Disappointing Maori seat backdown

by Jake Quinn

And it’s a back down because before last week, the prevailing opinion was that Key would strike a deal with Sharples, based on the overwhelming support at the select committee for having Maori seats, and pull through on some kind of deal that included them for Auckland’s new super council.

Key signalled for months that the seats were on the table.  Hide pulls his ‘principled stunt‘ and to be fair to him it does match his principles (the poor bastard would have had to take the very bill through the House that brought the seats into being), and suddenly the game changes.

One gets the feeling that Key just couldn’t take cabinet with him.

But Key doesn’t need Hide as a minister, he’s got the numbers any way he looks, what’s more, Hide has made it clear he won’t being down the government (not that he could, what this really means is that Hide won’t pull his parties support on confidence and supply thus forcing the Nat’s into the unenviable position of having to rely solely on the Maori Party).

So why the change of heart?  Key is so far ahead in the polls he doesn’t need to worry about a gap on the right opening up, and in any case they’re are all still votes for a National-led government, so what changed.

The only explanation is that his colleagues had let him meander on with his friendliness to the Maori Party, but when push came to shove, Bill and the old school just wouldn’t have a bar of it.

New Zealand needs to remember that just because Mr Key is a decent bloke, he’s still surrounded by some pretty conservative old cronies, the same lot who stood by and defended this horrid bloody speech.