Playing clever but playing with fire

Written By: - Date published: 12:49 pm, November 14th, 2008 - 56 comments
Categories: maori party, national/act government, workers' rights - Tags:

On one level, the Maori Party’s dealing with National is smart work. Key needs to look inclusive even though he doesn’t need the Maori Party’s support to govern. In return, the Maori Party can cement its future by getting the Maori seats entrenched through a government bill, rather than hoping a private members’ bill gets drawn from the ballot, and show its constituents that it can deliver by getting the Foreshore and Seabed Act reviewed. In other words, the Maori Party succeeds in getting National to do things it wouldn’t otherwise do in return for support it doesn’t need.

On the other hand, if the Maori Party votes for National’s anti-worker, anti-public service legislation or continues to support it on confidence and supply once these measures have been passed its supporters will punish it. And rightly so. What really matters to most Maori is what really matters to other workers – employment, decent wages, health and education for the kids. It’s nice to get the Foreshore and Seabed Act reviewed but it is worthless if the Maori Party then helps National/Act take away Maori workers’ rights, pay, and social wage.

If the Maori Party does support a government that attacks workers rights, it will confirm that it is the party of the Maori elite, not ordinary Maori. From Turia’s statements so far, it seems she thinks that it doesn’t matter what they do, the Maori people will continue to support the party. She refuses to even acknowledge that the Maori elite has different interests to Maori workers.

The Maori Party should be careful not to take the people’s support for granted. Maori showed in the 1990s that they are willing to take a punt on a Maori party – they elected Tau Henare from New Zealand First to the Northern Maori seat in 1993 and all four Maori seats went to NZF in 1996. But they also showed that if that party supports a rightwing government in its anti-worker polices shared ethnicity is not enough to maintain their support. In 1999, after NZF had supported National against Maori voters’ expectations, all the Maori seats returned to Labour. If the Maori Party wants to avoid a similar fate, it needs to abandon the fantasy that the class interests inherent in capitalism don’t apply to Maori, and it will have to be very careful that the blame for National’s anti-worker polcies is not placed at its door.

Supporting a government that will hurt Maori workers in exchange for largely symbolic gains is playing with fire. If they don’t oppose those policies, they are liable to get burned.

56 comments on “Playing clever but playing with fire”

  1. the sprout 1

    Fair points SP.

    And let’s not forget the implications for Maori voters of the National refusal to entrench the Maori seats, combined with the planned 2011 referendum on MMP. While there are arguments for a universal franchise, they are all dependent on the continuation of an MMP system. Ditch MMP and arguments to abolish Maori seats become very tenuous.

    And then of course there’s the internal stability of the Maori Party while in collusion with National. Let’s also not forget this ‘smiling snake’ gem from Hone Harawira on just how far he trusts Mr Key:

    http://vodpod.com/pod/video/427834

  2. Tigger 2

    I wish the Maori Party well in advancing things for their members.

    If I was in their position I would do exactly what they’re doing.

    And I would be hoping like hell that it didn’t bite me in the bum.

  3. the sprout 3

    likewise Tigger

  4. Ianmac 4

    I don’t understand just what the Maori Party has been promised. The Ministerial baubles surely aren’t enough?
    We will look at the Seabed and Foreshore Act?
    We will look at the Entrenchment of the Seats?
    All seems a bit uncertain to me.
    Must be something really really enticing in there for the MP to be so upbeat! I wonder what?

  5. gingercrush 5

    I’m not sure using New Zealand First is a good example. That relationship was a mess. Where it was clear no one within New Zealand First really trusted each other. The coalition arrangement was insipid and hasn’t exactly been followed by anyone else. And I’m not even sure New Zealand First achieved a thing for Maori.

