"Your Circus, Your Clowns."
Strong leadership, Strong team.
It must have been a hard first couple of weeks for National voters, since the coalition was announced. Seeing their party make so many concessions to New Zealand First and ACT that there seems little remains of their own policies, other than the dwindling dream of tax cuts and the great achievement of putting the English names of government departments first.
Mind you some people were really celebrating the difference the latter would make to their lives…
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But for others they must wonder what’s left? Given that so many of the coalition’s priorities are those from the two minor parties. Policies that fewer than 10% of the population voted for, which they have no real mandate to deliver. Was it really all to put National in charge of administering other parties policies?
Perhaps they console themselves in the knowledge that even though the National team were clearly no good at negotiating policy, their management efforts will be more successful than you might imagine their paper bag exit attempts would be.
So other parties promises, but with the leadership of people who see themselves as management consultants. Even though no firm would hire most of them in such a capacity. What then do people have to look forward to from such strong management, with, so we’re told, a strong team?
Well, for starters, people are going to receive a massive rates increase to pay for water infrastructure, now that Three Waters is being cancelled. Woohoo!
The people who voted for National might feel good about ensuring no place at the governing table is set for Māori, but I wonder just how satisfying that small minded bigotry will be once they get the bill?
No doubt there will be a few ghastly rich old white men, ACT’s core vote of 1%, who will say any price was worth it to keep tangata whenua in their place, at the bottom.
But what about Joe Public, swept along in the National/ACT induced hysteria against it? Those whose commitment to keeping Māori down perhaps matter less to them than the result of paying a double digit increase in rates.
Part of Luxon’s problem are the people he’s putting into important roles. Honestly if you didn’t know he had many years of business experience selling deodorant and running a monopoly airline, you’d question whether he had any ability in the area.
Take for example Paul Goldsmith. Long associated with Māori since Nikki Kaye memorably declared he was one, to Goldsmith’s considerable surprise. He’s been appointed Treaty Negotiations Minister.
National have had some very good people undertaking that role in the past. Both Doug Graham and Chris Finlayson did excellent work. But we now have a Treaty Minister who stands by comments he made in the past that “Māori expect special treatment”.
Which apart from being completely inappropriate for someone taking on such a role, is also complete rubbish.
Māori don’t want special treatment, and they never have. They want the same as everyone else, no more and no less. Do they have a special role as kaitiaki, guardians, of this land? Yes, they certainly do. But they don’t want more than others.