I certainly don't think that Labour's front bench is that much more Maori-friendly than National, but in terms of the calculus of MMP, Winston has more to gain from attacking Maori in general, and the Maori Party in particular, if he intends to side with National. If (and it's a big if) Labour manages to take back some of the Maori seats this year, the Maori Party is going to be weakened, adding the potential value a strong NZ First would bring to a National coalition.
Furthermore, NZ First will only have to compete with ACT and (potentially) the Conservatives on this idiotic "One law for all" crap. National won't overtly do anything to slag off Maori-specific policies to keep the Maori Party happy, but I doubt anyone in the party will be unhappy that Winston is taking this track.
On the other hand, it makes it harder to see NZ First working with Labour, because even if the Labour caucus isn't particularly Maori-friendly, Labour voters tend to be much more in favour of policies like Whanau Ora than National voters.
It's all just speculation until Winston signs a coalition agreement after the election, and the Winston we see today might not be the Winston we see tomorrow, but this speech has the hallmarks of a run at a National coalition government, at least.
Well, that didn’t take long:
Nw Zealand First leader Winston Peters has described Maori Party policies as akin to apartheid.
Mr Peters, speaking at celebrations at Ratana Pa, said his party would never support separatist Maori Party policies such as having separate Maori units in prison and the separate Maori social welfare system Whanau Ora.
He described them as “racist policies based on colour and ethnic preference”.
“What Maori need is housing, decent healthcare, decent education system and first world jobs and wages,” Mr Peters said.
“The Maori Party has abandoned that for socialogical objectives which are of no interest to Maoridom at all,” he said.
“Apartheid policies are based on racial preference. This is, too."
If Winston is going after Maori, rather than refugees or Asians, he must think he’s got a better shot with National than Labour.
Have Labour and National learned nothing from their previous marriages of convenience with that toxic bigot and his merry band of blithering ninny-hammers? Apparently not…
They absolutely have "learned", they just don't care. Winston in government, even in coalition, is a moderately competent, quiet minister with few overt demands on government policy and a deft hand at keeping his caucus equally quiet. Winston on the election trail, on the other hand, is a disgusting demagogue and a racist troll of the highest order.
The question is whether a coalition partner is willing to suffer through the latter to end up with the former. Your answer (which is the same as mine, FTR) isn't going to be the same as someone who wants to form a government, unfortunately.
I wonder why Cameron Brewer doesn't want to focus more on politicians being too close to corporates like Sky City ...
Someone I know who works for SkyCity pointed out the other day that handing out free upgrades is so ridiculously common, it's not something most hotels even keep a record of. Cheaper rooms tend to be overbooked, so moving people to more expensive rooms for free makes sense.
There are plenty of people in the public eye who have benefitted from gifts from SkyCity in the last few years, and honestly those gifts far outweigh a few free upgrades.
Ceiling Cat is an apparatchik of the Nanny State, obviously.
There's certainly a strong argument to make that Cameron Brewer is a self-serving knob with no basis for his complaints, but Len Brown's interview on Morning Report really didn't make that argument. It was a weird excursion into prepared phrases and corporate speak, in ways that were honestly unnecessary. Was he still half asleep and on autopilot, or was this the result of some ham-handed crisis management training that has sapped his ability to speak normally?
Will those 15,000 young people vote at all? If Kim had 15,000 old people turning up, that would signal large-scale change
It's a function of the industry I work in that I meet dozens of young, straight, pākehā men who can best be described as "cyberlibertarians" (as Craig describes above.) They're not, strictly speaking, politically apathetic, but they don't vote currently because they don't care much about (for example) marriage equality, but they do care about civil liberties, narrowly defined as anything that would affect people like themselves. (That's how they see it, anyway.) They could easily get behind this party.
Does it necessarily follow that thinking smacking is wrong, or potentially (or always) harmful means that the solution is found in the criminal law?
Craig's argument is, literally, that NZ's "anti-smacking law" increases child abuse. That's a much stronger claim than you're making, and one that is rightly being pilloried.
I'd love to know how many NZ First voters Craig is hoping to steal from Winston. This is a red meat issue for them (and they're impervious enough to facts to be swayed.)
I'm not particularly impressed with Mayor Brown's conduct through all this, although I think the question of what happens from her boils down to "Can he still work effectively with the rest of the council?" At this stage, I've seen little evidence that that relationship is threatened. That may change in the future, but I guess most councilors are just happy to get to this point without finding any evidence of actual fraud.
I do think NZ's tolerance for this kind of "freebies for VIPs" culture has to go. This isn't a new thing (Winston's scampi meals, anyone?) but as the amounts of money in NZ politics increases, we should be taking steps to avoid even the appearance of impropriety on the part of our elected officials.