National and Maori party to split? | The Jackal

2 Feb 2012

National and Maori party to split?

Today, the NZ Herald reported:

An embarrassing blunder has revealed the Government's original intention to keep a crucial Treaty of Waitangi clause out of legislation required for state asset sales.

The information appeared in the draft of a key document that appeared on the Treasury's website yesterday for a few minutes before it was taken down.


But the draft that appeared on the Treasury's website included a list of the changes made since Tuesday morning - the day after the Maori Party first questioned whether the Government intended to include a clause protecting Treaty rights.

It showed the Government's original intention was not to include any Treaty clause at all in the new legislation covering the mixed-ownership model.

The leaked document shows there was no intention of properly negotiating with the Maori party about possible changes to section 9 of the State Owned-Enterprises Act 1986 (PDF) as well, because there would have to be changes to that act to allow the legislation governing National's MOM model to proceed. John Key can't simply ignore that section of the act.

But what should make this even more damaging is that last night, TV1 News reported that John Key preferred a more specific Treaty clause in the SOE Act, when the leaked document shows that the government planned to remove the clause entirely.

John Key is therefore lying or does not have a proper grasp of what National is intending to do... either way, he's again shown just how unfit he is to be Prime Minister.

The leaked document also shows National planning to reduce the government's control of the partially privatised enterprises:

The draft document shows other politically sensitive paragraphs were also deleted at the last minute - including references to the limited powers ministers would have over mixed-ownership-model companies, despite the Government's majority shareholding, and the aim of the policy being to run them as private firms.

Yesterday, John Key argued that the consultation document required under the current SOE act cannot apply to partially privatised SOE's, but gave no proper reasons why this is the case.

It makes me very suspicious that National want further changes so there's effectively no consultation process with Maori... presumably so the SOE's can be sold off completely without too much bother.

This sort of hidden agenda should not be acceptable to politicians obligated to uphold the mandate of the people.

On a smaller scale, a comment about "iwi leaders" was changed to "iwi". The reason given for the change was that it was "to avoid implication that Crown is consulting iwi elite".

The revelations in the draft document will do little to reassure the Maori Party. Co-leader Tariana Turia has questioned whether the consultation will be genuine, saying it would not be in good faith if the Government had already made up its mind.

That's not such a small change, because the reality of the situation is that the Crown does only consult with the Maori elite... it is not just an implication. You can therefore understand why they're being precious about such things.

In light of this leaked document, the Maori party will loose what little credibility remains if they continue to support a National led government that has shown them such contempt.

Yesterday, Mr Key said he expected the issue of the Treaty clause to come up at Waitangi on Sunday.

He would raise it at Te Tii Marae himself to help address any "confusion and bamboozlement" caused by misinformation.

The only people creating confusion here is the National led government with their secretive plans.

As a public gauge on the issue, responders to a question posed on the NZ Herald website about whether the Maori Party should leave the National led government shows 84% think they should.