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What does Key’s promise mean?

Written By: - Date published: 6:11 pm, July 19th, 2012 - 49 comments
Categories: john key, Maori Issues, maori party, water - Tags: ,

Two interesting comments in another post deserve to be a post of their own:

gobsmacked:  Looks like last night’s piece of paper is going to be even more short-lived than the one Neville Chamberlain waved at the airport. No peace in our time …

From Newstalk ZB’s Felix Marwick:

The Government is qualifying a promise it’s making on Maori water rights.

The Maori Party says it’s been promised the Government won’t legislate on water rights apply even if the Courts should establish that Maori have a proprietary interest in water.

John Key says the position is right, but it would depend on all the factors involved.

“I think it’s a big difference between the recognition of a right or interest to ownership because ownership complies ownership to the whole resource and payment for use of that resource, there’s quite a big difference.”

(translation – “it all means whatever I want it to mean, depending on the latest polls” …)

(also – yet more mangling of the English language – comply is not imply, you dunce).

Carol: And Blingish was wriggling around and avoiding a direct answer on behalf of JK today in Question Time:


Grant Robertson: Can he confirm that it is his Government’s intention that no matter what the outcome of the Waitangi Tribunal and subsequent court action—whatever rights it may decide Māori have in terms of water—his Government will not legislate in that regard?

Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister stands by the statement in the statement that was released last night. It is the Government’s expectation that—well, put it this way: the member is probably not correctly connecting any outcome from the Waitangi Tribunal with any outcome from the court action, because the court action is much more likely to be focused on preventing the sale of assets going ahead, rather than any particular aspect of Māori rights and interests.

So does anyone know what Key’s promise actually means?

49 comments on “What does Key’s promise mean? ”

  1. Carol 1

    marsman has also asked who made the promise?

    Open mike 19/07/2012

  2. Kotahi Tane Huna 2

    Key’s promise?

    Oxymoron much?

  3. gobsmacked 3


    And it’s changing by the minute … apparently legislation is “not the preferred option” (John Key, TVNZ tonight). Which is a long way from a “guarantee”.

    But the real question is: Why does anybody take a Key “promise” seriously? Why are some commentators – including Maori – so naive as to believe that Key has committed to anything at all? Where have they been for the past 5 years?

  4. key has made no promise – it is all illusion.

    To date I have not heard key say it or agree with Tariana’s statement.


    • Kotahi Tane Huna 4.1

      I do hope someone on the MP side had the competence to record the meeting. When they realise they’ve been screwed at least they’ll have the sex tape.

  5. Pascal's bookie 5

    I’m crazy, but it seems to me the time for a negotiated settlement is before it gets to court, not after a court rules. But that’s just me. Also, let’s not be forgetting the UN Dec on Indigenous Rights, just quietly.


    Jesus wept:


    What a pack of ferals.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.1.1


        • Akldnut

          I think this race war and Maori bashing shit from the same page is more telling!

          liarbors a joke (10) Says:
          July 19th, 2012 at 5:24 pm

          Lets have the race war Titiwhai H so desperately wants..lets really show them we have had enough.


          Mr_Blobby (67) Says:
          July 19th, 2012 at 5:10 pm

          “New Zealand will be better if we stopped treating Maori as superior.”
          Did I miss something Superior in what way. Lying, cheating, stealing, graft, bad personal choices, physical health, mental health, education, ability to rob thy neighbor, produce children they can’t look after, bash said children, kill said children, eat to much, drink to much, smoke to much, bad attitude to everything, begging mentality, ………
          What’s proud and noble about that let alone superior?

      • David H 5.1.2

        Real knuckle dragging stuff there.

    • “What a pack of ferals.”

      The Standards no better, you’re all as bad as each other.
      Wah wah wah.

      • Pascal's bookie 5.2.1

        I tend to put a weighting on ignorance about the history of one’s own country, and racism, so I’ll have to beg to differ on that one.

        Your mileage obviously varies.

      • Reality Bytes 5.2.2

        The Standard has become self aware? Shit that’s amazing!

        LP better update those rules about foolishly attributing sentience to a web page server.

        I enjoy your posts Contrarian, as I do all other diverse opinions from across the spectrum including the likes of fellas like Mr George. I believe a range of individual unique views on issues provides a far more interesting colorful window into thinking/considering things from different angles, and I recon that’s what TSO facilitates. I think it’s a bit silly to stereotype and lump ‘all’ commenting people on the standard dot org as one big homogeneous mass.

