The Herald Editorial:
And on the eighth day, he created history. John Key’s confirmation yesterday of his Government with partner parties may not be of biblical dimensions but it is telling in its achievement.
First, New Zealand has been spared the interminable post-election horse-trading that has done more to damage MMP than anything else. Second, Maori have been embraced into a centre-right Government in a spirit and in detail that gives far broader hope for our society’s development than the mere completion of a political support document. Third, two parties, the Maori Party and Act, that have not been in government before now have an opportunity to introduce their philosophies directly into the sharp end of our politics.
That is an aspect I had not considered before – that neither ACT nor Maori Party had even been in Government – unlike Alliance, Progressive, United and NZ First before them.
In the short-term National could have bypassed the Maori Party and relied on Act and United Future to give it 65 votes in the 122-member House. But Mr Key is not thinking short-term. By committing his Government to some of the Maori Party’s goals he is hoping to transform politics and society beyond 2011.
By choosing – and not being forced – to work with the party, he sends powerful signals of where this co-operation might lead.
An agreement forged in possibilities has more chance of thriving than the lowest common denominator of painful concessions. It should have been no real disappointment for anyone that National will not, as it claimed, seek to eliminate the Maori electorates. Its “review” of the Foreshore and Seabed Act is vague but has the chance of finding a solution rather than cementing a problem.
I think there is a real possibility of an agreed solution to the Foreshore & Seabed issue.
In the meantime, there is no gainsaying the achievements of his first eight days. The economic crisis meant we needed a Government as fast as one could be formed. What we have been offered is something much more than the sum of its parts.
That is the hope – having the additional parties such as the Maori Party may allow the Government to make progress in areas such as welfare, that would be difficult without.Tags: John Key, National, NZ Herald