Mr Hide said he told Mr Key: “Just to be absolutely clear, you have got our support for supply and confidence but as a minister, as the Act leader, I couldn’t be responsible for introducing to the House a bill that would have reserve seats in it.”
And that is fair enough that you can’t expect a Minister to introduce a bill if they are opposed to a major section of it. But there is no NZ First type talk of walking away from Government if they do not get their way.
And the Maori Party are being equally mature:
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said last night that she was disappointed at Mr Hide’s position but her party’s support for the Government would not change. “We always knew when we went into this arrangement with National that there would be issues that would take us right to the wire and this is one of them.
“But we have no intentions of withdrawing support for the Government and we have no intention of withdrawing our ministerial roles. That’s not what we went into the relationship for.”
It is inevitable that the Maori Party and ACT are not going to agree on everything, and that whatever National decides will disappoint one of them on this issue.
I believe the solution is easy, and has always been there. Parliament should not decide for Aucklanders whether or not to have Maori seats on the Auckland Council. The Local Government and Electoral Acts allows local voters to decide this by way of referendum. If Aucklanders wants Maori seats on the Auckland Council, they should petition for them (only needs 5%) and gain a majority in the referendum. Having Wellington impose Maori seats on Auckland is a very different issues to having Auckland decide for itself whether or not it wants Maori seats.