Waatea News Column: Māori MP of the Year


For me, the Māori MP of the year has to be Nanaia Mahuta!

She has revolutionized Foreign Affairs unlike any politician in recent times with an indigenous world view that strengthens NZs diplomatic sway at a time when the Pacific is heating up between China and America.

Her Taniwha and Dragon imagery is as poetic as it is clever.

Steering NZ on an independent foreign policy between our largest trading partner and old alliances is one of the most difficult jobs in politics and Nanaia has brought intelligence and mana to the role that benefits New Zealand’s standing.

Domestically her decision to push ahead and effectively nationalize water with the 3 Waters policy has enraged critics who see the issue as merely stealing local water assets to give to Maori.

This simplistic reading misses how Labour can turn this into a water privatization issue.

Nanaia has written to the other political parties calling on them to not privatize water if Labour nationalize it.

As far as ACT are concerned everything not nailed down is up for sale and National aren’t much better.

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Indeed it was National selling 49% of our hydro energy assets that started the modern debate over water ownership!

If Labour can turn 3 waters into a water privatization debate, it will quickly find traction and political support.

Special mention also to Kiri Allen whose fight with cancer was an inspiration!

First published on Waatea News.


  1. I am surprised at this being Nanaia. I think of the indigenous people of Palestine, West Papua and Western Sahara. When are we going to see some action – probably never because the Ministry holds the strings I would like to suggest to all the policy.

    • Check your history, learn what happened in AD 70. I don’t wish any harm to both nations however any fair look at the situation since the start of the last century suggests that it is the Jews who have been the biggest obstacle to peace. Neither side has a perfect record though which is why a mechanism for forgiveness over past wrongs is essential if a peaceful future is to be achieved.

  2. 3 Waters could be the pivot that turns many away from Labour as it shows how easily they change the rules to suit themselves when they see things not going their way . When first muted it was an opt in our out policy which then changed as they saw how unacceptable it was to 60 out 67 councils. I am not knowledgeable enough to work out the full benefits or not but when ex Labour MPs vote against it sends a message that all is not well . Nationalization does not sit well with me as I do not see any government run institutions as doing a great job. Hospitals education roads and state housing and welfare generally all show signs of slow reaction to change would water be different.
    There is obvious need for changes to aspects of water but a complete change and the lose of the good as well is the bad is a step to far especially at a time of upheaval due to covid and climate change.

    • Feels abit like when they privatised the dams and now electricity is through the roof.
      Create a whole another level of beurocracy but with very little improvments and jack that water price.
      Crafty buggers eh

  3. Well said Martyn, Nanaia is a magnificent ambassador for Ao/NZ. The fact that Mayors and other vested private interests don’t want their often failed and polluting empires seized demonstrates the need for the government to act. It is inevitable as clean water is becoming such a valuable asset that someone will end up owning it – any privatisation would ultimately mean foreign ownership. The time for ownership to be vested in the Crown is now.
    Marvellous to mention Kiri, her performance as Minister for CD during the earthquake/tsunami truly inspirational.

  4. She’s just another neo-liberal lickspittle lackey of US policy interests….she eiter by intent or cowardice will get us involved in the US/OZ stouch with China as the US instructs her to.

    I really think these ‘of the year’ things should be suspended in the light of the over all low quality and general incompetence of our politicos, it’s like comparing dead dogs to find out which one has the glossier coat.

    • This now has about as much credence as Obama’s Nobel Peace Prize. Admittedly, on the international stage, Mahuta started out well but she has already caved big time to the euro-centric non-indigenous agendas. Note that the only human rights abuses that she pillories are the ones on the US’s self-serving checklist.


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