‘Ending Homelessness’ report

The ‘Ending Homelessness in New Zealand’ report was released yesterday following a ‘cross-party inquiry’ involving Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party.

Executive Summary

The hundreds of submissions and pieces of evidence presented to the Cross-Party Inquiry into Homelessness show that the level of homelessness in New Zealand is larger than any other time in recent memory and is continuing to grow. The housing crisis is causing an extreme level of homelessness, particularly in Auckland, with families forced to live on the streets, in cars, and in garages.

While New Zealand has had an underlying level of homelessness for some time, there has been a substantial increase in recent years driven by a lack of affordable housing. Many of the problems causing homelessness track back over 30 years, but the current Government has exacerbated the situation by allowing the housing crisis to spin out of control. It has the power to fix it if it is prepared to take the necessary steps.

Homelessness is no longer dominated by the stereotypical rough sleeper with mental health issues and is now more often a working family with young children. Māori and Pasifika communities have disproportionately suffered, along with new migrants who also face substantially higher rates of homelessness. Submitters told us that the vulnerability of other groups such as people with disabilities, the rainbow community and people with mental health issues is exacerbated by homelessness.

The small steps taken by the Government so far are insufficient. To address the problem the Government needs to implement a comprehensive set of measures that address the housing crisis at every level. There needs to be a substantial scaling up of resources to tackle homelessness using Housing First and Whānau Ora approaches.

The Government must step in and address the overall housing crisis by cracking down on speculation in the property market and building significantly more affordable houses. An expansion of state and community housing to provide long term affordable rental accommodation is vital. Without an increase in permanent housing for the homeless to go into, the issue will not ultimately be addressed. We have also identified through the inquiry, a range of other practical measures to reduce homelessness. These steps make up the 20 recommendations of our Inquiry.

Fixing homelessness won’t be cheap. The proposals in this report, when fully adopted, would require significant investment. However this needs to be considered against the cost of doing nothing. Submitters told us it costs around $65,000 to keep a person homeless. When we have 4,200 people without shelter that is over $250 million a year homelessness is costing us.

To deliver all of this, the Government must develop a nationwide strategy to end homelessness. This needs to set out exactly what it will deliver and how to end the chronic levels of homelessness that New Zealand is now facing.

The submissions to the Inquiry showed that this issue is now more important than ever, and we call on the Government to act boldly and urgently.

Summary of Recommendations

1. Roll out Housing First as the primary response to severe homelessness.

2. Increase the State housing stock.

3. A systemic fix to the housing crisis: Build more affordable houses, reduce the cost of building a home, and tackle speculation in the property market.

4. Create a national strategy to end homelessness.

5. Support Kāinga Whenua housing and develop greater flexibility to recognise multiple owned property title.

6. Long term funding for Community Housing Providers to build houses.

7. Retain the Official Statistics New Zealand definition of homelessness and collect regular data on homelessness.

8. Expand housing for the elderly.

9. Income related rent subsidies for existing community housing tenants.

10. Greater security of tenure for renters.

11. Review the Accommodation Supplement.

12. Use vacant state housing stock for emergency housing.

13. Homes for people leaving state care.

14. Information sharing between agencies addressing homelessness.

15. Work with Pasifika aiga to create Pasifika homelessness services.

16. Permanently remove the Housing New Zealand dividend.

17. More support for homelessness workers.

18. Expand agencies able to undertake needs assessments and refer tenants to emergency housing. 19. Improve the quality of rental housing.

20. Increase youth housing and services.

Full Report: Ending Homelessness in New Zealand  (PDF)

Maori party v. NZ First

The Maori Party and NZ First have been having a bit of a barney today.

It seems to have started with a chance clash between Marama Fox and a startled Richard Prosser this morning.

Newshub (includes video): Marama Fox attacks NZ First MP over Treaty let-down

Hundreds of Māori from around the country have cancelled trips to Wellington to witness the signing of Treaty settlements at Parliament on Friday.

New Zealand First has pulled its support for the settlements and that move led to a tearful and angry Māori Party co-leader confronting one of its MPs during a chance encounter in Newshub’s Parliament office.

