No GST on food, no monarchy, tax the rich: Te Pāti Māori’s demands for coalition

A wealth tax, removing GST from food, and exiting the Five Eyes military spy pact with the US, UK, Canada and Australia are among the demands of Te Pāti Māori party president John Tamihere before the party will support a coalition government at the next election.

With Te Pāti Māori reaching 4.5% in some polls, Tamihere said future governments would have to recognise they would be a “permanent party in government”.

The left love Michael Joseph Savage. Every Labour MP who wishes to push their left wing credentials have photos of him hanging in every electorate office and Minister’s room.

Savage is lauded as the creator of the welfare state in the wake of the Great Depression.

He was swamped when he went into public as NZers of the day gushed over how he had saved them all.

The most hilarious truth, provided by insights from John A Lee who served in Savage’s Cabinet however paints a very different picture from the mythology the left have given Savage .

The truth is that Savage was incredibly centrist and not a radical at all. Backed up by the neoliberal Walter Nash and conservative manipulator Peter Fraser, Savage did all he could to stop transformative change, it was actually Savage’s Caucus who forced his hand repeatedly to be transformative.

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The exact same dynamics will be at play inside any post Labour led minority Government with a supply and confidence arrangement with the Māori Party.

The dawning reality for most political commentators is that the Māori Party are going to have one of their best political results ever and with a campaign promising the take GST off food and tax the rich in the wake of exploding food prices and the IRD report, they have material well being policies that are as attractive to Pakeha as they are to Māori.

This is going to generate a surge of pakeha voters supporting the Māori Party because they know when John Tamihere says he’s going to take GST off food, they know he will.

By remaining on the cross benches instead of becoming part of the Government, the Māori Party are setting themselves up to be a permanent force inside Parliament.

The ‘Coalition of Chaos’ narrative the right are selling of a Māori Party constantly demanding more for their vote misunderstands the cross benches, because if Māori Party demands are too great on policy, Labour can simply turn to the National Party for votes instead.

We are seeing the impact of youth demographics that benefit Māori at play now which in turn is forcing a maturing of the MMP political system.

Poor white people will have as many reasons to vote Māori Party as poor Māori voters this election as Labour continue to fail to do something meaningful on the cost of living crisis.


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