So much for that Maori Party 'win'
Some, were very quick to congratulate the Maori Party for their supposed 'win' this week with the 'concession' from National that John Key wouldn't legislate against Maori water rights.
Perhaps those celebrations were premature, turns out that supposed concession is about as flimsy as a London Olympics cost benefit budget...
Calls to clarify how far pledge goes
Prime Minister John Key is facing Opposition calls to clarify whether his pledge to not legislate against court decisions upholding Maori claims to rights and interests over water includes proprietary or ownership rights.
The call comes after Mr Key said his Government could in theory legislate to say no one owned water in the event a court case resulted in confusion on that issue.
After a late-night discussion with Mr Key on Wednesday, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said she had secured a pledge from Mr Key that should a future court decision find that Maori did have a proprietary type right over water, the Government would not legislate against that.
Asked yesterday whether the pledge applied to any proprietary rights upheld by a court, Mr Key said: "I think that would be right but it would depend what you meant by all of those things. I think it's important to not confuse all of those things."
Mr Key was also asked whether, in the event a court case resulted in a situation where there was confusion over the nature of rights upheld, his Government would legislate to say that no one owned water, in the way it did over the foreshore and seabed issue.
"In theory, but one would hope it wouldn't come to that," he said. "At the end of the day that's not the preferred option."
...don't you love his weasel word language here?
Let's be crystal clear, the Tribunal will find in favor of Maori, Key will try and cut some side deal with the freshwater Iwi or push on with the first asset sale regardless, that will trigger legal action, the Government will lose that legal action and Key will ram through legislation under urgency leaving the Maori Party claims this week of a victory about as empty as ACT's poll numbers.
National have already written the Maori Party off as a political force post 2014 in favor of a 4% Conservative Party under the new MMP rules being thrashed out. The reality is that the political needs to make the first asset sale work is far more important to brand Key than an ongoing relationship with Maori.
Which leaves the Maori Party with a very simple question, what's the point of sitting at the table with John Key when he's already sold the table?