It looks like Don Brash's nonsensical claim that Maori don't exist - one he has been repeatedly making since his hugely divisive Orewa speech a few years ago - has caused some fallout. Quite apart from having his stupidity publicly pointed out by Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, there's this snippet in this morning's Independent:
Meanwhile, in an interview with Radio Waatea this week Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia revealed Brash had sought a meeting with her after the current parliamentary recess. But given his latest efforts about the blood quantum and his apparent inability to accept another world view except his own, she would not be meeting with Brash, Turia said.
Why is this significant? Because currently, the Maori party effectively holds the balance of power in Parliament. If National wants to pass legislation or topple the government, it has to convince them. And this situation looks likely to continue, particularly if they increase their voter share. Put simply, National's ability to govern in future is likely to depend on good relations with the Maori Party.
Wiser heads in National have recognised this, and pushed for a more accomodating policy stance on Maori issues. Brash hasn't, and continues to reflexively Maori bash whenever presented with the topic. It's yet another example of his poor political judgement, and it may very well cost him any chance of power.