The end of ‘governing from the centre’?

Written By: - Date published: 3:33 pm, January 10th, 2017 - 124 comments
Categories: bill english, john key, maori party, same old national - Tags:

John Key paid a lot of attention to the centre.  He liked to be liked (his only legacy is really popularity & kicking the can down the road), so always made a show of reaching across to those outside the traditional National support base.  His whole relationship with the Maori Party, who vote mostly in line with Labour; his ‘concern’ for the underclass and Aroha Ireland; his turnaround on WFF; his yearly raise of the minimum wage and the first above inflation rise of benefits in 25 years – a lot of it was cover for conservatively doing nothing, or even slipping in some right-wing policies like selling 50% of assets, but outside parliament1 his presentation was of reaching out.  (While letting his Social Development Minister, now deputy PM, dox any citizen who disagreed with her)

Bill English doesn’t seem to be following Key’s example.  He’s manufactured a stoush with Te Tii Marae to look tough against ‘them Maoris’, when they were clearly offering him a chance to speak straight after the Maori welcome, just not during (although he probably could have if he could speak Maori…).

But it’s not just that – he’s also skipping the non-controversial national dawn service at the upper Marae and apparently going to skip Ratana too.  He’s denying Maori have reasons to protest (‘cringe-worthy’), as iwi have been given money for claims – never-mind ongoing Maori over-representation in poverty, prison, joblessness, poor health and low life expectancy statistics.

This looks like the politics of division English practised as opposition leader, fore-running Brash on foreshore etc.  A return to the nasty party that was always lurking under Key’s cool exterior.

Where does this leave the Maori Party?  Key cultivated them to give his coalition breathing space and a look of broadness.  But will they put up with English?  Without Turia there’s not the same anti-Labour personal animosity, so he can hardly depend on them post-election.  No doubt that’s why there’s another Dunne deal, as he could be vital to National not needing an early election…

1. Inside parliament Key was as sneering and nasty as they come – now ‘get some guts’ goes to relax in Hawaii, while the ex-Labour leader heads to sort out civil war in South Sudan…

124 comments on “The end of ‘governing from the centre’?”

  1. pdm 1

    You guys could have been in with a chance if Shearers leadership hadn’t been shafted from inside the party.

    Shame really.

    [lprent: Yawn. A shame really. You got the first comment and you did a canned diversion comment with no argumentative value and which has nothing to do with the post.

    This is an election year. My viewpoint is that if you want to comment here as a troll this year, then you’d better be pretty damn interesting. In election years I prefer giving **long** bans for dildos trying to act like a person as it means I don’t have to view obvious astroturfing stupidity.

    Banned for 12 weeks for being a dumb boring troll without an argument and off the post topic. ]

  2. Brutus Iscariot 2

    Interesting observation.

    I suppose the “Key coalition” is no more. It’s now pretty obvious that National are going to need NZF regardless – so English is probably pivoting to those voters. Not going to waste time appeasing the Maori Party who are in many ways at odds with NZF.

    • Nick 2.1

      Yes thats right BI….he’s looking directly at the election….nothing else matters….pivot and say anything to win the next election …….much easier to give Winston DPM and shift whats her name to the side….Key couldnt have shifted English….but that horrible cow will move over.

    • Anne 2.2

      I think Brutus has hit the nail on the head. Have been wondering what the hell English was playing at. His excuse that he wasn’t allowed to speak has been demonstrated to be a load of hogwash. So, the National Party is shifting back to it’s previous racist and elitist roots eh? Not that they really moved very far from them… that was Key’s illusionary tactical strategy in play.

      • Draco T Bastard 2.2.1


      • Jenny Kirk 2.2.2

        Yes – I agree, Anne.
        A worrying situation because of course NZF has far more MPs in Parliament than the Maori Party does – so English could happily ditch them, along with Dunne if necessary.

      • Brutus Iscariot 2.2.3

        I do think Key was a genuine “unifier” in his own mind – whether you agree with his policies or not. See his comments about forging a post-Orewa NZ and moving away from Brash’s angle. His “coalition” though was unique to him, as we will see – an unreplicable strategy and ability to own the centre.

