Member log in

NZ POLITICS DAILY: I wanna hold your hand

The Harawira family is holding the whole country to ransom.

That’s what the Herald has reported the police as saying at Waitangi today – see: Yvonne Tahana and Claire Trevett’s Key at centre of Waitangi standoff. This is obviously a gross exaggeration on the part of the police, but it will resonate with many observing the circus around Titewhai Harawira’s role in holding the Prime Minister’s hand in the walk up to Te Tii Marae each year.

The inability of the board of Te Tii Marae to resolve the increasingly farcical matter has, of course, being magnified hugely by the intense media interest. It seems we can’t escape from reading and hearing about conflict at Waitangi – even if it actually comes down to some pushing and shoving between kuia standing next to the PM

If Waitangi Day is seen as a barometer for racial tension in the country it’s hard to see what the reading is this year so far.
 
Morgan Godfery gives it a go with a comparison of the current mood with 2009 and 2012 – see: Reflections on Waitangi Day. For the Government any discomfort Key may have felt this morning may be a dose of karma as the Manawatu Standard’s Grant Miller points out: ‘National has fed Mrs Harawira's ego on past Waitangi Days, so it is not in a position where it can distance itself from the affair – see: Waitangi – here we go again.
 
Of course there are plenty of very real issues that can and will be debated today. There seems to be plenty of room for improvement according to a UMR poll for the Human Rights Commission. Less than a quarter of those surveyed agreed that ‘The Treaty relationship between the Crown and Maori is healthy’ down from 40% in 2008. This is despite significant progress over that period in settling historical treaty claims – see: Public see Treaty negatives. It seems the unresolved issues are still taking the limelight and that will contribute today with Maori Council co-chairman Maanu Paul set to address the PM directly the on the marae over the water claim currently before the Supreme court. Like the Police, Paul might also be accused of gross exaggeration in saying that John Key ‘has a very brutal and violent way of relating with Maori’ – see TVNZ’s Harawira 'has bullied her way' into escorting PM onto marae
 
With a decision due in the next two weeks, Adam Bennett reports that there is optimism from the Maori Council’s lawyers that their arguments will prevail – see: Chief Justice's views give hope to Maori
 
The government's Constitutional Review has had a much lower profile than the water case but that may change, especially as the ‘official’ review, part of the Maori Party’s agreement with National, is being mirrored by an iwi initiated review.
 
Tracy Watkins says the Maori Party may suffer from having to support the government review, which is likely to be ‘tame’ – see: Turia leads party across a tightrope. Being trapped in such compromises is one reason why Watkins thinks the Maori Party should seriously consider Hone Harawira’s recent peace offering. Certainly Michael Cullen, a member of the Government’s Constitutional Advisory Panel, goes out of his way not to frighten the horses today with: No need for constitutional alarm
 
And internal Maori politics is, of course, about much more than who gets to walk next to the PM. The ‘most significant hui in decades’ for Waikato-Tainui tribal members is being held this week at Ngaruawahia after the Maori King asked for an ‘open and frank’ discussion over the future of the Kingitanga – see Elton Smallman’s Maori King calls hui on Kingitanga's future
 
As with the debate over the future of the Kingitanga, the trivial but fractious tensions today over the Harawira family and protocols illustrates once again just how diverse and often divided Maoridom is. Another reminder of this, can be seen in the latest Te Karere DigiPoll, which shows the following breakdown of party support: Labour 34%, Maori Party 28%, National 9%, Greens 8%, and NZ First and Mana both 6% - see Claire Trevett’s Many Maori unclear of Labour leader – poll. Labour’s lead in this poll is somewhat dampened by the fact that so few Maori Labour supporters know who the party leader is. 
 
David Shearer also receives some poor publicity in today’s Dominion Post editorial, Faltering leader versus government in rut, which declares that the leader is ‘on probation’ and hardly looking like a winner. Matthew Hooton in contrast backs his chances, and gives Shearer some strongly worded advice: Cunliffe's throat must now be cut
 
In other recent articles of interest:
 
The debate over how much a government should get its hands dirty in the economy continues with Matthew Hooton claiming Hands-on economies are dying. But it’s the choice of intervention targets that Dave Armstrong has a problem with as he mourns more manufacturing job losses: ‘this is the same "hands off" government which bailed out South Canterbury Finance investors, which gave taxpayer money to private schools to integrate, and which changed our industrial legislation so Hollywood movies could be made here’ – see: New Zealand's sad manufacturing problem.
 
