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Maori Party sell-out opens opportunity for Greens

Written By: - Date published: 10:50 am, June 16th, 2010 - 78 comments
Categories: election 2011, foreshore and seabed, greens, maori party - Tags:

The lesson that the formation of the Maori Party taught us is that, in the age of MMP, a political party can’t piss off its base and get no reaction. Voters have alternatives, and can even set up their own party with a realistic chance of success. Some Maori left Labour over the foreshore and seabed to form the Maori Party. Now, the Greens will be eyeing up a raid on the Maori Party’s base, which is deeply dissatisfied with the leadershp’s acceptance of symbolism over substance.

Of all the political parties in Parliament, only the Greens are likely to oppose the new foreshore and seabed law. National, United Future, and the Maori Party will be for it. Labour and the Progressives will probably vote for it too, while pointing out its a waste of Parliament’s time.

Depending on which of the voices are louder in the their head that day, ACT may vote against it as they did the first FSA because it doesn’t give Maori the ability to win full property rights or vote against it because they say it creates special rights for Maori, or they might vote for it. Who knows with those weirdos.

So, the Greens will be the only place for disaffected Maori Party voters to turn to. And wouldn’t they? In the previous term, the Maori Party voted with the Greens 90% of the time, which the Maori Party’s base was clearly very happy about. The values of the Greens and the Maori Party’s base are essentially the same. With a new, young, female Maori co-leader the Greens have more ‘brand appeal’ for Maori Party supporters than they used to.

I expect that the Greens will make a strong play for the party votes in the Maori seats, and win a lot of them. This will piss the Maori Party off (remember their arrogant position that the Greens and Labour shouldn’t be trying to win the Maori seats because they ‘belong’ to the Maori Party) but all’s fair in this game.

Winning over a decent slice of Maori who aren’t happy with Labour and are disillusioned with the Maori Party will see the Greens well on target to beat their goal of getting 10% of the vote next year.

78 comments on “Maori Party sell-out opens opportunity for Greens ”

  1. I cannot imagine the greens putting candidates up in the maori seats so the party vote is the way to go. I hope they put their case strongly. So YES give your party vote to the greens – good call marty g

    • toad 1.1

      Cheers, Marty. I had hoped that might be your position after reading your “ride on the vomit comet” post yesterday.

      The Greens don’t do dodgy sell-out deals (which may well be why they’ve never been in Government, but at least unlike other parties they still have some integrity, and I hope voters will increasingly see that).

      • marty mars 1.1.1

        They recieved my party vote last time and whilst i cannot get into corporate green (I’m more of a savage green) I believe they are the best option at this point for anyone concerned about our environment and people.

        • toad

          I’m no “corporate Green” either. I think you will find most of those types have long since departed the Green Party and are now snuggling up with National or Labour (and maybe the Maori Party these days too).

          The Greens copped a lot of flak here at The Standard about their MoU with National, but the reality is that it is nothing more than a demonstration that the Greens can and are prepared to work with anyone on areas of common interest.

          The fact that there is bugger all in the MoU would indicate that the Greens have little in common with National.

      • big bruv 1.1.2

        “The Greens don’t do dodgy sell-out deals”

        Ha ha ha, this coming from the biggest bunch of hypocrites in the house.

        • greenfly

          Thar she blows!
          Does ‘big’ ever tire of his insipid whining about the Greens?
          He’s droned on and on monotonously with his witless, groundless griping ever since he discovered that the Greens couldn’t instantly save every hunted whale, crated sow, abused puppy and singed kitten. You think at least he’d have noticed that every other party hasn’t even made an effort to try, but no, THAR SHE BLOWS!

          • big bruv

            Touch a raw nerve did I Greenfly?

            The Greens are the only party that campaigns on animal welfare every three years, you are also the only ones who have never done anything about it despite having plenty of chances.

            The choice is simple Greenfly, either stop pretending that you care about animal welfare (as you clearly do not give a toss) or stop pretending to be the only party with integrity.

            • greenfly

              Touch a raw nerve big?
              Nah, the back of my throat maybe. Your bile is so old it should be bottled and sold in a Chinese Apocathary shop as linement for the knees of aging rickshaw drivers.

            • Ari

              Yes, because clearly trying without succeeding is worse than never trying at all. *rolls eyes*

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    The Greens often poll well prior to elections, but something happens in that little cardboard booth, and the big felt tip pen wavers ‘ouija’ style and the tick lands elsewhere.

    • felix 2.1

      I think it may also indicate that it’s easier to get a green supporter to answer the phone and chat about voting than it is to get them to a polling booth to actually vote.

    • toad 2.2

      The Greens poll very well among people aged 18-30. Unfortunately, people aged 18-30 are the hardest to actually get to a polling booth.

    • Rex Widerstrom 2.3

      I’ve seen that phenomena in so many races, affect so many excellent third parties / party candidates… Personally I put it down to simple uncertainty.

