Home NZ Politics Plenty of Time For A Talk-fest Then?

Plenty of Time For A Talk-fest Then?




As Jacinda Ardern heads to Waitangi, Labour ponders re-election in 2020

on Stuff.

ANALYSIS: Parliament returns from its summer break this month. After coming back on February 11, the House will sit for just 36 more days before rising and being dissolved for the General Election.

That’s not a lot of time, in the scheme of things, to make a pitch to voters who will head to the polls on September 19.

The raging furies of electoral politics’ year are never far away, especially not week-long commemorations at Waitangi, which function as the last of a series of events that kick-off the political year.

The Prime Minister will spend most of the week in Waitangi, setting the agenda for the political year. She’ll be making a particular pitch to Māori, who helped propel labour to victory in 2017, but who may smart at being taken for granted by the party, which now holds all Māori seats for the first time since it lost them in 2005.

The formalities kick off on Monday with the unveiling of a statue of Dame Whina Cooper at Waipuna Marae. Cooper was the first president of the Māori Women’s Welfare league. She was also a leader of the 1970s Māori land march to put a halt to the further erosion of Māori land ownership.

Also present will be Pania Newton, one of the leaders of the occupation at Ihumātao.

Newton sometimes draws comparisons between her own movement and the land marches.

“(Cooper) is someone who inspired the kaupapa at Ihumātao,” Newton said.

The sight of Newton and PM Jacinda Ardern together at the event could be awkward for Ardern, representing a Government that has repeatedly frustrated the protesters at Ihumātao. In other times, she might be able to channel the legacy of Cooper. The reality is murkier. The Government isn’t confiscating any land, but hasn’t exactly moved heaven and earth to please the occupiers.

Things seem to have simmered in recent weeks, with news that a deal is close.

She still plans to join the Hikoi from Paihia to Waitangi, whether or not she does so in a “spirit” of protest depends on whether the impasse at Ihumatao is resolved. She appears hopeful.

“I can’t really say anything at the moment,” she said, although she was buoyed by the fact the Kingitanga had left the consultation process “where they are comfortable”.

“We’re looking forward to the Government and council signing things off.”

As in previous years, the main political events will be held before Waitangi day on February 4, leaving Waitangi day for the traditional dawn service and breakfast barbecue.

The main event will be held at Te Whare Runanga, the Upper Marae, which has become the favoured site since commemorations were moved there in 2017 when Te Tii, the lower marae, lost the right to host the dawn ceremony. Celebrations have become more placid since the move.

Although there have been some tensions in 2018, a full-scale protest of the kind seen in previous decades – think Don Brash having mud hurled at him in 2004 – seems unlikely.

That’s not to say there aren’t political tensions.

The beginning of the political year has been marked by a revival in the fortunes of Labour’s bête noire, the Māori party. Former Green candidate, Jack McDonald threw an endorsement behind Māori party candidate Debbie Ngarewa-Packer, who is running in Te Tai Hauāuru, which Labour hold by just a few thousand votes.

Tau Henare knows what it’s like to take a Māori seat off Labour. In 1993, he became the first non-Labour candidate to hold a Māori seat since Āpirana Ngata, then a National Party MP, lost the Eastern Māori seat in 1943. He won his seat by just 416 votes, after splitting the vote three ways.

But Henare said stealing a Māori seat from Labour usually requires “the stars to align” and for voters to coalesce around a series of issues.

“There are a couple of issues that are bubbling away: Oranga Tamariki, Ihumātao, Whānau Ora,” Henare said.

Henare is watching Tāmaki Makaurau, which takes in most of Auckland, where there are rumours of John Tamihere, former Labour minister and unsuccessful Auckland mayoral candidate eying up a run for the Māori Party.

“My money is still on them holding the seats – but not a lot of money. I wouldn’t bet my house on it, I’d certainly put my garden shed on it.”

Labour’s Māori MPs have one card up their sleeve: making the Māori electorate-MPs run list only.

Meka Whaitiri, the co-chair of Labour’s Māori caucus, has left open the option of keeping Labour’s seven Māori electorates off the party list at the 2020 election.

The strategy worked in 2017 to force the hand of voters in the Māori seats, many of whom had been splitting their votes, giving Māori Party MPs an electorate vote, while giving Labour a party vote.

“To be honest, that was a clear strategy around forcing the hand of Māori voters,” Whaitiri said.

In 2017, Māori Party candidates polled more than double their party’s party vote in each of the Māori seats.

Henare thinks Labour’s strategy has been working well by staying quiet.

“I think the Labour Party have handled Māori politics the last three years pretty well.

“They haven’t pissed people off – although there are some pissed off people,” he said.

