John Key's threat to ignore the Waitangi Tribunal over privatisation and water rights now looks to be putting his coalition in danger, with the Maori Party refusing to confirm its support for the government. Meanwhile, Stuff's Tracy Watkins suggests that rather than being a mistake, Key's threats were cynical and deliberate:
In the same way that former prime minister Helen Clark's labelling of foreshore and seabed activists as "haters and wreckers" was deliberate, Mr Key deliberately inflamed the dispute over water rights because the alternative - allowing the perception that water is a Treaty right - risks a backlash from heartland National voters equal to the fury over the foreshore and seabed.If true, this means we have a Prime Minister willing to deliberately inflame racial tensions for political gain (and to transfer even more wealth to his rich mates). The difference between this and Don Brash's odious racism during his tenure in office? Absolutely none.
National was supposed to have changed. They were supposed to be better than that now. Clearly, they're not.