      “I desperately want to get rid of the Tweedledum Party. The polls say the New Party has quite strong support. But what if everyone is doubtful when they get into the booth? After all, here I am having doubts… geez I’ve been in here a long time… ahh what the heck, I’ll vote Tweedle Dee Party to be safe. And if all those other people do as they said and vote New, they’ll do okay…”

      What a third party / third party candidate needs to do is convince those who are polling as supporting it / them that their fellow supporters won’t waver. It’s difficult but not impossible.

      For further information: Hire me 😀

  3. gingercrush 3

    Not a chance. Maori voting Greens is a bit like South Auckland voting Greens. They just won’t do it. I suspect we’ll get more of the same and I think this will be irrelevant or what happened to the Foreshore and Seabed. Maori will split their votes between the electorate and party vote. Though probably even more party votes will go to Labour which will make the parliament overhang larger.

    As for what Labour do in regards to the electorate seats is rather a mystery. I’m clearly not a member of the Labour Party so there may well be things going on. But there doesn’t seem to be any strategy in winning the Maori seats back.

    For the Greens the strategy has to be to continue appealing to the Urban middle/high income electorates and the provinces. They do very well in Wellington and okay in some areas of Christchurch and Auckland while doing impressively well in Nelson and the West Coast. Its likely provincial seats where they the Greens can make the most gains. And feature more in Christchurch and Auckland where they can theoretically pick up more votes.

    • toad 3.1

      To the contrary GC – before the advent of the maori party, the Green polled particularly well among Maori voters.

      Here’s the Te Tai Tonga party vote for the 2002 election, for example, where the Greens actually came second despite not standing a candidate:

      Mana Maori Movement 481
      National Party 1,083
      Christian Heritage Party 200
      United Future 512
      Labour Party 8,157
      ACT New Zealand 216
      Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party 412
      Green Party 2,048
      Jim Anderton’s Progressive Coalition 287
      New Zealand First Party 1,956
      NMP 4
      OneNZ Party 6
      Outdoor Recreation NZ 178
      Alliance 409

      Much of that support disappeared to the Maori Party, but some may be coming back given the FSA deal.

      • marty mars 3.1.1

        yes the maori green vote is a natural (sorry GC)

        The campaign to strengthen the pathway to this outcome must begin now and the greens have the credentials to do it.

        If you are maori and believe in kaitiakitanga, if you want to stop the exploitive destruction of our land and sea, if you want to consider sustainability instead of the old fossil ways, if you believe in equality and fairness and respect of rights – then party vote green.

      • gingercrush 3.1.2

        I don’t particularly find the 2002 election useful for comparison with any other election because of how lopsided the difference in party votes for National and Labour were (2002 is only useful for comparing right/left comparisons etc). I get your point but the fact is the Maori Party does now exist and that has ultimately changed where the party votes will go in Maori Electorate. Therefore they’ll find themselves in a position where the votes primarily go to Labour and then the Maori Party. And despite what position the Greens may take on foreshore and seabed and no matter how upset some Maori voters may be with Labour or the Maori Party. I just don’t see the Greens picking up a number of party votes.

        • marty mars

          i think the party vote to labour from last time was a hangover from previous associations not a conscious decision to back labour – i would expect those party votes to evaporate

        • roger nome

          GC’s full of bluster as usual. The figures speak for themselves. Your argument is weak.

          • TightyRighty

            8 year old figures? i’d say with two elections (read: more up to date data sets) having been between now and then, if anything, your argument is weak.

            • Marty G

              Tighty. put up your own data then.

            • toad

              I posted the data from the last election (2002) before the Maori Party was formed and contested an election.

              Nothing I could do better, other than to spend vast amounts of money I don’t actually have to myself commission a poll of current Maori political preferences.

          • gingercrush

            The figures speak to an election that took place eight years ago with an election result that was on the whole so lopsided its difficult to compare that election to any other except for a right/left comparison. The figures speak of a reasonably strong Green vote prior to the Maori Party existing. The fact the Maori Party exists now ultimately changes what the results will be in the future.

            I’d also argue that the Green vote in 2002 as with the Alliance vote in 1999 could be more attributed to the role the Mana Moruhake party played in Maori politics.

            I’d also say you’re a much paler version of your former self. The former roger nome could actually argue. Now days you pop up once in a while and act like a total ass. End of.

    • A Post With Me In It 3.2

      You do not see the relationship between your two points?

      Labour has no strategy and the maori party vote does not go to the maori party…

      So who IS left?

      The entire maori party was created over this issue. You don’t think it is important enough to swap labour for green for many maori? The greens stance on most things would align very well with most maori. Maybe this will mean they actually have a look at them this time round instead of just party voting labour out of habit??

      • gingercrush 3.2.1

        Because generally that’s not how people vote. The idea that Labour’s party votes in Maori electorates are somehow going to evaporate entirely ignores history that tells us on the whole Maori will vote Labour. Likewise, just because the Greens have a position on the foreshore and seabed that would on the whole be good for Maori does not mean they’ll receive extra votes.

