Why the leak?
That’s one of the questions raised by Scott Cambell’s barnburner of a story.
“Clearly we are at a crossroads. The ACT Party has threatened to end its relationship with National if we allow Maori seats on the super city. Despite multiple arguments in support, its mind cannot be changed.”
That’s from an email “sent to National’s 58 MPs by one of its own senior members”, which TV3 has a copy of, but have not put on the interwebs as far as I can tell. (natch)
Hide denies threatening to “end the relationship”, saying “What we have done is state our position very clearly – we would be opposed to any reservation of seats for a particular group.”
Curiouser and curiouser.
Scott Campbell, who is obviously in a far better position to know than I, says that in an ‘all-but-done’ deal there will be no mana whenua seats.
But an all but done deal isn’t done yet, and someone wrote this email and someone, (possibly the same someone), leaked it. We can assume they did so for a reason.
If Hide didn’t make the threat, then why would a senior National Party member tell caucus that he did? If he did make that threat, why is he backing down from it?
Whatever the answers to these delicious questions, this is clearly a tough test for John Key’s big tent coalition strategy, and for two of his coalition partners.
Personally I hope Hide’s bluff gets called. Or maybe that’s already happened.
The ‘senior’ National Party member is … Tau Henare. Hide confirms that if the seats are in, he’s out as Minister of Local Government:
He told the Herald last night that he had made it clear to Mr Key that he could not remain as minister if the legislation included Maori seats on the council.
“But it wasn’t by way of a threat,” he said.
Mr Hide said he told Mr Key: “Just to be absolutely clear, you have got our support for supply and confidence but as a minister, as the Act leader, I couldn’t be responsible for introducing to the House a bill that would have reserve seats in it.”
…a principled position.
Still leaves Key in the position of having to deal with at least the appearance of an ultimatum.
Bookie, I think you’ve seen clear to the heart of it.
In the (paraphrased and probably misremembered) words of some Nat or other (Hooton?) speaking on the wireless about the time Richard Worth resigned, they’ll be searching a long time to find a candidate with the combination of loyalty and beatability to replace him in Epsom without mounting a credible threat to Rodney Hide, whose bulldog charms are beginning to fade as it becomes clear that he stands for (ahem) democracy rationing in Auckland, to re-coin the phrase.
Short of waving the white flag and not standing anyone (any marketroid will tell you that zero-cost creates perverse incentives) or standing Melissa Lee (could happen) I think National might suck it in and risk winning Epsom in 2011 in order to keep up appearances.
Is PB now writing for Kiwipolitical or is this a guest post? Great post by the way.
I think there should be Maori seats and Hide should be gone from Local Government. Its the perfect scenario. Gives Act solid grounding for some more support and keeps National’s coalition with the Maori Party.
This whole thing smells decidedly fishy.
It seems more like an elaborate cover story to justify National being ‘forced’ to not have Maori seats on the council, even though a majority of the National caucus opposes Maori seats anyway.
gc, Yeah, they’ve signed me up as a poster. They’re mad eh?
hide has been quite explicit on the radio. maori seats – he will resign as minister. Softening up in progress i suspect
Audrey Young blogs about it, and has the email. Well worth reading.
Good read – thanks PB – the email seems like tau preparing the ground… rodders is bluffing while holding the fifth ace… key is bending around waiting to see… business as usual :)
This has been building since election night – and explains Nicey’s rush to enfold the MP for insurance.
Rodders got smacked down on the “rates cap” crap prior to the LG conference and the humble pie and open derision obviously hurt.
Nicey’s pollsters have told him that ACT philosophy and personnel are poison: and he knows the coming economic storm will confirm it.
Mr one percent is gone: back to scavenging dirty votes from the racists and the baby-bashers-for-Jesus.
Hakari time, Hone.
This coming from Tau Henare who is clearly in the National Party for his incredible skill, talent, teamwork, vote winning potential and leaking like a rusty old bucket.
Yeah, go Tau.
I think that 1% comes from the polls Kate.
