A Modest Exercise in Arithmetic.


THE DAILY BLOG’S EDITOR, appears convinced that there exists in New Zealand a great silent majority of Treaty revisionists. He seems to believe that the revolutionary interpretation of Te Tiriti o Waitangi which underpins, ideologically, both the notion of a “Treaty partnership” and “co-governance”, enjoys widespread and enthusiastic support among New Zealand voters – especially those under forty. Interestingly, the numbers presented to us in the latest Roy-Morgan poll point in precisely the opposite direction.

The poll shows National with 32 percent, Act with 13.5 percent, and NZ First with 5 percent support – a total of 50.5 percent. Labour, meanwhile, comes through with 30 percent, the Greens with 12 percent, and the Māori Party with 4.5 percent – a total of 46.5 percent. On the face of it, therefore, the Great Silent Majority lines up with the parties of the Right. If asked whether Māori ceded sovereignty to Queen Victoria on 6 February 1840, these New Zealanders would most likely answer “Yes, they did.” Having said that, their support for the key Treaty revisionist concepts of partnership and co-governance would be … limited.

Well, okay, but the Treaty revisionists could point out, with some justification, that 50.5 percent is hardly a ringing endorsement for the traditional reading of Te Tiriti o Waitangi. With 46.5 percent in support of the Treaty revisionists’ reading, isn’t it more accurate to say that on this matter the electorate is pretty evenly divided?

Not really.

Unlike the Greens, whose membership would, indeed, line up overwhelmingly behind the Treaty revisionists, Labour’s electoral base is more likely to share a view of the Treaty’s meaning that is not wildly at odds with National’s and Act’s. Labour’s working-class voters – Māori as well as Pakeha – are considerably more likely to view the Treaty as the document that made one nation out of two peoples, each of them equal in rights and obligations, than as an enforceable contract binding two cultures together in a relationship “akin to a partnership”.

Surely, this is why Chris Hipkins has been so keen to step back from the brink of what one of this country’s foremost Treaty scholars, Dame Claudia Orange, describes as the “revolutionary changes” unleashed by Treaty revisionists like herself? Any further advance down the partnership/co-governance road and Labour risked seeing its working-class Māori and Pakeha voters peeling away from the party and moving (albeit reluctantly) to the Right.

Which is why, in his post-Cabinet press briefing of Wednesday, 8 February 2023, Hipkins executed a major and politically adroit course alteration which will not only steer Labour away from the Treaty revisionists’ revolutionary rocks, but also deprive National and Act of the angry political breezes that have, of late, been filling their sails.

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And it’s not just in relation to the vexed Three Waters project that Hipkins has signalled a significant course-change, he has also unceremoniously thrown overboard Willie Jackson’s proposed public media merger, Grant Robertson’s social insurance scheme, and Kiri Allan’s hate speech legislation. It’s a veritable Night-of-the-Long Knives for the pet projects of Labour’s wokesters.

Announcing a $1.50 increase in the Minimum Wage to $22.70 per hour was the new Labour Leader’s pièce de résistance. Nothing could better signal Labour’s return to its political roots – a movement dedicated to the welfare and uplift of ordinary working-class New Zealanders. For these voters, Hipkins’ turn away from wokeism will have been the “bread” of this afternoon’s announcements, but his announcement of a new $22.70 per hour Minimum Wage was, unquestionably, the butter.

Nor is it likely, that Hipkins’ turning away from Treaty revisionism will cost him all that many votes among New Zealanders under forty. Those who have given themselves, body and soul, to the revolutionary politics of partnership and co-governance are more likely than not to vote either Green of Te Pāti Māori. Rather than angst about the Treaty, younger voters will now be asking themselves: “If Chippy’s willing to raise the Minimum Wage by $1.50 per hour, might he not also be willing to freeze rents and raise the taxes of the wealthy?”

That’s a good question. Because, in terms of political arithmetic, such “bread and butter” moves, precisely because they are so very far from being woke, are bound to subtract even more votes from National and Act, and add them to Labour’s growing electoral tally.

A sum which, after today, looks set re-configure the Great Silent Majority of New Zealand voters in the Left’s favour.