    I also think its more than just an issue of Maori Elites and ordinary Maori. I happen to have Maori blood myself. There are several tribes but mostly comprised of Kati Mamoe and Ngai Tahu. I am not a member of Ngai Tahu. Unfortunately the link to Maori was lost 60 years ago or so. There are numerous Maori like myself we have maori blood but can barely identify with other maori. We don’t benefit though the treaty claims and of course if you’re like me, and you’re white and don’t look to have any Maori blood. You naturally get people saying,”You’re not Maori”.

    My point is: There are many such Maori. Then there are the Urban Maori who may still have Maori identity but their tribal links are lost. While there are the ordinary Maori which have the tribal links but not part of the elite. Then there are of course the elite Maori. That is four different groups of people. One group seemingly get nothing out of deals with Maori. Another may get a few social institutions in the cities but otherwise they don’t exactly benefit. While ordinary Maori can benefit its still decided by the elites.

    Its an interesting discussion you’ve opened up and I certainly look forward to what replies this topic gets. But since this topic is really about the Maori party working with National. Indeed employment, wages, health and education are all important for Maori.

    In regards to employment its likely that while we’re in a recession many Maori are going to lose their jobs. That is unfortunate but can’t be blamed on National themselves. Perhaps with the infrastructure projects National will be working on there is the possibility of Maori being employed. Maori during the Labour government enjoyed higher rates of employment, but also sadly more Maori are unemployed than non-Maori.

    In regards to wages. The Maori Party should be pushing at getting the minimum wage higher. But here it would likely be inappropriate for them to support changes to employment Acts. Health and Education, Maori can make a case for independent funding that starting with National in the nineties, was continued by Labour and which is an area the Maori Party favour. Independent funding is something the Act party approve of, and could likely work with the National party as well.

    There is of course a danger that in the Maori party working with National, there will be a backlash. But the only other choice they have is to sit on the opposition benches for three years. And there is no guarantee that Labour will work with the Maori Party in the future. One thing Labour really stuffed up is in their refusal to work with the Maori party in 2005.

    The Maori Party arrangement must allow for independence in areas they can’t agree with National but also to give additional support to National where that is appropriate.

    I too disagree with Phil Goff in that the Maori Party are an independent party, they are free to choose to act in what they believe are their best interests. They are consulting with their people. And in 2011 we’ll see whether they continue to be supported by Maori.

  6. Tigger 6

    lanmac – maybe it’s just the promise of being included in government talks? I always doubted Labour for leaving the Maori Party out in the cold – it was short sighted. If nothing else the Nats have learned from that mistake. Then again, as you point out it’s one thing to talk about stuff, but if they are empty promises then the backlash will be brutal.

  7. bobo 7

    It was nice to see the Maori Elite like Tuku Morgan meeting with John Key who I would say represents the average Maori about as much as Bob Jones represents the average pakeha.. I’m thinking Turia has already stated this is her last term in Parliament and wants to try seeing what she can do for Maori from within Government, it is high risk stuff for MP survival but her last chance.

  8. TimeWarp 8

    Nice GC – didn’t realise you were whanau. I’m a Tahu boy myself, not that you could tell by looking at me.

  9. paul 9

    Am I right – the huge concessions from our new leader are:
    1) review the whole electoral system (including Maori seats)
    2) review the F&S Act?
    An agreement to ‘take a look at’ these things is very different to an agreement to change them in a way that would benefit Maori. This whole thing may very well backfire on the MP, and they’ll be stuck with supporting National for 3 years. The electoral review might scrap MMP. The F&S review might over-ride customary title. Even if the MP vote against these, they may still pass. Tread carefully my friends.

  10. But Steve, you’ve always argued strongly that the Maori Party is a party of the left. You rubbished any suggestion that the party might be anything else and therefore insisted on counting predicted Maori Party seats as being firmly in the Labour-bloc.

    What has changed?

    Bryce
    http://www.liberation.org.nz

  11. Kerry 11

    I think the Maori Party should think about NZ First and what happened to them after supporting that Corrupt Nat government of the lat 90’s.