Did a family friendship have anything to do with appointment of a top-level state job against official advice? See David Fisher’s Judith Collins picked husband's friend. No Right Turn thinks the position of Director of Human Rights Proceedings has to be politically independent – see: Corrupting the judicial system

 

Whatever happened to Rodney Hide? He’s busy writing interesting columns on politics and society from a reinvigorated rightwing perspective – see his latest: A Southern slave owner vs the modern democratic state and State fails students with costly Soviet style system
 
The release of the Labour and Green parties’ housing policies have sparked a debate on how well they can work together in government – see The Standard’s Living together and David Kennedy’s The Labour/Green Relationship. But John Armstrong says that Labour should steer well clear of the Greens ‘huge state house building programme in drag’ – see: Warning flashes from a housing nightmare
 
Do those who run New Zealand come from private schools? In terms of judiciary, yes. Four out of five Supreme Court judges went to private schools – see Kelsey Fletcher’s Two schools of thought on education options

 

We rank 8th in the world for press freedom according to Reporters without Borders, the only non-European country in the top 10 – see: NZ rises in press freedom ranking

 

Domestic power prices have doubled in real terms over the past 30 years according to Victoria University researcher Geoff Bertram, while commercial prices have dropped – see: The 30-year power price hike
 
There is a useful summary of initial reaction to Seven Sharp’s first show Seven Sharp reaction: 'Telethon but with the news'. And Toby Manhire gives a balanced reaction in Seven good things about Seven Sharp’s debut. And seven less good. But if you missed the show, watch Heather du Plessis-Allan’s ‘fluffy’ Intimate tour around the PM's private office, toilet and Parliament
 
Finally, reflections on Paul Holmes are numerous. Those who knew and worked with him, unsurprisingly, reflect on the man as they knew him, such as Tim Watkin in From Dennis Connor to Dotcom: Paul Holmes remembered and Matt McCarten’s Sir Paul signs off with a smile.  Others have taken a more distanced approach, looking at his impact on the media. Holmes’ undoubted talents were usually a conservative force in our media writes Chris Trotter in Requiescat in pace, Sir Paul Holmes. Russell Brown does a good job of putting his career in context in The Next Act, tracing the history right up to ‘Seven Sharp’.
 
Bryce Edwards
 
Today's content:
 
Waitangi Day
Michael Dickison (Herald): Public see Treaty negatives
Morgan Godfery (Maui St): Reflections on Waitangi Day
Yvonne Tahana and Claire Trevett (Herald): Key at centre of Waitangi standoff
Catherine Delahunty (Frogblog): Paddy and me – a journey
Simon Day (Stuff): Campaign takes aim at Treaty
Claire Trevett (Herald): Shearer: Awards would lift Waitangi
Andrea Vance and Kate Chapman (Stuff): Key's Waitangi welcome uncertain
Yvonne Tahana (Newstalk ZB): Waitangi standoff: Harawira to escort PM
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Key walks into war at Waitangi
Kate Chapman (Stuff): Waitangi gauntlet awaits PM
Grant Miller (Manawatu Standard): Waitangi - here we go again
 
Maori politics
Tracy Watkins (Stuff): Turia leads party across a tightrope
Michael Cullen (Herald): No need for constitutional alarm
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): The latest poll of Maori voters
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Maori wait on radio spectrum decision
Carrie Stoddart (Ellipsister): Aotearoa New Zealand?
Adam Bennett and Yvonne Tahana (Herald): Iwi leader: Chief justice 'heavenly'
Joshua Hitchcock (Maori Law and Politics): The (Unused) Power of Resumption
Catherine Delahunty (Frogblog): Te Tiriti o Waitangi and Constitutional Change
 
Economy and ideology
Matthew Hooton (NBR): Hands-on economies are dying
Liam Dann (Herald): Bank policy battle is heating up
Dave Armstrong (Stuff): New Zealand's sad manufacturing problem
Will de Cleene (Gonzo): The Easton Counterfactual
Tom Peters (World Socialist Website): New Zealand government announces new austerity measures
John Roughan (Herald): We are ready to hear a big idea
Susan Edmunds (Herald): The 30-year power price hike
Cherie Howie and Susan Edmunds (Herald): Lid blown on power price rort
Jazial Crossley (Stuff): Many Kiwis stretched, wary of extra debt
 
Paul Holmes
Chris Trotter (Stuff): Requiescat in pace, Sir Paul Holmes
Matt McCarten (Herald): Sir Paul signs off with a smile
Fran O'Sullivan (Herald): On Holmes: Rock n' roll radio with soul
Michael Cummings (Manawatu Standard): Editorial – Holmes a classic Kiwi character
Russell Brown (Public Address): The Next Act
 
Labour Party
Matthew Hooton (NBR): Cunliffe's throat must now be cut
Claire Trevett (Herald): Labour: Shearer to stay
Robert Winter (Idle thoughts): Shearer endorsed: quelle surprise!
Scott Yorke (Imperator Fish): Keep The Debate Going!
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): The Labour leadership vote
Audrey Young (Herald): Big vote tipped for Shearer today
Greg Presland (Waitakere News): Conviction Politics
Ideologically impure: The bigger picture
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): A Standard strategy
The Standard: King, wtf?
 