      • mike e 5.2.3

        Contra you are just a stirrer. nothing more.
        A light weight troll who one day agrees with everyone the next day disagrees.
        Maybe I’ve got it wrong and you are really bipolar.

  6. gobsmacked 6

    National’s problem is that this forked-tongue trickery from Key can only work short-term. In the end they have to decide if they’re going to fight the next election with either a replay of the Orewa 2005 campaign, or the 2006-11 Mr Nice Guy holds hands with Titewhai, plays volleyball with Maori, etc.

    Or Key’s just going to walk away and leave it to somebody else. That’s looking more and more likely.

  7. gobsmacked 7


    There are often people or comments I can disagree with on the Standard, but if anyone has called for a “race war”, and spat out a torrent of racial abuse, please tell us who so I can tell them to feck off.

    Absent such evidence, not “all as bad as each other”.

    • urban rascal 7.1

      Have to agree, I haven’t seen any blatantly racist comments on here that compare with the extreme positions harped on about by some on KiwiBlog. I even understand alot of that blogs arguments and can understand the more centre right position. Their extreme comments lessen that blogs position as a rational thinktank and quotable resource. Comparing the two blogs is like comparing apples and oranges IMO.
      Based on my few weeks of reading this blog.

  8. bad12 8

    A promise form Slippery means exactly the opposite of what the actual wording is, when John Key ‘stresses’ any particular position that He believes in or that His Government will or wont embark upon then there is a very good chance that He plans on doing the exact opposite,

    Slippery knows that those continually in the loop as far as being up on the politics of the day every day week in week out is a very small % of the electorate,

    So for the vast bulk of the electorate they don’t know from one day to the next the extent of Slippery’s bullshit.(or any other politicians for that matter),

    In the fast pace of politics it then doesn’t matter what Bullshit the likes of Key told last week because it will simply be eclipsed by more of the same next week on a different subject…

  9. Carol 9

    Was this on te TV news tonight?


    Maori claiming ownership of the Waikato riverbed have confirmed they will seek a legal injunction to stop the sale of Mighty River Power.

    And they’re considering charging the electricity company rent – and back rent – for the three hydro-dams already there.

    A number of Mighty River power dams sit on the Waikato riverbed, and the people of Pouakani say they own the riverbed there.

    With ownership comes rights – like the right to charge the electricity company for usage.

    A Supreme Court ruling has just opened the way for Pouakani to claim for the riverbed.

    Poukani leader Tamati Cairns says selling off Mighty River Power before the claim is dealt with is akin to confiscation.

    The riverbed under claim houses three Mighty River Power dams:

    And what does the slithery one say to that?

    And did Key and English know this was coming, as English said in parliament today any court action would likely be to stop asset sales.

    Hon BILL ENGLISH: The Prime Minister stands by the statement in the statement that was released last night. It is the Government’s expectation that—well, put it this way: the member is probably not correctly connecting any outcome from the Waitangi Tribunal with any outcome from the court action, because the court action is much more likely to be focused on preventing the sale of assets going ahead, rather than any particular aspect of Māori rights and interests.

    • bad12 9.1

      I’ve highlighted the Poukani claim in a few previous posts,but, it’s possibly worthwhile to give the brief history again just to show how previous SLIPPERY behavior from years ago can turn round and bight a Government in the butt big time, how Maori have quietly gone about protesting their rights of ownership over rivers and lakes since 1840, and,how the Crown just can’t help itself but to continually rip Maori off,

      In 1883 the Native Land Court registered Ripiri Te Maari, Ramera Te Iho, and 137 others as the owners of Lakes Onoke and Wairarapa situated in the South Wairarapa,

      In 1896 the Crown in what the registered owners say was a sale but the Crown called a ceding bought lakes Onoke and Wairarapa off of the registered owners for 2000 pound and what was to be a sizeable block of land bordering Lake Wairarapa,

      The sizable block of land bordering Lake Wairarapa never materialized, and, after many delegations to the Government of the day, finally in 1914 citing land prices at Lake Wairarapa as too expensive the only and final offer to the previous owners of Lake Wairarapa by the Crown,and in spite of it’s previous agreement, was the 30,000 acre Poukani block 100s of miles away from the Wairarapa and 50 miles north of Taupo,