“We’ve had tears on our phone. They’ve waited 30 years to bring this to Parliament. They’ve been dicked around enough and you buggers on a whim, on a bloody whim – you don’t even care,” she said as a Newshub camera filmed.

Te Ururoa Flavell let rip in General Debate in Parliament:

Ron Mark responded

(Thanks for the links PK)

Newshub: Taxpayers to cover travelling iwi after cancelled signing

Taxpayers will cover costs for hundreds of iwi members who have had to cancel plans to travel to Wellington to witness Treaty settlements.

The signing was put on hold after an objection from New Zealand First.

But what’s not perfect timing is Parliament extending its sitting hours to include this Friday, in order to sign off Treaty Settlements totalling almost a quarter of a billion dollars.

It’s business the Government says is being held to ransom by New Zealand First.

“It’s a stunt, it’s got the guy in the headlines. He’s out there again, using words like constitutional outrage etcetera,” complained Minister Gerry Brownlee.

Mr Peters argues the Bills contain errors, including specific wording.

“The provisions for appointed non-voted people on the committees is back in the legislation,” he says.

“There’s never really been a correlation between the word ‘merit’ and Winston Peters,” says Minister Chris Finlayson. “No, he’s just got things completely wrong.”

NZ First knows the Government has the numbers to pass the settlements – but that’s not stopping Mr Peters from holding up a stop sign.

“Foot the bill, Winston,” says Green Party’s Marama Fox.

“This is nothing more than a stunt, and you can pull out any little thing you can find to try and validate your stance – but this is a stunt, and nothing more.”

The Treaty Settlement Bills will remain on the order paper, essentially going back into the line, and with the Government’s legislative schedule full for the rest of the year, these five iwi will be waiting for some time.

Nick Smith blamed for Kermadec cock up

It’s not surprising to see Environment Minister Nick Smith being blamed for the mess over the lack of consultation with Maori over the proposed Kermadec sanctuary. This week the Government was forced to put plans on hold while they try to repair the damage.

This is a shame because there is wide approval for the sanctuary, including across most parties in Parliament.

But rights are rights and should have been dealt with before announcing the sanctuary.

Newshub: Maori blame Smith for Kermadec stalemate

Environment Minister Nick Smith has handled the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary poorly and would deprive Maori of future fishing rights, says the Te Ohu Kaimoana trust which has caught the Government with a Treaty of Waitangi fishhook.

The trust says the sanctuary cuts across the Treaty’s 1992 fisheries settlement, which transferred 10 percent of the New Zealand fishing quota to Maori.

Chief executive Dion Tuuta says Dr Smith has handled the whole process poorly with a lack of consultation.

On a matter of principle the Kermadec proposal was worse than the foreshore and seabed scrap of the early 2000s, which was about right to go to court to test ownership rights, he told The Nation on Saturday.

“This is actually taking away a property right that actually exists.We haven’t fished there but our Treaty right also includes the right to develop into the future. So the decision about whether we fish there today, tomorrow or a hundred years from now, that’s is our decision.”

The Maori Party is working with National to try and repair the damage. It’s in everyone’s interests that this is done.

The Government had overridden Maori interests without any consultation – and if it could do that to the fisheries settlement it could to it to any Treaty settlement, party co-leader Marama Fox told the programme.

With the Kermadec sanctuary they had been offered the chance to gift more rights back to the Government.

“The Government have simply not learnt through the bad example of the Labour government,” Mrs Fox said.

National has done well with treaty settlements but they have dropped the ball badly here, and Nick Smith must cop much of the flak for that, although John Key should have known better than try to push the sanctuary through without due diligence.

This was covered on The Nation this morning:

Lisa Owen talks to Te Ohu Kaimoana chief executive Dion Tuuta and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox about the impasse over the Kermadec ocean sanctuary, and what happens next.

What next for the Kermadec sanctuary?

It will be on again at 10:00 am Sunday.

Kermadec and coalition repair job

National have cocked up the Kermadec Sanctuary. They seem to have rushed the announcement to give John Key a bit of glory in a speech to the UN. And Nick Smith seems to have a real problem with consulting with Maori.