        Indeed, for all the talk of Maori switching to the Maori Party only happened in electorates. Despite what Labour did when in government on the foreshore and seabed. Maori overwhelmingly voted them in the party vote.

        2002 was good for the Greens and likewise 1999 the Alliance did reasonably well. NZ First have also been a beneficiary of Maori votes in the past. But I don’t see the Greens having the same credence in 2011 that they’ll be able to get votes like they did previously. Nor do I believe dissatisfaction with Labour and/or the Maori Party means Maori will switch to the Greens. Te Tai Tonga has always been more favourable with Green voters than other Maori electorates anyhow.

        Hence, why I compare with the situation in South Auckland. The Greens undoubtedly have the best policies that would suit South Auckland voters but they South Auckland have never showed a willingness to support the Green Party. Likewise, while more Maori will vote the Greens than South Auckland the idea that with a Labour Party and a Maori Party in the fold the idea Maori will start voting the Greens is one that is very unlikely to be realised.

        • Lew

          Despite what Labour did when in government on the foreshore and seabed. Maori overwhelmingly voted them in the party vote.

          This is down to two things: first, rusted-on loyalty and the lingering desire to have a bob each way; and second the knowledge that a party vote for the māori party was wasted. The former also masks low turnout among Māori due to ambivalence toward Labour and uncertainty about the māori party. The latter is much more due to poor campaign strategy on the māori party’s behalf. They were unclear about whether they were staging a full-blooded contest for both the electorate and party votes, or whether they were just going for the electorate votes, as in 2005.

          Not long before the election (too close to make a proper go of it) they publicly considered a vote-swapping agreement with the Greens whereby Green voters who were eligible would get on the Māori roll and cast their electorate vote for the māori party candidate, and māori party voters would cast their party vote for Green. The net effect of this would be a massive transfer of votes from Labour to Green. Not much gain to the māori party, though, except a weaker Labour with whom to bargain.

          How different could things have been if they’d accepted that offer. How different could they be if that offer (or something like it) is presented again?

          But my view is still that long-term survival for the māori party is to contest the party vote, both as a hedge against the Māori seats being disestablished, and as a means of gaining the support of voters on the general roll. But, of course, all that is predicated on the party’s support not withering away to nothing due to their conduct in government and their position on the foreshore and seabed act repeal. That’s a pretty big if, right now. Can’t wait to see the first lot of poll data in those electorates, to see if the flaxroots’ views really do accord with those of the ILG.


  4. Santi 4

    Maori voting Green is like a turkey asking for an early Chrismas. Very doubtful.

    • toad 4.1

      You want an early Christmas, turkey?

      • Rex Widerstrom 4.1.1

        Check out Australia, toad, where indigenous leaders like Noel Pearson are incensed at the activities of groups like The Wilderness Society, particularly in Queensland.

        There, indigenous people support mining whilst the Bligh Labor government – ironically, attempting to ensure it dampens Green party support – has protected vast tracts of bush and river.

        Pearson’s reaction:

        It is not possible to convey the intensity of the feelings I harbour for these bastards. It is not their contempt for Aboriginal people. It is not their utter lack of principle that gets me. It is the torment of our own powerlessness that gets me.

        Hardly a ringing endorsement of small-g green ideals. Aboriginals would certainly view voting Green (or even Labor) as voting for an early Christmas.

        It’s entirely possible that Maori and Green interests may clash in a similar way in NZ, so Santi has a very good point.

        • Ari

          It’s absolutely possible, in the sense that Green parties are not fundamentally concerned with only economic equality. But there aren’t the same large mining profits to be had in New Zealand, so if it does happen, it’ll likely be over a different issue.

        • Godber

          Greens are shit and tell lies without blinking an eye.

      • Mac1 4.1.2

        “Stuffed if I do.”

    • Alexandra 4.2

      Santi – “Maori voting Green is like a turkey asking for an early Chrismas. Very doubtful.”

      Why do you say that?

  5. Its an interesting theory and could well be correct.
    However if the Green Party is to have any chance of having its green agenda a reality it will need a Labout led government. To achieve this ( and what a good government it could be) . To make this happen the Greens must refrain from attacking Labour ,at least over the next18 months.They must start to realise that Act/National is the enemy and we need to defeat them and what is more keep,them out.

  6. roger nome 6

    rex – there’s figures, then there’s what you want them to be. Choosing to believe the later over the former makes you look silly.

    • Rex Widerstrom 6.1

      To which figures are you referring roger? Tiger Mountain didn’t quote any specifically, s/he just said actual votes for third parties tend to decline from the levels shown in pre-election polling. I mooted a possible reason. I’m not sure what you’re getting at… you think my reasoning is faulty? If so, “why” might make your argument stronger (and less obtuse).

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    Rex, I won’t labour, heh, this anymore, I was referring to NZ Greens specifically, rather than all smaller parties, where the Greens pre election support in 2008 got up to 15% depending where you looked, yet flat tired on polling day.

