Will Labour Defuse The He Puapua Time-Bomb?

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THE NUMBER of people outside keeps growing. Where there had once been a harmless handful, there is now a good-sized crowd. And they keep coming. More and more of them. You can hear car doors slamming, footsteps, the soft murmur of exchanged greetings. These people can’t quite believe what they’ve been told, so they’ve come to see for themselves if the story is true.

It was unavoidable: this growing chorus of disquiet. The moment Nanaia Mahuta set the wheels in motion; the moment the relevant Cabinet Committee signed it off. From that moment the logic of te Tiriti began to unfold like a coiled fern. That’s the thing about documents like He Puapua: once written, you can’t unwrite them. Once they are in the world, you only have two choices. Either you embrace their conclusions and make them your own. Or, you cast them away from you like sin.

And, please, don’t blame Labour’s He Puapua problem on John Key. The advice he received on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples was that it was a statement of good intentions – not firm intentions. New Zealand could take it – or leave it in a drawer. That made it a ploy – not a promise. A sop to that irritating old Cerberus, Pita Sharples. The equivalent of beads and blankets to keep the Maori Party sweet. For God’s sake! The man is a former currency trader. If the price is right, he will cut you a deal, make it happen, move on.

No, it wasn’t Key’s fault, or National’s. It’s always been an article of the Tory faith: you do what you have to do to win. Political transactions are about today, not tomorrow.

That’s always been the problem with the parliamentary left: it’s never been entirely sure what game its playing, or what the rules are. Spoiler alert: They have nothing to do with truth or justice. The game is called political survival; it’s about making it to – and hopefully through – the next election. So, the one thing you must never do is offer up hostages to Fortune. Why? because Fortune always ends up killing them. He Puapua is living on borrowed time.

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What the hell was Labour thinking? That it could commission a report, pre-programmed to deliver a set of radical Maori nationalist conclusions, and no one would notice? Is the caucus really so far gone in its wokeness that it genuinely believed the New Zealand people were ready to embrace the revolutionary changes mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People? Christ on a bike! The same Labour MPs who refused to pass a Capital Gains Tax, are now, apparently, happy to be crucified for a te Tiriti approved tricameral parliament!

And naturally, their good friends in the Greens and Te Paati Maori are only too happy to drive the nails through their wrists. It was laughable really, watching Rawiri Waititi and Marama Davidson deploying in the New Zealand House of Representatives the same tactics that brought them success among gaggles of frightened Pakeha leftists.

Where a charge of racism can ruin a person’s career, the mere threat of its use is generally enough to secure ideological conformity. What a shock it must have been for Waititi and Davidson to discover that, on the floor of the House, that particular pistol is prone to misfire. It won’t stop them from pulling the trigger again and again, however. You just wait and see, it won’t be long before they’re accusing National and Act MPs of indulging in “hate speech” and demanding that Parliament’s Standing Orders be changed to shut them up.

Over the top? No. Silencing the Opposition’s investigative effort into the meaning of He Puapua, and its querying of the ultimate trajectory of the Labour Government’s “Maori separatist agenda”, was what Waititi appeared to expect of Speaker Trevor Mallard. And from his perspective, it’s easy to see why. Parliament has power – real power. What happens there matters. What’s more, Members of Parliament have privileges – real privileges. The most important of these being the privilege to speak freely without the threat of being bludgeoned into silence by defamation writs – or woke fatwas.

The crazy thing is, neither the Greens, nor Te Paati Maori, appear to have the slightest idea of what would happen if they got their wish: if, for some unknown reason, the Speaker did decide to muzzle the Opposition. They seem to have forgotten that the National and Act parties, between them, secured the votes of nearly one million New Zealanders. Do they honestly believe those million Kiwis will just shrug their shoulders and say: “Oh, well, that’s too bad. The Government has just thrust a dagger into the heart of parliamentary democracy, but we’re not going to do anything about it.” Honestly?

