The Herald reports:
But it took only one surprise sentence from a kaumatua speaking on the marae to indicate that while Labour leader Phil Goff will have the crowds when he appears tomorrow, he could face a more difficult time.
Joe Everett, a morehu (Ratana follower), noted the long connections the Church has with Labour but then said that since becoming Prime Minister, John Key had abided by his promises to the Maori people.
“In the short time you have been in power, you have done so much more than others have done for the Maori people.”
The overt praise and implicit criticism of the previous Labour government made it clear the Church followers at least are openly reconsidering their alliance with Labour.
Church elder Andre Meihana said Mr Goff could well face criticism over the controversial speech he gave last year, as well as what some saw as a failure by Labour to foster its close ties with the Church over the past five years.
I thought Key might get some stick for not agreeing to Maori seats on the Auckland Council, but that seems to be an agree to disagree issue.
And the Dom Post:
Mr Key opened his speech by joking about flowerpots at the marae – six were blue and four were red.
“I like that. Don’t go changing that when the other fellow [Labour leader Phil Goff] turns up on Sunday.”
He said his almost exclusive focus this year was to improve educational standards in the country, “so that every child in New Zealand gets the opportunity to succeed in life”.
Of course Labour and the educational unions are against having national standards and reporting to parents on them.