    • Rex Widerstrom 7.1

      Yeah, realise that Tiger… was just extrapolating that out to races I’ve observed in other countries where independent / third party support fell away significantly on polling day (and even to some extent NZF’s performance in ’96… even given the Lhaws factor), in that I posit similar causation (though not entirely, obviously).

      • toad 7.1.1

        “The Lhaws factor”.

        Please don’t remind us of that, Rex. The most malevolent influence on politics in New Zealand I have ever seen. Thankfully, he never acquired the power that Muldoon (who has to be next on the list) did, and was consigned to being a talkback host and small-town Mayor.

        Once upon a time I used to enjoy visiting Whanganui. Hopefully, I will again, but it will take a while for his malevolent influence to dissipate.

        • Rex Widerstrom

          While Lhaws dissipates himself regularly, all over the pages of our newspapers and our airwaves (yes, sorry for that image :-D) I very much doubt his influence will leave Whanganui any time soon… it’ll just be exercised through glove puppets – that’s unless all this is yet another ruse to test his support before suddenly concluding the town can’t live without him. Again.

          Anyway, now you’re here, why do you think those who avow support for the Greens appear to bottle out in the polling booth?

          Is it, do you think, the uncertainty factor – as I suggest – or something else (sheer bloody indolence for example, as Lynn says below he’s experienced), or something else entirely?

        • big bruv


          You miss being intimidated by gangs of patched thugs Toad?

          There are many reasons to like Laws, however, the fact that he pisses off the Greens so much has to be near the top of the list.

          • toad

            Not “near” the top of the list, bruv. On the top of the list.

            He is the one living person whom I most despise (thankfully Muldoon died some time ago). Lhaws is a nasty self-serving prick who stirs racist and anti-beneficiary bigotry in the interest of self-promotion.

            You and I, by comparison, can have an amicable political debate (gulp!), can’t we, bruv?

            • big bruv

              Of course we can have an amicable debate Toad, although it is a pity that it has to be here since the Green party blog bans anybody who does not agree with their view.

              Let’s break it down..

              “Laws is a nasty self-serving prick”,

              I do not know the man (do you?) so I cannot really comment on that aspect, you may or may not be right.

              “who stirs racist and anti-beneficiary bigotry”

              That is always where we are going to disagree, Laws is not racist, indeed he is probably the least racist broadcaster on the air, you cannot handle him because he speaks the truth Toad, sure, the topics he raises from time to time might not be the nicest ones available but he does speak the truth.

              As for attacking the bludgers, well he will always have my support in that, he is only saying what the majority of Kiwis are thinking anyway.

              Laws biggest crime in the eyes of the Greens is being a white man, I have never heard you say the same things about the out and out racist Willie Jackson who is on the same radio station, I have never heard you attack John Harawira for his regular racist outbursts, why is this Toad?

              • Ari

                Given the way you trolled up, down, left, right, and a myriad of in-between directions all over Frogblog, I’m really not surprised they gave in and banned you.

                I don’t have a problem with the fact that Lhaws is white, but I do wonder how exactly you define racism in such a way that Michael Lhaws isn’t guilty of indulging in such behaviour. (I don’t know if he actually intentionally hates Maori, but it seems likely)

                As for Hone Harawira, which particular “racist outburst” would you like condemned? I think he’s a bit of an idiot sometimes, but off the top of my head I don’t recall him saying anything I thought unpacked as racist.

    • lprent 7.2

      I can testify that it is hard to drag identified green voters out. We would routinely try to get them out in several electorates that I was involved with for Labour. We did it on the basis that we could do it as part of rousting out the Labour vote, the Greens couldn’t, and we might pick up a few votes on the way through election day contact.

      But they had a very high correlation with enrolled non-vote after the election. They were slightly better than the 18-25 age group – but not by much.

      • felix 7.2.1

        Don’t take this the wrong way but reading that I have this mental image of you in combat fatigues, kicking in the front doors of late sleepers.


        • Rex Widerstrom

          So did I… but I added in splashing bong water in their faces and dragging them up by the dreadlocks 😉

          • Brian

            I used to think Green was good.

            Sadly, the wanktard policies these idiots are proposing are now clear to me.

            The time has come to slaughter them all.

            Let their blood flow across the streets of Wellington, into the sewers, where it belongs

            [lprent: I really hope that you have some better points than that rather pathetic effort. It is usually about this point that I point new commentators towards the policy. In your case I’d point out the sections on trying to start flamewars which is likely to curtail your time writing here. In the meantime, I’ll put you on auto-moderation so I can comment directly on the poorness of your standard of discussion. ]

        • lprent

          It is always pretty close to that. Mt Albert runs a mean campaign concentrating on people who seem to be reluctant to vote.

          Ah makes me think of the days of army basic and those early morning runs (of both types – army food at Waiouru…)

  8. quokka 8

    Rex, re. Noel Pearson – nice guy, lawyer, set up the Cape York Land Council, has a history of working with the conservative side of Australian politics.