        What you will see now is a bit of “mean reversion”. Not going back to an overt Orewa-style pitch, but a more combative approach with Maori issues. With NZF simultaneously their greatest threat and greatest necessity, you’ll see some cross pitch to their voters. This is probably the first example.

        How things play out on immigration policy will be fascinating. There’s a genuine groundswell now across the political spectrum that immigration is being used as an economic crutch in the interests of the business community and GDP figures, rather than those of the NZ working (and now also middle) class.

        It’s been the Nats that have unleashed the last 2 big immigration waves, rather than the left wing parties traditionally associated with it.

  3. fisiani 3

    English Derangement Syndrome is already growing strong here. English is of course a centrist as is the National Party as it would clearly comfortably fit within the Democratic party in the USA.

    [let’s just nip that trolling in the bud right now, no other warnings Fisiani – weka]
    [lprent: Good thing for Fisiani that you got to him first 🙂 ]

    • Nick 3.1

      Dems (establishment) are a pack of assholes too….so yeah your right

    • Wayne 3.2

      weka and Iprent

      Seriously how is fisani trolling? He simply disagrees with you.

      Of late I note that some of your”moderation” has been lets say, not moderate. More like shutting down views you don’t like. Your decision of course, but it does not go unnoticed.

  4. Clump_AKA Sam 4

    It’s a problem when the left has right wing econimc policy and super left everything else. And the right has left wing economic policies and super right everything else

  5. weka 5

    The corollary of this is what will MP-hating lefties do if Labour needs the Mp to form govt.

    (btw, National didn’t raise benefits, they raised them for the apparently deserving beneficiaries and left the others to hang. A small but important point).

    • Clump_AKA Sam 5.1

      I haven’t looked at the data but I’m guessing there’s a relation in every other democracy in the world.

      If your trying to prevent people from being two faced then you got to take money out of the equation.

      The only thing that I can look to for improvements was Graham Henry’s philosophy when he took the reins of the All Blacks, “it’s better people make better all blacks.” That takes time to do, 8 years apparently. He rebuilt coaching skills from the bottom age grades right through to the all blacks. It’s a proven technique amongst kiwi culture. It’s the perfect recipe I suggest any do. Even if you have a 50/50 success rate that’s 4 years of easy growth.

      • weka 5.1.1

        that’s interesting but how does it relate to my comment?

        • Clump_AKA Sam

          If you can’t apply the question to a broad range of issues then it’s not all that mentionable

          • In Vino

            You do like to leap to new dimensions of logic and insight, don’t you? Please don’t leave too many of us behind.

  6. adam 6

    I see the hard right trolls jumped all over this post.

    With the Tories looking at bad numbers all over the sheet, no wonder Bill ‘clean your shoes mate’ English went for the hate card. It’s all he has got.

  7. mickysavage 7

    I agree about the Maori Party. Parliamentary vote wise they are much closer to Labour. With historical reasons now out of the way and Key gone it could be that National will no longer have a hold on them.

    • BM 7.1

      What would the Maori party get out of going into coalition with Labour?

      Can’t see Te Ururoa Flavell getting the role of Minister for Māori Development and
      Minister for Whānau Ora.
      The Maori wing of Labour would be pretty pissed if that happened.

      • mickysavage 7.1.1

        Some policy wins? It should not all be about gaining Ministerial salaries.

        • BM

          In a National government, the Maori party gets Ministerial positions, in a left coalition, no idea.

          That’s the reason why the Maori Party will always go with National if the opportunity is there.

          • Clump_AKA Sam

            With out sounding condescending that’s not how the maori party works. It’s not a replica of national. It’s charter says one voice for all maori not suck up to national because benefits

            • In Vino

              Yeah, but that is in fact what the Maori Party has done.

              • Clump_AKA Sam

                indeed. The behaviour is totally unrelated to the Maori Party Charter. They need to sort out there labour share of capital theory.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            You honestly think Labour wouldn’t throw them a ministerial position? It just wouldn’t be the whole of Māori Affairs.

            • BM

              They’d have to do something a bit better than what mickysavage was suggesting.

              That could be a problem for a left coalition, the more parties in the mix the smaller the slice of pie.

