Maori Party

Will the Maori Party refuse to do a deal with Labour over Twyford’s attack on the Chinese?

Back in 2008 the Maori Party took a firm line on the halfwitted and racist comments made by Lockwood Smith.

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said the comments were racist and had Dr Smith not apologised it could have affected the party’s future relationship with National. She does not think he could now be immigration minister.

Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox need to make their views on Twyford’s anti-Chinese racism very, very clear.

No one was in any doubt about what Tariana Turia’s views were, but then Mrs Turia was one of the few politicians who actually stood up for what she believed in at all times.

Mrs Turia told NZPA she thought the remarks were racist.

“It is racist to describe people in such a negative way.”

The size of hands was irrelevant and many employers who hired workers under the scheme had been “really thrilled” with their workers.    Read more »

Oh, he’s sorry alright. Sorry he was caught

Sonny Tau, the Ngapuhi leader and pigeon-fancier is sorry…he was caught.

The Department of Conservation (DOC) has confirmed it is investigating allegations Mr Tau tried to smuggle the native wood pigeons from Invercargill to Northland.

He was reported to have been found with the birds under his jacket.

There are two species of native pigeon: the kererū, and the more threatened Chatham Islands pigeon – the parea.

Although the native pigeon was traditionally hunted for its meat and feathers, that is now illegal.

Kererū, or kukupa, are a protected species under the Wildlife Act 1953, DOC said.

It said the maximum penalty for being caught hunting the bird was a $100,000 fine and/or imprisonment of two years.

Mr Tau has released a statement admitting there was an incident on Tuesday last week in which he was questioned by a DOC officer about kererū in his possession.

“It is important to note that no charges over regulatory breaches have been laid at this point, therefore it is inappropriate for me to comment further on this matter,” he said.

“I wish to assure you I did, and will continue to, fully cooperate with any investigation. I also wish to say this was a mistake, which I deeply regret. The laws around native bird protection are important and to be respected by all, myself included.”

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Why does Labour jump on every passing bus?

Labour seems to have a strategy of jumping on every passing bus in the forlorn hope that it might arrive at the destination they desperately seek – the treasury benches.

It seems that if someone is angry or bitter with the government then Labour cuddles up to them. It hasn’t worked for them so far and in fact, makes them look as angry and as bitter as the whingers and complainers they use to put hits on John Key.

The Government is ready to defend in court its decision not to offer iwi Crown land before it is sold to developers.

A legal skirmish has broken out after Ngāti Whātua thought it would be given first right of refusal to Crown land up for grabs in Auckland. The Government announced as part of the Budget that 500 hectares of public land would be sold.

The issue has drawn the ire of Government support partner the Maori Party, which said Ngāti Whātua had sought legal advice after learning the Government had no intention of dealing with them over the sale of Government-owned land in Auckland.

But Prime Minister John Key and Housing Minister Nick Smith have staunchly insisted the law was on their side.

“What the Government’s trying to do is expand the amount of land that is available for housing.

“It’s quite legitimate for us to do that,” Key said.  Read more »

Dirty politics by the Maori Party?

Is democracy racist? It is if you ask the Maori Party.

“Racism has been defeated by fairness, justice and reason today,” said Māori Party co-leader and Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell in response to Te Arawa winning their battle for better local government representation.

The Rotorua District Council has voted to accept a modified version of the Te Arawa Partnership Model today after receiving more than 1800 submissions on the issue. This will ensure that a Te Arawa representative will be on all standing committees.

“During the submission hearings, the people of Te Arawa have had to stare at, and sit next to, the ugly face of racism, but today it was booted out the door, and rightfully so. I am so relieved that the tāngata whenua of Rotorua have been listened to because what is good for Te Arawa is good for the city.

The gall of these people is incredible.

The “ugly face of racism” is the face of individuals advocating a retention of democracy.

When the government should be making it easier for ratepayers to sack piss poor councillors, the Maori Party are instead ushering in unelected officials with voting rights.

Thankfully there’s at least one group calling them out:

The Maori Party’s approach of bullying and intimidation against those who have stood up for one person, one vote, in Rotorua, is a dishonourable act by Members of Parliament that should know better.  Democracy Action, a pressure group which champions democratic values is calling-out Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell for his intimidatory comments regarding the Rotorua District Council vote to accept unelected members onto Council committees.

