National and Maori

The HoS editorial:

One of the more bracing ironies of political life in 2010 is that a National Government has developed a relationship with Maori that its Labour predecessor never managed in nine years.

The last administration was hampered by Helen Clark’s tin ear for Maori issues.

In dismissing marchers in the Foreshore and Seabed hikoi as “haters and wreckers”, she destroyed a relationship that had delivered Labour most Maori votes for almost all of the previous 70 years. That led directly to the formation of the Maori Party.

And also called the Maori Party the last cab off the rank – preferred Winston instead.

And John Armstrong writes in the Weekend Herald:

But the contrast between Labour’s turmoil after Goff’s demotion of Carter and subsequent decision to send the MP home on stress leave and National’s success in healing what the Prime Minister calls a “weeping sore” was testimony to the vast gulf in performance between the two parties and a brutal indication of the size of the mountain Labour has to climb between now and next year’s election.

While Goff was nailing Carter to the cross, John Key was nailing down a deal with the Maori Party which is a huge stride toward National retaining the Government benches after the 2011 election. …

The other question is whether Labour will carry on being so hostile to the Maori Party now that Shane Jones, one of the leading protagonists, has been sidelined.

That strategy has proved to be largely counter-productive – succeeding only in driving the Maori Party closer to National.

As this week’s deal shows, Key has no compunction about making compromises to keep it there.

While I have always thought the chances of Phil Goff becoming Prime Minister was remote, I think this last week may go down in history as the week when they became non-existent.

Without the Maori Party, Labour and the Greens need to win 62 seats to be able to govern, and on current polls they look to be a dozen seats short of that.

Comments (143)

Login to comment or vote

Add a Comment