Island Life by David Slack

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Island Life: Choose life. Choose a job. Choose a Brasher future.

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  • Russell Brown,

    I guess the only way out of that is Labour and National both having spine and saying "nope, sorry". Breath, I no hold.

    Leaving aside whether what the Maori Party announced means anything in a constitutional sense, it's much easier for Labour -- their position already is that the Maori seats can only be abolished with the consent of Maori (of, course, you can bicker about what that consent actually entails).

    Clark has, however, rejected out of hand Turia's bizarre demand that Maori (and on public policy terms that means anyone with any obvious Maori heritage) be by default registered on the Maori electoral roll when they turn 18.

    For National, entrenching Maori seats means overturning a policy they've reiterated for years -- and potentially alienating its own voters in the process.

    But if National were to cave on that one, it's a hell of a big trophy for the Maori Party leadership to take back to the stakeholders.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • linger,

    So (as we already knew, right?) it's about maintaining a strong Maori Party brand, regardless of the outcome.
    They actually have little need to form part of the new government (especially if their members end up holding the key to a majority on any issue on which National & Labour disagree); it helps increase their particular support base if they can keep themselves as a recognisable third side "for Maori" rather than for "govt" or "opposition".

    Tokyo • Since Apr 2007 • 1940 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    it's much easier for Labour -- their position already is that the Maori seats can only be abolished with the consent of Maori (of, course, you can bicker about what that consent actually entails).

    No. Russell, let's not "bicker" but actually ask some serious questions about whether that means anything at all. If the Maori Party wants to introduce a bill into the next Parliament 'entrenching' the Maori seats it is perfectly entitled to do so (and I assume they'll be quite happy to accept the votes of every tauiwi MP in favour); and I assume they wouldn't be supporting any legislative moves to abolish those seats, on the theory that Thanksgiving is never a high holy day in the turkey community.

    But exactly what do the Maori Party and Labour mean by "consent", and exactly who counts as 'Maori' for the purposes of this exercise?

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

  • Craig Ranapia,

    And could someone ask Mrs Turia whether her attachment to the electoral norms of the 19th century means she intends to resign from Parliament, after introducing bills to repeal women's suffrage and reintroduce the property qualification the Maori seat were basically intended to mitigate in the first place?

    Or perhaps she'd like to get a little more retro, and reintroduce the British ideal that only communicants in good standing of the Church of England were fit to be Parliamentarians -- No Jews. No Muslims. No Hindus or Buddhists. No Catholics or non-conformist Protestants. No avowed atheists. And certainly no Ratana.

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

  • Russell Brown,

    Well, Turia's interview with Sean Plunket this morning was bizarre.

    She said she didn't know Sharples was in the paper this morning expressing a preference for Labour and then suggested that National's policy on abolishing Maori seats was better than Labour's stance that the seats couldn't be removed against the wishes of Maori, because at least you knew where you were with National.

    Both statements seemed to demand a robust follow-up from the interviewer, but Plunket instead started calling her by her first name and feeding her helpful lines.

    He may also have been tickling her bum with a feather, but I couldn't tell because it was radio.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 22848 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    He may also have been tickling her bum with a feather, but I couldn't tell because it was radio.

    Oh, thanks for that picture. Don't I do the gross and inappropriate word pictures around here? :) But I've got to agree with you that RNZ picked a lousy time to start piping happy gas into the air conditioning.

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

  • Tom Semmens,

    I heard the Turia interview this morning as well. I was indolently lolling in bed as I damaged myself good and proper playing indoor netball and am confined to the horizontal for a few days, but that interview woke me up good and proper.

    The election hasn't even occurred yet but the fissures in the Maori Party are plain for all to see, and appear to be widening. My guess is any attempt by the increasingly erratic Turia to extend her grudge against Helen Clark into an alliance with National would see Pita Sharples simply completing his takeover of the leadership of the Maori Party, and Turia will - yet again - swan off into the wilderness to howl at moon about poor little her.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    But exactly what do the Maori Party and Labour mean by "consent", and exactly who counts as 'Maori' for the purposes of this exercise?

    Who knows what consent would mean, but Maori isn't exactly undefined in umpteen places in NZ law, including electoral law.

    And could someone ask Mrs Turia whether her attachment to the electoral norms of the 19th century means she intends to resign from Parliament, after introducing bills to repeal women's suffrage and reintroduce the property qualification the Maori seat were basically intended to mitigate in the first place?

    Yup. Because if we have one thing from a couple of centuries ago, we need to have everything from a couple of centuries ago.

    The election hasn't even occurred yet but the fissures in the Maori Party are plain for all to see, and appear to be widening.

