Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Is John Key turning into a tekoteko for his conservative ruling class bourgeoisie party, a tonotono for the monied far right, a toothless tiger, a leader without power? Is he nothing more than a puppet?

Could be!

Maori had great hopes for John Key. He wasn’t seen as the saint that would deliver Maori and middle New Zealand from all evil, but he was the ‘change’ the nation was looking for.

John Key the working class boy raised by his solo Mum in Christchurch to become a multi-millionaire, did the phoenix and pulled his party out of the depth of fiery political hell at last year’s election. How did he do it? He did an Obama and called for change. He did what no other National Party had done previously and offered an arm of support to Maori via the Maori Party. He talked about nationhood, "The Treaty envisages all New Zealanders moving forward together, with a shared commitment to the future. I share that vision. National is committed to seeing all Maori enjoying a brighter and more prosperous future." he said.

It appeared as though he was genuine about his rhetoric. He backed it up by giving the Maori Affairs portfolio to Pita Sharples bypassing long term National loyalist Georgina Te Heuheu. He even established a three-person Ministerial panel to consider the state of the law around Maori customary interests in the foreshore and seabed. GOSH! John Key even said yes to a Maori flag on the Auckland harbour bridge and agreed to have hui around the motu to decide on which one.

So you gotta ask…were these ‘acts-of-good-will’ no more than diversions, did National pre-occupy the Maori Party with other pressing issues to divert attention away from Auckland Supercity?

Did he get Hone Harawira out on the flag hui circuit so Rod-the Hide could get a free play of the Auckland sand pit?

Could have!

That’s not to minimise the importance of the work of the Ministerial panel on the seabed foreshore or the hui on flags. It’s just that each time Maori make forward strides there’s a price to pay.

So the questions need to be asked; what was the price for the portfolio, the panel and the hui? Why did he do a flip flop on the Maori Supercity seats? How genuine is the Prime Minister?

When John Key justified his Supercity argument with “We can't implement Maori seats in Auckland because we'd need to do it for the rest of the country”

What he really means is, “…in 2014, National will begin a constitutional process to abolish the Maori seats” That's what he said in September 2008. Either he or the National Cabinet remembered that Maori seats in Auckland goes against the National Government’s long term objectives.

No matter what korero or conversation he’s had with the Maori Party subsequent to September 2008, regarding seats of any kind, the current situation in Auckland is a reminder to iwi to be vigilant.

But if Rod-the-Hide and Cabinet think it’s over it’s not.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has called for a conscience vote over separate Maori seats and encouraged supportive National Party members to cross the floor. In the community Ngati Whatua is considering a second hikoi, and Tainui say they will boycott any weaker, sub-committee, statutory board, advisory commission no-teeth alternative role on offer.