Bill can’t count

Looks like Bill English can’t count, which is strange for someone who used to be Finance Minister:

Prime Minister Bill English indicated today that National would not make any move to get rid of the Maori seats if it continued to get the support of the Maori Party after the election.

He was commenting in Auckland after being asked about the reportedly bottom line policy of New Zealand First leader Winston Peters to hold a referendum on getting rid of the seats in any post-election coalition deal.

“Mr Peters is probably losing track of his own bottom lines which seem to be dozens,” English told reporters in Auckland.

We are not taking that particularly seriously,” he said.

National has a policy of abolishing the Maori seats but as a condition of the Maori Party support on confidence and supply for the past three terms, it has agreed not to pursue it.

While National has been a minority government, it has not required the Maori Party support to govern. It has also had the support of Act and United Future.

English said National’s position on the Maori seats had been “reflected by the reality of our coalition over the very successful and stable coalition over the last three elections.”

“We haven’t made any move to get rid of the Maori seats and we wouldn’t expect to do so.”

I bet Steve Joyce is wishing he’d bought those shock collars for Bill, right about now.

Clearly, Bill has lost the ability to count or even do simple arithmetic.

At the last election two weeks out from the election National was over 50% in the polls. They finished up on 47% and could rely on a couple of poodles plus the Maori party.

At the moment National sits on 47% and if they slide like they have in every MMP election since forever, then they are going to land somewhere around 43%. At 45% the current parties don’t get them over the line. At 43% it won’t matter what the Maori party thinks.

But it will matter what Winston Peters thinks.

By discounting Winston’s Maori seat referendum he is simply guaranteeing a shift of vote from National to NZ First. If the only way those voters can get their referendum then they have to vote for NZ First.

Bill English will then be in no place to negotiate to save the sensibilities of the Maori party.

It also shows voters that Bill English is content to continue to pander to Maori interests over the rest of the population. That will shift votes too.


-NZ Herald


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.