The ACT party have pulled their support due to lack of due diligence over existing fishing rights as part of a Treaty of Waitangi settlement.

There has been suggestions that the Maori Party could take things further and withdraw from their guaranteed support of the current Government. I think that’s unlikely, stable government has been a major selling point for the Maori Party. But they have leverage.

RNZ political editor Jane Patterson writes in Govt seeks safe harbour over Kermadecs controversy

The row over the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary is not about getting the legislation over the line, it is about National allowing the Māori Party to save face and keep the two parties’ confidence and supply agreement in place.

The last thing National would want is to enter into such a controversy, a year out from a general election with race relations still a delicate balance, and the Māori Party a present and potentially future support partner.

But it only has itself to blame for the lack of true consultation.

Prime Minister John Key announced the Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary with great flourish at the United Nations last year.

But a September 2015 Cabinet Paper from the Environment Minister Nick Smith, pays mere lip service to the treaty issues; it describes the fishing quota held by the Crown and TOKM (effectively set at zero percent) as “an administrative quirk”, and states no compensation should be given because with no fishing activity, there is no loss.

The paper goes on to say options would need to be “carefully considered” with TOKM, to ensure there is no “perceived or actual undermining” of the 1992 settlement.

It is obvious from the paper the government had no intention of consulting either TOKM, or the two far north iwi recognised as tangata whenua, before the Prime Minister’s announcement in New York – it also came out of the blue for the Māori Party.

Things have got progressively worse, to the extent that Key put the Sanctuary legislation on hold until the mess is sorted out.

The Māori Party has now been brought in as a broker at the request of the Prime Minister, which in itself shows National recognises the political risk in letting this spiral out of control.

National needs to ensure they have the Maori party as a support option after next year’s election.

The Sanctuary has created an unusual political situation.

The government has the support of the Greens to pass the legislation. Even with that party’s strong position on treaty issues in the last ten years in particular, it is, at heart, an environmental party.

The Greens will vote for the sanctuary even if that causes some tensions with its Māori MPs or supporters.

Labour, as a supporter of the sanctuary, is in a similar position and will manage any internal tensions with its Māori caucus – the last thing it needs in the lead-up to the election is to become embroiled in a racially charged debate and alienate its Māori vote.

So there’s a lot of careful negotiating around these issues required from several parties.

However Nick Smith.

– NZH Park proposal treading water

Smith has been at the centre of the Government mismanagement of housing issues too, and that could really damage National.

When will we see an announcement that he won’t be standing again next year? Will that be too late?


Cross party support for family violence proposals

The Press editorial: Government’s $130 million family violence package is a solid start

A $130 million plan announced by the Government this week to crack down on violence in Kiwi homes has been welcomed by most victims, support and advocacy groups, and politicians on both sides of the House.

While there are some concerns and reservations, it is good to see cross party support for this.

Greens: Family violence law reforms will help

It is heartening that the Government is finally starting to address the failure of our justice system to provide protection for victims of family violence or support abusers to change,  the Green Party said today.

“Family violence is currently embedded in New Zealand culture and we all need to be brave to face the level of changes needed to address it,” Green Party women’s spokesperson Jan Logie said.

“Too many families have been further traumatised and indebted trying to get legal protection through our courts. Changes to legal aid and the Family Court last term prioritised cost-saving over protecting victims. These reforms will hopefully go some way to addressing that harm caused.

“All New Zealanders need to hear loud and clear the message that family violence, intimate partner violence, and violence against children is unacceptable.     


UnitedFuture leader, Peter Dunne has welcomed the changes proposed today to strengthen New Zealand’s Family Violence laws.

“Our families are the bedrock of our communities and the rates of family violence we have in this country are appalling.

“These changes signal a much-needed shift in the way we respond to family violence,” said Mr Dunne.

“The key issue that needs to be focused on in New Zealand is the alarming fact that it is estimated nearly 80% of family violence incidents go unreported.

“If these reforms make any difference towards providing help to those people who currently do not feel safe or are not comfortable coming forward with their plight, then these policy initiatives will result in positive and meaningful reform.

