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Talking tough

Written By: - Date published: 10:30 am, May 25th, 2009 - 34 comments
Categories: auckland supercity, democracy under attack - Tags: , ,


Remember – March against National’s undemocratic supercity today 25th, noon, Queen St [More info]

Today in the Herald John Key is talking tough, dismissing the Super City hikoi before it’s even begun:

Today’s hikoi against the proposed Auckland Super City is unlikely to make a difference, is premature and the wrong forum to raise concerns, Prime Minister John Key says.

This is a strong Prime Minister, we’re supposed to think. He won’t let a bunch of scruffy protesters tell him how to run his government. You can scream and shout and protest all you like, it won’t make a blind bit of difference.

Meanwhile, in the very same paper, his Minister of Maori Affairs is saying exactly the opposite:

Iwi have put a proposal to the Government pushing for Maori representation on the Auckland Council…

[Sharples] was optimistic about the proposal’s success.

“I guess it’s got to go through the hoops. I think the hikoi will promote the whole urgency of it.”

Another strange day in the life of John Key’s government.

[Of course, National were always going to back down on the Maori seats to try and take the punch out of opposition to the Super City. But they’re about to find out that the discontent runs much wider and much deeper than that.]

34 comments on “Talking tough ”

  1. ieuan 1

    Can someone remind me why we need the Maori seats again?

    • r0b 1.1

      Here you go ieuan – why don’t you read the reasoning of the Royal Commission who recommended them:


      • Pat 1.1.1

        Then you can read the 1992 Royal Commission on Electoral Reform which recommended scrapping Maori Seats in parliament.

        • r0b

          An older commission on a different topic reached an irrelevant conclusion, and your point is what exactly?

          The Royal Commission on Auckland consulted extensively on the governance of the city, and reported back with their recommendations, including Maori seats. This arrogant government threw the recommendations away and are intent on imposing their own narrow agenda. You can twist and turn like a twisty turny thing Pat, but that’s what happened, and that’s what the public are starting to realise.

          • Pat

            Who died and made you arbiter of what Royal Commissions recommendations are relevant and what are irrelevant?

      • ieuan 1.1.2

        If Maori want representation on the council what is wrong with putting up good candidates and getting them democratically voted in just like everyone else?

        • The Baron

          Oh silly silly ieuan, you can’t have the same standard applied to everyone. That would be far too fair and reasonable.

          You see, race based seats will undoubtedly improve the decision making functions of the Council – plus it was what was guaranteed in the Treaty (don’t ask where, its the “vibe” of the thing, man).

          Oh and if you disagree, you’re racist, so look out for that.

          • gobsmacked


            Can we take it you oppose the deal between the National and Maori parties, including the retention of the Maori seats and the appointment of a “separatist” as Minister of Maori Affairs?

          • The Baron

            Maori seats – yeah, a little disappointed on that. Pragmatic call though to build a broader coalition of support than Labour ever did, so I can live with the compromise.

            As for a minister of maori affairs, well i think you’re being a tad disingenuous. I support a minister of maori affairs to the same degree that I support one for youth, women, PI – there are valid issues in all of those that deserve attention by specialists. All of these are completely different from representation though.

  2. gobsmacked 2

    I was quite surprised at his approach on “Breakfast” this morning. He didn’t say “haters and wreckers”, but he was pretty dismissive (“some people will protest about anything”).

    He needs to be careful. He’s been successful so far at sidelining the Orewa Orcs, but they’re still out there, and it’s not a good idea to stir them up again if he’s only going to compromise later (or “cave in to Moari appartite rascissts”, as they would eloquently put it).

    Presumably he works on the basis that National’s Neanderthal wing have nowhere else to go (except ACT, who would still be in the tent anyway). But the tone doesn’t go well with his cuddly buddy-ups with Turia and Sharples.

    • Jared 2.1

      Considering the demographic of those attending dare I say, “career activists” make up the majority of those protesting

      • gobsmacked 2.1.1


        Protesting against Section 59: Family First, SST, Destiny, etc …

        Protesting against Electoral Finance Bill: ditto.

