Pita Sharples has clearly bested Rodney Hide over Maori involvement in the Supercity. It has now become apparent that the Maori Statutory Board will have significant financial resources and political power. Provided of course that the C&R bloc, with the aid of some left wing councillors, do not gut the Boards funding.
In the infancy of the Supercity debate Rodney Hide made a blatant political attempt to limit Maori participation. In the interests of a few redneck votes Rodney led the charge against dedicated Maori seats, despite the fact that the intellectual argument was behind the concept of Maori seats as well as the Royal Commission. Demand among Maori for dedicated Maori seats was strong - Labour, The Greens and some political commentators also came out in support. As the pressure built Rodney offered John Key an ultimatum – ‘it’s me or the Maori seats, John’. The Prime Minister came down on the side of populism (no Maori seats!) and refused to tarnish his brand by getting heavily involved. The issue was left to Rodney and he stood by his position. It was an easy win for the right. Throw around sloppy and ultimately meaningless catch phrases like ‘race-based privilege’ and ‘one man, one vote’ and the rednecks come out of the woodwork and middle New Zealand swallows the soundbite without question.
As the debate receded Pita Sharples entered negotiations with Rodney Hide regarding some form of Maori representation on the Supercity. Rodney could not compromise his credibility and allow Maori seats. Rodney desired a Maori Advisory Board whereas Pita Sharples desired a Maori Statutory Board. The two are similar in name, do not let that deceive you. The key difference is a Maori Advisory Board would exercise delegated power and be completely subordinate to council. On the other hand a Maori Statutory Board is empowered by legislation and operates independent of council. A Maori Statutory Board derives its authority directly from statute and is not constrained by council. A Maori Advisory Board relies on delegated authority from the Council and is thus a subsidiary and constrained by the wishes of council.
I’m not sure that Rodney Hide is so stupid that he did not know the difference between the two. It is probably safe to assume Rodney knew the difference between the two but did not anticipate or understand how a Maori Statutory Board would work in practise. I think this is due to Pita Sharples playing a subtle game in negotiating with Rodney. I think Pita managed to push this pass Rodney because he was subtle in revealing his objectives. Remember Pita was a negotiator in his former life and by all accounts the most agreeable and good natured person in government. His judgement is questionable but his political nous is well tuned. So as I said at the beginning of this post – Pita has bested Rodney Hide. We now have Maori political participation in the Supercity, not in the form of dedicated seats but in the form of a powerful statutory board. Arguably Maori have more power under the current arrangements.
When this story broke I hoped it would prove to be a fatal hit to Rodney’s credibility. At this point it does not appear so. Why? Because the media are focussing on the Boards so called ‘exorbitant funding demands’ as opposed to the stupidity of the situation at large. Stupid, shallow fucks. It is sickening seeing that slimy little shit Cameron Brewer spouting his National Party lines and the msm repeating them ad nauseam. But I guess Maori bashing is a free hit for the msm and their ignorant readership, listeners and viewers.
At the end of the day this is Rodney Hides creation. He is answerable. But as we have come to expect he is attempting to deflect blame. In politics it is always someone else’s fault, but in government the buck always stops at the top. Rodney cannot hide from this for long (no pun intended, seriously).
(N.B: Although, in principal, I disagree with the concept of an unelected Maori Statutory Board I cannot help but feel pleased and think that this is karma for Rodney)