“UnitedFuture congratulates the government for constructively responding to this unacceptable behaviour that is a blight to our families and communities”, said Mr Dunne.

ACT Party: ACT welcomes beefed up family violence laws, but…

ACT has welcomed the boost to family violence laws announced today, but questions why non-fatal strangulation isn’t a strike offence.

“ACT believes the justice system should always put the victim first. In that spirit, we’re relieved to see new protections for victims of family violence,” says ACT Leader David Seymour.

“Reducing the cost and complexity of obtaining restraining orders is a no-brainer, and legislating against coercive marriage is an overdue protection of basic personal freedom.

“We also support the introduction of an offence for non-fatal strangulation. However, it’s perplexing to discover that non-fatal strangulation will not be included as a strike offence under the Three Strikes for Violent Crime legislation.

“The Three Strikes law, an ACT initiative, has been working well to keep repeat violent offenders behind bars and away from potential victims, so it’s disheartening to see it undermined by the current legislation. Strangulation, like all violent crime, is a serious offence and should be treated as such.”

NZ First via RNZ ‘I’ve seen the black eyes, no-one talks about it’

New Zealand First MP Denis O’Rourke said the measures were a step in the right direction.

“Fundamentally, what they’re saying is there needs to be more guidance, information and education on the one hand but also harsher penalties. I would have thought that that two-pronged approach is the right way to go,” Mr O’Rourke said.

Labour via RNZ ‘I’ve seen the black eyes, no-one talks about it’

Labour’s associate justice spokesperson Poto Williams said tighter bail conditions would increase safety for women and their children.

But she said the government should have made it easier for offenders to access services to help them stop violent behaviour.

Maori party via RNZ ‘I’ve seen the black eyes, no-one talks about it’

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell said having witnessed domestic violence as a child, he hoped the changes would help reduce the appalling statistics.

Mr Flavell said family violence was prevalent in almost every neighbourhood and changes were certainly needed.

He said it was all too often swept under the rug.

“I’ve sat on a bunk next to my cousins and I’ve heard the smashing of the walls. I’ve heard the throwing of pots around the place. I’ve seen the black eyes – and no-one talks about it.”

Cabinet documents showed police attended an average of 280 family violence incidents each day.

Mr Flavell, who is Māori Development Minister, said everyone had a part to play in bringing down those rates.

“That’s the key – you’ve got to start bringing it out of the cupboard. We’ve got to put it out on the table.”

“There’s a part to play by the actual government, by changing laws but actually families have got to talk about it and do something about it.”

Flavell is right, it is not just up to Parliament and the Government to make improvements.

Families and communities “have got to talk about it and do something about it“.

While there are details to be worked out it is promising to see all parties supporting this attempt to reduce our insidious levels of family violence.

Kermadec sanctuary stuff up

It looks like Nick Smith and the Government may have really stuffed up on consultation over the setting up of the Kermadec sanctuary.

Maori who had fishing rights (and rights are rights) are unhappy.

The Maori Pary party are unhappy – there’s been talks of threats they might pull out of their governing arrangement with National, \I don’t think they will do that but they could make things quite awkward.

And David Seymour has pulled his support due to inadequate handling of ownership rights.

There looks to be a bit of pre-election year manoeuvring going on, but there are also important principals involved versus a mix of complacency and arrogance from National – third term curse.

Labour demand Maori “open the books”

Nanaia Mahuta, in a press release under the New Zealand Labour Party, has asked for the President of the Maori Party to disclose “honorariums and fees paid”.

Does Mahuta think this should just apply to Tuku Morgan, or to all political party officials? There would be some interest in Labour making a full disclosure about how, for example, Matt McCarten is going to be paid as Andrew Little’s ‘outreach’ appointments secretary.

It doesn’t appear that Mahuta is offering to fully disclose all of her income.

Tribe footing the bill for Maori Party?

Waikato-Tainui deserve committed representation, yet the President of the Maori Party is muddying the waters by confusing the core business of the tribe with party politics, says Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.

“The only way to fix this growing negative perception is for Tuku Morgan to disclose the honorariums and fees paid for the work he purports to undertake on the tribe’s behalf.

