I still remember vividly the first week or so after Orewa. Labour painted Don Brash as a desperate pathetic racist for his speech. Minister after Minister lined up to take a crack at him. Then the polls came out, and they panicked.
Now, 18 months on, and just a few weeks before the 2005 election, they have announced they will change more than a third of its ethnically targeted programmes and well over half of the rest could be altered or axed once further reviews are done.
Don Brash, quite seriously, has arguably achieved more for New Zealand than any Opposition Leader of recent times.
He is quite right, however, that it is doubtful the Government would adopt a fundamental change in direction, pointing out it “constantly finds new ways of disguising its double standards on race-based funding”
Let’s recall that this is still the same Government that put funding limits on all tertiary institutes *except* wananga. And look how that turned out. And also the Government that rammed through a law change which legislates for local authorities to set up Maori only wards – possibly the most objectionable separatist step to date.