It didn’t get reported much, but it was quite significant. John Key said that if National is returned to office, then it will offer the Maori Party a role in Government – even if they are not needed to govern.
This will of course upset some on the right, but it does set up an interesting dynamic if the Maori Party do hold the balance of power.
Labour’s stance on the Maori Party used to “haters and wreckers” and then “last cab off the rank”, and even in this election, Labour is trying to win seats off them and presumably would only offer the Maori Party a role in Government if it has to do so, to gain the numbers.
So if the Maori Party do hold the balance of power, they’ll have a choice between a party which says you are welcome in Government even if we do not need your support to govern, and a party which says we don’t want a bar of you unless we need you.