“Someone’s footing the bill and it shouldn’t be the tribe.

“The people I represent at the coal-face work are struggling to get work or are holding a couple of jobs down just to put kai on the table.

“They want a Government who will bat for them when it comes to security in the workplace, affordable rentals and real housing options. They want someone in the electorate who they can trust, and who will put the needs of real people first.

“From what I understand, Tuku Morgan as a member of the Waikato River Authority, a member of Tainui Group Holdings, a member of Te Arataura and several Kiingitanga appointments which provide an annual income close to that of the Prime Minister.

“I’m sure that the tribe would not want its charitable status affected if it starts footing the bill for political activity. So open the books Mr President of the Maori Party,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

This is an odd demand from Mahuta – if it is a demand, it may be just an attempt to stir things up amongst Tainui, to cast aspersions knowing that Morgan’s nor her nor Labour’s books will be opened.

RNZ followed up on Mahuta’s press release: Mahuta questions Māori Party president’s roles

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta is calling for transparency from Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan, saying he may be confusing iwi business with politics.

The Labour MP said she believed their iwi, Waikato-Tainui, deserved committed representation, and the only way to fix what she said was a growing negative perception would be for Mr Morgan to disclose exactly what he did for the iwi.

She said she did not have evidence that he was being paid by the iwi but it was a question that had been raised by her constituents.

No evidence but she does a Winston anyway.

“There is a growing level of unease across people who have reflected their concerns to me about a blurring of boundaries in terms of Tuku’s role as a representative of the tribe in various capacities and also [as] the president of the Māori Party – and somebody is paying for what he is doing.”

Ms Mahuta did not believe there was a high enough level of disclosure from Mr Morgan, certainly in his tribal capacity about what he was reportedly being paid and what he was doing on the tribe’s behalf.

Ms Mahuta said: “This is a direct response to the issues that Tuku has raised challenging the effort of Labour Party Māori members.

“I’m just asking a question and I think it’s a fair one.”

I don’t think demanding party officials disclose all their income is the done thing. It isn’t ‘fair’ unless Mahuta and the Labour Party are prepared to do likewise.

Asked if this was an indication she was going to stand for the Hauraki-Waikato Māori electoral seat next year, she said: “This is a signal that if Tuku wants to make real the challenge he has put to Labour, he better announce his candidates early.”

It’s an indication that things are hotting up in the Waikato, and between the Maori Party and the Labour Party.

Mahuta has normally been a very low profile MP, if nothing else this seems to have prompted her to be more visible. Perhaps she intends to fight for her electorate.

Recently the Māori King said in his annual speech that he would no longer vote for the Labour Party.

Māori political play looks credible

Māori political interests are becoming clearer and look like they are aiming for real gains – and it doesn’t look favourable for the Labour Party, who appears to be losing it’s connection with yet another pew from it’s once broad church.

Maiki Sherman has an in depth and fascinating analysis of Māori political manoeuvrings at Newshub – Opinion: Māori politics now a Game of Thrones.

In short, the Kīngitanga movement appears to be teaming up with the Māori Party, and they are working towards an alliance with Hone Harawira and the Mana Party.

The person at the centre of this is Tuku Morgan, ex NZ First MP and now a closer adviser to Kīngi Tuheitia and president of the Māori Party.

If this works it could put a strong bloc of Māori in a strong political position, competing with NZ First for holding possible balance of power after next year’s election.

And it will either sideline Labour from power, or it have a powerful influence over a Labour led coalition.

National could be the main benefactors – apart from Māori.

As next year’s election looms closer, the power plays have begun.

And right at the centre of it is the King himself – Kīngi Tuheitia, the Māori Monarch. His movement, the Kīngitanga, is reasserting its relevance.

The King’s annual address is the only time he speaks publicly.

Over the years, his speeches have included the personal criticisms faced by the King and the overwhelming need to reaffirm the relevance of the King Movement.

Of equal importance, and intrinsically tied to the two points just mentioned, are the ever-increasing political themes seen in the King’s yearly speech.

Māori water rights, Kōhanga Reo, a Treaty of Waitangi claim to greater Auckland, and the question of sovereignty.