  1. If they haven’t already burnt away the trust of voters with their lies & unmandated agendas. I am voting ACT as it’s the only way to protect my rights.

      • Not if you don’t campaign on the policies you then ram through. Would you be happy if someone popped in for a cup of tea, and left with your liver? You agreed to let them in after all, didn’t you?

      • Not if you don’t campaign on the policies you then ram through. Would you be happy if someone popped in for a cup of tea, and left with your liver? You agreed to let them in after all, didn’t you?

        • dave and when has a political party actually enacted their full manifesto and not introduced new items….I’ll tell you sometime never…an election is a mandate to act not a referendum on your pet peeve

        • “Would you be happy if someone popped in for a cup of tea, and left with your liver?”

          Ahh sounds like John Key and John Banks.

      • OK Yuri, so when LINO won by a massive margin in 1984 they had a mandate to implement a neoliberal makeover? (which again they did not campaign on).

    • Me too. Hipkins is doubly damned in doing the right thing now because he sat there all those Jacinda years backing her up all the way – either he was lying then or he is lying now – or both. And he looks as if butter wouldn’t melt – but he always did.
      I will have to give up on my judgement of human nature if Seymour is similarly two-faced. I do intend to vote ACT as he is the only politician who does not pussyfoot on co-governance – and manage to do it politely.

  2. True Hipkins has maybe made a step in the right direction but another exercise in arithmetic might suggest that they’ve wasted 5 1/2 years on the woke nonsense, 6 months isn’t enough to do anything meaningful and cement it in place so it can’t be torn down by the next lot.
    A tragic waste of the first absolute majority of the MMP era!

    • Hipkins,being a senior minister, was party to the policy he is now rejecting?
      Can he be trusted? Of course not.

      • No, that would be John Key after he stated categorically, he would not raise GST if elected, only to immediately raise GST.

        Deny that.

  3. The Great Silent Majority of NZ would have benefited from unemployment insurance. Still able to pay their bills if they get cancer or get made redundant, because employers are too greedy to give them redundancy pay now.

    And the RNZ/TVNZ merger would have brought a public service ethos back to to TV1 and TV2. Imagine — a 3 hour panel discussion and debate about co-governance at 7:30pm on Wednesday.

    • Problem is Millsy you get these you get a NACT government, you don’t get these and you have a chance. There will be more to come and at least Chris Hipkins is not afraid of the challenge. The right had started to use Jacinda Ardern as a battering ram and with the right wing media assisting them we can now see how difficult it had all become. Some will be disappointed however better disappointment now than a major disappointment at the end of the year.

    • “ Imagine — a 3 hour panel discussion and debate about co-governance at 7:30pm on Wednesday”…

      I can only imagine it with horror.

      It would be followed by Jessie Mulligan doing a 4-hour reading from the ‘Works of Noam Chomsky, Volume 5’.

      • even m. wage workers would have been better off than being on the sickness benefit. Homeless shelters are full of people who had to stop working due to illness, and found their benefits didnt cover rent, and they ended up homeless, add to that greedy doctors and pharmacists who want to charge people for anything.

        • that’s a problem of low poverty benefits millsy a two teir means tested entitlement is the road to the end of benefits

  4. Would I be correct in assuming there has been a little bit of a spat between the various contributors to TDB in recent times?
    Chris – you have you bowalleyroad outlet. You need to understand and be a little more understanding that Martyn is entering his mid-life-crisis phase, and with friends like Damien, there could be a real crisis.
    I’m available if needed to come up to Auckland and box your fucking lugholes together if that is the case.
    Alternatively, we could seek funding from NuZull on Ear for a new reality television show – Battle of the Lefties

    • Ahh BUT now there is a break in the clouds a little sunshine called “hope”. Springs eternal etc etc. And blinds folks at the ballot box!