Labour knows what would happen. Almost overnight, the 400,000 former National Party voters who swung in behind “Jacinda” in 2020 would swing back. Deep down they know that He Puapua should never have been written; that it has the potential to kill their chances of re-election in 2023. That’s why Jacinda is slip-slip-sliding all over the place. She knows she risks a God Almighty row with her Maori caucus if she disowns He Puapua, and an even bigger one with Pakeha New Zealand if she doesn’t.

Unfortunately, Jacinda’s current strategy of artful prevarication has a strictly limited lifespan. The time-bomb that is He Puapua continues to emit a relentless tick-tock, tick-tock. Sooner or later – and preferably before that ominously silent crowd massing outside the parliamentary arena lends its voice to National and Act – the Prime Minister is going to have to defuse it.

73 COMMENTS

  1. I think the ticking time bombs of Ponzi finance will explode before the ‘Maori thing’. The ‘Maori thing’ has been successfully ignored for a century. The bomb of Ponzi finance has only been seriously ticking since 2008. But the ticking gets louder by the day.

    The other thing that is happening, apart from the incipient raging inflation -timber, concrete, power, rates, bread, postage….(housing -best not to mention housing or rents) is the rapidly increasing complete loss of faith in politicians or anything they say or do.

    • Hear hear…..are there any other blogs you write ‘at’?
      I’d like to follow your work and thoughts.
      A fellow powerdown’ite in Kerikeri

      • Have look at Survival Acres.

        It is am American site but not all Americans are obese, lazy idiots, and some have their eye on the ball, and have had for a long time.

    • Unfortunately there is too much at stake for the elite for this to happen. I fear only WW3 over Taiwan or the Baltic States would bring this huge lead weight up from the depths.

      You are not wrong though – and this is from someone on the right.

  2. At least you have credibility by being consistent – for Foreshore and Sea Bed Act, against Ardern bringing in a CGT and for ripping up He Puapua. Whenever there is advice to stand up to, or appease the white settler property owning class – our Bombay Junkers – it’s Neville all the way.

  3. Waititi, Ngarewa-Packer and Tuionu do not appear to subscribe to one the tenets of liberal democracy – sometimes we have to listen to words we don’t like.

    Kiwis need to remember that when we next go to the polls.

    • Yes pope we have being listening to words we don’t like for 180 years and its not so much the words its the actions or inactions that have hurt the most. I notice a different tone when National party members walk out or are kicked out. I only had to read a few lines of this twaddle to know who wrote it, as its the same old bullshit being espoused as usual. What’s a matter Trotter you seem to take exception when Maori come out fighting for Tino rangatiratanga.

  4. Chris totally agree.
    I believe the Speaker will be told what to do by by Jacinda Ardern.
    There’s certainly a rapport there.

  5. I’ve said before Collins has finally found an issue to ride for the next 18 months. The problem for the left (as the author points out) is this is highly unpopular with the middle/sheeple. Perhaps this is the issue to snap them out of their covid/housing inflation stupor?

  6. National and Act voters will do what suits them, it is the Labour supporters who will swing the balance here, and it is swinging like an old clock pendulum right now, with Collins’s successful, and possibly accurate portrayal of this threat to the legal concept of sovereignty and democracy.

    I cannot remember when I last voted Labour, but I ditched the Green Party the night of the Auckland vigil against the terrible Muslim massacre in Christchurch, when Marama Davidson and her other girls, obscenely and dumbly tried to utilise a shocking human tragedy to peddle their anti-white prejudices against their fellow New Zealanders; I will never vote Green again after that. A close long-term Green supporting relative has just told me that she’s dumped them too, and that she “likes” Judith Collins.

    The sheer impracticality of He Puapua would be evident to any adolescent with half a brain, and I’m sure that it is. Labour got itself into this mess, and at this stage, the PM’s previous utterances about ‘transparency’ are starting to sound like the prevarications of the congenital liar who tosses around words like ‘truth ‘ quicker than autumn leaves hit the gutter.

    Circus antics in Parliament will be counterproductive, which they should be, if only because they are a total waste of tax payer money, and the clowns know full well that they wouldn’t get away with it out in the real and unprotected world. These jerks need to grow up.

