In all the drama around Meka defecting to the Māori Party, a far more urgent confrontation was occurring that hasn’t been given the focus it deserves.
After IRD came out with a report last week highlighting how existing systems and processes of capitalism are rigged to favour the ultra wealthy, most Political Parties quietly creeped away from having any debate about taxing the wealthy more to provide for the underfunded social and physical infrastructure that we have.
The Māori Party however did not creep away from the debate, in very bold language, Māori Party President John Tamihere was as clear as he could be that it was the Māori Party intention to tax the rich and that we would see GST off food.
The MANA Party believed that what was good for poor hungry Māori kids was good for all poor hungry kids and that’s why Hone Harawira championed Feed the Kids and pushed for free lunches and breakfasts in schools.
Likewise, the Māori Party’s focus on removing GST helps not only poor hungry Māori, it helps all poor hungry people, by pushing for social policy that helps everyone, the Māori Party have found an issue that crosses culture and has has enormous electoral appeal from pakeha as it does Māori, and that’s why the very rich will be worried.
The last thing the richest 1% in NZ want however is a firebrand like John Tamihere in a position to tax them more. Watch for the backlash against the Māori Party as the very wealthy get spooked that the Māori Party may become the kingmaker
This position, that the rich will be taxed more and that poor people will see reductions in tax will cause far more pressure on the Māori Party than the Meka defection, because annoying Labour is one thing, threatening the 1% richest of NZ is another.