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NZ Politics Daily: Race relations and political breaches

So far this year, ‘race relations' are dominating politics.

Bryce Edwards
Mon, 13 Feb 2012

New Zealand often appears to be bursting to have a national conversation and debate about issues of ethnicity and politics. The response to Paul Holmes’ latest opinion piece (Waitangi Day a complete waste certainly suggests this.

As the Herald notes, Holmes’ column hit a nerve, and the flood of positive and negative responses obviously reflect peoples strong feelings about Waitangi Day. However, Holmes’ column has generated extensive criticism, particularly for the way it paints all Maori with same brush – such as when he says, ‘never mind the hopeless failure of Maori to educate their children and stop them bashing their babies.'

Maori politics specialist Morgan Godfery says the column is the ‘vilest’ he has ever seen and ‘undeniably racist’ (see – Holmes: morally repugnant and deeply racist, while Scott Hamilton says on his Reading the Maps blog that Maori might pause before taking child-rearing advice from Holmes, given that he ‘helped bring up that model of scholarship and sobriety Millie Elder-Holmes’ – see: Lazy Maoris and idle words

Others have expressed similar views to Holmes about Waitangi Day – albeit with more sophistication, see: Sean Plunket’s National day should be celebratory, not rudely divisive and John Roughan’s Treaty principle cuts both ways

Nonetheless, in his own limited and distorted way, Holmes raises important points and an arguably legitimate perspective. Rather than clamping down on such opinions, New Zealand desperately needs an expanded debate about ethnicity and politics.

So far this year, ‘race relations’ are dominating politics, so more debate should be welcomed – but hopefully the kind that generates more light than heat.

Is John Key losing his enthusiasm for the top job? That’s the question raised by John Armstrong in a must-read column: Grim reality has taken its toll on cheerful Key And although Key is still apparently our sexiest politician (see: TVNZ’s Sex appeal sways voters' choices), his appeal in general is on the wane – see: Prime Minister John Key wins hearts if not minds

Declining enthusiasm for Key is almost certainly related to the growing pessimism of New Zealanders in general, coming down from the highs of the Rugby World Cup – see: Andrea Vance’s Rugby joy short-lived, nation pessimistic And it seems that it’s the economy (stupid!) that is weighing on Kiwi’s minds as they now rate it as more important an issue than at any time in the past 20 years – see: Vance’s: State of economy top of Kiwis' concerns

However, in the very long term, New Zealand has a bright future according to global bank HSBC - see: TVNZ: NZ tipped to be developed world's 'top performer' but it will be the Chinese, Indians and Brazilians who will be global economic leaders.

Labour’s relationship with other Opposition parties is examined by the Dominion Post’s Tracy Watkins in Old dog won’t let go of the bone (not currently online). She says that Shearer shouldn’t try and ‘out-mongrel’ Winston Peters – rather that is a job for his front bench. Watkins says the Whanau Ora policy is an obvious target for the Opposition but that Labour will ‘tread warily’ on the issue, particularly given that many of Labour’s Maori supporters gave their electorate vote to the Maori Party.

Meanwhile, for the second time in a week, David Cunliffe has staked out political territory that appears to be to the left of his erstwhile rival David Shearer (as far as one can tell) – see Cunliffe’s Red Alert post, A Big Ask

Labour is now calling for further electoral finance reform, particularly the way breaches are dealt with – see: Claire Trevett’s Speed up electoral law breach process: Robertson As David Farrar points out, it has always been a low priority for the police. Despite the confusion over the rules, Tapa Misa applauds the Electoral Commission drawing the line over the RadioLive show, pointing to the blurring of lines between media, corporations and politicians in the US – see: Blurred lines are making a joke of election spending Also on the issue of the RadioLive decision, Graeme Edgeler blogs that It’s (almost) never that simple

Paul Holmes on Waitangi Day
Paul Holmes (Herald): Waitangi Day a complete waste
Herald: Holmes' Waitangi Day column hits a nerve
Morgan Godfery (Maui Street): Holmes: morally repugnant and deeply racist
Danyl Mclauchlan (The Dim-Post): Pathos alert
Reading the Maps:
Lazy Maoris and idle words
Sean Plunket (Dom Post): National day should be celebratory, not rudely divisive
David Cohen (NBR): Public wearies of Waitangi wrath
Paul Thomas (Herald): Ritual drama divides nation on day of unity

