Maggie Thatcher stated 'This Lady is not for turning' and I think the same is true of our PM - this Key won't turn on asset sales.
The pundit meme is that Key is stuck between a rock and a hard place, that he will cut a deal with the freshwater Iwi because he needs to keep the Maori Party on side.
I'm not so sure. Even if the Government does manage to cut a deal with the freshwater Iwi, it will be challenged in Court. Why cut a deal that will be unpopular with rump National Party voters when it'll go to Court anyway?
Key will be polling heavily over the time he has before he has to come back with an answer and to date he has shown he will move anywhere a poll tells him. National shut down Chris Finlayson's negotiations with Tuhoe because Joyce's polling said white people on Auckland's North Shore wouldn't accept it, Key attacked the media over the Epsom Tea Pot tapes because their polling told them the public hated journalists more than they hated politicians and polling about Maaaaaaaori stealing the water is going to give Key all the security he needs to play the public off against Maoridom and ram through legislation and simply take ownership of the water 'for all NZers'.
Key has banked the money he thinks he'll make from these asset sales and if the sales don't go ahead the Government will need to find billions to cut from health, welfare and education.
Key is blowing $400 million of our assets sales on an irrigation scheme for South Island Dairy Farmers. Of all the interest groups who National have to pay fealty to, South Island Dairy Farmers are the most vicious. Those farmers want their taxpayer funded irrigation, and John's gotta come up with the dosh from somewhere.
Those who claim Key has to keep the Maori Party on side for post 2014 coalition partners have missed the massive ground MANA has made at the expense of the Maori Party and that the MP effectively won't be a political power come 2014.
What's the point of sitting at the table when John Key has already sold the table?
This is a reality National are aware of and they are already eyeing the Conservative Party up as their replacement coalition partner by lowering the MMP threshold to 4%.
I don't think anyone can be surprised if Key turns around and rams law through to take water.