MEDIAWATCH: Moana vs Luxon – why the social investment model is a neoliberal welfare experiment


Māori broadcaster Moana Maniapoto accuses Christopher Luxon of ‘misinformation’ in co-governance debate

Veteran Māori broadcaster Moana Maniapoto accused National leader Christopher Luxon of “misinformation” during a fiery debate about co-governance. 

In an episode of Te Ao with Moana on Māori TV, Luxon explained to Maniapoto the reasons for his opposition to the Government’s centralised co-governance arrangements, like the new Māori Health Authority. 

“We’ve had co-governance in the past-National government that’s been bounded around Treaty claims and iwi managing local natural resources essentially working with local government,” Luxon explained. 

“You’re not helping with that conversation,” Maniapoto told Luxon. “You’re using words like separatism.”

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He replied: “I’m not.”

But Luxon’s predecessor Judith Collins did. She accused the Government of “separatism by stealth” for introducing the Māori Health Authority and scrapping the ability for Māori wards to be overturned by a local poll. 

“I’m up for that conversation. That’s why I’m here with you today. I’m coming on your show because you want to discuss these issues,” Luxon told Maniapoto. 

Luxon’s suggestion was to instead focus on former Prime Minister and National leader Bill English’s ‘social investment model‘ – “targeting support on the basis of need”.

Once again, Moana reminds everyone why she is one of the best current affairs interviewers in the game right now. Her evisceration of Luxon was as brilliant as it was excruciating.

Luxon is incredibly polished and can nail a CEO presentation, but he is actually quite flakey on the details and he has a history of having to walk back raw meat policy he throws out a day after he’s thrown it out.

He says what he thinks National voters want to hear as opposed to an actual ideological belief in anything.

The Māori Health Authority aren’t even a seperate system, it’s a board split 50-50 that decides Māori Health priorities. Painting that as a seperate system doesn’t understand the words ‘seperate’ or ‘system’.

The real danger of Luxon is not his garden variety dog whistling race baiting, it’s his slavish devotion to the social investment model of welfare that gave us the neoliberal experiment that is Oranga Tamariki.

Again, I don’t think he believes any of this, I think he’s going through the motions which maybe more dangerous as the social investment model is a poisoned chalice he intends us to drink from regardless of its poison.

So what is the ‘social investment’ model?

Let’s look at Oranga Tamariki.

The argument is that children from backgrounds with specific features were the worst in terms of cost to the state, so if the state stepped in and removed the children quickly enough, that cost will fall.To do this they passed law reducing the legal rights of parents, streamlined their 0800 numbers and weaponised uplifts.

They also ensured that people with children taken from them are ineligible for legal aid so they couldn’t fight back legally.

Oranga Tamariki has always been about saving the State money and the welfare of the child is secondary to that!

Since the Royal Inquiry into Historic Abuse, the Public Services Commission has done all it can to remove OT oversight and roll it into the ERO so that it saves the State money if children are abused in our care.

Look at MSD in the 2000s who oversaw obscene tactics that included hiring private detectives to dig dirt on victims who were complaining about being abused in state care in a Test case that if MSD had lost would have cost the State untold in damages.

The scum elite Wellington Bureaucratic class want to remove the threat of costs and damages from poorly funded social services and the ‘social investment model’ is a means to spend money on the most costliest of those social problems without actually universally funding services.

For the State, amputating social responsibilities and the legal threat of damages frees them up from having to spend any money in the first place.

Rather than creating more taxes like a Capital Gains Tax or Financial Transaction Tax to properly funded the welfare of children in State care, it’s easier to amputate the responsibility altogether.

Social Investment is a bullshit term for ending universal provision of welfare under the guise of providing more resource for the most at risk target demographic.

We need properly funded child welfare where their welfare is the issue, not cost saving to the State! We need actual oversight, to my astonishment Jacinda is refusing to provide that.

Why on earth isn’t Moana on prime time TVNZ?


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  1. Te Reo Luxon’s minders need an upper cut for agreeing to this interview. It was a fucking ambush that Te Reo couldn’t win. Like putting a 19 year old Texas Boy in a Vietnam Jungle. John Key he ain’t

    This is Seymour’s domain. Leave it to him Te Reo and focus on wooing <35 corporate, inner city females. If Jacinda doesn't have to do Hosking you don't need to do this you fucking moron.

    Back to the Parnell mansion for some training please……

  2. It seems to have taken an age for Luxon to be candid about co governance not being new. I guess it was inconvenient when you are trying to ride the wave of hysteria created by that Sith Lord Collins

  3. Co governance is not mentioned in the treaty, it’s a complete fiction.
    Equal citizenship rights is, which clearly makes the concept of co governance incompatible with the treaty.
    So good luck trying to sell more bullshit to an electorate sick of being lied to, I’m looking forward to Labour being annihilated at the election.

    • Well Keepcalm the treaty didn’t say ‘tough shit natives we will just take lots of you’. Shit happened.

