Key’s rock and hard place

Written By: - Date published: 7:15 am, July 31st, 2012 - 17 comments
Categories: privatisation, treaty settlements, water - Tags:

Does Key respect the Waitangi Tribunal’s call for a temporary halt to asset sales and its likely call for a further delay when it presents its full findings in September? If he does, he looks weak, gives the Keep Our Assets petition more time. If he doesn’t, he picks a fight with Maori, resulting in court injunctions, again delaying the sales, hurting the sale price, making him look weak.

Reckon he’ll pick the fight. From the start, he’s used the water rights issue as a chance to shore up rightwing Pakeha by fomenting racial divide. Risks burning off liberal swing voters. But there’s more rednecks. It’s his optimal choice.

Increasingly clear  that Key’s out of his depth on this policy. He’s getting a hammering on the cost and the economics of the sales from the opposition, and now legal blockages are popping up. All these issues should have been anticipated. A strategy developed long in advance. It is a testament to the weakness of Key’s lazy political management that his flagship policy is coming apart on him so badly.

Just a note. While it’s great that iwi are fouling up asset sales remember the objective for some is ultimately not to stop the sales but to get shares. That’s legitimate. They’re just trying to realise the value of their property rights. But it means that those wanting shares aren’t really friends of the anti-sales fight.

17 comments on “Key’s rock and hard place”

  1. Tom 1

    Well said, Zetetic !

  2. I’m not so sure formenting racial division was part of the plan – just a happy coincidence. Key wants to and needs to sell these assets, the deals been done, secret handshakes given and not much can stop him – just Māori at the moment. I expect the nastiness against tangata whenua to increase and the attacks will come from many angles but I like the fact that you have identified that iwi that want shares are “not really friends” – just like all those citizens who will fork out their $ – not even close to friends.

    • Carol 2.1

      Yes, and Hone is onto that. In his interview on RNZ this morning, he distanced himself from that idea of share sales to iwi. He says shares are not a formal recognition of Maori interests in water, which involves many non-commericial interests. He says he expects the claim to Waitangi decision to go to the high court, and that will result in the asset sales being formally stopped, so no negotiation with iwi over shares will not be possible.

      • Tom 2.1.1

        Carol, could you clarify the double negative in the last sentence ? It is a bit confusing.

        • Carol

          Sorry, Tom – a typo. The last sentence should be:

          He says he expects the claim to Waitangi decision to go to the high court, and that will result in the asset sales being formally stopped, so negotiation with iwi over shares will not be possible.

      • marty mars 2.1.2

        Thanks carol that interview with Hone was awesome.

        Hone says “this is not about Māori interest in water translating into shareholding”

        so true, but that won’t stop the stirrers though from pretending that it is the point.

  3. Lew 3

    Suggested title: “John Key attempts The Snatch…”


  4. Lanthanide 4

    Hone was on the radio this morning saying that it is not about getting shares, it’s not about recognising commercial value of the water, it’s about recognising their cultural and historical ties to the land.

    • aerobubble 4.1

      Surely its about all three, shares, commercial value BECAUSE of cultural and historical ties.

      Key plays both sides. Key is increasing his own support amongst rednecks, while his ally the Maori party gets a payday. The whole distraction turns off voters who forget they are being screwed.

      Rationally people who own an asset, pay to get it sold, and receive some tied-me-over-cash are unlikely, if they were rational, to keep using Mighty River as their energy supplier, because
      they will get more dividend when using a supplier their government owns. And this is what erks National voters, selling the best assets in the portfolio to a cover cash flow crisis.

      Couple this to providing the refernendum more time, and the problem with National whole budget leading to a run on the national debt if asset sales fall over.

      Key looks like he’s not in control.

  5. Bored 5

    Sort of highlights Keys disdain for the established parliamentary processes….he commands like a commercial manager, debate..whats that?

  6. bad12 6

    ”But it means that those wanting shares aren’t really friends of the anti-sales fight”

    I for one do not believe that little piece of your post one little bit, Maori throughout the asset sales fiasco have been the one’s playing the ‘smart’ game,

    In particular the ‘Iwi Leaders Group” who have been in the ‘secret negotiations’ with the Slippery National Government over the issue of water rights are those who have been tasked by their various Iwi to gain the maximum return from the business interests of those various Iwi,

    So, the Iwi Leaders Group is and has been doing what it is paid to do,


    The view of the Iwi Leaders Group is one limited by its mandate to seek the best commercial out-comes for the particular Iwi that they represent AND in the world of Pakeha/Maori relations is the interface between those worlds on a corporate level,

    The view of the Maori Council and the 15 Hapu who put the take befor the Waitangi tribunal while being diametrically opposed to that of the Iwi Leaders Group is in fact only so because one is ‘operating’ in a Pakeha framework and the other a Maori one,

    Such is the schizophrenic nature of the racial relationship that binds us all into this little country,and, should it transpire that after the battle stops and the smoke clears that the asset sales cannot be stopped then I would have one thing to say to the Iwi leaders Group should they be able to negotitate a substantial share-holding in those assets being sold,

    Good on you…

    • bbfloyd 6.1

      So what you are saying is that a group who represent wealthy maori are negotiating for a better share price for themselves?? that negates the “aren’t really friends of the asset sales ” statement?

      i assume it is you contention that wealthy maori are paying the iwi leadership group to do this?

      You have a strange way of proving that that Zetetic’s original statement is true….

      • bad12 6.1.1

        Nope, that is not what i am saying, ‘the ‘Iwi Leaders Group’ are in reality a group made up of representatives of various Iwi, they represent ‘the wealth’ of those various Iwi and are not (in most cases) seen to possess any large amount of personal wealth as individuals,

        Their arrival at being the ‘Iwi Leaders Group’ has usually been as a result of election to the various high offices within particular Iwi, much of this electing being as a result of individual Marae having put them into these positions, thus such an ‘Iwi Leaders Group’ are the representatives of the various Iwi and Hapu within those Iwi charged with managing their commercial interests in the best interests of the Iwi,

        To clarify the issue for you, the Maori Council, and, the 15 Hapu who have taken the urgent take to the Waitangi Tribunal and the Iwi Leaders Group are all part of one whole,

        The Iwi Leaders Group are simply charged with providing to Iwi the best possible commercial out-comes as they manage the relevant Iwi assets,

        The Maori Council and the Hapu at the core of the present decision from the Waitangi Tribunal are simply arguing the take from a point where the Iwi Leaders Group is not tasked to do so and the best means of explanation i can come close to in a strictly Pakeha sense is that the Maori Council and the Hapu are arguing LAW while the Iwi Leaders Group are arguing MONEY…

  7. Bob 7

    Yes it seems a bit like getting guns and blankets!

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