Democracy Action Chairman Lee Short says:
“We all accept that reasonable people can have differing views on race-based appointments onto local councils, but for a Government Minister to label those who stand for democracy as ‘racist’ is frankly outrageous.”

“We call on Mr Flavell to withdraw his offensive remarks. Bullying and intimidation have no place in democratic debate.”

The Maori Party have been pushing for race based representation in local government, aided and abetted by useful idiots like New Plymouth mayor Andrew Judd.

It’s a stupid idea that failed spectacularly in Fiji and will fail here.

Winston onto another winner

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Winston Peters knows exactly how to hit pressure points – yesterday it was Whanau Ora, and probably some time today he will light up on capital gains tax and filthy foreigners.

Northland MP Winston Peters has labelled Whanau Ora a “grubby and cynical deal between National and the Maori Party,” following a scathing report from the Auditor-General and revelations that much of the money had been spent in Maori Ministers’ home territories.

That was a matter of serious concern, Mr Peters said, given the Prime Minister’s rejection of that fact, which had been contained in the Auditor-General’s report.

Mr Key claimed in Parliament last week that there had been “quite a lot of tightening up” of the scheme, but the Auditor-General had found “absolutely no evidence” that good value had been gained from the $140 million spent so far.

“The simple truth is, Whanau Ora is a politically motivated scheme that is squandering public money,” Mr Peters said.

“Mr Key unsuccessfully defended the preferential treatment of his Cabinet Ministers by suggesting a start had to made in some place. This was an undignified sidestep around questions over a scheme that has not stood up to scrutiny.  Read more »

Whanau Ora: a genuine attempt, but in the end still a rort on the taxpayer

The Auditor-General, Lyn Provost, took no pleasure in issuing a disturbing report on the Whanau Ora scheme this week. She prefaces her findings with this prediction: “I have no doubt some commentators will make light of the successes described in this report and make much of the criticisms. However, an innovative idea should not be abandoned just because of implementation problems.”

It is hard to find notable successes in her report, perhaps because the purpose of Whanau Ora – the strengthening of families – is a hard thing to measure. Her criticisms of the scheme are clearer. After four years in operation, it was hard to define what Whanau Ora is and what it has achieved. She could not get a consistent explanation of the aims of its initiatives from the agencies charged with implementing them.

Nearly a third of the $137.6 million put into Whanau Ora so far had been spent on administration, including research and evaluation, rather than the people the programme is intended to help. No wonder those who were sceptical from the outset have made much of the Auditor-General’s criticisms.

But Whanau Ora is not about to be abandoned, and not just because it is the flagship policy of the Maori Party.

Let’s face facts here:  the Whanau Ora slush fund was the price National paid to get confidence and supply from the Maori Party when it still had some numbers and were of some use.   Nobody really expect it to go anywhere useful.  It would just be added to the numerous other Maori initiatives that suck tax payers’ money and it’s more about the people inside the organisation having a good gig going rather than the supposed outcomes.   Read more »

Trouble in coalition land?

We’ve had two terms when the National-led coalition government did a pretty good job at presenting a united front.  With the exception of Peter Dunne, who already went troppo over the last few years (did this coincide with legal highs?), the other partners didn’t openly defy National.

That has changed.  In spite of National being returned with a record-breaking 3rd term majority under MMP, its coalition partners and indeed National itself are now openly fighting in front of the kids.

There won’t be a referendum on national super while John Key is Prime Minister.

He has shot down ACT leader David Seymour’s call for the people to decide how superannuation should be funded.

Mr Seymour told his party’s annual conference on Saturday the current scheme wasn’t viable in the long term and there had to be changes to make it financially sustainable.

He wants an expert group appointed to come up with options for a referendum, and says raising the age from 65 isn’t the only one available.

Mr Key isn’t interested and says Mr Seymour, a government ally, didn’t talk to him before raising the issue.

“I read about it in the newspaper,” he said.

“There won’t be a referendum. The National Party is clear on super – the age should stay at 65 and the entitlement at 66 percent (of the average wage).”