      How the Crown itself had got its hands upon the Poukani block and just why the Wairarapa Maori agreed to take this as final settlement for the Lake Wairarapa sale/ceding i wont go into here, needless to say the Wairarapa Maori were not residents initially,

      In the 1940s without a word of negotition with the owners of the Poukani block the crown seized a large part of it under the public works act, built at least 2 small towns to house workers and then proceeded to build 3 dams and power stations flooding large parts of the Poukani block and leaving as a legacy the town of Mangakino which the Poukani block holders eventually agreed to buy off of the Crown for 50,000 pound, doesn’t that just reek of irony,

      And so, in the Court of Appeal 130 odd years on from the sale/ceding of Lake Wairarapa to the Crown we have those very same Wairarapa Maori in Paki V Crown claiming what is now essentially 3 lakes as their property being what ensued from the flooding of the Waikato River when the power dams were constructed,

      The Court of Appeal in a direct echo of what the Native Land Court had ruled all those years ago said that ownership of the Waikato River bed at Poukani rested with the Poukani block owners…

  10. That did not take long.

    Maori Party how much of this are you going to put up with?

    Key is playing you like a banjo. 

  11. OneTrack 11

    It means he’s bending over and crouching into the position.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Key’s “not the preferred option” quote mentioned above, confirmed by the Herald:


    Sharples and Turia might want to have another meeting …

    • Carol 12.1

      That Herald article and Key’s quotes are just confusing everything again.

      The “not the preferred option” refers to legislation saying no-one owns water, when it’s more about rights and interests … and ownership of the river bed:

      When asked today if the Government had ever intended to legislate on rights and interests in water he said it hadn’t.

      “This Government has legislated for rights and interests in water – we’re not about to then go and legislate over the top of that. It wouldn’t be a constructive thing to do,” he said.

      When asked if it was possible the Government could legislate to say no one owns water, Mr Key said it could in theory but he hoped it wouldn’t come to that.

      “At the end of the day that’s not the preferred option. The common law position as it’s been established has been that no one owns water.”

      • Jim Nald 12.1.1

        Is this meant to be the clever confoozing ploy?
        Say something, then a different thing, or just anything.
        Later, depending on what can be self-servingly useful, claim that you didn’t really say it, that you said it, or what was said has been misunderstood.
        And all this comes from the fifty-million dollar bullshit. Sheesh.

  13. The comments are irreconcilable.  This is from the Herald this morning:

    “However after emerging from the meeting late last night Mrs Turia said “the main issue was that this Government would treat our people in the same way the Labour Party did by legislating away their rights”.
    Mrs Turia was asked whether that meant that should a court decision subsequent to the tribunal find that Maori did have proprietary type right over water, the Government would not legislate against that.
    She said: “That was what they told us tonight“.
    “This is exactly what we needed to have an assurance on. It was the one issue that our people raised with us because of scaremongering by other political parties. That was the concern of the iwi and that was certainly our concern as well. “

    OK so no legislation.

    But as noted in the Herald Key said this:

    “When asked if it was possible the Government could legislate to say no one owns water, Mr Key said it could in theory but he hoped it wouldn’t come to that.
    “At the end of the day that’s not the preferred option. The common law position as it’s been established has been that no one owns water.” 

    I would recommend that you count your fingers after shaking hands with Key … 

    • marty mars 13.1

      Yes micky – the thing is, as we know, in politics it is often the coverup/backtracking and lies that topple – I suspect that either this has been cooked up by the parties involved or someone is going to be called a liar, either way there will be blood on the floor.

      • mickysavage 13.1.1

        The worry is Marty that Key’s behavior will actually be popular.  Who cares about his keeping his word as long as he shafts those “uppety maoris”.

        I am dismayed by the prospect that there may be a democratic advantage in not keeping your word. 

  14. Bored 14

    John Key has achieved a physical impossibility, his word means zero. Zero as we know has no value except when John Key says it, and then it is a far bigger zero than any other zero. Others argue his metaphysical genius in creating the value of “less than zero”.