        Protesting against Civil Unions: ditto. And so on.

        Career activists?

      • Anita 2.1.2

        Jared writes,

        Considering the demographic of those attending dare I say, “career activists’ make up the majority of those protesting

        Are you saying there are thousands of career activists in Auckland?

        • Michael Over Here

          Wow, I guess I’m a career activist now too. Where do I pick up my check?

          • Pascal's bookie

            John Bascowen was good for it this time last year I hear…

    • r0b 2.2

      He didn’t say “haters and wreckers’

      Hmmm – did he call them cold and desperate?

  3. Pat 3

    The Hikoi message is getting a little blurred. They took a full page ad in the Western Leader and their reasons for the Hikoi was very coherent i.e. maori representation as the principal reason. There was nothing that stated opposition to the Supercity or any call for a referendum. The Hikoi risks getting hijacked by Supercity opponents and referendum zealots.

    • Eddie 3.1

      From http://ihiaotearoa.wordpress.com/

      IHI Action Group (Iwi Have Influence) was set up to organise Maori opposition to the proposal to establish a Super City without reserved Maori seats as proposed by the Royal Commission of Inquiry into Auckland Governance.

      The aim of IHI is primarily to reverse the Crown’s decision ensuring there are at least 3 Maori seats.

      IHI also aims to network with other community groups to promote a greater understanding of the consequences of the proposed Super City.IHI simply means power. It is the power of the people that can reverse the Crown’s decision.

      So to answer your question Pat, it’s been organised primarily about the Maori seats. There are other communities, groups and interests involved too.

      • Pat 3.1.1

        Another way the message is getting blurred for the general public:

        “Protect your democratic right”
        “Democracy under attack”

        For most people, these messages run contrary to the reasons why you would have guaranteed Maori seats.

  4. Brett Dale 4

    I think someone should film these racists marching, to teach future generations of children how wrong racism is.

    How any loser can march for separate seats is sickening.

    This is a democracy, if everybody who gets elected happened to be Maori, Pakeha, Asian, Male, Female, Straight, Gay, so be it, bit it should be the best person, not based on race.

    The election of Obama tells us, how it should be done.

  5. Brett Dale 5

    There could be 100% Maori, it depends on who gets voted in.

  6. Pat 6

    PersonalIy, I support Maori representation on the Supercity council. But 3 seats is too many, perhaps 2 at the most. I would also like to see a rule whereby the appointed Maori representatives on the Council can serve no more that 2 terms, to stop an individual who has not been democratically elected from holding a long term position of influence in the city.

    • Anita 6.1

      Are you arguing for appointed Māori representatives?

      I thought people were simply arguing for Māori electoral wards overlapping the general electoral wards. Thus all councillors are elected, and all electors have a single vote (with equal influence).

      • Pat 6.1.1

        One of the proposed 3 seats was to be appointed.

        Personally, I am nonplussed by whatever system Maori wish to use to select their representatives. But as long as an individual can’t monopolise the position for long periods of time.

  7. Pat 7

    I don’t support using children as rent-a-crowd. From NZ Herald:

    “10.50am: Marchers from Orakei marae are now within sight of the historic ferry building.
    There has also been an announcement that busloads of kohanga reo students have joined the hikoi.”

  8. The Baron 8

    Heh looks like the Hikoi is busy dismissing itself too…

    I’ve been down on Fanshawe Street to see the convergence of the North and West streams, and see how many people have joined this massive outpouring of angst that the Standard predicts…

    Whoops, half your Hikoi only adds up to about 300 people, folks. Hell, even something crass like Boobs on Bikes draws a way larger crowd.

    Better hope more turn up by midday, otherwise I don’t think anyone is really gonna pay much attention at all.

  9. I think 2 elected seats may well be the way to go. I also support around 30 seats all up for the council, so 2 Maori seats would probably be a fairly acceptable recognition of the percentage of Aucklanders who are Maori.

    All the opponents to Maori seats conveniently forget the Treaty of Waitangi and its promise of partnership.

  10. Tigger 10

    Would Key EVER think public protest was the ‘right forum’ to raise concerns?

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