During the 2008 election campaign, which he won, Mr Key pledged that if there was any change to national super under his watch he would resign from parliament.

There you go.  “Don’t broadside me in the media, son”, says Key to minnow David.   “We do these things behind the scenes where I can tell you to stop playing games.”

Says one commenter:

John Key has no problem spending $26 million on flag referendum but unwilling to spend any money on one as important as the future financial security of our country and how to fund superannuation.

But add this to Peter Dunne and the Maori Party being extremely vocal against sending New Zealand troops to Iraq, and in public at least, this coalition government looks far from a cohesive team.

I don’t get a sense this is by design.   Key’s having trouble with his back bench, can’t see eye to eye with Joyce who wants to keep giving money away to SkyCity and Team New Zealand no matter the public opposition, had to pull the plug on Parata’s charter schools, is getting constant static from Bill English over delivering a surplus, and he’s now bickering with coalition partners through the media.

To seasoned observers, these are interesting developments.

– NZN via 3 News

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National cabinet to approve troops for Iraq today

The controversial issue has split Parliament – and even some of the Prime Minister’s allies are vehemently opposed to intervening in the Middle East.

A deployment would conclude months of increasingly bellicose rhetoric since the general election as John Key ramped up talk of New Zealand’s need to intervene.

Labour defence spokesman Phil Goff said it seemed Mr Key had privately decided months ago to deploy troops to fight Isis.

He said New Zealand’s Western allies, rather than the Iraqi government, were driving the push to send Kiwi troops to the Middle East.

“My problem, and the Labour Party’s problem, is the avenue Key has chosen is likely to be the least effective way of dealing with the problem.”

He said that was because the Iraqi army was corrupt, had a “pathetic” leadership and was itself a cause of sectarian tensions and subsequent grievances Isis used to win support.

Mr Goff said Isis needed to be contained and isolated, starved of funds, weapons and personnel, and its victims given help.

I don’t know about you, but I think we should send Phil Goff to sort this out.  He seems to know exactly what to do.   Read more »

Labour’s ties to Ratana are questioned as well they should

Labour treats Maori with condescending and patronising behaviour.

They ‘expect’ support from Maori, in fact probably demand it behind closed doors, but the reality is after 90 years of association with Ratana the elders are finally getting the picture that more results for Maori have been delivered by the National party and their partnership with the Maori party.Labour is being put on notice again but anyone who has been observing politics as long as I have knows this has been going one for quite some time.

Maori it seems are content to talk lots but do little when it comes sorting out politicians.

At Ratana though Andrew Little got his beans, and it was particularly sharp in his mind after the elders changed the protocol for attending the marae, putting all politicians on the same level.

Only one got upset and that was Andrew Little.

Andrea Vance reports:

Ratana church leaders have warned Labour not to take its support for granted, after the party won six of the seven Maori seats at the election.

In a break from tradition, Labour leader Andrew Little and his MPs were obliged to walk onto the marae with politicians from other parties.

Events to mark the 142nd birthday of the prophet Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana ran well over time, because of the attendance of the Maori King Tūheitia Paki. But it’s known that church elders have long wanted MPs of all hues to be welcomed together.    Read more »

Is Metiria Turei trying to take the mantle of the Nasty Party off Labour?

Evil Kermit

Metiria Turei has had a mad rant at Ratana in the annual pilgrimage of politicians to get lectured at by people who will never vote for you.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei launched a stinging attack on John Key in his absence at Ratana today, saying his view of New Zealand’s history was “warped, outrageous and deeply offensive”.

She also said Mr Key was a prime example of the “ignorant, uneducated Pakeha” economist Gareth Morgan had talked about the day before.

Ms Turei took aim at Mr Key’s recent comments that New Zealand was settled peacefully and that Maori would have welcomed the capital European settlers brought.

“The Prime Minister’s warped and outrageous view of history is deeply offensive to Maori but it also undermines decades of effort by Maori and Pakeha, including even by his own Government, to address some of the historic wrongs and encourage an understanding of New Zealand’s true history.”

Ms Turei had intended to make the comments in a speech at Ratana Pa, but time shortage meant she did not get the chance to speak.

Read more »