OnPoint by Keith Ng

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OnPoint: AIA and Maori Seats

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  • InternationalObserver,

    if the Canadians are offering 30% more than the market rates the AIA shares it may be that they see the opportunity to make the airport more productive.

    I doubt that. The original deal involved a fair bit of jiggery pokery. They weren't offering to buy a 40% stake in in AIA. They were proposing to form a new company which would buy AIA and borrow money to do that and pay a higher price than AIA is worth because some AIA assets would be sold and others revalued (up) the end result would be that the councils would get a tidy amount in cash plus shares in the new venture which they could keep or sell or buy more of and Canada Pensioners would own 40% of this new Airport Company.

    I don't profess to know/understand it all, but I know jiggery pokery (having watched how Eric Watson buys companys, floats them at a profit, and then buys them back when they nose dive in value) when I see it. Cullen twigged too, and closed down the tax benefit the Cannucks were hoping to profit from. (Similar to how New Line effectively had kiwi taxpayers pay for LOTR). But even that didn't stop them, hence the latest move.

    </unfinished comment>

    Since Jun 2007 • 909 posts Report Reply

  • Rich of Observationz,

    Anyway, why doesn't the Government just bite the bullet and nationalise the airports, ports and rail network and tell us what social services are going to be cut to pay for it all? :)

    The airports and ports *make* money. The rail network is in public ownership apart from the oepration of freight and tourist trains - and it's quite likely that Toll will collapse and those will need to be bailed out, as well.

    Perhaps if they were nationalised, the revenue from the (air)ports could subsidise the rail network. That's pretty much how the New York subway is financed, incidentally.

    Back in Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 5550 posts Report Reply

  • Christiaan,

    Well, since it's meant to be a partnership, maybe 50% of the seats in parliament should be Maori seats. :)

    London, UK • Since Dec 2006 • 121 posts Report Reply

  • Zippy Gonzales,

    Why doesn't the NZ Super Fund just buy in, instead of the Canadians?

    Wellington • Since Nov 2006 • 186 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    So long as you have electorate seats the risk of an overhang will exist. So I don't really see why this is a Maori seats issue.

    Am I the only one who thinks that the Maori Party holding the balance of power might lead to a grand coalition?*


    _______________________________
    *Something that would be great if for no other reason than the enjoyment available from I watching the implosions it caused in the wingnutosphere

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Terence Wood,

    typos - grrrrrrrr

    Since Nov 2006 • 148 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    Something that would be great if for no other reason than the enjoyment available from I watching the implosions it caused in the wingnutosphere

    We won't have to wait long for wingnutosphere implosions anyway. Their lack of positive affirmation for Key is noticeable already.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    We won't have to wait long for wingnutosphere implosions anyway. Their lack of positive affirmation for Key is noticeable already.

    And that's a bad thing, how? Frankly, I'd be more worried if Key was getting his tummy rubbed by the left or right wingnuts out there. With a little luck, the day Key becomes Prime Minister the usual suspects are going to Mama Cass on their own bile. The only downside is that we're going to have to endure a particularly toxic election campaign first.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kumara Republic,

    The only downside is that we're going to have to endure a particularly toxic election campaign first.

    Viktor Yushchenko, anyone?

    The southernmost capital … • Since Nov 2006 • 5430 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Am I the only one who thinks that the Maori Party holding the balance of power might lead to a grand coalition?*

    Nope -- because I don't think National is going to be running a feral campaign in the Maori seats. Labour will, if Shane Jones' latest vapourings are a reliable indicator of what their strategy is from here on in.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Russell Brown,

    With a little luck, the day Key becomes Prime Minister the usual suspects are going to Mama Cass on their own bile.

    No, I'm picking about three weeks later when it dawns on them that the elected government government is a perfectly conventional one, and thus unable to deliver them from their fevered dreams and grievances.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22834 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Viktor Yushchenko, anyone?

