Who is back peddling faster on Maori Water rights - Key or mainstream media?
The change in Key's position on Maori water rights has mirrored the frantic back peddling many of the mainstream pundits are having to commit to as the reality that the Government's narrative is pure spin and fiction starts to settle in.
Take a look at the language Key and the pundits used at the beginning of this inquiry by the Waitangi Tribunal. At the beginning Key had to calm nervous investors by stating he could ignore the Tribunal. That stance had the benefit of rallying the rump and Key's 'no one owns the water' mantra was quickly held up by baby boomer pundits with as beige a view of ownership rights as the Government's.
After the un-costed loyalty sweetener for the 5% of Mum and Dad's rich enough to buy up our assets, Tracy Watkin asserted that the 'heat had been taken out of asset sales fire'. The mere concept that Key's precious privatization agenda may be delayed was as inconceivable as a meteor hitting the earth and this lack of a Maori perspective in the mainstream media news rooms has led to a simple adoption of the Government's interests rather than critically challenge that narrative.
This action by the Government to sell off a public good into private interests forced Maori to act, in the same way the Marlborough Council forced Maori to act over the foreshore and seabed confiscation, it is the actions of those wanting to privatize and sell off a public resource that has been taken from Maori in the first place that drives the legal requests of the original owners.
For a right wing that bases itself philosophically on property rights, it is astounding what they will claim is free when they are the ones trying to take it.
So when the Tribunal handed down it's interim findings and requested the Government wait until the end of September for a full report, it seemed to stun pundits. The idea that Maori might have a legitimate claim wasn't even considered, neither was the possibility that this delay could see the referendum ready before the first sale.
The writing for all of this has been on the wall for some time, yet the mainstream medias lack of a Maori perspective in those news rooms seems to have made the Governments meteor strike spin the most likely outcome. This was always a serious challenge to Key's asset sale timetable and this always had the potential to unite interests in a way Key would find impossible to divide. This all seems to be news to our nations news rooms.
With the death of Public Broadcasting it seems we have a mainstream media who can now only afford to react rather than inform.