Some questions

Written By: - Date published: 9:59 am, November 17th, 2008 - 35 comments
Categories: maori party, national/act government - Tags:

The Maori Party voted against the ETS because they thought it doesn’t go far enough; they want a stronger ETS. Will they be supporting National/ACT’s amendments to first delay then weaken or even scrap it?

ACT opposes the existence of the Maori seats, while paradoxically supporting their entrenchment. Which will win out on this issue? Dr Jerkyl or Mr Hide?

The Maori Party voted against the 90 Day No Work Rights Bill when National put it forward in 2006, will they flip-flop now? Will the Maori Party continue to give their confidence to a government that strips Maori workers of their rights?

Will the Maori Party support National/ACT’s plans to weaken consultation provisions in the RMA?

Is the Maori Party happy for a bunch of rich Pakeha appointed by National and ACT to decide which government programmes are ‘value for money’? Do they think Maori-immersion teaching and poverty relief will be seen as valuable?

The Maori Party wants more rehabilitaion, ACT wants three strikes you’re out. Who will National side with against whom?

The Maori Party supports a $15 minimum wage, ACT opposes the existence of the minimum wage, which way will National go?

35 comments on “Some questions”

  1. rjs131 1

    Maybe the Maori Party shoudl have refused to work with National and won no policy concessions at all. If Labour and Maori were so closely alligned, then why did Labour refuse to work with them in 2005??

  2. Tane 2

    Contrast with John a few weeks ago:

    “Do [New Zealanders] want to put in a National government with a fresh view that will work going in one direction with a small group of parties, or do they want a potentially five-headed monster?” he said.

    Mr Key said a “… government cobbled together with all sorts of different parties” with “competing interests” would not be in the best interests of New Zealand during a period of “difficult economic times to manage”.

    Oh dear.

  3. higherstandard 3

    Yep that John Key – clearly he has no idea how MMP works.

  4. Tane, that will go down the memory hole like so much else JK has flip-flopped on. As for Steve’s questions? National will back ACT on anything rightwing they can get away with and use the Maori party as a stopper only. What will be more interesting will be when they do something tactically designed to shift the spectrum rightward but too soft for ACT.

    Will the Maori party shift right to give support or will ACT shift left?

  5. Politics Roman style lesson number one:

    Divide and conquer and ye shall rule.

    Politics Roman style lesson number two:

    Give them beer, bread and games and ye shall rule.

    Captcha: White Murders.Hmm.

  6. Tane 6

    Sod, of course you’re right. It’s just depressing how quickly quickly the memory hole operates these days. Now it’s what, a couple of weeks?

  7. Compared with the Maori Party, I think ACT seems to have been sidelined. The point to note is that the Maori Party has already got a significant policy win in the retention of the Maori seats, while ACT has been sent off with a whole lot of promises for reviews, committees, discussions, aims, aspirations, considerations, concepts, Commissions, working groups, taskforces, briefings, advisory groups…but very little in concrete. A comparative win for ACT would have been the abolition of the Emissions Trading Scheme in favour of working out some alternative arrangement, but all it got out of that was a committee review, which National would have done anyway.

    Geoffrey Miller
    Douglas to Dancing – ACT Watch

  8. Ianmac 8

    Mr Hide by the end of the campaign during a group interview, changed his stance on the minimum wage by saying “We would keep it as it is.” Then swallowed hard.
    On National radio this morning Sharples and Hide were very insistent on the things that they agree on. Quite chummy! They avoided the differences- for now.

  9. tsmithfield 9

    Simple really.

    He has enough votes either to the left of him or the right of him to do pretty much whatever he wants. Cunning politics. Key isn’t known as “the smiling assassin” for nothing.

  10. Tigger 10

    travellerev and tsmith – I think that’s the intention – divide and conquer etc – but I’m not sure that’s how it will work in reality. I suspect Key has been a bit clever for his own good here.

    He fancies himself as a corporate manager – ah, if only politics worked like that.

    Part of me waits in horror for the jack boot changes that will be coming down the tubes and part of me can’t wait to see the whole government die in a flaming mess of backstabbing.

  11. Bill 11

    Having read both the ACT and MP agreements, it strikes me that the ACT one contains a lot of substance and feels almost as though it is ACT accommodating National rather than the other way round.

    The MP one is cursory and gives the impression of Nat being very much in the driving seat.

    Haven’t read the UF one.

    Windowdressing is a term that comes to mind. I don’t think Nat give two hoots about the MP beyond the very short term. By the time the MP bail, the damage will have been done; ACT’s right wing agenda will be well and truly rolling out and the bailing parties (UF and MP) will have lost a lot of credibility in the eyes of the public.

    The initial public perception on that roll out will be shaped (at least in part) by the fact that only two parties in parliament will be opposing government policy and four will be being either neutered or supportive.

    So Key has kept to potential oppositions very close to him while he starts the ball rolling and eliminated NZ 1st thanks to Hide’s attack dog roll prior to the election.

