Decision 17: What next for Māori?

  • 08/10/2017

All the votes have been counted. The left has gained two more seats and Winston Peters has his grip on the steering wheel tighter than ever before - so what does this mean for Māori?

Unionist Morgan Godfrey told Three's The Hui that Māori will be hoping the Māori seats are off the table.

"I think the big concern for Māori is the Māori seats - I think that would be the number one thing, seeing the Māori seats retained, which looks increasingly likely."

Although Mr Godfrey thinks Peters is softening in his position.

"He went on Australian television to tell Andrew Bolt who is a notorious right-wing pundit, so of all places to announce his backdown on the Māori seats he did it there - so that's a very big sign that he's not taking the referendum very seriously."

Political commentator and communications specialist Scott Campbell says the two-seat shift left means Mr Peters could more comfortably form a left-leaning coalition.

"This now makes it a real opportunity for Jacinda Adern, James Shaw and Winston Peters to for some sort of Government.

"I think Winston has been vindicated in holding out until yesterday for these votes and good on him for doing so - he's in the strongest position now."

If a Labour, Greens and NZ First Government eventuates, Mr Campbell believes some of the Māori Party gains could be dismantled. 

"Things like Whanau Ora, that was a pet hate of Winston's throughout the last term, so I think that those will be discussions that will be had.

"I think from a Māori perspective if we have the Labour Party in Government then were will definitely see the Te Ture Whenua go because they were dead against. I think Whanau Ora, well, who really knows where they stood on Whanau Ora? But I think from a Māori perspective we are going to have a lot of power."

Watch the video for the full chat.