, would they have done something similar? Feel free to be consistent and skirt around the answers.
              I don’t plan to pursue this too hard, there are much more pressing issues at present and really, you are shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, been impounded, sold to defray costs and lived a long and happy life with its new owners.
              And as you said, you don’t know shit about it, you just know that something happened, can’t be bothered actually looking up the details and you are just carrying on for…ummm…why are you carrying on?

            • r0b

              If I may, AC, I believe that you are giving Burt’s interpretation far too much credit if you take it seriously.

              Burt sees the AG questioning 14 years parliamentary spending as evidence of CORRUPTION AND FRAUD FOR 14 YEARS (by National and Labour governments), evidence that NZ is a “dictatorship”.

              The rest of the world sees the AG questioning 14 years parliamentary spending as evidence that the AG was just a wee bit overzealous. 14 years ago parliamentary services was supposed to understand the rules as the AG interpreted them 14 years later? Ummm – OK.

              In short, it’s just Burt and his loony lines.

              Oh and Burt – still no support for your claim that the AG called it “theft”? That’s what we call a lie then Burt.

            • burt

              Overzealous works for you rOb, theft works for me. My position supports democracy – your’s dictatorship. I’m comfortable with that – how about you?

            • burt

              Armchair Critic

              Did any of the parties you support benefit from the validating legislation? If your party of choice had been in power, would they have done something similar?

              Of course other non Labour-led parties got the benefit – is that making it right ?

              Would other parties have done similar – OH I see – Could you say ‘they would do it too’ and therefore feel comfortable that they are all self serving therefore it’s OK… Not sure.

            • r0b

              Overzealous works for you rOb, theft works for me.

              So let’s be clear Burt. As a specific example, you are claiming that when the National government spent on its election campaign in 1996 (under the rules established in 1993) it was engaging in THEFT. Because someone said so in 2006. That is (an example of) your claim?

            • Armchair Critic

              Thanks r0b. I don’t take burt’s comments seriously and take you point about giving his interpretation far too much credit. Perhaps I will take the opportunity to express my opinion with a bit less equivocation, I will wait to see what burt comes back with.

            • burt


              So let’s be clear Burt. As a specific example, you are claiming that when the National government spent on its election campaign in 1996 (under the rules established in 1993)

              Entirely possible. However because Labour didn’t like the idea that they might be held to account in 2006 for their actions in 2005 ( even after they were warned that what they were doing might be illegal – but they went ahead anyway ) we will never really know.

              Now unlike you, I don’t defend the govt de-jour ignoring a very senior govt official (The Auditor General not some lowly office clerk) under the general escape clause of ‘he was overzealous’. (The ref got it wrong).

              It was unheard of for parliament to strike down a standing court case involving a minister in govt before this debacle. In the same way that makes me very concerned it seems to make you proud. I think parliament flexing such power in their own best interest is wrong.

            • r0b

              Entirely possible.

              Don’t equivocate Burt. They spent the money, the AG in 2006 said it was spent in ways that were inappropriate, so by your definitions the National government of 1996 was engaged in theft and corruption. Yes or no?

              If your answer is no then your whole argument falls apart.

            • burt


              Don’t equivocate Burt. They spent the money, the AG in 2006 said it was spent in ways that were inappropriate, so by your definitions the National government of 1996 was engaged in theft and corruption. Yes or no? If your answer is no then your whole argument falls apart.

              You know very well that spending money on elections is not illegal – but electioneering is. Were the National govt spending money they should not have been on electioneering in 1996 who knows.
              Why don’t we know because the Labour-led govt in 2006 said that electioneering is what they define it to be not what the law as passed in 1993 defines it to be, and not what the Auditor General in 2006 interpreted that law to be. No transparency was demonstrated in testing the AG’s allegations, but that’s OK with you.
              You will understand exactly where I’m coming from if National validate something that is deemed to be an illegal practice. Till then I don’t think you have big enough balls or sufficient integrity to acknowledge that your support of Labour over this blatant example of putting their own best interests above the rule of law was pitiful and makes you an apologist for a self serving govt.