    Have you read the comments at the end of your Wall Street Journal link ?

    • Rex Widerstrom 8.1

      Sorry I’m truly having a slow brain day today. You mean the public comments, or the comments of the Cape Alumina at the end of the story?

      If you mean the two public comments yes, they both raise arguable points. But they don’t negate Pearson’s position, which (only by going outside The Australian’s site and Googling back in) I have now managed to find in full:

      I am convinced of one thing: the individual and social disempowerment of Aboriginal people is ultimately underwritten by our lack of structural power within the government of the state and nation… Either there is structural reform that accords to Aboriginal Australians sufficient power to hold our own in the institutions of government in this country, or the Aboriginal rights movement will have to become more radical than it has ever been.

      And he cites the Maori seats in NZ as being one way for aboriginal people to gain that structural power to decide their own fate and that of their lands and resources.

      So like I said originally, lots of potential for conflict with Greens and greens.

      And yeah, I have a lot of time for Pearson. No apologist for Aboriginal failings, a pragmatist, but at the same time a fierce fighter for his people.

  9. Name 9

    “The Greens don’t do dodgy sell-out deals (which may well be why they’ve never been in Government, but at least unlike other parties they still have some integrity…”

    Which is presumably why for all the time they’ve been in Parliament the only notch on their bedpost is the divisive, vote losing and otherwise totally pointless anti-smacking legislation.

    I gave up on the Greens some time ago – holding hands and singing feel-good songs doesn’t save a single whale and at best might cause a bemused silence for a couple of seconds in the Boardroom of BP etc. before it gets down to business. ‘The meek shall inherit the earth’ might make a good motto but waiting for big business, corrupt and/or stupid politicians and the self-interested to finish with it first makes for a pretty poor inheritance.

    To mix a metaphore I can’t see Maori hitching their wagon to a pink, balloon-infested peace-waka.

    • toad 9.1

      Selling your soul for a river full of cowshit and an atmosphere full of methane might be your thing, Name, but it is not mine.

      You are right about the Greens having few short-term political wins, but we are here for the long haul (for what New Zealand and the rest of the world will be like in hundreds of years’ time) – unlike Labour and National who sadly refuse to think past the next election. Eventually (sooner, rather than later, I hope) most electors will recognise and respect that.

      • big bruv 9.1.1

        The “long haul” might not be as long as you think Toad.

        When you lost Fitzsimons you lost a lot of voters, for some strange reason a lot of people looked at her as if she was their dear old Granny, she was worth at least 2-3% at the polls for you guys.
        Red Russ and the every expanding female co leader do not have the same appeal to the voters.

        I suspect you guys may well fall below the 5% threshold at the next election, the reality is that it is only because Labour are in such a mess that you are polling where you are at the moment.

        If Labour get their act together (and I hope it is soon) then you guys are history.

        • greenfly

          Thar she blows!
          Could your grapes be more sour big?
          Jeanette’s exit from the party was graceful and didn’t damage our support at all.
          You need to read more widely than your own clinty meaderings.

          • Brian

            I hope Jeanette dies soon. I really do..

            [lprent: And this really shows that you don’t have what it takes. Perhaps you’d like to comment of why you hate yourself as well? ]

          • big bruv

            Just you keep thinking that Greenfly.

            Jeanette’s exit was murky to say the least, remember, she could not leave without trying her best to rip off the tax payer one last time with that little housing rort.

            You know as well as I do that come election day the very people you hope to vote for you just cannot bring themselves to tick that box, in some ways you guys are like the All Blacks, you have brilliant form between world cups/elections but come the big day you under perform.

            The only hope you guys have is if Labour stays in its current shambles, once they sort themselves out then you guys are gone.

            It cannot come soon enough.

        • toad

          Polls are not saying that, bruv!

          • big bruv

            Nor did they prior to the last election Toad

            Did you guys not get as high as roughly 12% prior to election 2008?

            Granted, getting rid of Comrade Bradford was a great move, that might gain you a few votes but you are fooling yourself if you think the departure of Jeanette is not going to cause you great harm.

            I can see it now, the Greens come in at 4.76%……hell it will be a great night for democracy.

            • Pascal's bookie

              “I can see it now, the Greens come in at 4.76% hell it will be a great night for democracy.”

              That reminds me. Paid that money you owe to wikileaks yet?

  10. quokka 10

    Rex, there is more background here


    It would be a mistake to portray Noel entirely in black and while – and an even greater mistake to simplistically propose solutions for “indigenous Australia” (a complex idea given varying rates of intermarriage and acculturation over time and space) based on Aotearoan models.

    For a start, all iwi groups can understand each others original language (Maori) whereas koori, murri and other groups do not. More fundamentally, Aboriginal peoples are very aware that their backgrounds go back 60-100K yrs, often seeing Maori and other polynesians as recent arrivals – indeed often as much invaders as the Europeans.

