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Tags: Māori Party

Māori Party – Coalition discussions: omnibus excerpt

From week ending 2 December 2011

Despite losing significant voting franchise in this election, the Māori Party retains three seats in parliament, and is in discussions with the Prime Minister (elect) on whether another confidence and supply agreement can be reached, or some other form of agreement between the parties.

We note the general media has focused on possibly tensions relating to the proposed sale of shares in State-Owned Enterprises as a barrier to a formal supply and confidence agreement.  However, both the National Party and Māori Party have indicated that particular policy matter can be set aside from any agreement framework, allowing each party to retain its respective (opposing) view.  (How such a proposition would work in practise, however, particularly for voting on the annual budget, is unclear at this stage.)

While the Māori Party still needs to confirm its political positioning with its members, the party leaders have indicated that Cabinet posts are sought (Minister of Māori Affairs and Minister with Responsibility for Whānau Ora), and that priority areas for negotiations with National include matters pertaining to the constitutional review, Māori employment matters, and the functionality of Te Puni Kōkiri. 

There are two proposals raised in relation to Te Puni Kokiri, the first is to reposition the agency as a more central ‘control agency’, with a greater purview over the operations of other Ministries.  (There are three such agencies at present, with structural authority over other agencies, these being The Treasury, the State Services Commission and the Department of Prime Minister and Cabinet).   The second proposal is to refocus Te Puni Kōkiri on employment matters, perhaps realigning some of its existing funding to support proposals to create new employment opportunities for Māori youth.

We will provide further information on any published coalition arrangements when/if agreed between the National and Māori parties; and at that point will provide an assessment of merits of proposals for Māori policy development.

From week ending 2 December 2011