    The Maori Party with Sharples at its head would interest me a lot more than the current incarnation. He seems to be much more likely to have his head on the right way than Turia does.

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Tom Semmens,

    I am not a big fan of Pita Sharples. His combination of emotional bluster and heart-on-the-sleeve honesty might go down a treat with some, but for me it raises serious questions about his ability to do the hard yards in government.

    Having said that, his motivations appear good, which is more than I can say about Tariana Turia.

    Sevilla, Espana • Since Nov 2006 • 2217 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    Ooops - sorry, got side-tracked with looking after babies...

    I realise I was a bit vague in my original post - it's just that you have a great (and witty) writing style and generally choose life-affirming or emotive topics such as extra-curricular tutelage of your daughter, travels around France, the upsetting death of a friend, etc that make you ponder the bigger picture of life.

    And I am not a fan of personal politics. Cast your vote and see what happens...

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • David Slack,

    Ooops - sorry, got side-tracked with looking after babies...
    I realise I was a bit vague in my original post - it's just that you have a great (and witty) writing style and generally choose life-affirming or emotive topics such as extra-curricular tutelage of your daughter, travels around France, the upsetting death of a friend, etc that make you ponder the bigger picture of life.
    And I am not a fan of personal politics. Cast your vote and see what happens...

    Thank you Rik. I see your point.

    If it's any help, I'm just days away from the first anniversary of an experience so awful I could barely write about it at the time. I might well have something to offer about that.

    I'm intrigued, though: on which side of the ledger do you put the story about taking Mary-Margaret to an ACT meeting?

    Devonport • Since Nov 2006 • 599 posts Report Reply

  • Mark Easterbrook,

    The 'shocking mistreatment of children' side? Oh wait, Rodney wasn't there, it's okay ;)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 264 posts Report Reply

  • Kyle Matthews,

    The 'shocking mistreatment of children' side? Oh wait, Rodney wasn't there, it's okay ;)

    It does raise the question...

    If you gave your baby to Rodney Hide, for a baby kissing moment (ew).

    Would he drop it on its head?

    Since Nov 2006 • 6243 posts Report Reply

  • Rik,

    I'm intrigued, though: on which side of the ledger do you put the story about taking Mary-Margaret to an ACT meeting?

    True, true - it does help strike a balance.

    I just re-read the post and I think what got me was the multiple expamples of the two-facedness (is that a word?) of John Key. Seems to mirror some of the Labour campaign marketing.

    Now it's not that he isn't necessarily two-faced but as always the devil is in the detail. Let's look at an example:

    John Key tells Pita Sharples privately that he will not get rid of the Maori seats whereas in other public forums he says that he will be getting rid of them.

    Certainly sounds a bit two-faced (or a "flip-flop" if you will).

    But was it really? As I understand it he says that he told Pita Sharples that losing the Maori seats wasn't set in stone and that while he would like to get rid of them if it meant getting the Maori party onside he had bigger fish to fry (in terms of running the country).

    Sounds reasonable to me.

    My pick has Labour hanging in there for another term so don't panic, you probably won't have to put up with him for much longer.

    Anyway - I probably don't have a full grasp of the facts and after a couple of whisky's probably am not making much sense anyway.

    How about I just look forward to your next post - don't make it too much of a tear-jerker, you get some funny looks around the office!

    Since Jun 2007 • 130 posts Report Reply

  • giovanni tiso,

    It does raise the question...

    If you gave your baby to Rodney Hide, for a baby kissing moment (ew).

    Would he drop it on its head?

    Would have to be a freakishly strong baby.

    Wellington • Since Jun 2007 • 7473 posts Report Reply

  • Craig Ranapia,

    Who knows what consent would mean, but Maori isn't exactly undefined in umpteen places in NZ law, including electoral law.

    So, Kyle, for the purposes of this exercise "Maori" are anyone who says they are. Or should we have to reel off our whakapapa until Tariana's satisfied -- which would FUBAR plenty of 'urban' Maori? Proficiency in te reo? What?

    Yup. Because if we have one thing from a couple of centuries ago, we need to have everything from a couple of centuries ago.

    Oh, I'm just exploring a certain logical inconsistency in reactionaries of convenience where the Maori seats are concerned. That the problem with appeals to historical authority, history is rarely tidy enough to suit the political needs of the present day.

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

  • Rich of Observationz,

    So, Kyle, for the purposes of this exercise "Maori" are anyone who says they are

    That seems to have worked well thus far. I don't think there are too many impostors on the Maori roll?

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

  • Steve Barnes,

    On J K being two faced
    He said it himself.

    Peria • Since Dec 2006 • 5521 posts Report Reply

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