    Pearson was instrumental in getting Howard’s Northern Territory ‘intervention’ off the ground – see below – not his tribal territory or an area which he can claim unique expertise. It is also an area with large mineral reserves (eg. urnaium) in a time of increasing awareness of resource scarcity.

    Australia is a big place but the social networks are small, especially in political circles. Pearson’s seem very one-sided.

    “On June 19, 2007, Pearson launched a report by the Cape York Institute, From Hand Out to Hand Up, on welfare reform. The report was welcomed by Indigenous Affairs Minister Mal Brough.[8][9] On June 20, Pearson argued for the necessity of intervention in relation to Aboriginal child sexual abuse.[10] On June 21, in response to a report entitled “Little Children are Sacred”, Australian Prime Minister John Howard declared that problems of child abuse in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities had reached a crisis point, and he initiated the “national emergency response”. The response involved a series of interventions including, among other things, the insertion of police and health workers, welfare reform, and a ban on alcohol.[11] Pearson indicated qualified support for these measures[12][13][14][15], but has received some criticism for doing so.[16][17] On July 18, the Indigenous Affairs Minister announced that the federal government would fund the welfare reform trials in Cape York recommended in From Hand Out to Hand Up.[18]

    On September 17, 2007, with Prime Minister Howard facing probable electoral defeat, Noel Pearson sent him a 6000 word letter, arguing that Howard’s best chance at re-election was to make a dramatic gesture in relation to reconciliation with the Aboriginal population. Pearson argued that Howard needed to promise a referendum on recognition of the indigenous population, and also that Howard was in a unique position to affect the course of indigenous relations, but only if Howard “bared his soul” to the Australian electorate.[19] Howard accepted Pearson’s advice, and on October 11 announced plans for a referendum, but was nevertheless comprehensively defeated at the election.[20]”

  11. Jenny 11

    Should the Greens join Labour’s sectarian campaign against the Maori Party?

    Marty G:

    National, United Future, and the Maori Party will be for it. Labour and the Progressives will probably vote for it too, while pointing out its a waste of Parliament’s time.<

    The question I have for Marty is this;

    Marty, why do you think that the Labour Party will "probably vote" for this legislation, though they think "its a waste of Parliament's time."?

    Is it because the Labour Leadership know that if they try to vote against the legislation, their remaining Maori MPs will cross the floor?

    Previously senior Labour leader Shane Jones, whose stated mission it was, "to destroy the Maori Party" is now in disgrace, this has seriously crippled Labour's anti-Maori Party campaign in parliament.

    Obviously as Marty has shown, there are others willing to take up the reins. Unfortunately none of those with the stomach to continue this campaign have the profile of Jonesy.

    Seriously weakened and with no pole of attraction to lead this campaign and fearing a split in the Labour Party caucus, Marty G calls on the Greens to do Labour's sectarian dirty work.

    Really I am astounded.

    Is Marty G. asking the Greens to knife the Maori Party on the vague promise that they will become Labour's new next best friends?

    Other than a closer relationship with the Labour Party leadership, there is no up side for the Greens in voting down this legislation.

    Not only are the Maori Party and the Greens not in competition for votes, but to vote against this legislation will probably cost the Greens electoral support.

    This is because the Greens are an environmental party and the current proposed legislation gives the Tangata Whenua of this land veto on mining of the seabed and foreshore.

    When it comes to protecting the marine environment this can only be seen as an added layer of insurance.

    To ask the Greens to vote this down as a favour to Labour means asking the Greens to go against their own principles.

    I worry that potential Labour and Greens voters will not be very tolerant of this sort of sectarian backbiting and manipulation.

    As Marty G himself points out, the Greens and the Maori Party vote together 90% of the time. What’s the bet that this is a closer relationship than the voting record of the Greens and the Labour party?

    No doubt driving a wedge between the Greens and the Maori Party will be to the narrow sectarian benefit of the Labour Party, but I doubt it will serve the best interests of the grass roots constituencies of either Labour, the Greens or, the Maori Party, all of whom are being done over by the neo-liberal policies being championed by the Nats. to the benefit of the elites.

    The Greens need, to not fall into the sectarian trap, being laid for them by some in the Labour Party, which will only sully them in the eyes of the electorate.

    In my opinion this sort of behaviour rather than breaking National’s hold on the Treasury benches will extend their tenure.

    United we stand, divided we fall.

    To get National out at the next election a Labour, Greens and Maori Party coalition will be necessary.

    (Is there anyone out there that thinks it won’t be?)

    This means that instead of shunning, ridiculing and defaming the Maori Party, (and inciting others to do the same), Labour need to start taking the Maori Party seriously.

    To this end:

    1# Labour could release a statement acknowledging the fact that trying to remove legal recognition of Maori customary rights and usage through the seabed and foreshore Act was a mistake.

