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It’s the Māori economy, stupid.

Listening to Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell is kind of depressing right now, as he speaks with Kathryn Ryan on Radio New Zealand’s Nine to Noon. The Māori Party wishes to be a kingmaker, so Te Ururoa says. OK, fair enough. The Māori Party wishes to provide an independent voice for Māoridom. That’s fine too, notwithstanding all the problems relationships with larger parties present. I get that relationships in politics matter, and the Māori Party have had the traction that they have managed so far under this government by their pursuit of positive relationships with National in general, and John Key in particular. So far, so good. But as a voter enrolled on the Māori Roll I am waiting to hear from the Māori Party what their vision of the New Zealand economy is, and what the Māori economy should look like under the next government. I know the Māori party cares about the Māori economy and about improving Māori economic participation, because they have a strategy on it: THIS is where the Māori Party needs to pitch for Māori votes because, just like Bill Clinton’s 1992 presidential nomination campaign, the biggest issue for Māori, Pākehā and all other groups in this country is “the economy, stupid!’ Whānau Ora is a great, as yet inchoate, achievement, the messages of empowerment are important, but I want to hear about regional development for jobs for my whanaunga in Kaitaia and Whakatāne. Why the heck isn’t the Māori Party reporting back on the achievements and work undertaken by the Māori Economic Taskforce? The goals of the Strategy? Future directions of a post-settlement economy? Principles of economic development? As a thinking human being I am very interested in constitutional reform, and the in debating Māori rights and status. As a Māori voter I need to know nuts and bolts and where the hell the Māori Party will seek to take Māori economic development. 20 minutes of interview so far and not a sausage, not even a porkbone on this one.


About Sparrowhawk/Kārearea

Writer and legal Academic, Wellington.

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