            • Armchair Critic

              “Could you say ‘they would do it too’ and therefore feel comfortable that they are all self serving therefore it’s OK Not sure.”
              I can see how you could interpret my comment that way. What I wanted to do was point out that your comments, which I read as being very partisan, were off the mark.
              For the record, I am pleased that Labour passed the validating legislation and would be equally pleased if it had been done by a National government, or any other government you care to name. If that makes me an apologist, great.
              As for it being a characteristic of a dictatorship – whatever. One piece of legislation that few people even remember these days does not make NZ a dictatorship.
              There are plenty of other more recent and more significant issues that have moved NZ closer to a dictatorship. I’ll have to take your word for it that you have spoken out against them, if indeed you have spoken out.

            • r0b

              So Burt, you come here and bang on (and on and on) about 14 years of THEFT and corruption validated, and how that makes NZ a dictatorship, blah blah blah blah blah.

              But it turns out that you don’t even remotely believe it yourself. Because you know that it’s ludicrous to conclude that the spending by National in 1996 was in any meaningful sense of the word illegal.

              There’s a word for people who go around saying things they don’t believe Burt.

            • burt

              Armchair Critic

              Have I spoken out recently… Indeed I have. This is what makes it all so amusing – I’m agreeing with rOb over latest issues with National/ACT. Which IMHO gives me more grounds to point out his inconsistency. rOb seems to want to forget he has two standards.

            • Armchair Critic

              “Which IMHO gives me more grounds to point out his inconsistency.”
              Except it seems to me you are seeing several things that aren’t there.

            • George.com

              Burt. Why don’t you simply answer the questions posed to you in a straight forward manner? I mean, you seem to be confident of the things you are stating. It shouldn’t be difficult for you to answer the questions. So why not?

            • burt


              Armchair Critic asked me how much of money spent by “my party” over 14 years was validated after I said we don’;t know how much money was validated over the 14 year period.

              Sorry dude, that’s a question I can’t answer because it relates to a position of an unknown amount.

              Perhaps you could explain to me how I can specify a portion of an unknown total ? What formula would you use ? 3/5 of 5/8 of [x[] ?

            • Armchair Critic

              In short, george.com, burt doesn’t know, he’s too lazy or insufficiently skilled to find out and no one else is motivated enough to find the information on his behalf to refute his arm flapping, demented raving because it is so obviously wrong and not worth the time or effort. Not to mention heading way off topic for this post.

            • burt

              Armchair Critic

              You are a muppet. The whole point was we don’t know how much was spent on electioneering. Keep demonstrating that your argument relies on misrepresenting my position. OR Explain how one would go about finding a portion of an unknown amount of money?

            • George.com

              Burt. That was not a rhetorical question from me, by the way. It seems at least 3 people asked for substantiation of your statement(s). The questions seem reasonable, I am interested in the answer. This isn’t posed to you as a challenge or to try and close down the debate. Rather, I think the questions posed are reasonable and worthy of answer. My memory of the 2005 election was all political parties, bar one, found their spending to be fall foul of the AG opinion. Both National and Labour had 6 figure sums they were obligated (for varying reasons) to repay.

            • burt


              Both National and Labour had 6 figure sums they were obligated (for varying reasons) to repay.

              Yes that is correct. That was the 2005 election. What amount do you think an auditor would have found spent in similar ways in 2002, 1999 & 1996 by all the parties that contested these other 4 elections? I could say there was over $1m dollars alleged illegal spending in 2005 therefore there was probably circa $1m in each previous election but that is a guess.
              This is the point, and I understand it’s a point rOb wants to ignore we do not know how much money was potentially spent illegally by political parties because Labour decided it could define electioneering as being different to what the AG interpreted.
              Now you can agree with rOb that validating an unknown amount of alleged illegal spending is OK. But that’s not going to make it possible for me to answer a question which is unanswerable because Labour didn’t want to see allegation of illegal practice tested in court. But keep up the distraction, it’s fun trying to explain to apologists that I can’t tell you how long a piece of string is when it’s been hidden from view.

