Backdown No 2 is best summed by John Armstrong in the NZ Herald.
This one though is a backdown on rhetoric not substance. Clark has worked out calling Don Brash and 70% of New zealanders a racist doesn’t work. If it did work she would still be doing it.
So she is doing what they did with Closing the Gaps. They will rename it, maybe make a token sacrifice or two, and carry on. Labour is missing the point that the issue is not about a couple of grants here or there. It is a fundamental debate about the direction of New Zealand and whether one views the Treaty of Waitangi as a living partnership between Maori and non-Maori or not.
Clark also claims that the shattering of the bipartisan approach is why she is looking at reviewing policies. Well this is crap. The bipartisan approach ended in late 2002 as Bill English’s campaign for one standard of citizenship was very different to Labour’s policies. No change of Labour’s policies then.
The only thing that has changed is the polls. There is a whiff of panic about, as Labour does ot know how to respond, so they come up with a review.
If Labour would agree legislating for Maori only wards on local Councils was wrong, then you would see substance not spin.