Who would’ve be­lieved it?

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

“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.

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