There is a first time for everything I suppose, and now we have a Government MP making a submission to a select committee aginst her own Government. I can not recall this ever happeneing before, and I have followed politics since I was eight years old (after watching Muldoon win in 1975).
It is nothing too unusual to just vote against your party on an issue – happens quite often when National is in Government. Less so with Labour, as it is warrants expulsion if you do it without permission.
But to not just vote against the bill, but to actively lobby against it, is almost unheard of. And to make a formal submission to a select committee which effectively says the Government is racist and a thief is literally unheard of.
Helen Clark may claim “I don’t have any problems with it.” but does anyone think that Damien O’Connor wouldn’t be expelled from Labour if he had made a submission to a select committee against the Government’s forestry policies?
The legislation’s progress will be very interesting. It is effectively a confidence issue, and if Labour can not pass it, they will have to call an immediate election. But if they do pass it, most or all of the Maori seats will fall to the Maori Party.