National – Maori Party Agreement

Well John Key did it, he has 70 votes to 52 in Parliament, and has forged an agreement with the Maori Party that makes Labour’s chance of winning in 2011 a lot harder.

The agreement is here.

  • Establish a group by 2010 to review constitutional issues, including Maori seats

Oh this will be fun. I love constitutional issues. There are so many – the Crown, the Treaty, the Bill of Rights, a written constitution, the Electoral Act etc etc.

  • National not to remove the Maori seats without the consent of Maori, and the Maori Party not to seek to entrench them in the current term.

Absolutely predictable.

  • Review the Foreshore & Seabed Act by end of 2009. If there is a repeal, All NZers will be guaranteed access to foreshore and seabed.

Labour’s legislation was wrong. I will not be surprised if the eventual agreement is to scrap it, but to legislate for access rights for all NZers.

  • Pita Sharples to be Minister of Maori Affairs, and Associate Education and Corrections
  • Tariana Turia to be Minister for the Community and Voluntary Sector, Associate Health, and Associate Social Development and Employment

I think Sharples will be a very good Maori Affairs Minister. There is some potential for conflict in Corrections between what National/ACT want to do, and what his instincts might say. But also areas of commonality such as the privately managed prison that had rave reviews from local Iwi.

  • Maori Party to agree on Chairperson of Maori Affairs Select Committee, who will be a National MP.

If Georgina and Tau both make Cabinet, then I would guess this could be Hekia. But if one of the two existing Maori MPs misses out, then that one.

Incidentially there may be five Maori Ministers – Georgina, Tau, Paula, Pita and Tariana.

  • All Maori MPs and MPs with an electorate larger than 20,000 sq kms to get a third Out of Parliament staff member

I would rather decisions like this are made through the Parliamentary Service Commission. But this was recommended by the Goulter review, and two offices are not enough for some of those large electorates.

Quote of the day goes to Hone Harawria:

“In three days, National offered us more than Labour did in three years,” said one of its MPs, Hone Harawira.

If Labour had gone with the Greens and the Maori Party in 2005, they wouldn’t have had to put up with effectively condoning Winston’s antics.

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