John Key certainly isn't beating around the bush, is he? At his first press conference as leader, he stated loudly and clearly
"I believe in a tolerant and inclusive New Zealand, I believe in a society which is there for the benefit of all New Zealanders, and I think that the future of New Zealand must be a New Zealand that everyone feels they have a stake in."
It's a welcome signal that National will reject the divisive policies of race-baiting and Maori-bashing engaged in under Brash. And at the same time, I think we should wait and see whether its a real rejection, or whether they'll simply move to slightly more subtle dog-whistling. I guess it depends on whether Wayne Mapp's "portfolio" of "Political Correctness Eradication" is disestablished in the post-changeover reshuffle.
Meanwhile, Bill English - who back in 2002 was engaging in a bit of race-baiting and Maori bashing of his own with his "one standard of citizenship for all" campaign - is echoing the new party line [video]:
"Modern New Zealand is multicultural. There's a whole range of people with a whole range of beliefs and cultures. And we're quite comfortable with that."
I wonder if anyone has told Bob Clarkson yet?