              • National already had a 4-party governing arrangement, so under your argument already, there is no functional difference between a Labour-Green government and a National government unless Mana re-enters the picture. The difference is that National is almost literally throwing them crumbs, because National controls almost all of the seats needed to govern.

                You are severely underestimating the lure of real policy wins. Sure, the Māori Party got a Whanau Ora framework, but it’s disconnected from the rest of Government, it’s merely an interface. Under Labour, they could get it tied into all the relevant ministries as a default approach and have it really work, and then they could get some of their ideas to address poverty in, too, which they haven’t had any luck with under National.

                You also have to look at what working with the National Government has done to their support base. Working with the Greens from the cross benches was enormously successful for them, even in the election where National took power they retained four electorate seats because they had done very well pushing policy that Māori genuinely supported and they had a partner in Parliament amplifying the impact of their numbers because they largely agreed on Māori affairs policy. They’ve gone from having the majority of the Māori seats even when their natural allies lost, to barely hanging on as a small list party with a single lifeboat electorate. National has given them the Ministry they most wanted, but only symbolically, and they are stuck arguing against the stupidest violations of treaty principles.

                If the MP won’t work constructively with Labour when they’re next in government, (ie. trying to get policy wins) I’d be very surprised if they don’t end up in the same bucket as ACT and UF: Dying political parties held on life-support by a single friendly electorate.

      • billmurray 7.1.2

        you are right, the Maori Party will not be getting into bed with Labour.
        Tuku Morgan and the Maori King, Kiingi Tuheitia’s will see to that. Morgan is the power behind the throne. He has stated that he does not support Labour.
        Te Ururoa Flavell and his party will take Morgans position on Labour except perhaps they may buck his viewpoint on a Maori party, Mana tie up. More to come.
        Bill English will know exactly the Maori party position on Labour and he would have taken those into his deliberations when he said ‘no’ the Waitangi day celebrations.
        Bill English wants to win the next election and he knows that he will need coalition partners, he will not cut off his nose to spite his face.
        He and his party are playing high stake’s politics on these matters.
        Little and Labour seem to be playing ‘off the cuff’.

        • Colonial Viper

          Bill English will know exactly the Maori party position on Labour and he would have taken those into his deliberations when he said ‘no’ the Waitangi day celebrations.

          There may actually be more than that in the coordination.

          Bill English has gifted the Maori Party a new soap box versus Labour and just in time for election year: vote Maori Party to ensure that the next National-led Government pays more attention to Maori.

          As I said elsewhere, you may despise their political tactics, but they are very smart.

          • Matthew Whitehead

            The issue is that while this makes some sense in a world where people see a National government as an inevitability, in a competitive election Māori will break overwhelmingly for parties that will go into coalition with Labour, if not Labour itself. This is looking like it will be a competitive election.

    • Siobhan 7.2

      Surely they will go with whoever wins? But either way, how do you see the Maori Party as being ‘closer’ to Labour’?. (unless its an admission that the real world results of Labour Policy and National Policy are pretty darned close, and that being close to National and being close to Labour isn’t that much of a stretch).

      As I understand it the Maori Party stood with National on the RMA, the sell off of State Housing, Partnership Schools, Kiwisaver changes and Health Cuts.
      Mr Flavells statement that “While we can’t win everything we can have some influence.” becomes somewhat redundant when their most powerful ‘influence’ is passing the National Party policies that have delivered to all of us a stagnant REAL economy, gutted wage offers , housing stress ……

  8. Colonial Viper 8

    You may despise National’s political tactics but they are gutsy and they position English and National perfectly for where I see them going this year.

    Clue to Labour: politics is about knowing exactly who you are appealing to, going straight for those votes, and being unafraid of moaning and whining from everyone else.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 8.1

      Pro tip: grab em by the p***y

      • billmurray 8.1.1

        Clump_AKA Sam,
        your example not good but the exposure against Trump did not stop him.
        Bill English seems to have the ‘bit between the teeth’ to start this election year.
        His Waitangi rejection was certainly a political ploy for him to get the PMs job.
        He showed leadership within National when John Key resigned, his bloodless election and cabinet reshuffle showed a political smoothness of surety and new experience that was admired by all political observers in the MSM.
        He has stated he will not have a early election but polls/ and or political bombshells may change that.
        Look-out for Shane Jones when he loses his present government job, which I believe happens in Feb/ March.
        Look out for reliable polls which may have Labour in desperate low polls early in the New Year.
        Bill English will look for the finishing line.