National is doing very well at the mo’, they’ve hoovered up a lot of centrists who like his big tent inclusive style, and the righties that voted ACT have all fallen in line behind the big blue dog because that’s what they do. Key has to make a choice now about who does he annoy. The centrists, many of whom who until recently voted Labour, or the ACT types who are a reliable little paddock of fodder for the Nats no matter how much they huff and hiss.
Fact is, ACT is popular with centrists only in so much as ACT is not Destiny Church or the Libertarianz. So Tau’s right. And the image he adds to National is worth far more votes to the Nat’s than any policy ACT could possibly offer.
But hey, go righties, get your arrogant on and tell middle NZ that they really truly love the Douglas.
Henare may have written the email, but it appears the email was leaked by someone else. Might it have been an organised leak? It was a little strange that the 9th Floor had copies of the email ready to go almost immediately after the TV3 story…
Hey Kate, I take it you want to give Tau back to Winston now? Oh sorry, he wont have him back…never mind :-)
I hope Rodney does go. The thought of him as LG minister keeps me awake at night. Despite what he may thing, people actually like their libaries, parks, swimming pools, etc.
He like those ******* cut everything councillors in New Plymouth who think that charging people to visit the local art gallery will solve all of our problems.
Gooner, you’re not at No Minister. Read the policy and try again.
Gooner: Your post was deleted, and millsy’s language was moderated for vulgarity. To both of you: keep it civil or keep it away.
Heh, your policy-wording subcommittee outdid themselves.
I admire Rodney for standing by his principles, apartheid is wrong in South Africa or anywhere, but a little concerned it may affect him and ACT adversely. He appears to be one person valiantly standing against the PC hordes for what is right.
jcuknz, I’m going to have to write a post on:
* why mana whenua representation is not apartheid and anyone who thinks it is doesn’t know what they’re talking about;
* why mana whenua representation is not only ‘right’, but required of the crown under their treaty;
* why I think Rodney is acting responsibly in this case despite those two things.
Ok – how about a real conspiracy theory.
People do things for a reason – especially politicians, I’d argue that you have a story here of three smart politicians (Rodney, John and Pita) who have made lots of statements (and continue to do so) of support for the coalition arrangements, but have a particular topic (Akld governance) that causes controversy for groups that each party is seeking votes from.
So as a solution how about the Maori Party, National and Act have a play fight, that allows each of them to appeal to voter segments and at the end of the day have a “face saving compromise”.
End result each party continues to be able to work there voter interest and at the same time show they are able to disagree. And then add another 3 points in public opinion polls of how good John Key is as PM.
WWHS, what would a compromise look like in this case? Reserved seats, but elected rather than appointed (as BK suggests)? Or something else?
Being appointed but with no voting rights, but equal speaking/input rights was another compromise put forward…somwehere.
i think the argument put forward around the ‘racist seats’ etc is focused on the wrong angle. The reason that maori are asking for their representation is not because they are maori, but because they are indigenous. It isn’t a race issue but an indigenous issue. If the discussion focuses on that, then the questions resolve around – should indigenous people be given equal rights to their colonisers? Are the rights of indigenous people ‘special’ or important and should those rights be preserved and strengthened? I think yes. The treaty says yes. maori say yes. And many others say yes. A lot of the people saying no are the ones who benefit from the situation remaining the same.
This is about fairness and equality not race.
MM, it seems to me the easiest way to get this point across to whitey is in terms of contracts – of which treaties are a form. The Crown agreed to a bunch of stuff in Article 2. If they want to renege on any of it now, they need to do so with the consent of the other party to the treaty. If they don’t, compensation for breach applies. And that’s a huge and ugly piece of business.
Of course, this is a Eurocentric understanding of the Treaty, and it minimises its importance by other metrics. But the point is that successive NZ governments, believing as they claim to in the rule of law and the sanctity of contract, are in breach of their own standards, as well as those of tangata whenua.
And you’re right – framing it in terms of race is an attempt to propagandise the issue it by the use of idiotic and frankly insulting terms like ‘apartheid’ in order to delegitimate the genuine concerns in play.
The debate hasn’t been framed correctly, deliberately… much like referenda questions.