    2# Labour leaders could quietly put out feelers and seek talks with the Greens and the Maori Party of things that they do agree on. ie the return of democracy to ECAN the removal of GST off healthy food, the inequity of the three strikes law

    3# The grass roots activists of all three parties that have been working together around the ECAN campaign should be encouraging their leaders to get together as well.

    I feel that the electorate would reward those parties that acted in this way.

    And with the Foreshore and Seabed furore behind us, there is no reason not to.

    • toad 11.1

      Other than a closer relationship with the Labour Party leadership, there is no up side for the Greens in voting down this legislation.

      Not only are the Maori Party and the Greens not in competition for votes, but to vote against this legislation will probably cost the Greens electoral support.

      This is because the Greens are an environmental party and the current proposed legislation gives the Tangata Whenua of this land veto on mining of the seabed and foreshore.

      The up side for the Greens is being true to their principles and democratically determined policy. The Greens don’t vote for or against legislation because it is politically expedient to do so – they vote for or against legislation based on an analysis of the legislation against the Green Charter and policies. They voted against the FSA because it was discriminatory and amounted to a confiscation of Maori rights. The National/Maori parties’ proposed legislation is the same.

      And don’t forget that while the proposed legislation will give tangata whenua a veto on mining of the seabed and foreshore, it will also allow them to give it the go-ahead. Mining the seabed and foreshore may be what the corporate elite of the Brown Table want, but it is sure as hell not what much of the flaxroots want.

      • Jenny 11.1.1

        As I said it is extra insurance. against something like this.

        Marty G. and the Labour Party are egging on the Greens to vote against it because they don’t want to concede even this. (Though they don’t have the guts or even the ability any more to oppose it themselves).

        Toad, You say that the Greens will vote against it because it doesn’t go far enough.

        The Greens are being set up.

        What you have to remember Toad is that the original Foreshore and Seabed legislation was enacted by Labour to make investment and exploitation of the F&S easier by removing any legal challenge by way of customary title or usage.

        The Greens will look like complete out of touch dorks if they stand up alone in parliament to vote against this legislation.

        Are the Greens so out of touch with reality that they imagine, in the face of National and Labour opposition that they would ever in a position to win a better deal by themselves.

        And let’s be realistic, are they ever going to make the effort to raise this issue again?

        Everyone knows they won’t.

        So all that will be remembered come voting time is that they were the only ones who opposed it no matter what they say their motives were.

        As the saying goes it is often the raised nail that gets hammered down.

        • Pascal's bookie

          So are you saying that the Green party should vote for this, even if they oppose it?

          Who should represent the people that oppose this bill for the reasons the Greens do?

          What of them?

          You are right that if they stand and oppose it, that that will be remembered at the ballot box by people that have the FSA as a litmus issue.

          That’s kind of the point.

          • Jenny

            If the Greens oppose this legislation on principle they should oppose it, of course.

            Every political party needs to be clear where it stands on the political spectrum. And they show this by how they vote and the reasons they give for voting that way.

            I hope that the Greens can give fully informed, comprehensive breakdown of their reasons why they oppose this.

            I think we could all do with a fresh take on this legislation.

            I was just a bit alarmed that the Greens may be tempted to vote against this legislation at the behest of the Labour Party. I think this is a bit strong particularly as the Labour Party themselves will as Marty G says “probably vote for it”.

            As most Labour Party spinmeisters are slagging this legislation, I wonder how they can explain why their party will be voting for it.

            I am only guessing in thinking that the Labour Party MPs may cross the floor, splitting the Labour Party Caucus if Labour tries to vote against. Marty G has failed to confirm or deny my guess. Maybe Marty doesn’t know why Labour will support this legislation and so has decided to glide over this weird inconsistency altogether.

            Just a word of caution to the Greens they better be sure on the reasons why they are opposing this legislation.

            It probably wouldn’t hurt for them to also find out why every other party but them will be supporting it.

            • The Voice of Reason

              Some interesting points, Jenny..

              I don’t think there is any evidence to suggest the Greens do anything at
              Labour’s behest, though the voting records are similar, because so much of both party’s platforms and policies are similar. I don’t see any chance of Labour MP’s crossing the floor on this legislation, as it is essentially the same as the current F&S Act, but I’d guess Hone may have his walking shoes handy, as he seems to see it, like the Greens, as well short of what Maori want.

              The reason Labour are slagging the legislation is because it’s so piss weak and it’s fun to tease the Maori Party for so cravenly collapsing when Key put the heat on.

              As you have said so succinctly:

              “Every political party needs to be clear where it stands on the political spectrum. And they show this by how they vote and the reasons they give for voting that way.”

              No doubts at all now where the Maori Party stands. It’s wherever John Key tells them to stand.

              • Jenny

                Don’t be too sure VOR. Though the official ‘party line’ in Labour is that the Maori Party is considered to be beyond the pale. I would be surprised if everyone is convinced.

                Let us see Labour put their money where their mouth is and try and vote against this legislation.

