National better for Maori


National never does well in Maori seats but the Mana Party’s new candidate in Tamaki Makaurau is a John Key fan.

Kereama Pene, a Ratana minister who last year described Key as a brilliant speaker added more praise for Key and the National Party yesterday:

“We’re in a recession right now, and I’ve got to think like the rest of the country that he has done a pretty good job.”

Asked what Mana leader Hone Harawira would think of his view, given that he had walked away from the Maori Party because of his dislike of National, Mr Pene said: “National is actually the group that have done most of the great things for Maoridom over the last 20 years. You’ve got to give praise where it’s due.”

He said the Treaty settlements process, the Waitangi Tribunal and kohanga reo were all implemented under National.

He is quite right about that – National governments have done a lot to help Maori and this one has worked far better with the Maori Party.

Labour, under Helen Clark, said the Maori Party was the last cab off the rank for coalition negotiations. National opened the door to the Maori Party although it didn’t need its support to govern.

The National Party also has a far better record than Labour of selecting Maori candidates in general electorates.

The latest Marae Digipoll shows National support in Maori electorates, while still low, is increasing. Support from Maori in general electorates is almost twice as high as among those on the general roll.

That is likely to continue as more Maori realise they are better off being independent rather than looking to the government to solve their problems.

Do candidates help party vote?


Parties stand candidates in electorates they have no hope of winning so they can solicit party votes.

Does it help?

I don’t know the answer to that but National doesn’t stand candidates in the Maori electorates and the latest Marae Digipoll shows the party has 22.4% of support from Maori on the general roll compared with only 13.2% support from Maori on the Maori roll.

That could mean having candidates helps, but it could also mean Maori who opt for the general roll are more likely to support National than those who don’t.

National support from Maori isn’t high on either roll, but the party gained only 7.4% from Maori roll voters in 2008 and is now getting almost twice that support.

Its coalition partner the Maori Party has 11% support from Maori on the general roll and 27.7% support from people on the Maori roll, compared with 28.9% at the last election.

The Mana Party had 12% support from Maori roll voters but only 1.6% support from those on the general roll.

Support for other parties: Green Party 5.6% on the Maori roll and 8.1% on the general one; New Zealand First  4.1% and 7.1%; Act 0 and 2.1%; Progressive 0 and .6% and other 1.7% and 1.9%.

Act, NZ First and Progressive don’t usually have candidates in Maori electorates either.

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