If the debate was drected towards indigenous rights as opposed to brown/white rights i think we could move it along a bit and reach a place for mutual understanding.
An alternative to reserved seats as BK suggest might be to not have any reserved seats at the great council but for one of the proposed sub councils to have a role in representing maori, this would include powers, funding and decision making. Potentially a better than than just one/two voices at what could still be a divided/unworkable council.
And the polls currently have Helen Clark ahead of Phil Goff as Preferred PM. Proof again that many people are too stupid to vote.
Epic misuse of the term apartheid.
Lew … enjoy writing that thread but your opinions do not alter the fact that apartheid means racial discrimination and indiginous means long standing living on the land such as Australian aboriginals or North American Indian … but not for people who arrived no more than a 1000 years ago … the early settlers.
But it is a pointless discussion becuase I am sure that in time the population of New Zealand will become a multi-racial mix of many cultures and colours blending to become New Zealanders. People should concentrate on what they are and can be instead of harping back to the past while still treasuring their past as for instance I have traced my heritage back to the early 1700’s and family gossip suggests around 800AD.
“…apartheid means racial discrimination…”
No it doesn’t, it has much more meaning that that. It means ‘apartness’, which is along way away from the ‘partnership’ model that people talk about in NZ.
indiginous means long standing living on the land…but not for people who arrived no more than a 1000 years ago
Again, no it doesn’t, it means ‘arising from’, or ‘native to’. Maori culture arose in these lands. The things about Maori culture that makes it Maori, developed here. The culture is specific to NZ. It is the first such culture to develop here. It is an indigenous culture to NZ, not found anywhere else.
You can pretend that the words mean something else, but that doesn’t change the facts.
For what its worth, my advice to proponents of reserved Maori seats should stick to the contract-based argument outlined above. It surprises me that no other poster has tried to claim that Pakeha culture is indigenous as well, and therefore requires the same sort of protection and entrenched representation.
If that position is accepted (big if, I know), where would it leave New Zealanders who don’t identify as a member of either group?
I’m not going to argue the Pakeha-as-indigenous perspective, but I think it could be made. And regardless of validity, I think it would be quite popular with the masses.
Corey reminds me of a long standing small niggling doubt in my mind. My original statement bases itself on a time span of several millenium. But what if it is shorter then one has to ask ‘how short?’
The immigrants who arrived after WWII are not but their children, born and raised here are truely New Zealanders with their own culture, a mix of at least european, american, and Maori. There is also the question of what is a Maori? I could be wrong but my impression is that virtually anybody can claim to be Maori and be accepted as such irrespective of their heritage, how far their Maori blood has been diluted by intermarraige. It being a culture thing rather than a blood thing.
If you accept that the Maori culture is unique to New Zealand and developed here then today is it much more than a tourist gimmic with very few, for instance, real tattoos, as opposed to theatrical paint.
With those doubts/questions I question the validity of reservation of positions for Maori rather than by merit or popularity.
Oh god, an argument from culture. Might I suggest that this will get ripped to shreds pdq by anyone who cares to; firstly, there’s an obvious sense in which old-line anglo NZ culture is indigenous & second, there’s an obvious sense in which Maori culture isn’t that indigenous, what with being a variant of a broader pan-pacific culture and all. And seriously eek, how many dodgy unexamined assumptions will there turn out to be in that claim when someone starts to look?
Instead of such conceptual awkwardness, wouldn’t it be easier to stick to contractual models and similar based around the fact that the Maori got here first and then had all their land stolen, contrary to basic fair play?
Not quite sure why people think I was making any argument at all about the seats. All I intended to do was dispute the rather limited and self serving definitions of ‘apartheid’ and ‘indigenous’ that jcuknz used.
Just like the british had their country taken first by the scandinavians and then the normans .. we assimilated it all and went on to rule most of the world for a time … there is message there I think for those who wish to see it.
True the world has changed, got ‘smaller’, but instead of largely sitting on their tails, get their act together as one ‘maori’ has done to my knowledge, I worked for him, and I’m sure there are others putting the rest to shame. But that is par for the course with any group.