        • Your arrogance like National’ s will end in yet another 3 years in opposition. Even Seymour sees himself as “Leader” of the opposition.

        • nah not the next Jaspinda the one after that. Labour won’t get an absolute majority next time tho”. Collins is loathed by farmers National cannot win under Collins. They will have to power share to get back into government.

      • She is getting more likeable by the day . As the covid threat dies away and people look at the grim situation in NZ re the economy housing etc more will see the empty promises and lack of empathy which lead to the public servants wage miss step.

        • Not as likeable as Jacinda Ardern however. Fortunes lists Ardern as number one of worlds greatest leaders. I would suggest outside of NZ Collins, who
          Sorry to disappoint but to use your generalization “people” don’t see grim, they see hope. We can debate until the cows come home re housing when the crisis started, why it started etc, the Government is at least attempting to do something about it.

            • No need Trev for strike action, our collective agreement allows for yearly increases as we pass through the pay scales, then there are progressive scales through developments. Nothing has changed except media sensationalizing and using the term “Freeze”. Those over $100,000 I’m almost positive will survive a 3 year hiatus as we all did for 6 years under Key and the GFC.
              Key told the nurses not to strike because they would not get anything anyway. In another country that would be called a dictatorship.

              • My time in hospital showed me how overworked nurses are .In the private market if you are short of staff you pay more to attract staff back or at least stay. or new recruits . The mental field is even worse and my councillor cannot see me for 6 weeks. Fortunately I am not as depressed as I was so I can cope but 18 months ago it would have been a different story. I have said before I am aware my party of choice performed badly with the public service but I see no improvement with your team.

                • So Trevor you support making pay equity within the state sector even wider? and you’re against those earning $60,000 and less being prioritized with pay increases to bridge that gap? After all, a blanket pay rise just increases the gap. The low paid are too doing it tough.

                  • This is where left wing supporters lose me . Of course nurses should be paid more than cleaners as they needed to be rewarded for their effort to get their job. Cleaners should be paid a living wage as a reward for their hard work but not at the expense of nurses taking into account cleaners cannot take their skill off shore

                    • Who said it was at the expense of nurses? What about those below $60,000? So Trevor, you think only nurses in the public sector work hard?

                    • I work with two mental health nurses Trev with caseloads of 5 and 7. The cleaners do more in one night than the nurses do more in two weeks. Our health needs an overhaul, thus Labour have got it right. But right wing supporters never get it as they are never on the shop floor. those with a social conscience for the most part work in health to help people, right wing people work to help themselves at the expense of others.

      • Covid is Pa “ Two more people that like Judeath” . Who’s the other one then ?
        I only mentioned one, and she’s allowed to. The important thing is that Collins may be saying something which resonates with some voters, and it is the song, not the singer which is the crucial issue; framing it as a race issue – which far too much is now – is an effective diversion, over simplifying, and unfortunately skirts the fundamental legal issues and implications.

    • Snow White: “I cannot remember when I last voted Labour, but I ditched the Green Party the night of the Auckland vigil against the terrible Muslim massacre in Christchurch…”

      I’m an old Lefty: voted that way all of my adult life. Labour (except during Rogernomics), the Greens off and on, the Alliance, back in the day, Social Credit, even, long years ago.

      The Greens permanently lost me after that
      Auckland vigil. If anyone wants to know what a part of the Maori catchment really thinks of pakeha, listen to that awful Davidson woman. And she’s married to a pakeha. This despite the fact that all Maori have pakeha (or non-Maori) ancestors and family members.

      I voted Labour in 2017, not in 2020. And given the revelations about He Puapua (which it hid, both from its coalition partners and – critically – from the voting public), it’ll be a cold day in hell before I ever vote Labour again. An utterly unprincipled party.

      In my view, the previous election was held under false pretences and we need to have a rerun.

