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I'll tell you what's going to be really telling tomorrow with those Te Pāti Māori protests- it's how big they are.
It's basically going to be an indication of how much pushback and resistance the new Government's going to get on its plan to roll back the Treaty out of law like they plan to do.
I reckon for tomorrow, every single party in Parliament is going to be interested in that crowd size. Te Pāti Māori will obviously want it to be big, because it shows that they're onto something- that they have support for their resistance.
ACT, on completely the opposite side, is also going to want it to be big, because the bigger those protests are tomorrow, the more it's going to annoy motorists and people trying to get on with their jobs.
This will drive more support to ACT, for what they're planning to do. Plus, it's also going to draw more attention to the things ACT are arguing for- which they won't be unhappy about.
National, out of all of the parties in Parliament, is going to be packing itself if those protests are big. Because that is the very thing National has been trying to avoid when they said no to ACT's Treaty principles referendum.
National does not want to have a race relations debate while they're in Government, it would reflect really badly for them.
Remember the 2005 election, which they lost, with Don Brash's infamous billboards. They are still haunted by that stuff, they are still haunted by the fact that they are labelled racists over that- they hate it.
But it seems to me that regardless of what they do, simply because ACT is around- they're going to get it anyway because of all the other stuff.
To be fair, along with ACT and New Zealand First, they're repealing co-governance, they're taking the Māori wards on the councils back to referenda, they're removing the Treaty principles legislation, they're removing the Iwi clause from Oranga Tamariki, they're switching Government names- and that's just a taste.
- 'Millions of dollars in lost productivity': Mass Te Pāti Māori protest to choke roads
- Protestors expecting to cause gridlock and block highways to share their message
- Luxon's 'ambitious' plan to tame inflation and run Parliament up to Christmas
And that seems to be enough to give Te Pāti Māori reason to start campaigning already and going hard already.
If tomorrow's crowds are small, maybe this won't be a thing, and it'll be an indication people don't care as much as Te Pāti Māori thinks they do. But if those crowds are big- strap yourself in.
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