    I have no problem with the Maori Party going after a great deal….as long as they remember that 50% of the party vote in maori seats when to Labour…..along with Labour keeping 2 of the maori seats.

  12. keith 12

    Is the “Maori Elite” related to the maori monarchy? I confess I’m ignorant of Maori political history, can someone enlighten me and/or point me to some online resources?is

    [lprent: Letting this through the ban. I want to know as well. Last time I looked at this was a few decades ago (pre-online resources)]

  13. Lew 13

    What makes any of you think none of these dire mutterings have occurred to the māori party?

    I don’t see them taking any line of implicit faith in National. I see them entering into a deal on the understanding that both are bound by a sort of mutually-assured destruction – the māori party will suffer if it is complicit in a policy agenda which harms their constituency, and the National party will suffer if it alienates the `redneck’ (again, National’s term) base. But between those two extremes there’s quite a lot of space, and it’s in the interests of both parties to work together within it.

    A lot of this complaining about how the māori party should do this and should do that `for their own good’ is just more of the same patronising bullshit of old, and the complaining about how the māori party are being class traitors of some sort is nothing more than an attempt to hijack their own particular cause in service of a wider agenda.

    L

  14. Lew 14

    paul: Nobody knows the full deal yet. Not even people who turn up to the hui. Only the MPs know, and until it’s signed I’d be surprised if it gets leaked.

    L

  15. Lew 15

    Keith: Not really. A bunch of people have affiliations to or are involved in both, but it’s largely because there’s a fairly small pool of prominent persons from whom to draw.

    L

  16. the sprout 16

    “But… you’ve always argued strongly that the Maori Party is a party of the left”

    Bryce you seem to be confused.
    Obviously the Maori Party’s people ARE overwhelmingly of the Left.
    Less so its leaders perhaps.

  17. Daveski 17

    What a laugh. The Labour Party effectively drove the MP to do a deal with National because Labour didn’t have the nous to bring them into the tent. The “last cab off the rank comment” didn’t help either.

    Hone Harawira is no fan of National but even he said that they’ve got more out of National in the last three days than they did under Labour in the last 3 years.

    Leadership is often about taking people to places they didn’t expect to go to.

    Credit to the Maori Party for trying to do so and trying to make NZ better as a result. It’s good to see that NZ sux campaign is still in full swing even if under new ownership.

  18. Vinsin 18

    I still can’t see this being a good deal for the Maori Party, it seems they’ve got everything to lose and very little to gain. Even if they’ve got huge secret policy concessions from Key they’re still going to be used as a scapegoat when things go wrong. Think about it, Key doesn’t need them there and when the novelty wears off then there going to be down the road. If they don’t get the two concessions we’ve been talking about – it’s highly unlikely that they do – it’s going to show the Maori Party as an irrelevant party that does nothing for maori or anyone else and then i imagine the maori voters will go back to labour, which would be very sad indeed.

  19. Simple question for simple answer— do maori today have more asset than let’s say fifteen years ago..?

  20. the sprout 20

    “Leadership is often about taking people to places they didn’t expect to go to.”

    LMAO 🙂
    As that going to be one of the foundation lines of the next 3 years I wonder?

  21. jtuckey 21

    From Willie Jackson

    “…My advice to the Maori party is if there’s a deal on the table then take it. Hopefully the deal being offered by John Key will be more than just the Maori Affairs portfolio because to achieve real progress the Maori party has to be involved in key portfolios like social welfare, health and education.

    Left wing commentator Chris Trotter said it will be the beginning of the end for the Maori party if they do a deal with National. But a coalition between Labour and the Maori party in government is now not an opportunity.

    What Chris has forgotten is that the Maori party came about after Labour’s betrayal over the foreshore and seabed. He’s also forgotten Maori lead the way in all areas with negative statistics. The Maori party doesn’t have time to worry about Trotter’s agenda because a Maori agenda comes first, and that involves finding solutions that span the whole political spectrum.

