As the planet is plunged into the economic whiplash of the growing global pandemic, the dance between Māori and Pakeha politics in 2021 will become far more aggressive in tempo and demands.
At the root cause is how each side defines sovereignty and the values built into that self-determination.
Māori can point to almost every State agency and list a cascade of negative statistics to prove that universal service provision within a Pākehā cultural world view has failed them.
Their argument that they take the funding themselves and provide the provision of services within a Māori cultural perspective is made easy when you look at the failures of Oranga Tamariki, Waikeria Prison and basic Public Health.
The Labour Government understands that there must be some concessions to these arguments, the trouble is passing such enormous changes without provoking a white backlash and a Wellington Bureaucracy that is more focused on protecting their budgets than sharing with Māori.
This year water ownership, the need for a separate Māori Health Agency and prison reform will dominate alongside housing, poverty and inequality.
The energy within a younger more dynamic Māori population won’t accept the status quo any longer and in a Black Lives Matter social media landscape, the demand for equality will drown out the defence of the existing interests.
The challenge for Labour will be to provide actual agency as well as extra funding if they wish to hold the Māori vote in 2023.