Political finance
Claire Trevett (Herald): Speed up electoral law breach process: Robertson
David Farrar (Kiwiblog): Better late than never
Tapa Misa (Herald): Blurred lines are making a joke of election spending
Graeme Edgeler (Legal Beagle): It’s (almost) never that simple
SST: Editorial – Nats have to account for radio session (not currently online)
Timaru Herald: Editorial: Yes you can, no you can't

Bernard Hickey (Herald): Tough reality in a world of hurt
Andrea Vance (Stuff): State of economy top of Kiwis' concerns
Simon Collins (Herald): Bridging Auckland's wealth gap
David Cunliffe (Red Alert): A Big Ask
Herald: Editorial - Opportunity - key to a more equal society
TVNZ: NZ tipped to be developed world's 'top performer
Rob Stock (Stuff): Roll on 2050 - New Zealand economy to rise
Martin van Beynen (Press): Rot sets in from our profligacy (not currently online)
NBR: Editorial – Figures don’t back milk campaigners
Tom Pullar-Strecker (Stuff): Crafar Farms: Judge ponders 'significant benefit
Rod Oram (SST): A highly negative purchase (not currently available online)

John Armstrong (Herald): Grim reality has taken its toll on cheerful Key
Tracy Watkins (Dom Post): Old dog won’t let go of the bone (not currently online)
Waikato Times: Editorial - Peters already on attack
John Hartevelt (SST): Labour steps on toes in the clean, green dance of the left (not currently online)
Matt McCarten (Herald): Key's power play won't stop the bills going up
Stuff: Today in politics: Monday, February 13
Stuff: The week in politics

SOE-related issues
John Roughan (Herald): Treaty principle cuts both ways
Damien Grant (Herald): The right is wrong
RNZ: Harawira scoffs at assurance over asset sales
Newstalk ZB: State asset sales 'cultural treason' - Iwi leader
Morgan Godfery (Maui Street): Comments on the water claim
Audrey Young (Herald): Troubled water debate flows on
John Tamihere (Sunday News): Water rights not defined (not available online)
Yvonne Tahana (Herald): Iwi cautious on joining water claim
Matthew Hooton (NBR): Nats, Maori Party win from s9 fiasco
Dion Tuuta (Taranaki Daily News):Why Section 9 is important for all Kiwis
No Right Turn: Iwi, water, and privatization
Oscar Kightley (Sunday News): Treaty clause priceless asset for all Aotearoa (not currently online)

Politician popularity
Andrea Vance (Stuff): Rugby joy short-lived, nation pessimistic 
Andrea Vance and Lois Cairns (Stuff): Prime Minister John Key wins hearts if not minds 
TVNZ: Sex appeal sways voters' choices 
Amelia Wade (Herald): They can't get enough of our sexiest politician 

Ian Steward (Stuff): Urewera four trial set to kick off 
Neil Reid (Sunday News): UN wants answers on ‘terror’ raids (not currently online)
Michael Field (Stuff): Ethnic rights advice stuns communities 
TVNZ: Asians face most discrimination in NZ – survey 
Fairfax: Mana activist on mission to Antarctica 
RNZ: Mana Party supporter on illegal polar expedition 
RNZ: Mana president 'proud' of activist's actions on ice'proud'-of-activist's-actions-on-ic 
Danya Levy (Stuff) Will bill make food safer or be a form of control
Rob Stock (Stuff): Debate heats up on national rates rebate 
Rob O’Neill (Stuff): Salary stress increases in New Zealand 
Brook Sabin (TV3): Politicians attend the Big Gay Out
SST: Exploration story alters for investors and officials (not currently online)
Karla Akuhata (Stuff): Tainui leader ousted from board 
RNZ: Morgan 'no longer head' of tribal executive'no-longer-head'-of-tribal-executive
Herald on Sunday (Editorial): Bottled up and ready to burst
Anthony Hubbard (SST): The one per cent get their way (not currently online)
Deborah Coddington (Herald): Union never learns lesson on incompetent teachers
Kate Newton (Stuff): Medical errors cost ACC $7.6m
Michael Dickison (Herald): US Govt 'throwing everything' at Dotcom
Andrea Fox (Stuff): Government blamed for Psa entry

Bryce Edwards
Mon, 13 Feb 2012
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NZ Politics Daily: Race relations and political breaches