    They have no choice. This is an opportunity to advance Maori development in 2008 with a National that is hopefully different party than it was in 2005.”

  22. Chris G 22

    Bryce:

    “But Steve, you’ve always argued strongly that the Maori Party is a party of the left. You rubbished any suggestion that the party might be anything else and therefore insisted on counting predicted Maori Party seats as being firmly in the Labour-bloc.”

    They are, by implications of Hone Harawiras comments here:
    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0809/S00326.htm
    That they are quite clearly philosophically aligned to the left… Are you denying that Bryce?

    refer to question: Even though there were other players on the majority team who felt likewise, do you expect some fallout from Maori because you chose to join in with the majority decision ?

    “What has changed?”

    Goodness knows, Hone and Tariana want a bit of pushing power. If you read that interview it gives a bit of insight in to the direction the MP want to take.

  23. Lew 23

    Chris G: They’re not philosophically aligned to the left; they’re philosophically aligned with tikanga Māori. `Left’ and `right’ are concepts which come from a European political tradition – they’re not human universals. The principles on which they’re based predate Marx in any case – although of course their policies are influenced by a lot of European political thought as well, it’s quite false to say they’re philosophically left. There might be a lot of commonality between left ideas and the māori party’s kaupapa and policies, but there’s not the strong causative link you imply.

    I’d say the māori party’s willingness to work with National even when the election was still too close to call, rather than ring-fencing itself on the `left’ as did the Greens really puts the lie to this line of argument.

    L

  24. Chris G 24

    okay Lew my point was to a) question what the hell Bryce was asking and b) Dispel his implication that the MP might not be left wing. I didnt imply a strong causative link, I provided a web-link to Harawira interview where he told of the MP voting record. That speaks volumes of how left wing they are whether or not you may not want to chuck them in that group.

    When they vote more than 80% of the time with the greens and only 25% with the Nats…. Ill let the numbers speak for themselves.

    Call it what you will. but ‘unknowingly’ they are supporting left wing principles and it is very hard to argue the opposite. Maybe it is wrong to categorise them as such but shit its hard not to say so.

    If im playing pin the tail on the donkey Im aiming left as a I can with the MP pin in hand.

    Plus: There willingness to work with the Nats, I believe, comes from their drive to have a strong voice of Maoridom in any government. Again, look at the interview of Harawira, he suggests that Parekura horomia wasn’t loud enough as a voice for Maori. To extend that; If im the maori party wanting a strong maori voice in a Nat/Act government, fuck im not getting excited about the prospect of Tau henare or Simon Bridges running Maori affairs… let alone Gerry Brownlee!!

    Seems like a no-brainer for the MP to lend a hand, not some sort of evidence of their non left right positioning.

  25. the sprout 25

    Lew
    But isn’t tikanga Maori essentially communitarian, and therefore philosophically aligned with the Left, while if anything’s eurocentric it’s the individualism of the capitalist right?

  26. Scribe 26

    keith,

    Is the “Maori Elite’ related to the maori monarchy?

    The Maori Elite is made up of the sort of people Michael Cullen would call a “rich [brown] prick”

  27. Lew 27

    The Sprout: I’m not an expert on Māori political history, but I don’t think so. There’s probably an argument to be made there, but it seems somewhat teleological. The same end can be arrived at by different means. You’d also be begging the question that `left’ is communitarian by nature and `right’ is individualistic – in the original usage it was simply republican or monarchist. I understand common usage is different now, but you’d need to nail it down very well, and in matters like this a little bit of knowledge is a dangerous thing.

    And if you’re trying to make an argument as to the universality of communitarian culture everywhere except in European-originated capitalism, then the going will be tough. There be dragons 🙂

    L

  28. Chess Player 28

    Everyone here seems to be trying to claim they know what is best for Maori.

    Can you not just presume that they can figure that out for themselves?

    Or would that be democracy?

