Grant Robertson, Prime Minister? – Soft on Maori

Grant Robertson

In 2004 the political dynamic changed with Don Brash’s Orewa speech. Don said what a good cross section of New Zealand were thinking, New Zealand should be a place where there is one standard of citizenship, and Maoris should stop bludging.

Don’s speech reached out to middle New Zealand who couldn’t understand why Maori were getting so much tax payer largess, and why taxpayers should be funding them. His speech touched a raw nerve that the liberal elite didn’t know existed, and got a huge number of voters to consider voting National. Don stood up to PC bullshit, and for the first time National had Helen Clark under pressure as Prime Minister.

Grant, being a confirmed member of the liberal elite, and having lived most his adult life in the rarified airs of the beltway has apparently not taken on board this lesson. Waitakere Man (and Woman) don’t like seeing their kids miss out so Maoris can get ahead in the queue, yet Grant seems spectacularly unaware of this. 

When Phil Goff tried to recalibrate Labour’s position on Maori issues to one that would win him votes, Grant threw a massive tantrum in caucus and forced Phil to back down. Phil wasn’t man enough to tell Grant to challenge him for the leadership or fuck off, and Labour stayed soft on Maoris in the eyes of the voting public.

Identity politics time has past. Maori may be increasing as part of the population, but so are a large number of other minorities who really don’t like seeing Maori expecting to be given something for nothing.

Strategically the Maori vote is Labours, and will return to Labour as the Maori Party leaders retire or are beaten. It is never going to go to National. So strategically the leader of the Labour Party doesn’t need to pander to Maori, as they are not an election winning constituency.

Grant also has to be careful that he doesn’t get branded as being way too PC. As a gay his opponents will be looking for opportunities to brand him as an identity politician, and being soft on Maori will allow them to pin Grant with this label.


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  • LesleyNZ

    H3 will never make PM material. Why do you think our present PM John Key is so popular? Because he can relate to everyone and he is a normal down to earth Kiwi bloke and can laugh at himself. I don’t agree with our PM’s stance on everything but he is the best of all of them.

    • Gazzaw

      Totally agree Leslie and i’ll keep harping on that unless the rainbows get their way there’s no way the the labour rump will go to the polls with a gay leader. I can see the ‘don’t likes’ clicking up already but labour just won’t risk it – the margins are too narrow. I don’t really care whether Alf is a great bloke(esse?) NZ is not ready to have him as the First Lady. What precisely will he do on Ladies Day at CHOGM or APEC anyway?

      • New Zealanders are remarkably pragmatic about these sorts of things. If he’s a capable person and ‘a good bastard’, then the electorate will overlook his sexual orientation as long as it isn’t in play (ah la Chrissyfit Carter)

        • Tony

          Don’t see it personally. An openly gay PM will be more confronting than an openly gay MP. Also, note that Carter got elected by a bunch of chardonay -suppers. I am not sure that he would have got in if he was standing in Hamilton or South Auckland.

          • JeffDaRef

            May god strike me down – and I cant believe I’m saying this – but in the early years at least Carter was a pretty decent electorate MP (I live there) – he just went a bit loopy at the end.

        • RockyFist

          Don’t you mean a good bugger Petal?

          • Definitely not.

          • RockyFist

            His boyfriend might argue differently. :)

    • StupidDiscus

      Because he smiles and waves his way around the country –
      never doing anything that might lose him a single vote.

      Especially anything like ending benefits, ending WFF and ACC and student loads, ending state education or healthcare…

  • tarkwin

    As you point out Maori will never vote National in great numbers so, isn’t it about time National stopped pandering to them? They have the opposite problem to Labour. Voters like myself who will never vote left see National giving away money flat out to the Waitangi gravy train and start looking around at ACT, Conservative etc. I just got my census form and found everything in Maori first and English second – It’s like Wales! Make a stand National and consolidate your real base. It worked for Don it can work for John.

    • Tony

      Wales has Te Reo on their census forms? Wow!
      Sorry – couldn’t resist!

      • tarkwin

        Try driving through Wales as a tourist, all the signs are written in Welsh in large letters with the English version below in small type. It’s a real bastard when you’re driving down a motorway you’ve never been on before at 70 mph looking for a turn off. Would be a tragedy if it happened here.

  • Sir Cullen’s Sidekick

    Sheep Shearer is admired by all Kiwis and Maori adore him. Under Sheep’s leadership all seven seats will be won easily by Labour. Also a warning to the Tories who are celebrating yesterday’s TV3 poll results. According to nanny Herald this morning:

    “However, there were some glimmers of hope for Mr Shearer, who beat Mr Key in one area: only 20 per cent believed Mr Shearer was out of touch with “ordinary people” compared to 52 per cent who believed Mr Key was.

    About 35 per cent of voters said he was performing well as leader of the Opposition and 48 per cent believed he was a capable leader.

    The proportion of voters who rated Mr Key as performing well had dropped from 68 per cent in November 2011 to 57 per cent.”

    This clearly shows Sheep is winning folks.

    • parorchestia

      The campaign has yet to begin and Sheepy has a hell of long way to go to make up the deficit, which, surprisingly but pleasingly, seems to be increasing.

      National could run a Von Manstein type of campaign. Go on the defence but attack when the enemy exposes their flanks. And there are a huge number of flanks or weak spots in the Labour party. Voters are too aware of economics these days to be taken in by tax and spend promises.

      • StupidDiscus

        National could change electoral laws banning union contributions and union affiliated parties. Oh whoops – no Labour and no Greens.

        Then we could have a real election – hard left National vs centre-left Conservatives.

        • Hazards001

          Until a clone is created using the genome of a cross between Hitler Stalin and Genghis Khan you will never find a PM that suits you.

  • williamabong

    The only winner in the the next election will be apathy

  • Mr_Blobby

    labor is no longer a main stream party it stands for the gaggle of Gays and self serving unionists and Maori. The slide to oblivion is well under way. All the Greens have to do is look a little bit more main stream, getting rid of the batshit crazies like Bradford has helped. So where to the shrinking, white middle class go.

  • Jagg

    The most pertinent question in my mind is how a guy who’s primary claims to fame, according to wikipedia, are being:
    – a student association president;
    – an MFAT bureaucrat;
    – a UN staffer in charge of a measely $7.7m aid fund;
    – a Ministerial/PM lap dog; and
    – having a sojourn as a university “research marketing manager”
    is now, somehow, deemed qualified to head a nation of 4.5m with a GDP of $200bn???!

    Who cares if he’s gay, straight, white, black, blue, green, short, tall. or fat the guy has ZERO real world experience.

    A story of a life ensconced away in cushy (semi)bureaucratic jobs of no consequence.