          • r0b

            Burt ol buddy – you’re dodging the question (again!). Please back up your claim that the AG said anything about “theft’. Them’s strong words Burt, you’d better be able to back them up or you’ll stand revealed as a liar.

            Edit: Burt sez: The AG said something along the lines of ‘illegal practice’. You look it up

            Stop asking other people to do your homework Burt. You made the claim – you find the support.

      • r0b 3.2.3

        You are become a joke rOb, it was Labour who said ‘last cab off the rank’

        You seem to be a bit confused Burt. See, the Green Party and the Maori Party are different parties Burt. Not the same. Two different parties.

        Combined with your assertion yesterday that Labour had been in power for 14 years I’m starting to worry about your grasp on reality Burt. As usual I suggest a good long walk in the fresh air to clear the head.

  4. Since when did the MP become the party for low-income people? Is that not Labour? Unlike those on the left, Maori do not aspire to be beneficiaries living off the State – we aspire to be in a position where we can take care of ourselves. Unionism, welfare and Maori representation are not important to Maori in the grand scheme of things. What is, is a better future for our tamariki, for aspiration. My younger cousins look up to me because I am successful professional – they aspire to be like me and not like the gang members. I find it insulting that you consider all Maori to be low-income people and therefore should rally behind the Labour/Green cause.

    The MP are working hard to get what they can, knowing that the Nats do not need them. It sure beats another three to nine years waiting in the wings for a Labour Government to ignore them. I have noticed a concerted effort by Standard writers to attack the MP – here is some advice for you: the left does not own Maori. The MP, just like Maori, straddle the centre of NZ politics. That is where their policy comes from – we are a diverse people, and Turia and Sharples understand this. So they might lose on the Auckland seats, and not get everything with the ETS – but when they get the foreshore and seabed (and they will get it – Chris Finlayson is extremely dedicated to the cause) none of that will seem significant.

    • r0b 4.1

      Since when did the MP become the party for low-income people?

      Not “the” party but “a” party. Note that the things they tried to achieve in the ETS deal were benefit increases and insulation for low income homes, which kinda makes a hole in your argument.

      Because, being as aspirational as you like it remains a fact that the Maori electorate is significantly disadvantaged economically (on average). A party that depends on the Maori electorate can of course represent those interests (as the MP just tried to do) or not, it’s entirely up to them. The electorate will voice its opinion on that decision in 2011.

      when they get the foreshore and seabed (and they will get it

      Even in the best possible outcome for the MP they won’t “get” anything except the legal right to challenge for bits of the F&S. The legal bar will still be high.

    • Rob 4.2

      Good post, overall I really wonder what Unions will be looking like in 10 years, young people coming through in new industries and jobs just dont seem to see any value in them.

  5. Tim Ellis 5

    r0b how exactly are low income people worse off under the Government’s ETS as opposed to Labour’s?

    Who is least able to pay the additional costs of transport and energy? Low income people I would have thought.

    • r0b 5.1

      r0b how exactly are low income people worse off under the Government’s ETS as opposed to Labour’s?

      They are committed (via their taxes) to paying the open ended costs of polluters’ emissions, in a scheme where there is little incentive for emissions to decrease. Labour’s scheme puts the costs on the polluters which builds in an incentive for emissions to decrease. One way or another the economy will pay for the costs of emissions, but Labour’s scheme provides more hope of those costs falling over time.

      Who is least able to pay the additional costs of transport and energy? Low income people I would have thought.

      I quite agree. Taxpayers should, instead of subsidising polluters, spend that money subsidising low income people.

      • Tim Ellis 5.1.1

        Aren’t low income people polluters too r0b? Aren’t they users of energy and transport?

        What sort of mechanism do you suppose could subsidise low income people while still provide incentives for them to lower their emissions?

        • r0b

          You should be able to work some of this out for yourself Tim.

          Aren’t low income people polluters too r0b? Aren’t they users of energy and transport?

          Yes of course they are.