  29. Scribe 29

    Chess Player,

    Everyone here seems to be trying to claim they know what is best for Maori.

    That’s not unprecedented. I remember when the Maori Party talked about scrapping the dole and argued the party doesn’t really represent Maori. I found that quite astounding.

    Make-work don’t work

    Must be part of the “Maori elite”

  30. Lew 30

    Scribe, this may be the first time you and I have ever agreed on anything substantive.

    L

  31. Scribe 31

    Oh, Lew. I doubt that 😉

    captcha: needy argue (hee hee)

  32. gobsmacked 32

    “Everyone here seems to be trying to claim they know what is best for Maori. Can you not just presume that they can figure that out for themselves? Or would that be democracy?”

    It certainly would be democracy. Now check out who they voted for.

    Good luck to the Maori Party. The problem is not that they are doing a deal – the problem is that John Key is better at it, and knows how to make a Clayton’s promise.

    Looks like ACT are playing harder ball than the MP. Quite right too – if not now, when? It only gets tougher from here on in. Warm fuzzies at a signing ceremony won’t keep voters happy through the hard times ahead.

  33. Lampie 33

    But isn’t tikanga Maori essentially communitarian, and therefore philosophically aligned with the Left, while if anything’s eurocentric it’s the individualism of the capitalist right?

    you talking collective vs individualist?

  34. simon 34

    The fact that the traditionalist (sic tory conservative) leadeship/faction within (and outside) The Maori Party have finally/again shown themselves now with their pandering to National (for baubles of power) is leading me to reconsider whether The Maori Seats are a truely representative form for Maori in New Zealand.

    Because once again ordinary working Maori are being shafted by the Maori Elite (like the NZFIRST debacle).

    Maybe it is time to abolish the seats and then Maori can vote based on personal, political and economic values rather than based on a psuedo nationalistic (racial/tribal facade) platform which is ultimately antidemocratic.

    Labour voter since day one…

  35. simon,
    The fact that the traditionalist (sic tory conservative) leadeship/faction within (and outside) The Maori Party have finally/again shown themselves now with their pandering to National (for baubles of power) is leading me to reconsider whether The Maori Seats are a truely representative form for Maori in New Zealand.

    Excellent. And there I was beginning to think that the so-called elitest maoris would constitute the magpie party as their ‘base’ remained wingless, so to speak.

  36. the sprout 36

    umm, magpies have wings – big strong ones with nasty claws underneath and sharp beaks out front.

  37. Akldnut 37

    Well I’m in the Tamaki Makaurau electorate,my whanau are all Maori and these clowns in the MP sure don’t represent our values or beliefs if they align themselves with Nat. (and I’ve got a huge whanau)
    They stated that anyoneone on the Maori roll could attend the hui.
    To be truely representative they would have put an email, a phone call, a reply paid envelope in the mail, published an adress where all the hui were to be held (to give an equal opportunity all interested Maori to attend) or all of the above to all those on the Maori roll! As it is I phoned three of their offices and left emails, a contact name & no. as they were unmanned – no reply!!!

  38. vto 38

    to the original post SP … it is ‘smart politics etc’ and it illustrates the speed with which the previous lot (what were their names now?) are receding into the distant distance. And for such clearing good reason..

  39. randal 39

    it aint over till the fat lady sings
    so
    who is the fat lady?

    and never fear ovt
    The ‘New Zealand Labour Party’ will be back
    in another coalition that will prove more durable than anything the tories can lash up
    they can tighten the ship
    strip a little fat
    downsize here and there
    but anything too drastic and they are history
    even the fat lady knows that

  40. Santi 40

    “Supporting a government that will hurt Maori workers in exchange for largely symbolic gains is playing with fire.”

    Spot on. Maori have supported Labour for too long and got little in return.
    It’s good to see a change of attitude in Maori leadership, which is now prepared to explore political support for a National-led government in return for real gains.

