Friday, October 14, 2005



A wasted opportunity

In the Dominion-Post this morning, Chris Trotter takes the Maori Party to task for failing to work out a confidence and supply deal with Labour, arguing that Tariana Turia's desire for utu and flirtations with National have wasted a tremendous opportunity:

What the numbers could have added up to, however, was a Labour-Progressive-Green centre-left government with Maori Party support on matters of confidence and supply. Such a government would have been of enormous benefit to Maori, whose life chances are determined overwhelmingly by their social class, not ethnic identity.

A Maori Party in constructive dialogue with a secure centre-left government would have been in a position to extract an impressive array of concessions. A Maori Party with enough confidence in its political future to think expansively and creatively could even have imbued that government with the energy and courage to initiate a genuine revolution in New Zealand's constitutional arrangements.

But instead of that, we're likely to get a Labour government beholden to Winston. Who, in case you need reminding, wants to tear the Treaty out of the law, disband the Waitangi Tribunal, and end the settlements process (which he dubs a "gravy train"). It's a perfect example of cutting off your nose to spite your face...

Nga korero o to wa makes essentially the same case here.

Trotter thinks this mistake will doom the Maori Party, and that the voters who split their votes between it and Labour on election night will go back to Labour rather than support politicians who so clearly put themselves ahead of their supporters. I'm not so sure - but its a very bad start for the party, and one it will have to work hard to overcome.

9 comments:

beautiful sight and your blog title is pure genius for what it is worth. :)

Posted by stevie.be. : 10/14/2005 12:39:00 PM

Rubbish. There is not enough reliable information to make those sorts of calls. Negotiations are still underway. What you are saying (& Trotter & Adam @ Nga Korero etc.) is a commentary about the argy bargy down the back straight of a race, well before the finish line.

I see that our Glorious Leader is trying to blame MP for not having a meeting - that's par for the course - and it's validity and context is dubious. If Labour has put pre-conditions on the talks in some way that could be why.

Also, if NZ First is willing to support Labour actively then there is nothing either the MP or UF can do about it accept to start to give in to everything Labour wants at the hope of getting a tokenistic piece of legislation through. It's the nature of the game.

Labour wants to kill the MP remember. MP have been offered nothing to date (Sharples comments a few days ago). Sucking up to Labour may achieve few of the break-throughs of which Trotter speculates. We know how the Labour Party and Clark treat Maori concerns - that's why the Maori Party exists.

Posted by Bomber : 10/14/2005 02:46:00 PM

Maori value self-determination. Maori value independence as a people. Maori value whanau. Maori value tradition. Maori value the Treaty of Waitangi. Maori value the Crown.

It is not hard to see how they are incompatible with a party who sees themselve as some fancy "new New Zealand", who do little to discourage govt welfare dependency, who don't hold to traditional values, who rewrite history, who violate the Treaty of Waitangi, and who want New Zealand to become a republic.

Go figure.

Posted by A. J. Chesswas : 10/14/2005 04:35:00 PM

Sorry, but I think Tariana will face a caucus revolt on this one. Is the seabed and foreshore bill all there is here? If Labour sees reason and agrees to do away with it, then what happens?

And what happens to all the raving right rednecks who voted National due to its populist racist attack
on Maori representation during the election?

If Tariana fails to realise this, then yes, her party is doomed. Or there'll be a leadership coup eventually, and Pita Sharples takes over as leader.

Craig Y.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/15/2005 10:53:00 AM

All this shows that Labour was right not to be keen on the Maori Party, and instead focus on winston. It demonstrates the instability and indecisiveness of the MP. If MP had offered confidence and supply, it is now obvious we wouldn't have known if Taniana is suddenly going to change her mind mid-term and bring down the government. I think MP needs at least one term to get some stability.

Posted by Anonymous : 10/15/2005 12:53:00 PM

Former ACT leader Richard Prebble has now been mentioning that the most likely outcome now is a National-Act-NZF-UF-Maori government, with any number of the minor parties on confidence and supply.

This would be a most disappointing result from the numbers that eventuated at the election, but would be grossly unpopular amongst the Maori public. I also think you are looking at another election in less than two years under this arrangement. I'm waiting for the outcome with bated breath.....

Posted by Max Soy : 10/15/2005 04:15:00 PM

Excuse me? I respect Chris Trotter, but I've been hearing some interesting goss about who wouldn't get in the room and "constructively engage". It's a little rich to hear Labour whinging, after the nasty personal attacks on the Maori Pary, the outright dishonest advertising (where Turia apparently voted "with National" more times than there were votes) and the snarling about "haters and wreckers". Golly, folks, you can't have it both ways.

Along with the way the Greens were screwed, I think Labour was a little too clever for it's own good. vtxfy

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/16/2005 01:21:00 AM

Right...as ACT was, given that the Nats seem to value NZF or UFNZ more than it does them, you mean, namesake?

CY

Posted by Anonymous : 10/16/2005 01:32:00 PM

Craig:

I'm just finding it a little tiresome listening to Labour apologists singing another chorus of 'poor poor pitiful me' when it takes two to have a dysfunctional relationship.

Come to that, I really wish some sections of the ACT party would get that there's nothing more pathetic than a graceless winner.

Posted by Craig Ranapia : 10/17/2005 12:13:00 AM