One obstacle to NZF + Labour removed

Written By: - Date published: 7:03 am, September 28th, 2017 - 24 comments
Categories: election 2017, labour, Maori seats, winston peters - Tags: , ,

A significant and positive development late yesterday:

Winston Peters hints at backing down over Māori seats

The biggest block to a Labour-NZ First coalition could be removed, with Winston Peters hinting at a backdown on a Māori seat referendum.

The only thing Labour leader Jacinda Ardern would rule out of coalition negotiations with Winston Peters was the removal Maori seats.

Asked whether Labour’s non-negotiable stance on a referendum could affect his promise, Winston said he initially wanted the people to decide.

“It was written up as Peters opposed, he’s going to abolish the Māori seats – that’s not true. I said let’s have a referendum and let the people decide, and apparently some people don’t like democracy,” he said.

“The Māori Party itself are a race-based, origin of race party who got smashed in this election and it’s gone.

“So some of the elements on which the promise was made have just changed, that’s all I can say.” …

That’s some pretty unpleasant framing from Peters, he is using the power that NZ voters gave him to indulge his personal prejudices. But more importantly Labour held firm on the Māori seats, and Peters has decided that it’s probably not a bottom line after all. This early progress bodes well for future negotiations.

24 comments on “One obstacle to NZF + Labour removed”

  1. Carolyn_nth 1

    Good to see the possible NZF backdown on a possible referendum.

    I hope Labour also hold firm on balancing NZF with the GP, and not bowing to NZF OVER the GP on some other crucial matters.

  2. cleangreen 2

    Thanks Anthony it is good to see this smoothing of the road to a ‘coalition of the willing to change the Government’ to save our beautiful country from ruin caused by National wrecklessness and greed.

  3. tracey 3

    And yet NZF stood candidates in the Maori Seats…

    Couldnt he just have said that it is a negotiation between two sides and you cannot have everything? Or does quite a bit of his base hate Maori so the killing off of the MP is like second prize?

    My concern about a referendum is not democracy but uninformed democracy. There is SO much misinformation about the Maori seats and te Tiriti out there.

  4. winnie knows that the protest from Māori and all those that support tangata whenua would be huge and widespread if he tried to ‘adjust’ the Māori seats. He is canny, slippery and listening to him on the radio ripping into journalists he seems to be loving the limelight and enjoying this pivotal role.

    • Karen 4.1

      I never believed he would push for a referendum on the Māori seats. He was playing to his Pākehā redneck voter support but he knows that he also has a big support base amongst Māori.

      6 out of his 9 MPs are Māori and while not standing in the Māori seats NZF still manage to get quite a lot of party votes. I think it goes back to when NZF was formed when they did stand in the Māori seats and they won most of them. I also think he appeals to conservative Māori voters, some of whom he lost to the Māori Party over the last couple of elections, and that is why he was pleased to see the MP lose.

  5. gsays 5

    Speculation on what Winston will do reminds me of rural gala days where a crowd waits to see where a cow defecates on a gridded square.

  6. ianmac 6

    It is possible Winston declared that referendum on impulse in the heat of the election. Not really tenable so he has to back down gracefully.
    I suppose Winston and Don Brash would join together to have such a referendum? Huh?

    • solkta 6.1

      It would seem so since at least two of his candidates did not seem to know that it was policy.

    • red-blooded 6.2

      NZF have had this as a policy for multiple elections. Yes, it appeals to the redneck voter and yes he probably always knew he’d have to back down on it, but the only thing one this time was the brief status this policy enjoyed as a “bottom line”. Apparently, now, he denies there were ever any bottom lines…

  7. Kauri 7

    It makes sense to back down on that issue. I suspect a number of Maori abandoned NZ First for Labour over that issue AND many of the voters opposed to the Maori seats were all talk and bluster and voted for National anyway.

  8. Nick 8

    Winston looks at the natz leaders, blinglish, bennett, joyce, Smith, collins, coleman, etc (almost vomited typing those names) and he knows full well that they will screw him the first chance they get, it’s just how they think and who they are, it’s inevitable. He looks at Labour and knows that there leadership won’t be nearly as evil. He knows he will be able to extract more from Labour also…… He’s going with Labour in my opinion.

  9. greywarshark 9

    Oh goodoh that’s a wise move. Let’s not get into that backward class/racist thing again.

    Phil Goff in Auckland is saying about the Maori seat on the Council idea that he thinks it should be a chance to elect someone, a Maori not a proxy I would hope, instead of someone who is just appointed as often is the case now.

  10. Sparky 10

    Hmmm not sure how its prejudicial if he’s asking all New Zealanders to decide in a referendum?

  11. Jan Rivers 11

    I think any look at the role of the Māori seats should be undertaken as part of a piece of work on the constitution and I’ve had a go at describing the common ground between the Greens, Labour and New Zealand First. The areas of overlap are significant . I’ve looked at trade, employment, water quality, public services, climate change, education including early learning, schools and tertiary, housing and speculation as well as some risks.

    Moreover all three parties believe in a significant role for the state as the enabler of our common good rather than as National seems to – a necessary evil a bit player in the glorious market. There are some risks too at Chris Trotter has outlined. Would love some feedback. It’s upbeat

    I’ve called it PollyAnna politics? The positive possibilities of the Red, Green and Black and its here

  12. David Mac 12

    I feel a number of Winston’s bottom lines were designed to win votes and then to be relinquished at the negotiation table. Stuff he can give up without losing what is important to the party. Without sacrificial lambs the negotiation process chews into primary objectives.

    • ianmac 12.1

      Reckon English does the same? Promise a new bridge on Highway 1?
      Promise a new hospital umm in 10 years or so?
      Predator free in the never never?
      100,000 children out of poverty in 3 years? Just change the definitions as he did with “clean water.”

      • David Mac 12.1.1

        I think they’re different. I don’t think English pitches those promises with the intention of shelving the schemes during negotiations.

        • ianmac

          Agreed. He will not rescind them. Just let them fade away.
          In 2011 he promised a new Highway 1 bridge just north of Blenheim. But wait. And wait. And wait until it is forgotten.

  13. bwaghorn 13

    hes also done labour a favour by giving them an excuse to dump the stupid irrigation tax.

    • KJT 13.1

      It is not a tax. It is a user pays charge.
      Something which urban businesses have paid for decades.

      If we had supported value added businesses, to the same extent we support dairy, New Zealand may have had an economy, by now.

  14. Thinkerr 14

    On a slightly different note (but related to the article), the Herald (or Stuff) reported Dame Tariana Turia coming out of retirment to build up the Maori Party again.

    What do others think? My own opinion is that Flavell just happened to be in the driver’s cab when the train wreck happened, but that it left the rails a long time before his leadership, when all of the elected members chose to take up Cabinet posts and were effectively gagged during some policy that had negative impact on grassroots (ie not politically connected) Maori.

    If one had taken a Cabinet role, and another stayed outside cabinet, wouldn’t that mean that the party could have both helped to make policy and also been able to critique it in the house?

    However, I don’t profess to be an expert, so maybe Turia coming out of retirement will be the kickstart it needs.

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