  41. Lew 41

    Simon: Yet more paternalistic bollocks. Because those on the Māori roll don’t vote how you like, or don’t vote in a way you deem to be `responsible’, or don’t seem to be serving what you consider to be their interests, you suggest the disestablishment of their chosen form of representation? Your position on this is at odds with that of Akldnut, who seems to share your distaste for this decision but is careful to couch his comments in terms of his own perspective and that of his family.

    You might not like it, and you might not agree with it, but the electors of five out of seven Māori electorates elected MPs who declared beforehand that they would be open to negotiations with National. They declared it, and the people voted them in, and now they’re doing it. You might disagree (and that’s fair enough) but there’s no legitimate claim it isn’t democratic. Those who voted for them knew (or ought to have known) this was on the cards.

    L

  42. Chris G 42

    “Those who voted for them knew (or ought to have known) this was on the cards.”

    Very wishful thinking, Lew. Lots of people I talked to couldnt tell you jack shit about the policies of the party they voted for, regardless of what side of the political spectrum they vote.

  43. Lew 43

    Chris G: Lots of people I talked to couldn’t tell you jack shit about the policies of the party they voted for, regardless of what side of the political spectrum they vote.

    I said knew (or ought to have known) – they had a responsibility to know. The māori party were clear about their intentions, so there can be no question of bait and switch. If some people didn’t pay attention, voted anyway, and are now pissed off about the result then that’s hard luck for them. They voted, as they were entitled to do, and now their elected representatives are implementing their agenda, as they’re mandated to do.

    The natural conclusion of your line of argument is that we should implement some sort of poll test – you have to know || about politics to vote. Think really hard about that.

    L

  44. Chris G 44

    haha well that definately wasnt my intended implication.

    I just think its a poor indictment on our voters when a whole bunch didnt know simple things eg. Greens didnt want electorate votes, one friend who ‘voted national but I dont like ACT, they might not have worked with National (!!!!)’

    of course Im not suggesting a poll test.

  45. Lew 45

    Chris: It could be worse – we could have compulsory franchise.

    L

  46. sean14 46

    How dare the Maori Party not sit meekly in opposition for the next three years hoping for a Labour victory in 2011!

  47. John BT 47

    As long as we get the money”……. Tariana Turia on the telly. What do you say?
    Historically, National have done better for Maori. Think Treaty settlements and kohanga reo for a start.
    Labour must be wetting themselves at the thought of Key keeping up this sort of consensus govt. Next thing you know he will be talking to the unions and the watermelons!!!
    God forbid, a Nat who understands MMP, the economy AND has a social conscience.
    Nine years plus in opposition for Far Goff and co!!!!!

  48. gobsmacked 48

    Here is a hugely significant story (so naturally the rest of the media will ignore it):

    Gisborne Herald reports:

    “Ngati Porou’s foreshore and seabed deal with the Crown is secure, despite the change in Government.

    Prime Minister-elect John Key met with senior Maori leaders, including Dr Api Mahuika of Ngati Porou, yesterday and repeated a commitment to Ngati Porou’s foreshore and seabed deal, signed on August 8.

    The deal would not be affected, he said. He promised iwi an ongoing working relationship. (emphasis added)

    It was not made clear whether Ngati Porou’s $90 million treaty settlement, signed on November 1, is also secure.

    The seabed and foreshore deal was negotiated independently by Ngati Porou, after controversial legislation was introduced leading to the formation of the Maori Party.

    The agreement signed recognises Ngati Porou’s customary rights over the foreshore area. The iwi has naming rights over much of the East Coast and local hapu would have the authority to put rahui or bans in the event of a drowning. They will have a stronger input to local authority decisions affecting the area.”

    So, given that commitment, it is clear that National are not going to return to the status quo ante in the seabed and foreshore. The Act will not be repealed, because that would undermine the agreement with Ngati Porou.

    But then it was never going to be repealed by National. Just “reviewed”. Which means doing nothing, but doing it slowly.