    • swordfish 8.2

      “Clue to Labour: politics is about knowing exactly who you are appealing to, going straight for those votes, and being unafraid of moaning and whining from everyone else.”

      Yep. And that’s precisely what Crosby Textor always emphasise. Identify which group of voters you need in order to gain (or hold on to) power and then focus relentlessly on winning them (or maintaining their allegiance). If the way to victory is to polarise politics by mobilising an enthusiastic 52%, while enraging the other 48% then so be it.

      If, in the present context, you manage to elicit from your opponents an angry round of virtue-signalling – clearly at odds with majority opinion on the rights and wrongs associated with Waitangi Day – then all the better. Good old wedge politics – exploit Labour’s / the Green’s Achilles heel (while at the same time placating potential Coalition partner NZF).

      Best if Little and Labour don’t allow themselves to be played like a violin by Joyce / CT this year. Agenda-setting and all that. Keep debate the hell away from the cultural sphere.

      • Colonial Viper 8.2.1

        Exactly. Crosby Textor types know that “the Left” (if such a grouping exists) loves to impress itself with self righteous virtue signalling and outrage olympics, even to the exclusion of the rest of the electorate.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 8.2.2

        I mean the beauty of a coalition is you can go after different groups. I don’t think National has enough resources to play to as many groups as a coalition could.

        If done properly of course

      • billmurray 8.2.3

        Yep, but are Labour up to the task?.

      • Ad 8.2.4

        Any clear agenda from Labour would be great right now.

        Caucus retreat this weekend so please god let’s let the 2017 show underway.

        • Colonial Viper

          Yep, we do need that detail.

          However Labour did the hard yards last year and successfully used 2016 to signal to the electorate the major issues which they see as the priorities for the nation for election year.

          Because of this National is on the back foot, and voters already have a clear sense of Labour’s election year focus and direction under Andrew Little.

          The electorate having been partially prepared by this well designed strategy is quite ready to discuss all the in-depth policy that Labour has been readying.

          This will provide Little and his team with a valuable head start in 2017 to capitalise on, giving Labour ready made crystal clear contrasts against National in the run up to election day.

          English and National will find it uphill work to set the agenda in election year against this kind of thorough preparation by the Opposition.

        • Chris

          Odds on Labour not releasing social welfare policy detail, not only by this weekend, but ever, at all, just like it didn’t before the last eight elections?

      • Pat 8.2.5

        sanity at last

    • Chris 8.3

      Time is English’s worst enemy. The longer he holds off on the election the more time people get to see the cut of his cloth which, contrary to a number of commentators, hasn’t changed since 2002. Add variables such as the absence of the Key phenomenon and the liability of Bennett as deputy, Labour’s incompetence, lack of vision and appeal, and right wing tendencies notwithstanding, the election result might be closer than we think.

  9. The lost sheep 9

    A National strategy to focus on an NZF coalition is just commonsense 101, and if Labour had any chance of reaching early 40’s on their own, they would be doing the same.

    The wild card is TOP. Remember Bob jones NZP in ’84?
    If there is a Trump / Brexit restlessness out there, and Gareth can swing 5-10% of the vote on that lever,…anything becomes possible.

    P.S. NZP gained 12% of overall vote in ’84.

    • Clump_AKA Sam 9.1

      The noise coming out of Europ post brexit isn’t good. Losing there second largest trading partner means that they’ll have to drope a country like Greece Spain or Italy. So kiwis will see that and look for other solutions. I mean I don’t think you can sell anti trade/immigration right now

    • Colonial Viper 9.2

      The wild card is TOP. Remember Bob jones NZP in ’84?

      The problem with the Gareth Morgan Party is Gareth Morgan. Currently I see him topping out at between 2% and 3%.