      “The sheer impracticality of He Puapua would be evident to any adolescent with half a brain, and I’m sure that it is. Labour got itself into this mess, and at this stage, the PM’s previous utterances about ‘transparency’ are starting to sound like the prevarications of the congenital liar…”

      Yup. Ardern comes across as shifty. Since she took the leadership, I’ve been sceptical about her: too cutesy-cutesy by half. Now I know that my scepticism was well-founded.

      We all expect that political parties will not be as forthright about their plans as we’d like. But He Puapua has such catastrophic implications for our democratic system, that it was Labour’s solemn duty to tell us the voters about it. And it did not.

      “Circus antics in Parliament…”

      I assume that you’re referring to that Waititi fellow. He’s a figure of fun, isn’t he? What’s with the pink jacket? And that hat? Cultural appropriation, no?

      It’s the apotheosis of bad manners to wear a hat indoors, but especially in the House. It just wasn’t done in my young day.

      I try to pay as little attention to him as I can, but I couldn’t escape reportage of him in the House, screaming about Collins’ racism. So. No substantive arguments against what she was saying: just chucking around the racism epithet.

      Accusations of racism are the last refuge of the scoundrel (to misquote Johnson).

      Anent Waititi, Kelvin Davis observed that he couldn’t claim to speak for Maori when his share of the vote was so minuscule. True enough.

  7. “Is the caucus really so far gone in its wokeness that it genuinely believed the New Zealand people were ready to embrace the revolutionary changes mandated by the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People”

    Of course not. The PM said that they didn’t release it publicly because “NZrs wouldn’t understand it”. Which unbridled arrogance will see National/Act lead the next Government.

    I’ve voted Labour since Norm Kirk. Thanks for managing Covid much better than anyone else would have done however Jacinda has also reminded everyone that power corrupts & absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    • RobbieWgtn: ‘The PM said that they didn’t release it publicly because “NZrs wouldn’t understand it”. Which unbridled arrogance will see National/Act lead the next Government.’

      I’ve seen ACT and Peter Williams running this line, but did she really say that? I heard her state that the release could be “misconstrued as Government policy”, not that people would fail to understand the report.

      From Hansard:

      David Seymour: Is the Prime Minister confident the Government’s been acting in an open and transparent manner in relation to the He Puapua report, and, if so, why did the Ombudsman have to become involved in an Official Information Act request to release it?

      Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: To answer the latter half of the question, the reason that Te Puni Kōkiri made the argument about not releasing the report was because of a concern that it would be misconstrued as Government policy. I rest my case.

      David Seymour: Is the Prime Minister saying that her Government cannot release reports taxpayers pay for because the people who pay for it might not properly understand it?

      Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Absolutely not.

      […]

      David Seymour: Is it the Government’s position that New Zealand deserves a debate or that the release of its documents should be supressed because poor little taxpayers might misconstrue it?

      Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: The member is completely mischaracterising my statement—[Interruption]

      SPEAKER: Order!

      Rt Hon JACINDA ARDERN: Of course our reports that are considered by Cabinet are proactively released, it is part of how we behave as a Government. This report had not been considered by Cabinet. There was no ability, therefore, for us to put formally our positions on the report, thus the argument that was in the absence of that it could be misconstrued as Government policy. And, I have to say, the member has proven that assertion to be completely correct.

    • Totally agree and I too have voted Labour since the Muldoon years! Sheer hubris and an unwillingness to be transparent will land us back to another 20 years with National and I loathe them. However, am forced to consider NZ First at this point, that or not vote, which I am philosophically opposed to.

  8. 1.Not many people know about He Puapua yet, but Judith is trying to educate them. Fair enough.
    2.We need to see what the fully implemented He Puapua looks like in real life. Chris thats your next project.
    3. How will life change? Some bits might change for the better?
    4. I would rather get it fully implemented in one go rather than years of costly incremental change behind the scenes through the backdoor.
    The problem the Greens have is that eventually they will have to deny they have any rights at all and that they even exist. My only bottom line is that I can still hunt and fish on DOC land……oh wait hang about!!??