  49. Pascal's bookie 49

    Labour must be wetting themselves at the thought of Key keeping up this sort of consensus govt. Next thing you know he will be talking to the unions and the watermelons!!!
    God forbid, a Nat who understands MMP, the economy AND has a social conscience

    I for one hope that John Key does govern as a pragmatic centrist and rejects the advice of the nutjobs to his right. I couldn’t be more happy than to find the National Party adopting the policy positions I support. That’s ’cause I’m not so blindly partisan that I find that the name of the party in power to be more important than the policy they enact.

    That would be fucking mental. Really truly dangerously mental. Tight white waistcoat kind of mental. Kind of like someone who hated the Labour party so much that they would be cock-a-hoop that Labour were defeated by a party that just copied all their policies, and then moved toward the unions and the greens to keep Labour out of power.

    One would suspect that such a person; didn’t know anything about politics causing them to just treat it like sports (go blue team, red team sux), and probably would be very easily manipulated by politicians of any stripe. Right sheepy like.

  50. John BT 50

    Baaaaaa.
    Previously, I was manipulated by Helen Clark (so to speak ). Did not take long to find out what a bunch of nutjobs I had supported.
    Go blue team!!!!!

  51. Pascal's bookie 51

    Good for you.

  52. gobsmacked 52

    If the blue team really are set on burying Orewa and Iwi/Kiwi, I’ll gladly lend them my shovel.

    But the thing about the blue team’s fans is … if they don’t like the results, they quickly turn nasty and call for the coach’s head.

    Fortunately, if there’s one thing National Party voters are famous for, it’s their real passion for Tino Rangatiratanga, so I’m sure John Key’s job is safe.

  53. the sprout 53

    “it was never going to be repealed by National. Just “reviewed’. Which means doing nothing, but doing it slowly”

    That, or re-doing it worse.

    “one thing National Party voters are famous for, it’s their real passion for Tino Rangatiratanga”

    Oh totally.

  54. John BT 54

    In the largest poll (about 40,000) that I saw the support for Orewa 1 was about 90%.
    Labour stopped calling their racist policy “closing the gaps” and only stopped the spending after $250,000,000 did not make the slightest bit of difference.
    Tino Rangatiratanga ( Maori sovereignty) could only ever happen if Maori decided to scrap the Treaty.
    I think it would be nice if we all followed the intention of Te Tiriti which I believe was He iwi tahi tatou. Namely, we are all one people.
    That nice man Mr Key could be the one to make that happen.

  55. Lew 55

    John BT: Tino Rangatiratanga ( Maori sovereignty) could only ever happen if Maori decided to scrap the Treaty.

    Māori themselves disagree with you. Do you presume to tell them how best to achieve their goal of tino rangatiratanga? If so, upon what basis?

    I think it would be nice if we all followed the intention of Te Tiriti which I believe was He iwi tahi tatou. Namely, we are all one people.

    What a nice idea. I agree. The problem is that before we can get to that point there’s the small matter of 168 years of breaches, both of Te Tiriti as a legal document and of its kotahitanga spirit, by the crown and its agents. Redress that and he iwi tahi tatou becomes a possibility. It’s not as if Māori even want the full value of their breaches redressed – or even a tenth of the value, or even a hundredth of the value – the Ngai Tahu settlement, so heavily criticised as being over-generous, was valued at about one tenth of one per cent of the true value of the land and resources illegally alienated by the crown in breach of Te Tiriti.

    So yeah. Let’s honour that Treaty and make its foundational principle of unity NZ’s core goal – starting with the Crown.

    L

  56. randal 56

    how many issues were discussed on television
    none
    and all you tories know it
    the natoinal campaign was designed to denigrate and demonise the opposition with no attempt whatsoever to present any policy but only to appeal to prejudice and bigotry and make the little people feel big for five minutes
    well their five minutes is nearly up
    hahahahaha

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