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Mike's Minute: The Budget is a scapegoat for the protest

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 May 2024, 9:40am

Mike's Minute: The Budget is a scapegoat for the protest

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Wed, 29 May 2024, 9:40am

Part of the day of upset, or protest, or whatever the Māori Party are calling it tomorrow, is about the way they feel they are being treated by this new Government. 

So, although it's Budget Day, it's not really about the Budget. 

It's about section 7AA of the Oranga Tamariki Act and the right to vote if councils unilaterally invoke Māori seats and the move to replace or repeal references to the Treaty in legislation. 

One important thing that is worth remembering is the image that has been created by the coverage of the Māori Party that they somehow speak for all Māori, when they don’t. 

They speak for a small section of Māori. How do we know this? The first is their vote, which is tiny. The second is that 66% of the leadership of the Government is Māori. 

Winston Peters and David Seymour are Māori and want nothing to do with the Māori Party way of approaching how this country is run. 

Shane Jones, who is also Māori, is doing the business with the Treaty references. 

The references in law are a vague sprinkling of virtue signalling as pedalled by the last Government. 

They are not prescriptive, or specifically helpful, in just what it is you need to be looking at or doing when it comes to Māori and any given bit of law. 

That is partly down to the fact the Treaty itself is a very broad-based document open to a lot of interpretation. 

But by sprinkling references to the Treaty all over the place like pick n mix, you can be seen to be doing the right thing, as long as the right thing doesn’t come with too many questions. That was the Labour Government wasn’t it? Lots of feels or vibes and not being too strong on the ol' detail. 

By having a reference in everything it allows those who use taxpayer money to support themselves to activate a bit of legal advice, or legal action, if you perceive the Treaty isn't being appropriately nodded to. 

To cover themselves, those who have to adhere to these sort of practices then go about falling over themselves trying to second guess what an appropriate nod might look like in the hope they don't upset anyone. 

No one is better off, apart from those who make a living off the gravy train. Everyone is confused, if not angry and angsty, and a lot of time and money has been wasted in the ensuing period. 

So, if the Māori Party want to waste some more time tomorrow moaning, that’s OK. 

It's also a small price to pay if Shane is successful in ending the circus. 

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