  9. I didn’t hear Waititi’s ‘ two white women’s ‘ comments in Parliament, but was told about it last night.
    Surely he knew that women are allowed to speak in Parliament, unlike on some Marae ? He struggled with wearing a tie – poor bugger – but negatively referencing speakers based on the colour of their skin, and their apparent gender, sounded like a pretty offensive double- whammy to me, and chances are it was just an attention- grabbing gimmick anyway. I hope so. But he does have the right to hold racist and sexist views.

    Fortunately, the days are long gone when any female public representative would be likely to refer to
    Maori men in a disparaging manner.

  10. I don’t know much about He Puapua right now, however after reading the facts and opinions of Chris Trotter here on TDB and his own Bowally Road blog which strongly suggest this may cause some sort of “Revolution”,
    I just wonder if this is the Labour Govt’s way of changing away from the dreaded Neo Liberalism? When combined with the new FPA that looks likely to empower workers unions, is this the steath that Aunty Jude is so determined to undermine. A disguised attack at the Neo Liberal Order? A bit early to tell. Great work Mr Trotter. Very interesting.

  11. Yes pope we have being listening to words we don’t like for 180 years and its not so much the words its the actions or inactions that have hurt the most. I notice a different tone when National party members walk out or are kicked out. I only had to read a few lines of this twaddle to know who wrote it, as its the same old bullshit being espoused as usual. What’s a matter Trotter you seem to take exception when Maori come out fighting for Tino rangatiratanga.

  12. You are the one dreaming jasspiner if you think national will win without a credible leader as as we speak they have no one in their ranks.

      • Cushla: “if you want maori to be financially independent…”

        The iwi have have had huge quantities of taxpayer cash, along with land, in Treaty settlements. They are already financially independent, with many making a financial killing.

        I’m sure that you know this.

        But none of that largesse has apparently trickled down to the very poorest Maori. Where has it all gone, and who’s got the benefit of it, if not the very worst-off?

        “…give the land back…”

        Would that be your land being handed back?

        In any event, the iwi have had a bucket load of land handed back. Just go look at Auckland, as an example.

    • And the Government made a choice to change a failed health system that the most vulnerable died from. Are you against that?

      • Deaths in NZ 2017

        Māori 3,748
        Non-Māori 29,851
        Total 33,599

        Can you point out clearly which citizens relations in your view were the most vulnerable again, I couldn’t quite get it.
        Cheers

        • As at the 2018 census, the majority of New Zealand’s population is of European descent (70 percent), with the indigenous Māori being the largest minority (16.5 percent), followed by Asians (15.3 percent), and non-Māori Pacific Islanders (9.0 percent).

          Maori per capita are the most vulnerable.

          I hope this helps you get it now.
          Cheers.

    • It’s free country. You can set up your own school if you want. I might even send my kids there if the education is better. It’s called freedom of choice…unlike total state control which is the grand plan by the looks of it.

      • Oh it’s a free country now is it! And the government has the mandate of the country to choose this health system whether you agree or not, so like you, it’s all about choice.
        If it wasn’t I guess the MAJORITY would have voted your lot in.

  13. People that send their children to private schools moan about paying taxes but they claim a tax rebate it is their choice but choice is often determined by money. Charter schools aren’t bound by the same reporting rules, funded by us tax payers and the government whilst profiting shareholders is just more separatism.

  14. What is happening is “our” NZ academics, in their rarified atmosphere of self, are embracing Critical Race Theory
    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Critical_race_theory , an intersectionist invention born in America.
    It is blatantly divisive and racist to treat any person purely as the race they are born. The irony escapes them.
    Such thinking will not end well, we don’t need this stupidity here.

  15. The boomer generation have a real fear of Maori separatism. Maori outbreeding Europeans 2 to 1 over past decades, and the future demographic and power changes that would cause, is why I suspect it is why Helen Clark opened the immigration floodgates to anyone who wanted to come here (including the migrants non productive elderly relatives).
    I think a main purpose of mass migration was to counterbalance the Maori increase in numbers and reduce their future power.
    Europeans have either left NZ or don’t have many children and will be reduced to just another minority over time.