      Wait until everyone learns about his taxes on the family home.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 9.2.1

        Wana wager on that?

        • Colonial Viper

          Do you think they will get into Parliament? What did you have in mind?

          • Clump_AKA Sam

            They say history isn’t a good indicator of future performance, having said that Iv never known Garreth not to hit his 5% target.

            • Colonial Viper

              First time for everything. Has he got his new constitution up online yet? His first attempt was so piss poor it would never have been permitted by the Electoral Commission.

        • I would take that wager. TOP hasn’t been visible on polls at all since it announced, and there has been no significant growth in the “other” bloc, either. This might change when it does formal Party registration, but I doubt it.

          You generally need to be polling at least 3% to get within leaping distance (ie. close enough to the margin of error for the polls to be consistently underestimating you) of the threshold.

      • billmurray 9.2.2

        I believe you are being overly generous in your prediction about Gareth Morgan, he is over the top in his taxes on the family home, unless he can pick up a MOU with a major party he is finished before he has started. 1% tops.

  10. Andrea 10

    At the risk of being flamed – I like Seymour’s suggestion that the Waitangi Day event be shared around the country’s marae. So more Maori iwi get more access to our temporary public servants – not just the geographically blessed…

    Although why the PM is supposed to front up and not the GG, if this is some sort of re-enactment, and opportunity to ‘speak on behalf of’ on both sides.

    Our local marae puts on an all-comers event without the jostling, insults and item flinging. Inclusive and showcasing Maori culture, which is right and fine.

    However, are we non-Maoris allowed to develop our own culture and welcoming now? Or must we limp along with ways that are almost two centuries old and certainly don’t cover the current range of ethnicities/cultures now in the country?

    And for all those lovely people muttering about ‘hate, divisiveness, should go, blah and so’ how about you front up and take the totally unnecessary incivility, heat and insult flung by the Professionally Offended?

    • billmurray 10.1

      I endorse your post, Seymour’s share Waitangi around the country is a good idea.
      The sharing would also stop all the money going to Waitangi Maori.
      Stop the money to them and you stop their nonsense to New Zealander’s and their Prime Minister.

      • Clump_AKA Sam 10.1.1

        Nah that’s not the kuapapa. It’s there because Koro Rareka (Russell) is what it is because there were no other ports other than port Waikato on the other coast.

        • In Vino

          True. The west coast of NZ was a nightmare for those old sailing ships that could barely make ground upwind.

    • framu 10.2

      I wouldnt trust a single idea from seymour – especially on the subject of waitangi day. What he says might sound good, but hes peddling division and wedge politics. Hes not interested in reaching an outcome that works for both parties or the country as a whole

      but yes – maybe the GG would be better – its about the crown and maori – not the current govt and maori

      “However, are we non-Maoris allowed to develop our own culture and welcoming now?”
      If your the host

      “the Professionally Offended?”
      You were talking about not getting flamed 🙂

  11. Ad 11

    Nice little article here from Simon Wilson at The Spinoff – part one of a series;
    “Welcome to Election Year – Here’s How Labour Can Make It A Real Race.”

    • billmurray 11.1

      I have read the post, cannot see Andrew Little or his adviser’s picking it up.
      My advice to Andrew Little is to sack all of his senior staff, ask Colonial Viper to become his Chief of staff, CV to form a team and go hard for an election win based on socialist principle for New Zealand.

      I have got my fingers crossed.

    • Wow does that post overestimate Bill English.

      I’m not saying he’s not a genuine threat, (there’s real indications he could win if nothing changes) but he’s not in as strong a position as they’re implying.

      That said, the issue with the Labour Party is as serious as they imply, perhaps more so. What’s being asked for is the very basis of a populist campaign: to articulate their values. It’s been dinging them for three elections now, and they still haven’t got a simple answer. If he wants to talk about education and health he needs to do so in values-language, articulating a change in approach in a few short sentences. But really his answer should start off hitting the government on poverty and housing, then bring in the other policy areas. If he wants to really beat up National, he should start on poverty and housing, and then pivot to that being why National are terrible economic managers who have banked all their political capital rather than spend it to make Kiwis’ lives better. Once you’ve got your opponent defending their own “strengths” they’ve already lost.