          What sort of mechanism do you suppose could subsidise low income people while still provide incentives for them to lower their emissions?

          There is a difference between (a) the current base cost of using energy and transport, and (b) the extent to which those costs will increase to pay for the ETS. In my opinion subsidies should mostly cover (b) so that there is some inventive to reduce consumption, without imposing undue costs on those in society who are least able to afford them.

          Although your whole line of enquiry is a threadjack, it has brought up the opportunity to point out that the National / MP ETS is a disaster, asking the tax payer to write an open cheque for someone else’s party, so thanks for that.

          • Tim Ellis

            r0b did Labour have plans to subsidise low income people so they wouldn’t be significantly hit by the added costs of their emissions?

            • r0b

              Not as far as I know Tim. But they did have a scheme where those costs were much less likely to blow out over time, as is the case for the foolish and short sighted National / MP scheme.

  6. Who will do the deal with the nats – why the labs of course. The maori party are looking after their people, under very difficult circumstances, and they will be judged by their people.

  7. Red Rosa 7

    Next real test for the Maori Party – the tobacco issue.

    Will National Raise Taxes? Surely not.

    And with tobacco lobbyists like Coleman lurking around, not a show.

    Even though the Maori smoking and death stats are awful.

    Lets hope for everyone’s sake the MP win this one. But they will have to get stuck in big time.

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  • Māori need answers on Land Court job losses
    Māori landowners, Māori employees and Treaty partners need answers after a Ministry of Justice consultation document has revealed dozens of roles will be disestablished at the Māori Land Court, says Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP Meka Whaitiri. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Key’s ‘efficiencies’ = DHBs’ pain
          John Key’s talk of ‘efficiencies’ ignores the fact the Government is chronically underfunding health to the tune of $1.7 billion, says Labour’s Acting Health spokesperson Dr David Clark.       ...
    3 weeks ago
  • More than 1,300 schools to face budget cuts
    The latest Ministry of Education figures reveal thousands of schools will face cuts to funding under National’s new operations grant funding model, says Labour's Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Speculation fever spreads around country
    House prices in Wellington, Hamilton and Tauranga are going off as a result of uncontrolled property speculation spilling over from the Auckland market, says Labour’s housing spokesperson Phil Twyford.  “Speculators who have been priced out of Auckland are now fanning ...
    3 weeks ago
  • New Zealand lags on aid targets
      The National Government needs to live up to its commitments and allocate 0.7 per cent of Gross National Income on development assistance, says Labour’s spokesperson on Pacific Climate Change Su’a William Sio.  “The second State of the Environment Report ...
    3 weeks ago
  • War on drugs needs more troops
    The Minister of Police must urgently address the number of officers investigating illegal drugs if she is serious about making a dent in the meth trade, says Labour’s Police spokesperson Stuart Nash.  “Answers from written questions from the Minister show ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Doctors strike symptom of health cuts
    The notice of strike action issued by the junior doctors today is the result of years of National’s cuts to the health system, says Labour’s Associate Health spokesperson Dr David Clark. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government starves RNZ into selling Auckland asset
    Just weeks after TVNZ opened its refurbished Auckland head office costing more than $60 million, RNZ (Radio New Zealand) has been forced to put its Auckland office on the market to keep itself afloat, says Labour’s Broadcasting spokesperson Clare Curran. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Government must be more than a bystander on the economy
    Despite what he might think John Key is not a political commentator, but actually a leader in a Government who needs to take responsibility for the conditions that mean a rise in interest rates, says Labour’s Finance Spokesperson Grant Robertson.  “John ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Māori Party all hui no-doey on housing
    The Māori Party should stop tinkering and start fixing tragic Māori housing statistics in the face of a national housing crisis, says Labour’s Māori Development spokesman Kelvin Davis. ...
    3 weeks ago
  • Labour committed to eliminating child poverty
    Labour accepts the challenge from Children’s Commissioner Andrew Becroft to cut child poverty and calls on the Prime Minister to do the same, says Leader of the Opposition Andrew Little. ...
    3 weeks ago