  15. Bob 15

    What’s the difference between this and “Helen Clark in 2000 said ” the Government’s settlements were based on policy, not Waitangi Tribunal recommendations”. Her associate energy minister even said “he had assured oil drilling companies of continuing crown ownership of oil and petrol – and no Waitangi Tribunal hearing or subsequent court action by Maori would change that.”” http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10819113
    Maybe Ngapuhi leader David Rankin is right instead? http://business.scoop.co.nz/2012/07/18/ngapuhi-leader-critical-of-greedy-water-claim/

    • Te Reo Putake 15.1

      How’d that work out for HC, Bob? Penny dropping, yet?

      • Bob 15.1.1

        She stayed on for two more terms after those comments, so not too bad.

        • Te Reo Putake

          Yep, from majority Government to minority Government. An option not available to Key.

          • Bob

            The big difference being, the shift in votes seemed to go from the Labour party to the Maori party, both ‘left wing’ parties (at the time at least), the Maori who supported National before this situation (including my fiancée) are now even more firmly in support of National as this separatist stance from some Iwi is the reason for disillusionment with the Maori party in the first place.

            Of course this is all just my personal opinion based on nothing but my personal observations so I could be way off base here, but I am sure the next polls that are released should give us a better indication of how wrong (or right) I am.

            • gobsmacked

              Sure, the next polls probably will show a rebound for National. That’s why Key is doing this.

              The question is, how can it be sustained? What will he have to do over six months, a year, and so on? Keep creating bogeymen?

              If he keeps parroting Brash ’05, he could end up losing both the people who voted for “nice Mr Key” because he WASN’T Brash, and the Maori Party as support party. Plus the people who can see through this nonsense and still vote on the economy anyway.

              Are there enough rednecks to make up for that? Key and Joyce seem to think so, let’s hope they’re wrong.

              • bad12

                Brash was wrong and He fought a whole election on it, with the Iwi/kiwi billboards thrown in as well,

                I don’t think the Maori Party will survive the latest round of self serving bullshit and attempted manipulation of ‘their people’ and i don’t think the electorate is over 40% of out-right racists…

    • Um Bob

      Can you point out where Helen lied to a coalition party and to Tangata Whenua?

      Just asking … 

      • Bob 15.2.1

        The legislation they have passed has nothing to do with water rights, so they haven’t lied to a coalition partner or Tangata Whenua. Tangata Whenua are trying to block the mixed ownership model of hydro electric dam’s by claiming OWNERSHIP of the water. Now even if they are shown to have ownership by the Waitangi Tribunal, the government is saying they will not abide by this ruling, instead continuing to give Maori the exact same rights they currently have (the Dam’s are already there so nothing changes).

        This should be seen as a positive to Maori. Imagine if they were given water ownership, local Iwi would be bankrupt after the first flood in any given region as THEIR water would have caused millions of $ worth of damage. As they are in ownership of this water, it would be their resposibility.

        • mickysavage

          Idiot. You are not worth responding to.

        • urban rascal

          As far as i’m aware, “OWNERSHIP” is John Key’s flash word to stir up racial tension. Your argument is heavily hinged on a false claim. The tribunal is tasked with whether they have recognition of a right or interest in the water.

          If you read the original article above you may have picked that up…

          “This should be seen as a positive to Maori. Imagine if they were given water ownership, local Iwi would be bankrupt after the first flood in any given region as THEIR water would have caused millions of $ worth of damage. As they are in ownership of this water, it would be their resposibility.”

          And lets sue the Christchurch Council for running the water that created the liquefaction post earthquake. F*&** Sake
          Had to bite.

        • tracey

          if no one owns the water is it ok if i and some mates redirect water away from some hydro dams?

  16. gnomic 16

    A promise from the scowling weasel – unless a promise to his globalist financial capitalist masters – is worth nothing at all. Almost all politicians in this farce called parliamentary democracy constantly trim their sails according to the latest gust from the focus groups, but the weasel has sold his soul to the devil and has no moral authority whatsoever, nor a trace of the integrity thing. It was a black day for Aotearoa when he assumed power. Worse than Holland, even worse than his hero Muldoon, if it were possible. Unlike the weasel, the late Rob at least had a degree of intellectual capacity, and enjoyed a bit of gardening. And his holiday home was in New Zealand.

  17. tracey 17


    According to bill english key,s just a cry baby…see herald this morning. According to him the answer is for dynamic lateral thinkers to take less money for work… Of course it doesnt apply to him, being neither dynamic or a leteral thinker he retains his entitlement to over renumeration.

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