All of these issues have been part of an attempt to assert the power of the Kīngitanga.  

However, the King Movement does not command the same power it once had with the Government of the time.

The movement itself, as noted by the King in his annual addresses, has had to work on rebuilding its support amongst the Māori people.    

A king with fractured support from his own tribes is a king whose power is also fractured, leaving cracks for any government to divide and conquer.

Securing major concessions such as shared sovereignty then would be an uphill battle.

And so, politically at least, a strategy is needed to strengthen the King’s hand in the realm of Parliament.

Cue the King’s speech of 2016 that attacked Labour.

It was claimed the King went off script this year. But this is not the case.

Labour leader Andrew Little was set up – he was sitting front and centre moments before the King’s address was delivered.

The King said he would not be voting for Labour again and criticised the leader for his unwillingness to work with the Māori Party.

He then went on to back the Māori Party, with a nod also to Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement.  

The King’s Hand – Tukoroirangi Morgan

Tukoroirangi Morgan has been the King’s Hand – the King’s closest adviser – for many years.

And Morgan now has another job – he was recently appointed President of the Māori Party.

He is expected to be a game-changer for the Māori Party. The latest developments with the Kīngitanga support is a clear sign of this.

Morgan’s strategy and game plan will be well thought out.

The first move was to extend an olive branch to the Mana Movement. Breakfast with Hone Harawira.

And the backing of both the Māori Party and Mana Movement by the King in his annual address was anything but a coincidence.  

The Marriage of Convenience – Mana Party

A Maori Party-Mana alliance is the ultimate marriage of convenience in the Seven Kingdoms.

The seed was already sown following the meeting between Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hone Harawira.

A formal merger is highly unlikely. But a marriage of convenience is very much on the cards. A deal is almost certain to be struck in the Seven Kingdoms.

The King’s endorsement of Mana though has served more reasons than one. It would be a hard sell to say the Kīngitanga was backing an independent Māori voice without acknowledging Mana.

The Political Pawn – Māori Party

The real power-play here is the King’s endorsement of the Māori Party and setting up its alliance with Mana.

In order to strengthen the Kīngitanga’s political relevancy, they need to secure more concessions from the Government.

The King and his office are well and truly  aware of the benefits of sitting at the Government table.

Unlike other political parties, the Māori Party is not tied to the greater party needs and wants. Māori aspirations come first.

And so the King is taking over the Māori Party –  a movement capable of doing the Kīngitanga’s bidding at the Government table. And sitting across from John Key will be none other than Tukoroirangi Morgan.

The Māori Party has been hijacked by the Kīngitanga – they just don’t know it yet.

Perhaps they are willing parties to this power play – they will have been well aware of the significance of appointing Morgan as their party president.

The Princess – Nanaia Mahuta

So, where does Nanaia Mahuta sit in all of this? The Hauraki-Waikato MP has been the political princess of the Kīngitanga for two decades.

Questions have been swirling for a while about whether Mahuta will contest the next election. While she has confirmed she intends to stand, inside sources reveal that is not the case. The King’s attack on Labour all but confirm this. It is no longer a question of if, but simply when Mahuta will step down.

The King’s criticism and its inferred message for voters to ditch Labour now makes it far too awkward for Mahuta to stand at the next election. Hauraki-Waikato are block voters. They have backed Mahuta over the years, much of it based on loyalty.

And loyalty should not be underestimated when it comes to Māori politics. When Labour announced its reshuffle in December 2015, Mahuta was demoted down the list. This caused outrage among Hauraki-Waikato constituents and the Kīngitanga. The King’s spokesman Tuku Morgan came out firing saying Little would regret it and the snub would come back to bite the party in the backside. The Kīngitanga has delivered on that promise.      

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

Expect the Māori Party to win this seat at next year’s election.

The Outcast – Andrew Little

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

However, with at least another year out from the election, expect further moves to take place in the interim.

As the old saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Labour have tended to use their Māori support rather than deliver what it has wanted. No are we seeing some utu?

The Gatekeeper – John Key

According to a media advisor in the King’s office, John Key and Kīngi Tuheitia have had at least three meetings in the past six months.