It’s understood some of Labour’s Māori MPs have used the revival of the Māori party to leverage greater gains off their Labour colleagues, who are sometimes accused of taking the seats for granted. Noone wants a repeat of 2004, when Tariana Turia split from Labour to found the Māori Party.

The real test will be to see whether Labour promotes MPs from the Māori caucus to the Cabinet table should it win this year.

This will be lurking in the background at Waitangi, as every movement of the Government and attendees is scrutinised for political symbolism.

“Māori politics always starts the day after Waitangi: who is holding Titewhai Harawira’s hand? Who gets beaten up? It’s good theatre,” Henare said.

It may be good theatre, but Labour will be hoping there’s no twist ending to the tale of its revival in the Māori seats, although it will have to wait eight months to find out.



  1. Jacinda is incapable of actually doing anything. She will talk the talk but is totally unable to walk the walk and neither are any of her col partners. There is not one of them who are able to actually do anything to assist our country. Waitangi Day does the country no favours at all, it just creates more division each year. Jacinda will go up to Waitangi cook the BBQ and promise the Maori community the world and deliver on nothing as usual. One term col please. Get rid of these socialists this year before they totally destroy the country, before its too late to bring us back to some semblances of what we were before they were handed the govt by the nasty little man.



  2. Commrade Cindy the Sandringham Slapper is starting the pissup day in the north on the backfoot, National own it lock stock and barrel, by shafting her favorite Uncle and his dirty dozen of siblings!
    How is she going to give back the protested land in Auckland now!
    Whatever deal she has done, means know that Whinestone has agreed with it now!
    Which maybe leave a bad taste in Whineys mouth. So suck it up mate and enjoy the ride!



  3. Waitangi Day is a tragic joke. No other country’s national day is marked by a whole country’s government and opinion leaders literally grovelling like beggars in front of a bunch of stoneage tribalists while the rest of the country, ignored, stands by inertly and looks on.

    This happens every Waitangi Day. There’s never any mention or celebration of what made New Zealand historically one of the best places on the world to live. There’s no remembrance of our sacrifices and achievements. There’s never any patriotism, either in the media or amongst the public. Nothing at all except an endless stream of grovelling and wailing.

    This disgusting spectacle and the media handwringing that we endure every year demonstrates how deeply our country is in the shit, much like an otherwise healthy man who has a cancer growing inside him which will one day explode and kill him. When this happens, don’t say you haven’t been warned.



    • Australia is getting more and more protesting.
      Probably 30 years behind NZ.
      That nasty bastard Kevin Rudd did his big grandstanding in 2008

      Peter Garrett of Midnight Oil was also in on the gig.
      He was an Australian Labor party MP for nearly 10 years but was in spirit a Greenie.
      The Green path in AU does not give much power unless it is Tasmania and who cares about that place where kids can choose their gender?

      They have a National Sorry Day
      ..N.ational Sorry Day is an Australia-wide observance held on May 26 each year. This day gives people the chance to come together and share the steps towards healing for the Stolen Generations, their families and communities. Stolen generations refer to Indigenous Australians who were forcibly removed from their families and communities….



  4. “Commitments to Maori”??????

    What about the charter schools that she and Hipkins axed? The children getting the **biggest** gains from them were **Maori and Pasifika** students!

    Yet more hot air from Cindy. Talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk.



  5. 36 days in Parliament for the year ( a few more tagged on after the election but they will be do nothing days). No wonder nothing gets done in this country. Having, effectively, an 8 month election campaign is a joke !!.



    • That really is ridiculous. There are roughly a 160 working days between now and the election. So our parliament, all on 150K a year or more are working only 22% of the working days?

      The fuck is wrong with us that we keep on electing and paying for these troughers.



    • Are you serious !!!!
      36 Days

      Said in John McEnroe style

      That is appalling and I noticed last year there were a hell of a lot of holidays for MPs.

      The upside is that there is little time to pass legislation .

      I notice the crazy commie bitch has not come out with any outrageous ideas like she did 2 years ago .
      When you look back to the oil and gas ban she was 7 months pregnant at the time so hormones could have played a big part.
      Major announcement out of the blue ..
      People can call me sexist for that comment but …for my coffee no sugar and 75 ml of milk.

      The scary art is that major changes can be done off the books ie outside Parliament.
      they have kicked the End of Life decision and Cannabis cans down the road for the great unwashed.
      It might be time to go back to the 1870s model of MPs meeting for 6 weeks a year then going home.
      I think as well …they were unpaid.
      Eg Local Council members in NZ were unpaid until Merry Palmer’s changes in 1989.
      The quality plunged at that point.

      The pay rate of politicians to average was income was far closer 30 years ago and I believe we had better quality MPs.
      If you had idiots like the Green pardy mob in parliament in the 1970s they would have been rolled in honey and sent to an ant farm!



