Waatea News Column: Dear Jacinda – it will take more than Matariki to uphold the Left’s values


It was an interesting first Leader’s debate.

Judith Collins scowling and constantly on the attack.

Jacinda trying to remain calm and above the petty interruptions.

And John Campbell too tied down by his perceived bias to actually be John Campbell.

It was a tiresome affair that added little insight to the big issues and the political solutions for those big issues.

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Thanks to the pandemic, this country faces the greatest challenge to its ongoing progress and we have debate that creates only heat and no light to best decide how to navigate those challenges.

What was most fascinating about the first Leaders Debate, is how Māori weren’t mentioned once!

Labour are so focused on winning an outright majority that they don’t want to spook any of the new voters they’ve managed to woo away from National and they don’t want to give Judith the chance to play to the worst angels of our nature the way Don Brash did with his infamous Orewa Speech.

I’m guessing that’s the reason no resolution at Ihumātao has been announced yet. Expect it right after the election.

The simple truth is that without massive support from Māori, Labour wouldn’t be anywhere near a majority winner on election night.

It is not going to be enough to make Matariki a public holiday, this pandemic has exposed the inequality that has gnawed away at the soul of this country and radical solutions are required.


Jacinda leads the Labour Party, the Left’s values demand more than lip service to inequality and poverty than a public holiday.

Radical reform is required within the relationship between the State and Māori.

Māori aren’t looking for a hand out or a hand up, they are looking for Hands off!

They want the resource to run the services directly themselves.

The egregious results for Māori within public health and public education speak for themselves. There needs to be a Māori response, run by Māori within a Māori cultural dynamic that actually provides agency and self sovereignty.

Now that doesn’t mean the universal service provision can simply ignore Māori needs or discontinue service because new Māori agencies will be picking those up, it means new Māori service providers with their own agency alongside universal bi-cultural providers are seen as the way to live up to the Treaty’s promise.

Policy tokenism within the bureaucratic tyranny of a Coloniser State will no longer be tolerated by the next generation of activists.

First published on Waatea News.


  1. Martyn; National’s tax cuts are a unforgivable insult to the 70% plus of the lower income folk in this country. The rich are still becoming richer today and Jacinda is allowing this under her watch too.

    National gives only $8 dollars for anyone earning under $65k a year.

    This represents about a half kg of cheese a week, and we recall when John Key gave us twice that amount which was $15 dollars a week it was much more, when he drooped tax cuts 8 yrs ago and considering $15 is actually around $22 in today’s value.

    So this breadcrumb fiscal amount given to the poor and needy was a deliberate insult to us 70% voter/taxpayer.

    So don’t vote for National or anyone who insults you when you are seriously needing help to survive folks; – don’t vote National.

    Jacinda; you must now raise your voting base by paying an increased pension to the “elders among us as we hold the 5th largest voting block now according to “age concern”.

    We elders are all pensioners struggling on less than ‘the average living wage now’ Jacinda as we are not rich as many appear to thank, we are really suffering out there as all costs are increasing every day now in case you have not realised in your highly insulated world.

    • Well, hold your breath and hope that the Greens vanish, along with the Wealth Tax everyone’s playing tiddlywinks with. There will be frightened old people right now living in properties – what a loaded word – worth one million dollars, who having nothing else. Asset rich, cash poor, cold in winter, not up with fashionable food trends, so-called downsizing not as easy or simple or realistic as it sounds. But – hey – these are the rich, let’s grab them. Crap.

      • They would not be paying any tax on a million dollar property.
        It would have to be a million and one dollars before tax was paid and if it was owned by a couple once again no tax.
        So Snow white getting facts right matters.

        • Snow white is right to point out many older people are asset rich but cash poor. Plenty of widowed people in Auckland would be living in homes with a value of over a $1 million but after rates and maintenance have little left out of their pension. Savings in the bank now give little return and many like me having been burnt in the share market and then the finance market collapse cannot go elsewhere for a good return.
          The Greens says everyone is entitled to a good life and we will tax the rich to make it happen. I would say everyone deserves the chance to have a good life by there being work so you can earn money and provide for your family .

    • Cleangreen
      Are we all now just going copy and paste our posts from post to post? Have you now graduated to being one of those junior ‘journalists’ from the Herald or Hello, the ones that copy and paste the text from a ‘celebrity tweet’ into their article, while showing us the actual tweet image, and then call that journalism?

  2. As I understand it Labor can’t tax wealth too much without losing its political position, the result of which allows the more selfish corrosive right to plunder resources.Labor’s idea therefore is to approach fairer wealth distribution more obliquely and incrementally. This is a slow process … and possibly too slow for the establishment of the reforms required to prevent the planet from ecological deterioration. We’re always in the middle ground, a little left or right of centre. My question is, … is it actually POSSIBLE for there to be a properly left orientated government?
    Or do we, like Labor, just chip away and dream unrealistically of a more profoundly managed and improved environment/society?

  3. The reason that we have Te Tiriti is because Aotearoa was a sovereign state, because of the 1835 Declaration of Independence. The structural inequalities introduced by the colonial government were against the spirit and letter of Te Tiriti. It would be a bold government with real integrity that would introduce meaningful measures to unravel some of these structural inequities. Here’s hoping, but I’m not holding my breath.


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