  5. The issue of sovereignty is centred on an unresolved ambiguity in the Treaty itself. In 1840 the British Crown formally proclaimed sovereignty ova the Islands of New Zealand/Aotearoa. That was based on maori consent having been secured through the Treaty of Waitangi signed by more than 500 chiefs that same year. Yet all but a handful of rangatira (Chiefs) signed the Pakeha version of the Treaty with the majority signing the Maori version of the Te Tiriti, that most scholars agree stopped some way short of ceding sovereignty to the British crown. ‘Kawanatanga’, the supposed term of sovereignty employed in the Maori version of the Treaty, is commonly translated as ‘governorship’ or ‘governance’.

    In addition, Maori communities were promised ‘Tino rangatiratanga’ (‘full chiefly authority’) over their lands and resources and clearly expected continued control ova their own affairs. It was this divide between increasing crown assertions of sovereignty and Maori expectation of continuing chiefly authority coupled with land geedy ‘Pakeha settlers’ provided a key impetus for the wars fought between Maori and the British crown.

    Co-governance, Mahi Tahi, Ko tahi Tatou, call it what you want but we need to nationalise our resources for all NZers

    • Stephen, have you read the rationale of the writer who used the term Kawanatanga in the ToW? It adds another layee to the picture and concurs with Anne Salmond’s views that Maori did not have an understanding of what sovereignty was as it wasnt part of their way of viewing the world.

      • Kawanatanga was used regularly amongst Maori & the Governors since 1791 they regularly made contact in conjunction with the CMS on matters, specifically to do with trade and policing their own kind (Pakeha) whom were committing crimes against maori, like Murder, rape, kidnapping etc… Maori had very good understanding of sovereignty they called it ‘Tino Rangatiratanga’ Anne Salmond should know better than to insinuate these types of statements?? Unless it’s just your attempt to spin BS because you don’t like the truth?

    • @Stephen for once I completely agree, when you stick to facts rather that drifting into ideology. As you say the majority of Rangatira/Chiefs signed the ToW Māori version. Absent overwhelming evidence that the meaning of the english version was clear and accepted, the māori version should take precedence. There should also be seperate consideration for the Rangatira who did not sign or did not have the opportunity to sign and potentially form a 3rd party.

      Having said that re-litigating the treaty and article 2 in particular is not an invitation to interpret it with a CRT inspired lens (which is an anglosphere ideology) or partnerships where one party has carte blanche or veto power when the other party does not (in any direction).

  6. My fellow right leaners. I won’t vote for him but I told yous that I like Chippie. It’s a glorious day for a Labour voter that works hard 7 to 6, and wasn’t a lifelong professional student tax money bludger that went into politics to avoid having to work for a crust. Luxon can poo poo this as much as he likes, National is now fucked really. Because unless they stump up with some seriously decent policy and nail it to the mast soon, just like ACT have done, then all National has left is Luxon’s likability. Which is fuck all!!! And even if they come up with the best policy in the world (like hey, no more tax for anyone ever?) if Luxon delivers the speech…well they better get Willis to do it.

    • Yes Kraut, truth in what you say. Strange how Luxon is so unlikable and so untrustworthy having never been in power to earn or lose that trust. Even more strange how the left still would trust Chippy or Jacinda ahead of Luxon having had six years of broken promises and non achievement. Ah well.

    • New PM Mr “Chipkins” has started off well, he has comprehensively cleared the desk and stuck it to a number of the usual suspects.

      Employers large and small detest the minimum wage floor, so he has certainly delivered for working class NZers. Now, NZ Labour still have an MMP total majority till October so it will be interesting to see what the revised Caucus can come up with.

  7. “If Chippy’s willing to raise the Minimum Wage by $1.50 per hour, might he not also be willing to freeze rents and raise the taxes of the wealthy?”
    You’re having a laugh. No, he won’t go any where near raising taxes or a rent freeze given how much ground he’s ceded to the right wing narrative. The retreat from contentious but socially progressive policy is a hall mark of the center left. Unable to cut through racism and unwarranted fear, they wilt like weeds in a drought.
    If you want to know where this ends take a look at the UK Labour party – bereft of policy, unwilling to support any workers movement and hog-tied to economic austerity and low taxation. But at least they’ve listened to “the majority’ by turning themselves into a harmless place holder for right wing economics.
    Presumably we can all breath a sigh of relief as NZ Labour does the same thing in order appease a loud and angry mob. But I guess that is how democracy works if you aren’t able to lead and fight for policies openly.

