Who would’ve believed it?
“Iwi or Kiwi,” they said. “Maori are over-privileged and the Maori Party is racist.” Does anyone remember the National Party’s 2005 election campaign?
Who will ever forget Don Brash’s infamous Orewa speech or the support he got from thousands of supposedly good Kiwis after it?
The speech was great, according to many, who thought it was about time a politician stood up and spoke the truth without fear of being labelled a racist.
The trouble was it was racist, and the Nats’ campaign was the most racist in our political history.
Unfortunately far too many thought Brash’s racist rant was necessary to halt the Maori takeover.
But the reality was Brash and National knew the only way to get up in the polls was to bash Maori and take advantage of paranoia, ignorance and racism.
Thank God they were unsuccessful because if they had succeeded there’s no way in the world the Maori Party would consider joining forces with National. And who would have believed that they are now on the verge of doing that?
My advice to the Maori Party is if there’s a deal on the table then take it.
Hopefully the deal being offered by Prime Ministerelect John Key will be more than just the Maori Affairs portfolio because to achieve real progress the Maori Party has to be involved in key portfolios like social welfare, health and education.
This is an opportunity to advance Maori development in 2008 with a National that is hopefully a different party than it was in 2005.