  12. billmurray 12

    The decrypter,
    if you have a lucid state of mind you are not confused, you are simply insane.
    Join the club, no membership charges, free drinks on a full moon.

  13. Sabine 13

    the election will be in winter.

    and because nothing much was done the last few years we will have more people living in cars, couch surfing, living in maraes and rent a cabin type woodshacks and we will have a higher number of homeless people

    and Bill English can come from the centre, the right, the left, and he has got nothing, absolutly nothing to show for but his Vice PM directing people to Winz to be housed in Motels at a ridiculous charge of was it last year? 1700 per week?

    And then we go to the voting booth, and we can vote for the same shit rinse repeat, or we can vote for a coalition that might a. stop the madness a bit, b. might fix something.

    Either way, it would still be better then what this guy has offered over the last 8+ years.

  14. billmurray 14

    you raise salient points about a winter election showing favour to Labour because of the dire straights that many of our citizens are in.
    You are right and it should show in the results of such an election.
    There is a special Labour caucus meeting being held this weekend to hammer out strategy for the election and I hope that someone from Labour takes note of your remarks about what a winter may do to exacerbate the misery.
    We have to wait and see what emerges but if its timid and has no depth of real commitment to a new and bold New Zealand then I and many other Labour folk will simply see Labour as a tired National lite party.
    When this country was a lot poorer than it is now, we enjoyed a social welfare state which was the envy of most of the world
    including Britain.
    With daring, boldness and unfettered political determination Labour could take us back there.

    • Chris 14.1

      Labour has absolutely no intention of fixing the social welfare system. Now it even votes for nat war-on-the-poor legislation. That is how far gone they are.

      • Leftie 14.1.1

        But you are a “National can do no wronger” Chris and your assumptions could turn out to be wrong.

        • Chris

          Where’s even a jot of evidence they’re even interested, you fucking idiot.

          • Leftie

            Lol typical response from a “National can do no wronger.”

            • NewsFlash

              Lefty +1

              At least Chris recognises the welfare system is “Broken”, and, surprise, surprise, guess who broke it, the very people Chris supports.

              When the majority of citizens have jobs, welfare is much less of an issue, but with a manipulated unemployment figure designed to make NZ’s economic position look better than it actually is, Allah JK, currency trader, reality catches up sooner or later.

              • Chris

                “…the welfare system is “Broken”, and, surprise, surprise, guess who broke it, the very people Chris supports.”

                Tell me how you’ve concluded I’m a national party supporter.

              • Leftie

                +1000 NewsFlash.

                • Chris

                  I’ll say the same thing to you as I did to your mate: Tell me how you’ve concluded I’m a national party supporter.

                  If you can’t then shut the fuck up.

            • Chris

              Fuck off.

              • Leftie

                Typical, unnecessary, pointless abuse from a “National can do no wronger.”

                • Chris

                  Who started the abuse, you pathetic little prick. Fuck off.

                  • Leftie

                    Grow up. I am not the one calling people “pathetic little prick. Fuck off.” That’s you.

                    My comments weren’t abusive. When challenged, you quickly descended into abuse.

                    • Chris

                      Fuck off, hypocritical scum. Just fuck off.

                    • Leftie

                      Typical National can do no wronger. You’ve proved my point.

                    • Chris

                      “When challenged, you quickly descended into abuse.”

                      You challenged nothing. I asked you for proof I’m a national party supporter. You recoiled further into your fantasy world.

                      You are hypocritical filth of the most dangerous kind. Complete and utter fucking scum. Now fuck off.

    • Sabine 14.2

      i did not say anything about favoring Labour. There are other Parties in this country and they have an equal chance of getting a large number of votes.
      I spoke of a ‘Coalition”.

      secondly – the homeless, underhoused, ignored, rediculed, sick, disabled, non conform, in NZ are still homeless, underhoused, ignored, rediculed, sick, disabled and non conform.

      thirdly – I could not give a flying fudge about what people do in Britain. Contrary to many here i am not waiting for a polititian saviour to get people going. I am waiting for people to wake up, smell the cowshit running down the streets and understand that they are one missed paycheck away from being homeless, underhoused, ignored, rediculed, sick, disabled, non conform and to finally just for once vote with their pocket book in minds instead of the pocketbooks of their bosses.

      so i suggest that the question be put to the individual voters, a. are you better of then 9 years ago? b. is your family better of then 10 years ago?, c. is your community better of then 9 years ago? d. do you think by keeping the same people in power anything will change for you, your family, your community? And then vote accordingly.

      this waiting for the messiah reminds me of Becketts Waiting for Godot. He just never fucking arrives.

