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MICHAEL BASSETT: THE 2023 ELECTION IN RETROSPECT

Our finally completed election results need to be viewed on several levels. On the surface, the change of government was caused because Jacinda Ardern’s and Chris Hipkins’ Labour ministries were weak in personnel and unable to extract even respectable performance from the current feeble bureaucracy when dealing with bread and butter issues. Early in the Covid pandemic the ministry splashed money about, contributing to inflation which Kiwis suffered from disproportionately through the world-wide lift in mortgage rates. Ministers failed to deliver on new housing but overall house prices still subsided when immigration briefly contracted. Educational standards slid for some years prior to 2017 but went into free fall when Hipkins was minister. Constant chaotic restructuring of the health services produced no discernible improvement in services, and none is yet in sight. There were never-ending cost over-runs with infrastructure. Nothing changed for the better when Hipkins became PM early this year. His ministry partially collapsed on him, leaving voters increasingly convinced that the whole government needed to be laid to rest. At the 2023 election Labour secured barely half the portion of the total vote of three years earlier.

Dig a little deeper and it becomes obvious that more serious cultural issues were bubbling below the surface contributing to Labour’s poor performance at the polls, particularly in Auckland where Labour’s heartland deserted it. For example, most of the area covered by the current electorate of New Lynn first voted for Labour in a by-election in 1926 and stuck with the party through thick and thin until the hapless Deborah Russell lost it. Mt Albert, first formed for the 1946 election, stood staunchly by Labour until 14 October when a terminally bewildered Helen White saw the majority drop from 21,000 to 20.

What is now obvious is that Labour lost touch with its electors. As late as 1990 when I retired from Parliament my Labour supporters were mainly, but not entirely, working folk, skilled and unskilled workers, public servants, especially teachers, and a smattering of ideologues who supported Labour’s nuclear-free stance and its opposition to any form of racism. A majority of the large number of Maori in the electorate were on the general roll as were the growing numbers of Pacific Islanders. Accelerating numbers of Asian immigrants from China, along with Indians, many of them initially refugees from Fiji following the 1987 coups, became firm supporters. Overwhelmingly, they wanted to work as they sought to get ahead in their new country.

But a counter movement was underway. After 1974 the Domestic Purposes Benefit emerged as an alternative to a working career for many young women. By 2006, 113,000 DPBs were being paid. Coupled with Unemployment and “Job seeker” benefits, more than 10% of the country’s potential work force are now getting paid to do little or nothing. In 2023 more than 40% of them identify as Maori. The growing number of Waitangi Tribunal settlements with iwi saw few of them let the money out of tribal leaders’ control. The Maori aristocracy, with only a few exceptions like Ngai Tahu, accept little or no responsibility for their followers.

However, over the last twenty years the tribal elites began inventing arguments that under the Treaty of Waitangi Maori were entitled to more and more from the taxpayer. A growth industry in Treaty fiction emerged. Before long, a 1987 Court declaration that the Treaty of Waitangi was “something akin to a partnership” between Maori and the Crown developed into a call for a 50-50 split in governance over all resources, despite Maori numbering barely 17% of the population. There was no notion amongst the noisy elites that they might encourage their followers to acquire skills. It’s all been a one-way street. Tribal governance by its very nature is undemocratic. And as all governments have learned to their cost, when privileges and cash are being distributed, there is a supply and demand problem: demand outstrips the taxpayers’ capacity to supply.

The Ardern-Hipkins government with its big numbers of Maori in the Labour caucus bought into the tribal elites’ argument that special assistance, to be enjoyed by no other ethnicity, should be delivered to Maori. Nanaia Mahuta was allowed to embark on her Three Waters scheme, intended eventually to deliver control over all water to Maori. In the health sector where it was obvious to everyone that Maori were less careful with their lifestyles than others, and showed fewer signs of giving up smoking, or eating more carefully, or properly parenting their children, a new separately funded health structure was put in place to try to ensure Maori lived longer. There was nothing stopping them from taking greater care of themselves, or making sure that their children received the multiple services already available to them like childhood vaccinations and free GP visits.

This is where another layer of the 2023 election results becomes understandable: the surge in the Maori Party’s and the Greens’ seats. As I said, no government promising special privileges for any group can ever fulfil expectations. The Maori Party, with support from the socialist Greens who only have one real environmentalist left amongst them – James Shaw – has kept on pushing for more privileges for Maori. Some of them, like Marama Davidson and John Tamihere, are now implying violence if Christopher Luxon’s new government does what has to be done if we are to survive as a multicultural liberal democracy: stopping special favours on the basis of race. Christopher Luxon has one hell of a challenge ahead of him! But it has to happen, despite the threats.