    If he had been genuine, the money that is going to ACT for ‘research’ and consultancy (allowing for the possible illegality or unconstitutionality of that move) would surely have been channelled to the MP ….but then, we have a public service that undertakes research, except…

    It appears that NZ is truly going to the dogs this time around and they will be free to gnaw on any and all vestiges of public ownership as vested in local authorities/ councils. I have sympathy for them. They ( and I mean that in the broadest terms) have after all, lost a lot of their own wealth/ income due to their disastrous handling of other people’s money of late. Not their fault really, was it? I mean, fair’s fair. Why shouldn’t they have the right to recover some wealth and income for themselves?

  12. Rocket Boy 13

    I think that for now John Key should be applauded for putting together the coalition of parties that he has, however I wonder how long it will take before the cracks start to appear.

    Maybe what MMP has delivered us is a ‘modular government’ one in which various parts of the government are swapped out after an election but certain parts remain, like Peter Dunn and potentially the Maori party (who could work under either a National or Labour government).

    Time will tell.

  13. Rocket Boy 14

    Higherstandard: The interesting point of view from Australia says:

    ‘During the campaign Key, who is a charismatic speaker………..’

    Gosh what can you average Aussie politician be like if Key is a charismatic speaker?

  14. John Dalley 15

    I give it 3 months before the cracks start to appear in Jk’s master plan. As much as i have no time for Tariana, she and the MP are not fools and will back away from supporting National if John Key trys to play them of against ACT.
    The first cracks appeared late night and they are not even the government yet.

  15. Mike Collins 16

    “ACT opposes the existence of the Maori seats, while paradoxically supporting their entrenchment.”

    Nothing paradoxical about that – although I can understand it being difficult for those with fixed mindsets to understand.

    ACT states that everyone should be treated equally. As such we believe in a universal franchise, not separate franchises based on race or ethnicity. But we also say that entrenchment needs to happen. Why? Because every seat in Parliament except the Maori seats are entrenched (require 75% majority to abolish). Being that we think everyone should be treated equally, we don’t believe it is fair to allow these seats to be at the whim of a simple majority of Parliament when others aren’t. We hold this position regardless of our own opposition to the seats. That doesn’t make our position paradoxical, it makes it principled.

  16. Another day and anther post by “Steve Pierson” with a glaring and outrageous fabrication in the first paragraph;

    “The Maori Party voted against the ETS because they thought it doesn’t go far enough;”

    Or you could have written, “they opposed it because of the economic assault the ETS will inflict upon the poor and vulnerable and because the govt has slaughtered the forestry industry in this country by stealing credits with one hand and taxing with the other.”

    That would be a F for falsehood and an F for fail Steve. I have worked very hard on being polite when commenting here. It is after all your place and good manners demand it. But this is just one little fib too far.

    [The Maori Party opposed the ETS on the same grounds the Greens did but didn’t think the strengthening provisions the Greens won were sufficient. They did not oppose it for rightwing reasons. Read the Hansard. SP]

  17. gobsmacked 18

    Interview, one year later:

    “So, John Key, with the economy tanking and promises broken and ministers quitting and support plummeting, is your government now a hopeless basket case?”

    “That’s not the issue. The issue is: we put the basket case together in record time. That’s the issue! Hey, did you get my postcard from Peru?”

    2011 National campaign slogan: we get it wrong faster.

  18. bill brown 19

    Another day and another stupid comment by ‘barnsleybill’

    “the govt has slaughtered the forestry industry in this country by stealing credits with one hand and taxing with the other”

    That’ll be why they were on the radio this morning saying that they wanted to keep the ETS and that large investors will be pulling out of the country because they fear it will be repealed.

  19. Bill Brown.. A reference please.
    The last few years have seen the biggest felling in our history with replanting at record lows.. maori own huge swathes of plantation throughout NZ. The ETS and the rest of the global warming nonsense has damaged them, evidenced by rumours that they will be going back for compo through the waitangi tribunal to compensate them for the damage to their assets created by the bill.

    I apologise in advance for the linky love, but the article that prompted me to write this post is comedy gold. The IPCC and the rest of these clowns have been caught bang to rights cooking the books and then dig themselves even deeper into the brown stuff by trying to bs their way out again..
    Have a look

  20. Lew 21

    It seems John Key’s biggest play has been to give the māori party portfolios (and therefore collective responsibility) in many of the areas in which Māori and National usually disagree, neutralising a strong source of criticism. Since National policy (with a few exceptions) has tended to disporoportionately disadvantage Māori, they had a genuine opportunity to be strong and credible critics of this government. Pita and Tariana have traded most that off for policy influence.

    A few of the issues upon which they will need to be circumspect:

    Māori Affairs: A huge swathe of stuff – TPK, TMP, some aspects of treaty settlements, Taura Whiri Reo, lots of advisory matters in other portfolios.
    Education: Kohanga/KKM, the general poor state of Māori performance in the Pākehā education system, lack of resources for schools in poor predominantly-Māori areas.
    Corrections: High over-imprisonment rate among Māori, and the implementation of a three strikes law which will worsen and entrench this situation.
    Community and the Voluntary Sector: The huge amount of voluntary and semi-voluntary work for which Māori still receive very little recognition; Māori Wardens presumably also come in under this.
    Health: Very poor health outcomes among Māori, especially in the same sorts of poor areas which suffer educationally; the disproportionate effect on MPita and Tariana of privatisation or part-privatisation of ACC, and greater reliance on private health providers.
    Social Development and Employment: Working for Families, lots of social family and community health and wellbeing schemes, and most importantly WINZ and benefit policy, especially with the redundancy assistance and make-work like schemes which are likely to be undertaken in response to the recession.