    Oh, I don't think the Liarbore Dykeocracy is that evil. Character assassination, sure. The politics of fear applied three times a day with a sledgehammer. Whatever works. Your intelligence and sense of human dignity given a good going over. Simple objective reality told to go screw itself. But no dioxin smoothies.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • BenWilson,

    Am I the only one who thinks that the Maori Party holding the balance of power might lead to a grand coalition?*

    No, see my comments earlier in the thread.

    They are deeply undemocratic, and should go. And I don't accept that only Maori have a right to decide on them.

    They are undemocratic, that's for sure. But that doesn't automatically make them wrong - there is the historical context to consider, that Maori did actually own NZ in it's entirety prior to European settlement, and they made a treaty, and that treaty still stands.

    I would personally prefer it if Maori could set aside their claim to specialness for their own sakes, but I do not think it is right or just to force them to do so. I also don't think they ever will, unless somehow their own level of wellbeing rises to Pakeha levels on many, many fronts. Until then, their very small advantage in a very small number of seats will not be given back just to satisfy 'democracy', a system that can often only seem like the tyranny of the majority to a disadvantaged minority.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 10653 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    No, I'm picking about three weeks later...

    Just enough time to organise a wake in the best traditions of good bad taste. You bring the Broil King, and I'll supply enough alcohol that you can witness my Humpty Dance of Ecstasy without your eyes melting.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    I would personally prefer it if Maori could set aside their claim to specialness for their own sakes, but I do not think it is right or just to force them to do so.

    Um, Ben, I'm sure there were plenty of Maori who weren't down with all this women's suffrage nonsense but I don't feel much regret that they were 'forced' to accept it. I sure didn't support MMP. but I happened to be on the losing side of that particular argument and went through my grieving process a long time ago.

    Democrazy Kiwi-style's a bitch, but a remarkably benign one. I'd also make the observation that, thankfully, a major change to our electoral law can't be made by Order in Council. Another nice thing about Parliamentary democracy is that no legislation is guaranteed passage.

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    Anyway, why doesn't the Government just bite the bullet and nationalise the airports, ports and rail network and tell us what social services are going to be cut to pay for it all? :)

    What's this 'pay' white man? That sounds like buying, nationalising is when the government informs you on its state-run channel that these things that you used to own, now belong to them. You might get paid a pittance of what you wrongly thought they were worth, and possibly not shot. Move along.

    Personally, I really fail to see what the problem is with a Canadian Pension Fund owning 40% of the airport, and declining to have that much control. Private NZ, or other overseas investors are going to be just as interested in making money and not caring about the 'strategic value' of AIA as a Canadian fund.

    And personally, I'd much rather than a bunch of Canadians having a say than anything headed by John Banks.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    I'm always undecided about the Maori seats. Yes they're anti-democratic to an extent. They don't fulfil any partnership obligations under the treaty - that would require a parallel body of some sort, through which legislation also had to pass.

    But they do provide needed representation for Maori and Maori issues. I just don't think that's their purpose, though some people would say it was.

    I don't feel I can conclude that they should stay or go, until I've tied down what they're for, and I can never define that properly.

    They feel like a historical thing that we're holding onto because we feel that they're a good thing in reality, but can't find the principles that explain why.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rosie,

    No, Keith. The Maori seats were introduced at a time when there was a property qualification to vote. It's one of life's delicious ironies that Maori men had universal suffrage about twenty years before their honky brethren. (The wahine, like their pakeha sisters, had to wait a little longer.)