Between 2017 and 2023 Labour’s caucus failed to realise that privileges for Maori were seen by the newer immigrants to New Zealand as penalising them. The same for fourth and fifth generation Pakeha. As more and more of the tribal elites strutted around with tattoos and moko, demanding additional Treaty “entitlements”, and Labour tried to find ways to satisfy them, first the Chinese, then the others, and finally the Indians, all of whom who had come to New Zealand to work, and to get ahead, joined other Kiwis resenting this racially-charged largesse to the many who were work shy. When Kelvin Davis set about emptying large numbers (disproportionately Maori) out of prisons, and Chris Hipkins presided over an educational system where on any school day six out of ten Maori kids were truanting, an underclass of out-of-control Maori youngsters joined gangs, converted cars, and ram-raided shops, many owned by Indians. It’s all been out there for everyone to see. Not surprisingly, the new immigrants who dominate in many of Auckland’s formerly hard-core Labour seats turned against Labour. The only people who couldn’t work this out were Labour‘s MPs! When will some kind of awakening take place? Until it does, Labour is doomed to remain in opposition. Even more, given that it has very few seats left in the North Island, it needs to remember my old professor Robert Chapman’s dictum that the South Island historically has been the graveyard of dying parties.

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168 comentários


Why does David Seymour want to have a referendum as to the principles of the Treaty etc? Its all available (tongue in cheek) at the ministry of education "updated" NZC as directed by the Ardern era and Hipkins the education minister.


https://nzcurriculum.tki.org.nz/Principles/Treaty-of-Waitangi-principle#:~:text=This%20update%20is%20structured%20around,partnership%2C%20protection%2C%20and%20participation.






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Luxon will fail as a PM and thus so will the National Party. The main reason for this is that he takes his guidance from John Key, who is responsible for the last 13 years of growing greed and demands from a group who consider themselves special and above the rest of New Zealanders. April 2010 when John Bloody Key secretly sent Pita Sharpley to sign up to UNDRIP, which has led to Co-Governance in New Zealand, despite the fact that Maori (or mixed blood New Zealanders) are not indigenous.


Does anyone think that Luxon is going to change that with his mentor John Key at his shoulder ? Of course he isn't.


The only way this will be reversed…


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Aaron Shanahan
Aaron Shanahan
10 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

Franksharp yes. I've already stated that is exactly what act and new Zealand first should do. Well said mate.

Cheers Aaron

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Chris B
Chris B
06 de nov. de 2023

The Maori party has demanded $20 billion per annum of taxpayers' money for self-directed spending. That works out at a "pension" of $500 per week per Maori of any age. Of course they are going to riot if they think this money tree mirage is going to be taken away. This is the first thing Luxon needs to tell them. YOU GET MONEY BY WORKING FOR IT. There IS no money tree.

You don't have slaves anymore. We are not going to be your slaves.

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basilwnz
basilwnz
08 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

I like this from Thomas Sowell "I have never understood why it is "greed" to want to keep the money you have earned, but not greed to want to take somebody else's money".

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larry.hill.nz
larry.hill.nz
06 de nov. de 2023

Another excellent summary of our situation by Michael Bassett,


Luxon has said that he doesn't support a referendum on the Treaty because it's divisive.


What he fails to see is that a big part of why Labour lost the election was that what they allowed the Maori caucus to implement much of the He Puapua report and the electorate saw this as divisive. We didn't threaten violence in the street we did what is right in a democracy and voted them out. We wanted change especially when it came to the meaning of the Treaty and co governance..


We gave the New government a strong mandate to reverse things.


Now Luxon is saying that it is divisive to do this.…


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Respondendo a

'we want things changed so that Maori elite cannot pick up from where they left off some time in the future.'


My biggest fear is that we'll be dealing with all this bullshit again in 6-9 years because Luxon doesn't have the spine to lead.

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zombie trainspotter
zombie trainspotter
06 de nov. de 2023

Sigh.


As many of us suspected, Luxon has choked at the first hurdle. Willie and Marama and to an extent TMP are all fomenting dissent so Luxon says we absolutely will not have a referendum.


Well he better have some magic bullet outside of a referendum because unless parliament passes a law to stop the treaty interpretation being ensconced in every document and process in NZ, we are all effed.


We are coming up on retirement and know many other people within a ten year age range. They are selling up uniformly and moving to Aussie or Europe (the wealthier ones) or returning to the UK. We decided we would hang in for six months and give the Nats t…

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Hancock
Hancock
07 de nov. de 2023
Respondendo a

The Magic Bullet is called Winston.

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