    If you look at ethnic groups in primary school rolls for 2020, (www.educationcounts.govt.nz) in many areas in the North Island Maori children are a majority in schools now. Asian students are increasing year by year as the people who came here on student visas and got residency have families.

    But I guess it is dawning on both Maori and European elite NZers now that the real threat is colonisation from the populous Asian countries. We give around 50,000 people residency each year, and most of them are from Asia. That is pretty much equal to the birthrate here.

    We already have enough settlers here from those places to hold the balance of power in a future election if they formed a collective or took over an existing party, and I could see them demand the opening up of mass migration again as the price of their support. These new migrants seem to remain very loyal to their home country and their own people, and have mostly not integrated into broader NZ society. We let people with residency vote here which is inexplicable- to vote in National elections in every other western country you need to be a citizen.

    I think the Maori and European factions in the Labour party are currently united in their desire to limit immigration before NZ is lost. They are controlling the borders tightly, and all signs point to big changes in immigration coming. It looks that the price of Maori support in Labour for the current programme is greater sovereignty- hence He Puapua. Jacinda and Grant I think hope that they can keep both mainstream NZ and Maori aboard for long enough to make the changes they want to in NZ and move away from the mass migration economy we have been running for the last two decades.

    Looking at the UK, NZ could easily hold 60 million people. They will almost all be Asian as we get very few migrants from western countries anymore. Maori and European old stock NZers will be totally insignificant and will have little say in the direction of the country.

    The future of NZ looks pretty grim.

  16. I’m one of those people who can’t quite believe what I’m being told. I’m equally bemused by the media’s apparent nothing to see here indifference. They envision utopia but the road to perdition is paved with good intentions

  17. Chris Trotter has really upped his game, this latest effort has hit the nail squarely on the head. This is not only a must read, but a call for widespread protest action.

    Do we want an Israeli v Palestinian, Northern Irish Nationalist v UK Loyalist or the break up of Yugoslavia type conflict here? Definitely not.

    As Trotter suggests, if labour don’t do it then we, the people of NZ must fight tooth & nail to defuse this He Puapua time bomb before its to damn late. Fair-minded, one NZ for all loyalists unite!!

  18. Well ethnic based policies and systems is a failure everywhere in the world. It is failing Maori in NZ. The ethnic compartmentalization is one of the main reasons Maori already has worse health outcomes.

    But the more important reasons is NZ cannot afford duplicated systems. It was a good decision to can DHB’s for that very reason.

    An ethnic based system will be like a journey on the Titanic, it will end in a disaster.

    Sad to say but the implications for NZ is so detrimental, that it will be imperative to vote for “Trump in a skirt” to save NZ. Labor had a once in a live time opportunity to take NZ on a progressive path and make it a more prosperous place for all and now they have squandered it with “pay freezes”(would have expected that from Bill the miser) and ethnic policies.

  19. All you racist whites are forgetting that all your ancestors to present day have done for the last 180 years is kick all browns into the ditch. None of you have contributed to society in any way or treated all who you encounter regardless of race or ethnicity with the respect all deserve and attempted to create a community based, socially welcoming society.

    You have stolen, denigrated abused and oppressed the indigenous population on a daily basis at work, on the street all interactions, never once attempting to right the wrongs committed by the UK Empire. Your lineage in this country of your birth, your tamarikis, mokopunas means absolutely nothing. Once an colonizer and oppressor always a colonizer and oppressor.
    Lynching, beatings, segregation of social facilities and services, segregation on public transport and places of socialization have been normality.

    Racist clothes racist questions racist health system, racist judicial system, racist social services system, racist parliament, racist cops, racist education system, racist number plates, white supremacist gangs roaming the streets, because dont forget, racism is ONLY
    reserved for one colour and 1 colour only. Victimhood, victimhood, more money, more money.
    Name one proposal that ranting racist Watiti has come up with?

