I saw a posting today on Facebook that said “Dear Maori Party - what's the point of sitting at the table when John Key has sold the table?” It was a link to a short blog piece by Bomber Bradbury.
And Bomber is right on the money here. The carefully orchestrated displays of mock annoyance by Tariana Toofeeble and Pita Metacarpals were never anything more than a PR arranged mock grumpy face.
Tough guy talk was sprinkled about how they would have to ‘review their arrangements’ with the Natzis but their first mistake was to allow Jianqi to call the shots and decide when and where they would meet. This resulted in them sitting about like the new boy at school while teacher eventually got around to seeing them in his own good time.
They weren’t in a good position to bargain from the outset considering the money lobby’s darling doesn’t need their vote in Parliament as long as Peter Dung still loves him.
Add to this the fact the odd couple are very fond of the mana they think is rubbing off on them by being so close to Jianqi, and the fact Metacarpals doesn’t seem to be able to string two words together coherently these days and you knew it was always going to be a win for the Natzis.
Of course Little and Somewhat Larger came out grinning like imbeciles and saying how they had reached an agreement. This was true of course because they had agreed to agree with Jianqi. I don’t suppose anybody ever said an agreement had to be beneficial to both parties, but those of us with a mind for fair play always live in hope.
And while we are on the subject of fair play; what about the interests of the Maori Party’s constituency? Clearly the party leaders are not concerned about the issues their people have raised about the water which Jianqi says nobody owns. I would love it if nobody owned the water, but clearly somebody does otherwise farmers wouldn’t be required to pay for water rights to take water from rural streams and rivers. No matter how they try to dress that up with nonsense about administrative costs etc, people are still paying money for water. If those charging the money do not own the water then we could all quite simply tell them to get stuffed without risking prosecution. We are not able to do this, therefore it must follow that somebody owns this wet stuff.
However this is rather unfortunately being cast as simply a Maori issue. I believe it is far bigger than that and the numbers of people opposed to the State Asset Sale of the Century are surely testimony to that. Rather fortuitously a Maori group has come up with a fairly decent challenge to the process, but they have been seriously undermined by the performance of Toofeeble and Metacarpal who have not only let down their own people on this occasion.
I have always felt the Maori Party was a dodgy concept from the start. A political party based upon one single ethnic group can easily become self-obsessed and pose a major impediment to racial harmony. This particular party seems to have suffered from that fatal malaise so many Maori groups have suffered from over the years; poor leadership. Having said that New Zealand has hardly been blessed with a great lot of real leaders over the years in general.
Pakeha have had to shoulder the blame for nearly every gripe or woe that hinders the progress of Maori for nearly180 years. While it is true Pakeha did some very shitty things ‘back in the day’ and some of the flotsam and jetsam of Pakeha society have continued to act in a bigoted way towards Maori. It is grossly unfair and inaccurate to blame Pakeha for everything.
A lot has been said about how the settlers ‘tricked’ Maori out of land and many other things, but it is important to remember there were misunderstanding on both sides. To each race the other was a complete mystery and neither had any understanding of the other’s culture.
I don’t think it is a huge leap to lay some of the blame for how 1840 worked out at the feet of Maori leadership at the time. Clearly I wasn’t there – no, really I am NOT that old; but it is possible they let their people down by (a) Not being united (Remember the old adage – United we stand; divided we fall) and (b) because some of their leaders liked the bright shiny objects they were being offered by the glib talking Pakeha.
I dunno about you, but it looks a little like déjà vu to me; and I ain’t talking about the album by Crosby Stills, Nash & Young despite that haunting refrain in the title track, “We have all been here before”