Just because the Normans jumped off a bridge…
Waterloo or London? Keir
Speaking of shreddable arguments, I can’t believe this one has stood while I’ve been working in the garden all weekend:
You’ve raised this canard before, JC, at which time I asked you how long would be long enough. You still haven’t answered. So it’s some time between ~1,000 years and – when? How far back do you have to go before one magically becomes indigenous, in your world?
Besides which, the entire argument only works if you adopt appropriative misinterpretations of key terms, like you have for ‘indigenous’ and ‘apartheid’. You don’t just get to employ a simplistic dictionary definition or arbitrarily decide on a meaning which suits your case – or, more correctly, you do, but it renders your polemic agenda clear, and people get to laugh at or disregard your case because of your misuse of terminology.
If you want to make a historically, linguistically or epistemologically-based argument for your interpretations of these terms, then that’s one thing – but you don’t just get to redefine things by fiat.
You are wrong. The question of ‘what is a MÄori?’ is a critical one, but it’s one to be answered by the people themselves, not by someone who doesn’t know a damned thing about it. Hint: it’s not ‘a culture thing’, but neither is it strict blood quantum – it’s via whakapapa, which is a complicated cultural system beyond the scope of this post. If you want to learn,. I recommend you begin by reading MÄori Marsden. But you don’t just get to arbitrarily decide what are valid and what are invalid means of determining indigeneity, and nor do I.
Another question you might ponder is ‘when were the MÄori?’ Tattoos and dances and the sort of trivia which you define as ‘culture’ but are only the most obvious manifestations of the ordinary, mundane cultural, historical, experiential difference which lurks like an iceberg mostly out of your sight. They’re there, even if you can’t see them, and not seeing a peak doesn’t mean there’s no iceberg underneath. Judging MÄori by their ‘savage’ traditions and claiming that, because those traditions have changed they’re no longer MÄori ignores the fact that all cultures change with time; they have to, and they must be allowed to. Should we consider Englishmen who no longer engage in Morris-dancing to no longer be English? It’s only as stupid as what you’re saying.
Honestly, this argument is beneath debate, and so broken that I can’t really believe I’m debating it.
Indigenous — born in or native to By this the children of the post-WWII immigrants, and even the immigrants themselves are part of the indigenous population of NZ. On that basis why should one section of the indigenous population be advantaged over the rest, without the agreement of the majority? If the Government agrees to Maori seats then the representatives of the majority will have spoken and we live with it.
Canard — false report,rumour, hoax. Actually none of these things but an admittance that my definition might be wrong.
I’m sorry that my sugestions irritate you so much. Long words and insults don’t win arguments if they are not understood by the reader. Normally you have lost me by the end of your first paragraph. I am simply not interested in checking every second word in my dictionary.
jcuknz, you seem content to rely on simplistic dictionary-like definitions for complex terms when it suits you – such as the two above, for instance.
As I write this it appears that both National and Act are following their principles. Sadly to the annoyance of others but that is what an MMP government seems to be all about.
Which principles jc?
It is called the democratic principle of one person one vote. I have elaborated at my own blog.
i can’t find any elaboration on your site re your assertion of 1 person 1 vote – can you direct me to the spot. i did go back looking to august 2008.
Are you saying that MÄori seats would give MÄori voters more/less votes than non-MÄori?
Marty .. my blog has a thread, added today, about a possible outcome following the setting up of reserved seats in councils, rather than 1P1V.
Anita … of course not, but as others have said having an advisory group is not sufficient, nor I believe is having reserved seats. Both are impotant without good argument towards whatever end is desired to sway other councillors. But argument must be in today’s terms rather than on historical matters. I am lost for an adequate word to end that sentance becuase I do not wish to be offensive in putting forward my feelings. In military terms it is a pointless battle which will have little effect on the final outcome. Unless Maori and ‘white money’ can come to work together nothing of importance will redress the Maori complaint about consultation leads to nothing. Maori representation gained through the ballot box with intelligent and well clued up candidates is the long term solution.