It was only a matter of time. Tova O’Brien at Newshub has been leaked a copy of the abridged version of the National Party election review.
A stronger focus on Māori and diversity, fixing the problems that led to the Auckland Central shemozzle and changes to leadership processes – these are just a few of the recommendations from recent top-secret reviews into the National Party.
Newshub has been leaked an abridged, sanitised version of National’s election review, which was sent to party members on Tuesday night. It’s an 18-page hodgepodge of recommendations from both the election review and a separate review led by former National Party leader Jim McLay into the party’s structure and governance.
It covers everything from leadership to diversity, getting rid of dead wood on the board, ‘Merv from Manurewa’ and calling out bad behaviour.
This report is a much shorter version of the full report with all the gory details taken out. National MPs were only allowed to read the original under lock and key for fear it would be leaked.
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to say where things went wrong for National during the 2020 election, and a lot of this is operational, constitutional, governance stuff – but you definitely get a sense of the soul-searching and wound licking National is currently going through.
The proposals for change include these:
Most of the proposals appear to be common sense to deal with a party that is currently deeply dysfunctional.
There will be a question about who leaked the report. It could have been an ordinary member of the National Party. Or it could have been an MP who took the opportunity to leak a copy of the report they were actually given.
And how has current Leader Judith Collins handled the process so far and the call for increased diversity and respect for te Titiri o Watangi?
Not well. She was asked about the problem yesterday morning on Radio New Zealand and thought the status quo was fine. She said this:
“We will not stand for a separatist New Zealand. We will stand for a New Zealand where everyone gets equal opportunity, and we’re able to help everyone to come through to the best of their ability and their own self-determination.”
Collins said she believed many Māori wanted to join the party because it stood for individual freedom, choice, and allowed people to get ahead by hard work and determination, according to their talents.
Collins held up Whangārei MP and National Party deputy leader Shane Reti as an example of a Māori person who had achieved success through hard work.
“I just look at someone by Dr Shane Reti and say ‘how could anybody say that he is anything other than an example of someone who has got ahead, worked extremely hard, principled in his approach.”
She also decided to go full racist on a Facebook post and tried to divert from the issue of the day, National’s open hostility to having a caucus that actually looks like Aotearoa New Zealand to National’s hostility to any sort of targeted benefits. Even though the life expectancy rate for Tangata Whenua is 7 years less than the life expectancy for all other kiwis. Her post said this:
National opposes the Government’s proposed Māori Health Authority and the veto powers it will have over the rest of the health system.
The Government says it has a te Tiriti obligation to segregate healthcare, dividing us into Māori and everyone else. As far as we’re concerned, segregation was an appalling idea last century and it remains an appalling idea.Before Labour rushes down this path, they need to pause and consider where segregated systems will lead us. A separate education system or justice system?Labour needs to be honest with Kiwis about how they are interpreting the Treaty and how far they intend to take ‘co-governance’. We can argue the language and meaning of the Treaty, but the Prime Minister and her Government should at least be open and transparent about how they are approaching it.The Government’s Cabinet Paper reveals the Māori Health Authority will also have the power to veto any decision made by Health NZ. What does the Government hope to achieve by separating our healthcare along racial lines and then placing the power of veto in the hands of one race-based institution?
Equality is a core value of the National Party and we will not budge on our position that every New Zealander, no matter their race, should have access to the same rights and opportunities including access to healthcare.
Her comments display a deeply flawed understanding of modern Aotearoa New Zealand. This is not rocket science. We (Labour) beat National in 2005 because their leader talked about mainstream New Zealanders and how they did not include immigrants. John Key understood this. He championed diversity. He had designated positions for ethnic candidates in National’s list, and took Aroha Nathan to Waitangi day for the photo opportunity.
Collins does not seem to understand this. I hope this inability to understand how Aotearoa New Zealand now functions continues for a long time.