A stronger Māori Party could also be another saviour for National in that it may not have to rely on the Kingmaker – Winston Peters.

The Māori King could save Key from Winston the Kingmaker.

Yet, as they say – a year is a long time in politics. Anything could happen.

But one thing is certain – the Māori politics Game of Thrones is well and truly underway.

Yes, a lot could happen in the next year.

But what Sherman illustrates here is credible, and it looks like a well thought through plan. That could succeed.

The biggest unknown is who will lead the next Government, National or Labour. This plan appears to favour National. But above all it could put the Māori Party, the Māori King and the Mana movement into a very powerful position – and there may be little the rest of us can do about it.

What would provide a strong Māori bloc in Parliament with the most benefits?

A Labour led coalition, where Labour is keen to make up for nine years out of power, the Green Party is keen to launch their long planned ideals, possible NZ First are also in the mix, with the Māori Party making up the numbers?

Or the Māori Party building on their relationship with National, possibly providing National with a path back to power without needing to rely on Winston Peters, and holding on their own a decisive vote?

Where would Mana fit in if Harawira wins his seat back? He has vowed never to team up with National. But he could still team up with the Māori Party, who apart for Confidence and Supply have voted against the Government more than for it.

The next year in politics could be much more interesting than the same old ‘Winston holds the balance of power’.


Elites, Maori Party, Clark, UN

Rob Hosking writes in NBR On revolt against the elites, the Maori Party & Helen Clark’s UN bid (paywall), and posted an excerpt on Twitter:



Maori Party versus Helen Clark

The Maori Party MPs have stirred a few people up by refusing to back Helen Clark’s bid for the United Nations Secretary General.

NZ Herald reports:

Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox said today that Labour did not support the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (DRIP) and it introduced the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Fox said on Radio New Zealand that Clark should apologise to show she had learned from her “mistakes”.

“I would think at the very least somebody who is seeking the top role of the UN would also have the foresight and the ability to look back at those past mistakes, acknowledge them and move on and until she does, how can we be supportive of that role?”

Andrew Little and Winston Peters have slammed this.

Andrew Little…

…said Fox’s comments were disappointing.

“Helen Clark is widely known internationally, representative of New Zealand. This a great opportunity for a New Zealander to take one of the prime roles in international and diplomatic affairs.

“Every New Zealander should be behind that and I think it, frankly, stinks that the Maori Party say they are not going to support it.”

Labour have seemed to thinks that the Maori party stinks for competing with Labour for Maori votes since they split.

New Zealand First leader Winston Peters…

…says the Maori Party is being “treacherous” in saying it does not support Helen Clark’s bid to become UN Secretary General.

“It is petty grand standing without any principle,” he said. “the reality is the Maori Party is desperately appearing to be relevant.”

“It is treacherous in the extreme,” he said.

Peters may be angling for a job as Minister of Irony. Petty grand standing without any principle is something Peters should be very familiar with, if he is self aware.

Helen Clark said in a statement…

…that New Zealand fully supported the negotiations on the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

“We asked for more time to improve the Declaration to make it fully capable of implementation in all countries.

“At that time we were concerned that some aspects of the UNDRIP cut across New Zealand’s constitutional framework and legal system.

“New Zealand was however at the forefront of implementing most of the rights in the UNDRIP.

“was pleased to see that the Government was able to support the Declaration in 2010.”

Te Ururoa defended the Maori Party stand on Breakfast this morning.

“There should be a part of Helen Clark that knows she needs to apologise to Maori.”

“It’s a contradiction for her to stand up there but to not supported the rights of indigenous people here in NZ”

And Marama Fox on the Paul Henry Show:

“We’ve not supported Helen Clark for a number of months…”

“We’re not supporting any candidate over another.I’d love to see a Kiwi…and a woman in the position…but we just can’t support

“The UN Sec General is responsible for crises across the world.. and a lot of those are indigenous matters”

“If we’re going to have someone as a UN Sec General we need to have someone that understands the rights of indigenous people”

The Maori Party are free to support or not support whoever they like. Backing Clark for UN Secretary General is not compulsory in New Zealand’s democracy.