    Craig, I am not sure I am reading you right but its not universal suffrage if you need property to vote. When Maori seats were introduced Maori needed to have property to vote for the seats but collectively owned land didn’t count. Therefore to get representation through voting Maori needed to divide collectively owned land into Individual title. One result of this is it made selling land off to European settlers a lot easier because individuals didn’t need to come to a group agreement about selling. (Also, getting a survey and a tile for your land costs money which might need to be paid for with part of your land.) A good arrangement for the settlers. Also when the Maori seats were introduced I suspect there were more Maori than Europeans in the country. At the time having only 4 seats out of (I think about) 80 was used to restrict Maori voting power.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2007 • 20 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Rosie:

    Fair question, I'll go check because I don't think that was the case but am quite happy to prove myself wrong. :)

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    Rosie is correct, apart from the timing of Maori seats and arrival of settlers outnumbering Maori.
    From the 1961 NZ Encyclopedia:

    The first House of Representatives established under the Constitution Act 1852 consisted of 37 members. There were increases until 1881 when the number became 95. After a reduction to 74 in 1891, the present number of 80 (including four Maori seats) was established in 1900. There was periodic reform of the franchise until manhood franchise was established in 1879. In 1893 New Zealand became the first British country to give the vote to women [...]

    The Maoris' communal system of land owning did not enable them to take advantage of the property qualification established in 1852 and, in order to give them effective representation, four separate Maori seats were established in 1867 on the basis of manhood franchise.

    (NB: Pakeha settlers outnumbered Maori after 1858, so would have had a numerical advantage in any type of election.)

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1931 posts Report Reply

  • Neil Morrison,

    They are deeply undemocratic, and should go. And I don't accept that only Maori have a right to decide on them.

    In a sense they are undemocratic but democracy should have a degree of fudge about it - real life with all its various conflicts can be too complex to nail down with an ideal of Democracy.

    Sometimes it's just the least worst option. I think NZ would be in a far worse situation now without the Maori seats - I'm sure we would have had an armed seperatist movement. The seats do play a role in dealing with the colonial legacy. But at some point they should go - and with MMP there is less need for them.

    I'm not sure about the AIA. Cullen seems to be trying to be a bit too clever about this - manouvering Key into a tricky poistion. Seems to have worked. But I would have prefered Labour to deal with the issue more straight forwardly. Key looks bad but for me Cullen comes off slightly worse.

    Since Nov 2006 • 932 posts Report Reply

  • Darryn Melrose,

    The Governments approach on the airport is laughable - what is so strategic about an airport - we are not going to war are we?

    The media analysis of this has been poor - why hasn't anyone looked at how Heathrow, Gatwick and most of the other UK airports managed by BAA are owned by a Spanish company - and how this 'foreign takeover' is a non issue.

    Since Nov 2007 • 2 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    can a party that's unable to get 1/3 of Maori votes really claim to represent Maori?

    as much as any party can argue to represent all of their desired constituents.

    The Maori seats were conceived to give Maori representation in Parliament at a time when there was no way they could get there, because we were a FPP system, Maori were few and dispersed, and the general electorate would never vote for a Maori MP. With MMP, none of those arguments stand.

    untrue. the maori seats were seat up in the aftermath of the land wars, as a sop to kupapa maori.

    there is no "hard-fought" political rights about it.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Che Tibby,

    and linger and rosie are right.

    another interesting factiod is that maori were denied secret ballot until 1938...

    and reading keith's comments further, the "few and dispersed" bit is also outright wrong.

    and i agree with neil. the situation for maori without the maori seats would be far worse, taking into account that they were effectively ignored by all and sundry until the 1970s.

    the back of an envelope • Since Nov 2006 • 2042 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Sometimes it's just the least worst option. I think NZ would be in a far worse situation now without the Maori seats - I'm sure we would have had an armed seperatist movement.

    Neil: I know that's not the place you're coming from, but if the spectre of race war is used as a campaign tool by anyone this campaign season, I'll make it my personal mission to but my gardening boots so far up their butt they'll be tasting leather for the rest of their lives. "I know the natives are revolting, Carruthers, but why are they shooting at us" is a bad joke.

    another interesting factiod is that maori were denied secret ballot until 1938...

    And interesting that the Maori seats were always intended as a temporary measure, based on the assumption that Maori would eventually adopt a more conventional mode of land ownership -- assuming the noble savages didn't die out first. Don't you just love how thoroughly disobliging Maori are?

    North Shore, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 12370 posts Report Reply

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