                I am pretty sure they couldn’t get all their caucus to go along. And if Labour couldn’t compel their caucus all vote the same way on this issue, this may mean allowing a conscience vote on the matter. Which would be very instructive in itself.

                Either way, voting against, or allowing a conscience vote, the fault lines inside the Labour caucus would be visible for all to see.

                My guess, is that the sectarian, “destroy the Maori Party” line, may be getting old. And those with sectarian views similar to VOR are at risk of becoming isolated and possibly even marginalised.

                As it is it is better to play it safe.

                • lprent

                  I wouldn’t say that most people around Labour would regard the Maori Party as being “beyond the pale”.

                  Mostly they are regarded as a party that looks distinctly unstable and immature in their internal discipline and structure. They also seem to be largely formed around a single issue – the F&S, and have a very ad-hoc and scattered coherency on other political issues.

                  That makes them a bit of a risk to depend on in running a government. Most in Labour are probably like me – very cautious about getting into bed with them in case they pee in it. We’re watching with interest to see how they’re coping in government. So far I haven’t seen much that makes me change my caution..

                  • Alexandra

                    Most of the problems the MP have had since supporting National in government is that it is National they are supporting. Nationals actions and policy direction has been the cause of much of the MP’s instability. Hopefully, a change in power will help in that regard as well as offering a more complimentary policy direction which the MP needs. Risk is an inherent element of MMP and labour has proved its skills in that regard with its relationship with NZ First, which only went pear shape leading up to the last election. Relationship building prior to the election would be a good start to mitigating the potential risks with the MP.

                • The Voice of Reason

                  I don’t see why any Labour MP would vote against this legislation as it appears to be no more than a name change. Mind you, the ‘veto’ issue may yet be a reason to oppose it, I suppose. There is no evidence at all in a split in Labour’s ranks on this, or any other issue. Caucus will discuss it, a decision will be made and the MP’s will vote accordingly.

                  If you think there are Labour MP’s willing to break ranks, name them, Jenny. And, please, please, please look up sectarian in a political dictionary. It diminishes your good points (and there have been a few, particularly on GST), when you refer to any alternative viewpoints as sectarian.

                  • Jenny

                    VOR you may need to further explain what you mean by this.

                    Mind you, the ‘veto’ issue may yet be a reason to oppose it

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      I’m not sure what the effect will be of the apparent veto some iwi may have on future economic development, Jenny. Marty G has a post on the matter elsewhere.

                      I’m in favour of iwi getting a fair share of the riches, but it does concern me that there appears to be no framework to how deals might be done. I suspect that might be recipe for conflict or corruption, and, at least, will require further legislation.

                      So, I can see the left in parliament proposing amendments to new F&S bill to clarify how business can and should be done in areas such as mining or oil exploration. And what an appeals process might look like if a proposal is turned down by Iwi. Potentially, that could mean the left votes against the sections of the legislation or maybe the whole thing. Or just go ‘meh’ and vote for it and wait to see how it turns out.

  12. climate justice 12

    remember it is only a possible veto, and only against new proposals.

    also don’t forget veto powers are being removed too:

    Government mining papers released by the Green Party this week, and confirmation from the Minister’s office, show that the minerals industry will now have the privilege of being able to veto new conservation park boundaries, in secret.

    “The Government has given its mining department a right of veto over all new Park and reserve boundaries, giving the mining industry an advantage over conservation and the public interest,’ said Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei.

    “It is unacceptable that Crown Minerals will have the power to veto, behind closed doors, the boundaries of new public parks and reserves.’

    Crown Minerals and the mining industry work closely together. Crown Minerals describes the mining industry as ‘clients’, on behalf of whom it will “promote the potential contribution of the mineral estate to regional economic development’.

    “Giving one industry such privilege and potentially denying the public a right to know is anti-democratic and effectively privatises decisions over managing our public conservation land,’ said Mrs Turei.

    “If the Government proceeds with this change, the public may never know if Crown Minerals vetoed a boundary. That’s not open and honest Government.’

    And don’t forget that while the proposed legislation will give tangata whenua a veto on mining of the seabed and foreshore, it will also allow them to give it the go-ahead. Mining the seabed and foreshore may be what the corporate elite of the Brown Table want, but it is sure as hell not what much of the flaxroots want.

    • Jenny 12.1

      Climate Justice:

      while the proposed legislation will give tangata whenua a veto on mining of the seabed and foreshore, it will also allow them to give it the go-ahead.

      So Climate Justice, who do you trust to protect the seabed and foreshore more?

      Maori who have to live with the consequences, or bought and sold right wing politicians?

      I await your reply, it should be instructive.

  13. subPrime minister for hire 13

    the concern wld be corporate Iwi doing deals with Corporations and central government (the Crown).

    When labour was in they were happy do do deals with foreign companies directly, and Brownlee is happy to continue that tradition.

    the Maori Party and Iwi on the East Coast are unhappy about Brownlee doing signing oil contracts without informing or talking to anyone there.

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