Labour and Greens
The Standard: Living together
Robert Winter (Idle thoughts): The Greens and Labour
David Kennedy (Local bodies):The Labour/Green Relationship
Robert Winter (Idle thoughts): Responding to bsprout
Anthony Robins (The Standard): Growing the Left vote
 
Housing
John Armstrong (Herald): Warning flashes from a housing nightmare
Sunday Star-Times: Editorial – Lower house costs will mean modest expectations [not currently online]
 
Novapay
Gordon Campbell (Stuff): Singing from the Novopay songbook
Hamish Rutherford (Stuff): Novopay inquiry head named
Tova O’Brien (TV3): Novopay documents detail problems
Charley Mann and Jody O’Callaghan (Stuff): Teachers owed $12m thanks to Novopay
Danyl Mclaughlan (Dim-Post): The Novopay BIM
 
Education
 
Defence Force report
 
Seven Sharp
Vaimoana Tapaleao (Herald): Seven Sharp 'all pastry and no pie'
Diana Wichtel (Listener): On the launch of Seven Sharp
Colin Hogg (Herald): TV review: Seven Sharp
Sam Sachdeva (Stuff): Seven Sharp news show too 'fluffy'
Paul Casserly (Herald): Seven Sharp vs Campbell Live
Victoria Young (NBR): Seven Sharp gets 11th-hour sponsor
Martyn Bradbury (Tumeke): Seven Sharp - a blunt review
Steven Cowan (Against the current): Feed the mind
Steven Cowan (Against the current): News lite
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Seven Sharp
 
Media
Philip Smith (Herald): TV host in search of an audience
Tim Watkin (Pundit): New pundits
 
Judith Collins
The Standard: Conflicted decisions
 
Driver licences
Will de Cleene (Gonzo): Licence Revoked
 
Christchurch
 
OIA reform
Adam Bennett (Herald): Info act plan leaves Greens cold
 
Other
Mark Blackham (Blackland PR): Outlook for 2013
Steve Braunias (Stuff): The Secret Diary of ... Kim Dotcom
Andrea Vance (Stuff): First meeting for reshuffled Cabinet
Olivia Carville (Stuff): Plans for Family Court attacked
Alanah Eriksen (Herald): ACC pays out $2m to govt workers
Holly Walker (Frogblog): Win for transparency
Rob Stock (Stuff): Carbon credit price meltdown
Paul Little (Herald): Why Kiwis are made not born

More by Bryce Edwards

Comments and questions
7

What a circus.
The politicians may want us to think they are spectators but we all know they are clowns also.
The day, place and all the players I hold in contempt.

Not only the Harawiras, but the Maori in gemeral have been holding the country to ransom for years. The continual displacement of financial resources from productive opportunity development to appease imagined greivances is killing this country.

Sigh. The USA had Jackie Kennedy, England had Princess Di, Australia had Elle Macpherson...and we have Mrs. Tiitiefy Harawira.

John Key is a weak man, pretending to be "relaxed" about issues where he should show some spine and represent majority NZers - not placate, as ever, the greedy iwi and radicalised Maori carrying on their raiding of NZers' pockets with their insatiable and now untrue claims.

National has well and truly sold us out - Shearer is pathetic.

Tiime we reined in our politicians. Why are we putting up with this? There is a way to stop them - check out the 100 Days.

To be honest, I've had a gutsful of John Key; always pursing his lips, ready to suck up to the next Maori.

The Hariwiras are the equivalent of white trash!

Kinesticly Proudful is exactly right. Mrs Hariwara is a magnficient social activist. In taking over the dangerous wards at Carrington and liberating them from the disabling chemical cosh imposed by the reactionary psychiatrists, she exposed the hypocrisy of Helen Clark and did a public service equal to Jackie K saving Grand Central Station or Lady Di exposing the crime of land mines and fathering the future Colonel Harry Wales.
The police suggestion that Mr Hariwara's demand to be treated respectfully and a few minor scraps at Waitangi are some sort of violation of public order just suggests how right wing and lazy the police are and their hopeless lack of desire for fair-sided brawling.
The real criminals in this nation are the white feral working class, the real elements of violence in Queen Street and the surrounding lanes who the police never move against. Queen St should be a happy vibrant place for people to drink and party in clubs all night.