  15. Leftie 15

    Is being “disappointed” enough in regards to Bill English’s political cynicism in the polarizing scapegoating of Maori and our National day?

    For some, the Maori party, that has supported the sell off of state housing, welfare reforms, e.g (<a href=", continued to support the government after National flogged off the water rights along with the revenue generating power companies, and John key’s Marine and Coastal Act 2011 etc, etc is being seen as an arm of the National party and not a party for change.

    In a recent, favourable article on the Maori party… “However, it’s hard to shake the feeling they would prefer to pick up where they leave off with the current government.”

    <a href="

    Last year, in an interview on Waatea 5th Estate, it was clear both Labour and NZ First do not see the Maori party as a party for change.

    Andrew Little: “Labour has been careful to essentially grade their co-operation based on how willing to oppose the government each party has been, so the Māori Party hasn’t been outright attacked like it was under Clark, but Labour is also saying, we’re not sure a vote for them will change the government”

    Andrew Little: “I’m saying that we will work with parties that are serious about changing the government and getting a change that’s going to give everybody a better chance including Maori.”

    Willy Jackson: “So you’re not ruling out the Maori party?”

    Andrew Little: “Well, I don’t see that… they’ve been shackled to the National government for the last 8 years… I can’t see.. they don’t represent, to me the Maori party don’t represent change, in the end the voters will decide the make up of parliament, but we will campaign, I will campaign on, if you want to change what’s happening now, you got to change the government, so you’ve got to vote for the party of change”

    (Willy Jackson continually interrupted Andrew Little)

    Andrew Little: “Let the voters decide, but we are the party of change, the Greens are a party of change, that’s what we are committed to, lets see what the voters turn up at the parliament and if we are in a position to do so, we will talk to those interested in fundamentally changing what the story is now.. We know who those parties of change are, right now.”

    “They’ve [Maori Party] shackled themselves to the National government for the last 8 years, they are as responsible as any National mp for the failure of people to get affordable houses, a decent education and all those other issues.. They’re not, right now if I think about the radar, about the parties of change, they are not on it”

    Winston Peters: “Well that was because of the perception, but the reality is I say is, all the coastal iwi supported the coastal legislation because they were talked to beforehand and you all remember, people like Api Mahuika, the Ngati Porou leader saying that over and over again and then of course as I said the Maori party went silent. Here are the facts when you make that statement about testing their rights at court well when the highest court in the country when they referred the matter back to the courts they said they could have that right but they couldn’t conceive of a circumstance where they would be successful. What the Maori party have done in their desperation to be relevant is to pile it up into some sort of cause but meanwhile housing health education and first world jobs first world wages have been utterly neglected by them and that’s what the Maori out there on the streets of this country and in the hamlets and villages really want and they have been utterly forgotten.”

    Winston Peters: “We want dramatic economic and social change to regain what this country used to have to number one number 2 first world status as a world economic and social performer, we’ve lost that, and we haven’t given up hope of getting it back again”

    Waatea 5th Estate – Labour vs NZ First – the fight for Maori votes

    <a href="

    • billmurray 15.1

      the ‘disapointed’ response from the Maori party to the Bill English ‘no show’ at Waitangi was to me akin to a ringing endorsement of the English position.
      IMO Te Ururoa Flavell was also saying to Mana, (and messaging to Tuku Morgan) come and sit with us at the National party table or go away.

  16. Ross 16

    The DomPost, which has shown support for Labour lately, agrees with English:

    Bill English is right to turn down the invitation to go to Waitangi for Waitangi Day. It is not acceptable to ask the country’s leader to such an event and then ban him from speaking.