  20. I’m all for a revised health system which I have said before.
    The statistics cannot be ignored sections of society predominantly Maori are being left behind and that has to be addressed like Charter Schools a system that’s intention is to help those left behind.
    Look seeking whats best is a worthy goal why it has to bo politicised is not.
    Pleased I’m a funny guy.

  21. To get a balance on this opinion read an incredibly well researched piece by David Slack.
    This epistle is strong on opinion and very short on facts

  22. To get a balance on this opinion read an incredibly well researched piece by David Slack.
    This epistle is strong on opinion and very short on facts

  23. Wow i am surprised to see so much anti maori self determination sentiment here on this blog site.
    I dont believe that maori are wanting the sort of separatism that seems to be feared.
    We are more interested in the relationship between us as a people with a collective identity and the crown as the representative of others.
    Te tiriti offered the promise of good relationships between two peoples.
    But that was never given a chance to evolve.
    With good relationships, I imagine that over time the two would learn from each other and adapt and evolve a collective identity that would sit alongside the different cultures.
    But that cant happen while one people are subjugated and forced to live under institutions foreign to them.
    It is relationship that is being aksed for.
    It is only fundamentalist individualism that is making it sound dangerous. Of the likes of Don Brash and ACT. And judith jumping on board the scaremongering to get those votes.
    But the call for self determination has been happening throughout our joint history and can be seen more recently in things such as kura kaupapa. Those struggle to survive within the minefields of our education sectors but despite that are a raging success.
    And now we have a generation of graduates who expect more.
    It is time for some big steps towards building that relationship across difference. In many arenas it requires separate institutions to be established by maori.
    If not under this government then under the next. Or the next.
    But we cant walk back from this now.
    It is happening.
    So get used to it.

  24. Chris Trotter: “And, please, don’t blame Labour’s He Puapua problem on John Key.”

    I must say that I’ve been inclined to sheet home to him some of the responsibility for the godawful mess in which we as a polity now find ourselves.

    He didn’t have to let Sharples sign NZ on to that UN Declaration. At least Clark had the wit and foresight to realise that, even if it is just a statement of good intentions, signing up to it was a catastrophically dumb idea. And now we see just how dumb it was.

    Yes, Labour could have stopped that report from being written. But because NZ had signed the Declaration, there was clearly some momentum. And in my view, neither Ardern nor her senior ministers really understood the implications of what they were letting loose. It must have frightened the shit out of them when they had its import explained to them by advisors: no wonder they tried to stuff it down the back of the filing cabinet, so to speak.

    “The same Labour MPs who refused to pass a Capital Gains Tax, are now, apparently, happy to be crucified for a te Tiriti approved tricameral parliament!”

    Yup. Signed the metaphorical death warrant of our democratic system. It apparently hadn’t occurred to them that the proposed coup would take them down as well.

    “Where a charge of racism can ruin a person’s career, the mere threat of its use is generally enough to secure ideological conformity.”

    Regrettably, that seems to be the case. But I flatly refuse to accept that characterisation (and I am now retired, so I have no career to ruin). When I’m accused of racism, I conclude – and say – that the accusers have no substantive arguments.

    Racism is just an epithet. Individual people may be prejudiced and bigoted, but racism is the preserve of governments, when they make laws and societal arrangements which discriminate in favour of, or against, particular groups of people. The Maori electoral system – including local authority wards – is s good example.

    “Silencing the Opposition’s investigative effort into the meaning of He Puapua, and its querying of the ultimate trajectory of the Labour Government’s “Maori separatist agenda”…”

    It appears not to have dawned on advocates at all – and the government only relatively recently – that sneaking constitutional and societal changes in, as the government has done, eloquently underlines the undemocratic nature of what’s already happened.

    Had any of this been democratic, the political sleight of hand wouldn’t have been necessary.

  25. “The bloody sneaky Mowreees are at it again!”
    This is like planting a roadside I.E.D?

    Who’s gunnah come a croppa then in the future? Which party will it go off under as they travserve the Motu?

    I think I’m gunnah see if the TAB is going to give some odds for this.

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