  6. The Treaty of Waitangi was a massively far sighted and intelligent document at the time it was created in 1840.
    When one puts it in context the world was a backward place at that time.

    Te Tiriti o Waitangi was actually very enlightened. (A convenient translation there! )
    It was 50 years after the French revolution where to that point the peasants had a horrendous existence.
    The suffering, starvation, and death of the peasants during the Little Ice Age was huge with crop failure and still expected to kick tribute up the line like a grotesque Amway scheme.

    How about the state of the Russian peasants in the 1800s under Czarism.
    Britain was basic with few rights for most of the population.
    ‘Oliver Twist’ was written in 1838 and described life for many.
    Australia had been created in a far rougher way.

    In context New Zealand was a bright star.
    The natives received a shit hot deal and should be thanking us.
    Bob Jones was correct. Among his many children are some part-Maori ones.
    He grew up in Naenae.

    The Maori leaders who signed up did the right thing.
    They received crown protection.
    A lot of the ‘Maori wars’ were the Crown protecting ‘British subjects’ whether Maori or Pakeha.
    It was required under the Treaty.
    Some of the land confiscation as penalty was harsh but in context of the time and there was a lot of murder, pillage, and destruction going on.

    A chief motivator of the tribal chiefs signing was that in the 2 decades up to 1840 some tribes acquired guns and became extremely aggressive. The modern revised crap that they only received blankets and guns for their land shows massive ignorance on many fronts including economics.
    The ‘marginal utility’ of these guns and blankets, and metal pots etc was massive to – let’s be honest , stone age people – with no metal and ultra basic ‘clothing’ and blankets from flax.
    These were not polyester blankets from the Warehouse. They were wool and cotton. A far cry from what these people had experienced. It was like going from a 1960s transistor to a 2015 50 inch TV.

    The aggressive tribes -mainly Taranaki and Northland – got real bolshie real quick.
    These guns replaced moderately sharpened sticks and add in metal knives and horses with the ability to travel further the warfare went up many scales.
    The high murder rate went higher.
    In context the high birth rate among Maori makes sense (plus opposition to abortion) given they were breeding to replace from > limited medicine, harsh and often damp conditions, primitive dwelling, but especially results of warfare and where male heirs of the conquered became boil ups.

    There is much fraud and misrepresentation – just the sort of thing modern media filth love to get involved in -of what happened.
    Eg Wellington area was not very desirable. There was little flat land, little arable land outside the regularly flooding Hutt Valley, and it was as windy as all hell as the original NZ Company settlers found out.
    The reason Maori there was they was they were chased out of Taranaki by gun wielding more aggressive Maori. They kept moving until they got to the end of the island and there was no-one else there as it was undesirable (Some say it still is) .
    They only arrived there after 1935 about 2 to 3 years before the white folk.
    Still they received a good deal with the Tenths Trust.
    Who was it that ripped off the Tenth Trust for millions?
    Why it was the lovely Sir Ngātata Love one of ‘our people’, knight of the realm, and thieving scumbag.

    This was an 1830s story.
    After the signing of the treaty these Maori were protected by the Crown as British subjects.
    They got a stupendously good deal.
    Just say thank you and STFU.
    Contrast to the Spanish takeover of the South and central America.
    The Caribbean islands.
    North America where in the 1860s and 1870s there was genocide being practiced on the natives. More than 3 decades after The TOW.

    Some folk like to bitch and moan because there is no hardship left to challenge them!
    The Silly Little Girl is up there for the week by the sound of it to stir up trouble.
    I guess this week they will feast up large on a fact free diet.

    I am sick of this division and hate stirred up by a minority of troublemakers.
    There are more Maori people that take care of their family and act responsibility than do not. Sadly the troublemakers and scumbags get the focus, and worse, they are sympathised with via media filth propaganda.



  7. I understood the PM was going to Waitangi to, amongst the general wasting of time it involves, account to Maori for her and her governments performance.

    Great then that this government, in the weeks leading up to this accounting has showered PGF monies on Northland and I heard an announcement today that the PM has provided $1.5m for Waka Hourua knowledge development.

    I get assessed annually for my job performance. It would not be prudent to make any gifts to my assessor.

    Nor is it prudent for the taxpayer to be making financial gestures to Northland, substantial financial gestures, in the week and weeks just prior to the PM making out she is there for a performance accounting. Simply unacceptable on many levels.

    This taxpayer does not wish to pay tax for her election campaign. This is not the most transparent government ever if you are seeking integrity in government.

    I also heard Mr Peters berating another speaker for using politics at Waitangi. Mr Peters party is hosing money into the area and that is not politics? I am not stupid; I just resent paying tax to fund poor behaviour and election campaigns.



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