The leftward and other blatherings of Span (now with Snaps!)

Thursday, August 26, 2004

will the Maori Party be left?

we're yet to see any policies from the Maori Party (MP). Tariana has said something about private prisons not being a bad thing, and something else (several times) about considering National, but that's really all there is to go on.

apparently there is a group of over 200 MP members working on their policy. that's pretty impressive. but what will they decide?

the last time we had a "maori" party form with guaranteed parliamentary representation was NZFirst (NZF). and i wouldn't call their policies left, although they did flirt with a few leftish ideas in olden times (eg universal student allowances, although Brian Donnelly spat the dummy after low student support in 1999 so i'm not sure if they still support that).

i suspect it will depend on whether the MP is "captured" by iwi elites or not. The Brown Table, if you will. There is, after all, a class structure in Maori society just as there is in NZ as a whole. People like Tuku Morgan will not be looking out for poor working Maori who are on minimum wage.

I have heard a rumour that the MP will be looking at a policy of lifting the minimum wage to $16 (or $17, it seems to go up each time I hear the rumour)... (Well that'll certainly put the private prisons out of business)

I sincerely hope the MP does turn out left. But I haven't seen any strong indications yet.


Greyshade said...

History would suggest that if MP does turn out right it'll only be relevant for one election. Very few of the Maori voters who went with NZF in '96 expected them to take the position they did.

Span said...

i'll agree there GS - and Tariana is no Winston. (or at least I hope not)

Anonymous said...

NZ First was not a Maori party. It was, is and always will be a Winston party only.

Putting the minimum wage up to $16 would put more Maori out of work than almost any other possible policy.


Span said...

yes i must say i thought it was a bit of an odd one - to virtually double the minimum wage, in one step!

will be very interesting to see their policies - i guess for me having principles first, and basing the formation on them, would have been the usual way to do it...