The National and Maori Parties have reached a Relationship Accord and Confidence and Supply Agreement.
This agreement differs from those signed with the United Future and ACT parties in that while the Maori Party will support the National-led Government on confidence and supply, it is not required to vote for legislation required to give effect to the policies in National’s Post-Election Action Plan.
“This is a policy-based agreement and features a number of areas where both parties agree to work together,” says Mr Key.
“On everything else besides confidence and supply, the Maori Party will decide support or not on a case-by-case basis.”
This gives the government three extra votes on confidence and supply measures and allows the Maori Party more freedom to support or oppose other government policies as it chooses.
In return co-leaders get ministerial appointments outside cabinet:
Maori Party Co-Leader Dr Pita Sharples will be appointed to the positions of Minister of Maori Affairs, Associate Minister of Education and Associate Minister of Corrections. These Ministerial positions will be outside Cabinet.
Maori Party Co-Leader Tariana Turia will be appointed to the positions of Minister responsible for Whānau Ora, Minister for Disability Issues, Associate Minister of Health, and Associate Minister of Housing. She will also continue to have Associate Ministerial responsibilities in the areas of Social Development and Employment. These Ministerial positions will be outside Cabinet.
National invited the Maori Party into government three years ago when he didn’t need their votes to govern. That gave the party the mana which had been denied it by Labour which left it in opposition. It also allowed the party to get some concessions – among which was the agreement by National to not abolish the Maori seats – and policy gains.
The coalition agreements with Act and United Future means National doesn’t need the Maori Party to govern this term either. But again John Key has opened the door and the party has sensibly decided to come in and make some policy gains rather than languishing in opposition where it would achieve little or nothing.
The agreement is here.