  4. Pasty Meat Head cares for nothing that John Key doesn’t care for. It would be nice to see the racial makeup of his tenants in his SEVEN investment properties. Let me guess

    • Hey hey hey Greb
      Gillian Evans will shout at you for calling him Pasty Meat Head. She had me tarred and featered for calling Potato Potato! You mysogg…misshog…misohg…whatever that word means…

      • hardly ‘tarred and feathered’ drama queen cabbage, she had a ineffectual pop at me too for the same ‘offence’ stop with the ‘victim schtick’ I know ‘poor me’ is a rightard thing but you’re over egging the pudding again.

      • Mon petit chou, surely you must agree that Luxon would look ever so much nicer with a sack over his head ? Any sack at all ?

  5. Why I object to the Maori health and prioritising of re-structuring of the DHB is because this will cost precious health dollars.

    There is a looming workforce shortage of Drs. Build another medical school,double the number being trained, remove student loans and bond people to stay in NZ. More bureaucracy won’t fix the problem

    And in terms of Moaori longevity, it’s pretty simple really. Maori have higher rates of obesity which leads to higher rates of type 2 diabetes. The rates of homicide and suicide are higher and likely they suffer more work place accidents due to the sort of work they do. The obesity is likely linked to poverty and the consumption of cheap junk food and fizzy drinks. A Maori Health authority will add nothing imo

      • True – the Maori Health Authority will be a boon for conbsultants, academics politicians and activists

        • When it is formed many departments will be called by Maori names and each name will be given and blessed at great cost while both Maori and Pakeha alike wait for new hips or mental health . There will be plenty of photo ops at the same time as the election starts doing the advertising.

      • True – the Maori Health Authority will be a boon for conbsultants, academics politicians and activists

      • and I fear that is the actual point of the health reforms….give lollies to the favoured and they will hold down their people on the govts behalf….but hey at least they’ll be getting buggered by their own ‘leaders’ not ‘whitey’

  6. I watched the interview and thought Luxon put his case well. It isn’t what Moana would want to hear and she didn’t like that, but that’s her problem. If people want co government they won’t vote for National. What’s the issue here. Where Luxon will come unstuck, if elected, is if his better model than what we’ve got, is just words.

  7. Of course Luxon’s model isn’t better. It will just be cheaper. Then he can transfer more public money to his and his ilk’s pockets. Which is clearly what some of you are hoping.

    • You’re most likely right James, but when anyone says “of course “. You are assuming. Remember we assumed Jacinda would keep her word. She didn’t. Save your execution of Luxon until he has been elected , if he is, and is a proven disappointment like Jacinda.

  8. I am so over the Us and Them attitude of the current batch of National MPs.

    I mean here we are in a pandemic and world-wide uncertainty and instead of working in unison with this government the current Opposition(and that includes ACT)seems Hell-bent on obtaining some sense of Upmanship and Attention Seeking Strategies whenever and where-ever possible.

    And thanks to a compliant and obedient media National gets the attention it is seeking whilst wallowing in negativity at every opportunity.

    A while back someone told me about the time during WW2 that the NZ government and the Opposition at the time worked in unison to achieve a common goal. There was no consideration of ‘Upmanship’ and pure ‘Spitefulness’ in the government of the day during the years of WW2. There was a country to be concerned about during a World War that no-one would have dreamed could have happened but it did.

    So lets praise the previous government of the day and the Opposition during WW2 and frown up the current Opposition and its load of opportunistic, self-seeking attention seekers.

    What the Opposition is of today is one that we should all be ashamned of. They are not working in the best interest of NZers but in THEIR OWN best interest. They are behaving badly and do not even merit being addressed as “Right Honourable”. Because an Honourable Politician no matter what political party they hark to or from shouldn’t be behaving like say the leader of the opposition in this instance National.

    Luxon is a walking and talking contradiction. He is out of his depth and his contradictions and statements are highly questionable. But then perhaps National know they scraped the bottom of the barrel by selecting Luxon and they are still intimidated by John Key. Because it’s likely somewhere in the background of Luxon is John Key pulling the strings and giving him the orders.

    Mind you, and as Luxon so often advocates, he once did run an airline even though that airline had to be bailed out by the NZ taxpayers time and again.

    Luxon can hardly credit himself with much brains but in his world Labour Day doesn’t exist and perhaps he wishes the political party he probably associates with Labour day doesn’t either. He may as well go drink a cup of coffee whilst complaining about the price whilst pulling a waitress’s ponytail.

    In other words Luxon is a failure yet again for National. But the compliant media and ‘research services/poll taking’ will claim Luxon is the Great White(man)Hope that NZ needs.

    Lets be assured that Luxon will never listen to Maori as he is too arrogant to listen to Maori. And by the way I am a pakeha who Luxon would consider a Bottom Feeder because I am on less that $40k.

  9. If the touted social investment model is any good, I’d like to know just how many people it actually helped, when Bill English was the PM? Can Mr Luxon produce hundreds of people, saying that the social investment model actually helped them. Can he produce a dozen people saying this. If he cannot even produce one person saying this, then that says a lot about the social investment model.
    Pay off the covid debt faster, yet spend more on the military, yet at the same time have a tax cut – doesn’t even pass basic maths, but does make as much sense as the social investment model and trickle down. The last thing the country needs at the moment is another pale stale male rich white guy, who wants to act like chainsaw Al Dunlap on health and education.

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