    The balance, of course, is that they will have a (strong) hand in forming policy in these areas. I remain concerned they’ll be sidelined or frequently overruled and that their policy platforms will be watered down, but this is essentially a calculation that their policy influence will be worth more than their critique from outside government. The danger is greatest here in the portfolios where they have only associate ministerial warrants. Three out of four of these (education, health, social development and employment) are `blue-chip’ ministries, if you like – those in which they would be strongly placed to make major changes to the direction of the country, if they controlled them. Of course, that was off the cards, but by giving Pita and Tariana associate ministerial positions in those portfolios, he’s getting the best of both worlds for National – little policy influence from the māori party, and no criticism.

    I still think the tradeoff is a good call by the māori party, but only if they maintain their strongly independent criticism of the government on other matters (environment, some aspects of treaty settlements, economy and economic development, taxation, local government and privatisation, etc.), and only as long as they make clear early on that they won’t tolerate being sidelined and reserve their right to dissolve the agreement if they find themselves unable to make strong policy gains.


  21. Sarah 22

    You guys all still sound in denial about the change of government.

    As for your many questions Clinton, both the Maori Party and the ACT party are outside government. They can criticise National policy just as much as anyother party. It is naive to say that National will be forced into balancing the needs and wants of both parties when formulating legislation — for they only need the support of one party to get legislation through parliament. They can pick and choose which party they need to put forward legislation, while the other party has the right to criticise the government if they do not believe in that particular piece of legislation.

    The point of bringing in the Maori Party for John was to ensure that the National party would not be dragged too far to the right by ACT. If you are really a left wing blog, campaigning on and supporting left wing policies, then you should congratulate John on making sure that this has not happened. Instead, you have attempted to destabilise and criticise the political makeup of this government already.

    To be frank, it seems hard to distinguish what your true agenda is when you criticise and question the best chance the left has to have a say in this present government.

    [just as a housing keeping reminder. We address people by their pseudonyms even if we know their real ones. It’s not a big deal for me since I’m in the media and stuff with my real name representing The Standard but I can see that people like ‘Sarah’ think it is somehow intimidating to show they know my real name. I’m far form intimidated but we use each others pseudonyms because it’s good manners and civil. I’m sure you wouldn’t want me using your ‘Sarah’. SP]

  22. bill brown 23


    [audio src="" /]

  23. Thanks Bill Brown, is it available in a format that this technologically challenged reader can open.. OGG files are unknown to me or my porn machine!

    captcha… educated limit !

  24. bill brown 25

    ffs BB, typical righty wants it all handed to you on a plate – go the the web site and get it yourself – don’t you understand individual responsibility?

  25. My individual responsibility quotient is a lot higher than my technical competence quotient.

  26. Lew 27

    Sarah: both the Maori Party and the ACT party are outside government. They can criticise National policy just as much as anyother party.

    No, they quite explicitly can’t. They can only criticise when it comes to issues for which their members don’t have collective ministerial responsibility. That, as my list above the the māori party shows, circumscribes a whle lot of stuff.


  27. gobsmacked 28

    Lew is right. Sarah, you’ve seriously misunderstood this.

    An associate minister of health, education, social development etc is not going to speak out – or vote – against the government’s policies in health, education, social development etc.

    Winston Peters tried to blur the line on the China FTA (arguing that it was trade, not foreign affairs). He was ridiculed for that, and rightly so.

    If the Maori Party try and undermine government policy in their own portfolios, it won’t be “inclusive”, it will be a farce.

    And if National are true to their pre-election promises, the first fight is only a few weeks away, on “law and order” and prisons (where Sharples is now a minister).

  28. Wil 29

    quoth Sarah: “(maori party)…the best chance the left has to have a say in this present government.”


    I for one cant wait to see hone harawira getting bored and embarrassed over the coming year. By 2011 voters will be very aware that rogernomics has returned and will be ready to vote for a more honest ‘change’.

  29. Felix 30

    bb: “My individual responsibility quotient is a lot higher than my technical competence quotient.”

    Then ffs take some personal responsibility for your technical incompetence and educate yourself.

    I’ll even help you out – all the information you seek can be found here.

  30. bill brown 32

    “A victory parade for John Key”


  31. Lew 33

    Lyndon Hood is a genius. He’s also responsible for this glorious bit of electoral kiwiana:


  32. Macro 34

    You have to give it to him – JK is a genius! Can the ETS, and in a few years time you won’t have to worry about the Foreshore.

  33. Lew 35

    Macro: It’s pretty bad, but I LOLed.


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