Key Leaves Lingering Racist Legacy

by Michael Coote

Few other politicians have done more to create conditions ripe for the destruction of racial equality

Gone-by-Monday Prime Minister John Key shrewdly picked a retirement date amenable for collecting one of those New Year’s honour knighthoods he personally reinstated.

Mr Key’s timing is opportune for him, not least because of the gathering catastrophe for New Zealand democracy he has engineered but can now slough parliamentary accountability for.

In 2017 the bitter fruits of the Key government’s wrong-headed Maori policies will become much more apparent.

Few other politicians in modern history can have done more than Mr Key to create conditions ripe for the destruction of racial equality in this country.

Treaty Negotiations Minister Christopher Finlayson comes close, but ultimately Mr Key bears the greater responsibility.

The problem goes back to Mr Key’s decision to enlist the racialist Maori Party to help prop up National-led minority governments.

With the Maori Party came its puppet-master the iwi Chairs Forum, a corporate Maori organisation.

Direct engagement

Dr Muriel Newman records how this has played out in practice.

“In 2008, when John Key was elected prime minister, he brought the Maori Party into his government and established preferential access for iwi leaders to cabinet,” she says.

“A ‘Communication and Information Exchange Protocol’ was drawn up and signed by the prime minister and iwi leaders to ensure their views are represented in cabinet and in the policy development process.”

“In particular, [iwi Chairs Forum subsidiary]the Freshwater iwi Leaders Group engages directly with senior government ministers at least three times a year, and government ministers regularly attend the quarterly iwi Chairs Forum meetings – the latest in August in the Waikato, where five government ministers were in attendance.”

Mr Key’s favoured successor, Finance Minister Bill English, has publicly endorsed this arrangement.

The iwi Chairs Forum has also signed a memorandum of understanding on working with Local Government New Zealand (LGNZ), as reported previously in this column.

The organisation is working to establish “Treaty partnership” power sharing under the guise of Maori tribal co-governance arrangements with both central and local government across New Zealand.

This year its Independent iwi Constitutional Working Group published a document on “constitutional transformation” entitled He Whakaaro Here Whakaumu Mo Aotearoa which sets out a five-year plan for promoting law changes that would permanently privilege Maori descendants over all other New Zealanders.

Such is the calibre of the fundamentally racist programme Mr Key has nurtured, facilitated, legitimated and normalized through his devil’s bargain with the Maori Party, not even a loyal coalition partner.

Meretricious deal

Big Maori policy issues Mr Key is doing a frantic runner from encompass local government, resource management, freshwater policy and conservation.

Through Treaty settlements negotiated by Mr Finlayson, Maori tribes have been granted numerous statutory co-governance roles shared with democratically elected local governments.

New Zealanders have not been warned or consulted by the Key government about this recipe for corruption, nepotism and conflict of interest.

But they will suffer the impact from next year on as ever more Treaty settlements come into legal force.

The Resource Management Act’s rewrite has seen environment minister Nick Smith cutting a meretricious support deal with the Maori Party in return for including the statutory obligation for all democratically elected local authorities to consult with Maori tribes on “iwi participation agreements.”

The Maori Party is ecstatic as this requires that “Mana Whakahono a Rohe” will be written into the legislation, meaning in the words of a related Ngai Tahu submission that tribes could then undertake “the handling of resource consent applications, notification decisions, monitoring and enforcement”.

Local communities have not yet woken up to this attempted hijacking of their private property rights, but Auckland alone has 19 recognised iwi authorities to deal with.

Freshwater rights are huge issue coming up next year.

Mr Key has tried to maintain that no one owns water – a reprise of Mr Finlayson’s stunt over foreshore and seabed legislation – but the Freshwater iwi Leaders Group thinks otherwise.

Dr Newman reports the government is well advanced in closed-door collaboration with the iwi Chairs Forum on a three-year freshwater policy development process, but has decided that, “No further media announcements are intended,” obviously to stifle informed public debate.

Plus there is the proposed Kermadec Ocean Sanctuary, a pet Key initiative that has collided with litigious Maori tribal fishing interests.

Arise, Sir John, for services to racial inequality.

13 thoughts on “Key Leaves Lingering Racist Legacy

  1. Michael Coote has just reinforced what some of us Kiwis knew but most don’t. I sit at a council workshop as we work our way on the R.M.Act and its amendments and I say to myself, “what is happening to our country?” Why did John Key, Findlayson and Amy Adams and a few others thrown in with the National government set out on a course of separatism just to hold power? While it appears it may be all over for the National Party who is going to manage the damage left behind? God save the Queen and we have to hope Winston Peters will save New Zealand.

  2. New Zealand is an APARTHEID & Racist country created by Helen Clark and fully endorsed by John Key. These modern-day self-proclaimed Maori people are not the original people of this country! That can be proven beyond a shadow of doubt. It is criminally and morally wrong the way these parties have sucked up for political gain. The 100s of millions of taxpayers dollars which have been handed over without any strings attached should have gone to our Health, Welfare and Education systems. God help this country . . and future generations

    1. On the money Noel. All who are aware of these truths need to do all possible to wise up the gullible and the complacent as quickly as possible and refresh short memories as the elections approach.

      1. Noel, I agree with your comment, that New Zealand is an Apartheid and Racist country but this was created by the Fourth Labour Government in the 1980’s of Geoffrey Palmer and David Lange allowing Treaty claims back to 1840, their dreamt up “5 principles” and the Treaty was a “partnership” between the Crown and Maori. Helen Clark and John Key just went along with it. In 1990, Palmer changed his mind and admitted on the ABC Four Corners programme, “The meaning of the Treaty in terms of its operational consequences now, was far from clear. In fact, it’s a documents that is so vague that that is its primary problem”. Lange stating on the same programme, “Did Queen Victoria for a moment think of forming a partnership with a number of signatures, a number of thumb prints and 500 people. Queen Victoria was not that sort of person. Before Palmer quit front line politics he did give this advice, “It is true the Treaty of Waitangi Act 1975 and all the other statutes, which give explicit recognition to the Treaty are not entrenched. They can be swept away by a simple majority in Parliament”, but his advice was never acted on. Over 500 chiefs admitted they were not tangata whenua or the original people when they signed the treaty as tangata Maori.

  3. Ditto to all said above. I’ve been worried for some years especially as so many good people seem to have no idea as to what’s going on and how our democracy and our country are being systematically destroyed by self-serving politicians who are only interested in staying in power. Michael Coote says exactly what I’ve known for some time. For me, dodgy as he may sometimes seem, so far Winston is our only hope. I know that doesn’t say much but English is going to continue Key’s racist legacy. A Labour/Green coalition sounds toxic to me and I wouldn’t have a bar of them.

  4. What Allan Duff, author of Once Were Warriors said about Doug Graham in the Rotorua Review on the 17 June, 1997 could be also said of John Key.

    “John Key will not go down in history as the man that did so much to settle the long standing Maori land grievances. Instead he will be remembered as the white man who sold out to his fellow New Zealanders, Maori and non-Maori to a bunch of brown gangsters and their pale brown thugs”

  5. Our Negative Government is PC — Politically Corrupt. We are not a democracy, but a hypocrisy. There should be a referendum on fresh water, among other things but it will not happen. The 85% of non-maori New Zealanders will be screwed by a bunch of shafters! Changes are occurring worldwide, hopefully for the better. Brexit and Trump for example. With apologies to Shakespeare, I say: “Out, damned Government!”

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