Lost in all the fuss this week, this interesting press release:
Labour policy is Maori Party policy
Press Release: The Maori Party
Last weekend’s Labour Party policy announcements sounded so familiar that for a spilt second I thought a Maori Party conference was taking place without me. Their policy statements on families, foreign land ownership, Maori youth and GST off food made good audio but were nothing new. The Maori Party has been talking about these issues for years now.
In April this year the Party’s bill to remove GST from healthy foods was pulled from the ballot. The Bill received wide support from a number of quarters but unfortunately failed in the house.
The Maori Party drafted this Bill on the basis that it would help families to make better decisions about healthy food because it would be more affordable for them.
Another issue that received airplay was limiting foreign land ownership – a great idea and one that we introduced in July this year when we announced we would be drafting a Bill to ban the sale of land to foreigners.
Again nothing new except for the turnaround from a party that did nothing to address this issue while in Government and who actively promoted the sale of land to foreigners.
When announcing their policy on Maori youth the Maori trades training scheme was rolled out as another potential policy winner.
The Maori Party has long been calling for the return of the Maori trades training scheme. We believe that trade training is one tool that could address the rising number of unemployed Maori. …
And so on. Of course Turia has a deep seated dislike for Labour, which she also expressed:
I hope the Labour Party is genuine in wanting to advance these policies but I have grave doubts that this shift in their thinking is nothing more than a play for votes.
She’s entitled to her opinion of course, but I don’t think that anyone who was at conference shares her doubts, and I don’t know if Turia understands how much the changes signalled by Goff have delighted the activist base. This new direction for Labour is real.
The proof will be in the pudding and the Maori Party will be there holding them to their word.
The test is not for Labour, but for the parliamentary wing of the Maori Party. Will the major party that they support after the next election be dictated by their policies, Labour’s policies, as Turia describes above? Or will their support be dictated by other, non-policy factors?
The proof will be in the pudding, and the Maori Party base will be there holding them to their word.