  8. People are wanting less regulation on the average Joe on what they can say and do, and more regulation on criminal acts and profiteering businesses – especially monopoly and duopoly business!

    Less taxes on individuals and more taxes on those earning multi millions of dollars. Windfall taxes on gross profits such as banks, supermarkets, energy and oil companies operating here. In particular those who made a killing during Covid should have to give back tax to the taxpayers!

    Instead of a ‘laddish’ approach to crooks like Eric Watson who seems to be admired by many in the NZ media, why doesn’t the government go and get the taxes he never paid or put him in jail. Seriously when owing multiple people/business millions of dollars around the world, but are not in jail you have to wonder, why so some crooks owing a few hundred thousand to IRD go to jail but when its tens of millions in unpaid taxes, you get to keep investing and having lawsuits all around the world for similar unpaid amounts while still raising money on other ventures and bragging to the media!

    Unless labeen do a back track on their housing policies that have made everything much worse for everybody – such as now being subject to a bright line test if people are unable to sell their home and have to rent their property out, gold standards for renting that don’t really tally with the amount of renters with major problems such as non payment of rent, drug, alcohol other issues….. not exactly good value for money for taxpayers (taxes paid by under paid nurses, teachers etc) putting these people into motels at double the price of rentals but half the amenity because a 1970’s house can’t have the gold plated insulation into the roofline. (Think Rotorua!)

    3 Waters a joke. Seriously, how will more consultation on every little thing with iwi with co goverance is going to speed up, make better and put more money into flood controls, justice and health care in NZ?

    He moved there in 2014 and they still haven’t made a ruling!

    Even if there is a ruling then someone goes and appeals the ruling. https://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/engineer-who-lost-his-cool-and-attacked-pilot-but-police-never-charged-him/6IFG3G2TABDODBWDU2E75HXFSA/

    NZ can’t even get one system working as well as it used too. How many years of hell and more money will it take to push in all these dual systems – when it doesn’t seem to be working with what they have done so far with housing for example – disaster after disaster!

    Dome Valley environment court case shows how co-governance will really play out.

  9. Chris, I predict that this election could be anybodies. Hippie will manage to win back some support from the base, many others feel burnt by Labour and wont easily forgive them.

    As for the young/old split, I suspect that may be subject to change. Older kids now are being taught CRT in schools and universities and if not that, various Woke concepts. Hence their insouciance with the Co Governance stuff. However as with a lot of woke stuff today, it is all sound bites and catch phrases and when (if ever) you get them sat down for a proper discussion, things start to change.

    I also found with my own kids that now that they are increasingly having to pay for stuff themselves, they quite ruthlessly favour economic arguments ie: Idealism gives way to practicality

    I predict that until co governance is fully and openly debated then that will continue to be a burr beneath the government’s saddle and I also believe that if the Nats go into the election with Luxon they will be unlikely to succeed. Chippie threw down the gauntlet a few weeks ago and what have we got in response? A little more than zip.

    The election is anybodys but small parties will stay high until possibly scattering at the the last minute as tactical voting becomes necessary

  10. Chippie the Chopster has a majority in parliament still.


  11. Chris, you are so good with words and history that I have no doubt you will be able to prove anything you wish in relation to colonisation and land theft. Im sure you could even justify Maori disadvantage. You may even convince yourself that Maori are better off for colonisation deaths and having their land stolen.
    But there is an uncomfortable truth that you still need to face daily -Maori culture is all around you and has not been subsumed.
    Your choice is to take responsibility and do the right thing or keep talking with forked tongue.

  12. “Backing away” from the concept of co-governance isn’t enough.

    For once in their lives Kiwis need to grow a pair, tackle this issue head-on and put it to rest. Run a referendum on this apartheid circus and reform the constitutional to kill it off forever. Then we can move forward as one people.

    My ancestors in England fought for a thousand years to rid themselves of the rule of tribes, chiefs and kings. Damned if I’m going to let these ignoramuses wind back the clock.

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