    This is a simple matter of good manners as well as fundamental democratic rights.

    Ngapuhi leader Kingi Taurua typically mixed bad temper and incoherence in responding to English’s refusal. If the prime minister did not attend he had no right to talk about the Treaty of Waitangi, Taurua claimed. “Whatever the prime minister thinks, I don’t give a damn. All I am there for is to commemorate the signatories … if English has no commitment to that, then don’t talk about the Treaty of Waitangi ever again.”

    This is petulant and silly and it’s difficult to say what Taurua meant. But banning the prime minister from speaking and commanding him never to speak of the Treaty again is high-handed and rude.

    Last year Taurua called for English’s predecessor, John Key, to be banned from Te Tii marae, changed his tune later and said he thought the PM should be welcomed. Taurua needs to make up his mind.

    • Leftie 16.1

      Ross. But he wasn’t banned from speaking though, neither was John key. Prior to the dog whistling, how many Waitangi days have John key and Bill English attended where protocols weren’t an issue?

      • Paul 16.1.1

        The media as per usual complicit in the lie.
        And they bleat on about fake news……

      • Ross 16.1.2

        So you’re saying he could speak where he liked and when he liked?

        • Leftie

          The point being, that English wasn’t banned from speaking, and neither was John key. Prior to John key trying to hijack Waitangi day to push his pro TPPA agenda last year, and English’s political cynicism this year, how many Waitangi days did they attend where protocols weren’t an issue?

  17. The lost sheep 17

    Seems Bill did have a legitimate grievance after all? Anyone above want to revise their opinions accordingly?

    Kingi Taurua said he’s “ashamed” and “disgusted” by the treatment given to the Prime Minister.
    “I didn’t know the letter contained that he wasn’t permitted to speak and if so he had to get someone Maori to speak for him. I express my apologies to the Prime Minister for that and I’m very ashamed.’

    • The lost sheep 17.1

      Strange. No one wants to know about this?
      As it undermines both the central premise of the post, and the arguments of most of the comments, I would have thought there would have been a rush to realign our understanding of the situation with the reality as expressed by Mr.Taurua?

      • Red 17.1.1

        Of course not as this does not fit with supremacist and left narrative

        • The lost sheep

          I think everyone is still practicing saying ‘I was wrong’.

          But now that the Kaumatua of Ngapuhi has clarified things, I’m sure all the Pakeha experts here will be keen to get themselves in sync with the correct protocol.

          • framu

            The differing factions in Ngapuhi (lets face it – its a big iwi with many divisions) do need to be taken into account

            Kingi Taurua isnt the head of the marae in question (AFAIK) and is speaking to two things
            1) his own earlier words
            2) his opinion of the conditions that the marae leaders specified

            it still doesnt mean squat in regards to the fact that English wasnt banned from speaking as he claimed, or that hes using this as a wedge tactic for political positioning.

            • The lost sheep

              Mmm. So the authoritative version on this will come from….
              a. The Kaumatua of Ngapuhi?
              b. Some anonymous poster on an obscure partisan blog?
              What do you think Framu?

              And if Mr Taurua is wrong, why do you think everyone who expressed opinions contrary to his are staying so silent?

              It’s a given on this site that no one EVER concedes they were wrong. Silence is the closest you’ll ever get to that concession, and I’ve never seen so much silence here since Kingi posted his apology to Bill.

              • Leftie

                Framu already told you what he thinks and I agree with him, which btw, you didn’t dispute as you continue to grasp at straws. Silence is not an admission or a concession of anything that’s going on inside your head, the thread basically died, (like all threads do), prior to your comments. Why would anyone admit to being wrong, when they are not? As Framu wrote: “it still doesnt mean squat in regards to the fact that English wasnt banned from speaking as he claimed, or that hes using this as a wedge tactic for political positioning.”

                • The lost sheep

                  So there was a vibrant debate and many resounding opinions expressed here on the basis of the first reports and the conclusions drawn from it in the post….

                  But when Kingi Taurua came out and made a complete nonsense of most of what had been said here, no one commented because…..the thread had basically died?

                  You stick to that Leftie. You may even believe it.

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