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Back in the 80s

Via Holyhekatuiteka on X 
Winston Peters (WP) some 35 years ago in 1989 was on TV – Warning the Waitangi Tribunal (WT) not to overstep its powers, and reminds them of a concept crucial to democracy – the separation of powers. 
WP has always been consistent on this issue. labour’s Geoffrey Palmer aided by public servants had just formulated the reckless ‘Treaty Principles’.
As Opposition Māori affairs spokesperson for National, WP had foreseen the politicisation and activism of the Tribunal. He warned it would be utilised to serve the interests of Elite Māori rather than the working class Māori who had been economically displaced by the sweeping neo-liberal changes that Labour had unleashed after the 1984 election.
Māori unemployment soared as manufacturing jobs went, freezing works closed, and our industry contracted and assets sold off. 
As the new generation of urbane and Tertiary educated ‘whiz kid’ politicians came through the ranks, so did the pivot to the big end of town. Labour, the party of the working class, took those people off the bus, threw them under it and promptly sped off at break neck speed to deregulate the financial markets and the economy at large. 
By the time National won the 1990 Election WP was frequently topping most preferred PM, out ranking both Lange and Bolger. 
Bolger gave WP Minister of Māori affairs and he proved to be an effective Minister with practical programmes put in place. An emphasis on training, work schemes and cultural funding that sought to better equip Māori to face the huge changes the NZ economy was going through at the time. 
He sought to contain the gravy train that the new urbane whiz kid Politicians like Helen Clark, and Phil Goff etc had formulated in a misguided way to deal with what we now know as “white guilt” – the ‘Treaty Principles’ being a prime example. 
Unfortunately WP’s popularity made him anything but popular with Bolger and his party, and after his refusal to cease his criticism and attacks on Bolger for continuing the asset sales and breaking election promises. 
Bolger generated an excuse and sacked him from the front bench. 
His outspokenness had also earned him enemies within the media, and the new emerging elite Māori class led by prominent activists, such as Willie Jackson’s uncles. 
Despite the media, and the elite frequently characterising WP as a ‘Māori basher’ and not the ‘right kind of Māori’, bus loads of working class Māori arrived at parliament to protest his sacking, my long gone great aunty was one of them. 
Bolger and National then continued to kowtow to an ever more powerful Treaty Industry. In the following years the gravy train grew more legs (and later tentacles), namely under Key, Finlayson, and of course Ardern’s Māori  Mafia. 
Attempts to reform and contain the WT has continuously failed, because both Labour and National have both lacked the courage and political will to do so. 
Now this activism from a statutory body has leached into our other judicial bodies rendering them social justice courts, rather than justice courts. 
NZFirst has as part of the coalition agreement, a provision to review the mandate of the WT. 
For the first time in our history we could have another party that shares the courage to bring reform, and we may finally get it. We are finally hearing the same calls that a lone dissenter was advocating over three decades ago….. Because the political leverage is available to address the significant manipulation of our constitution, if National lets them use it… or they take it.
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