We’ve reached the limits of what Government can do, the limits of Government grants and programmes, Prime Minister Bill English told Ratana members on Monday.
He was attending annual commemorations at the group’s settlement south of Wanganui. The event kicks off the political year.
Without linking his comments to Maori, English said that there is “a burgeoning spirit of enterprise” and that “the government is learning much better how to work with the people who know the people”.
Ratana secretary Piri Rurawhe said that it was a Ratana understanding that “we need to help ourselves before we can help anyone else”.
Perhaps the comment by the Prime Minister is an acknowledgement that peak race-based affirmative action has been reached.
‘Uncle Tom’ vs ‘toothless sheep’
A spat between wealthy Opportunities Party founder Gareth Morgan and New Zealand First Leader Winston Peters was a highlight at Ratana Pa this week.
Morgan "implored" the Ratana members to "call out" the New Zealand First party and Winston Peters because of their anti-Treaty of Waitangi views.
Morgan described Peters as "nothing more than an Uncle Tom", said that he "gets away with this anti-Treaty stuff" because he is Maori, and went further by saying that he didn’t accept "the old adage that you can't be racist against your own race."
Peters said: "Excuse me for laughing, but it's a long time since I have been ravaged by a toothless sheep," he said.
Criticising Morgan's proposed constitutional reforms, Peters said Maori did not want an Upper House. "Seventy-five per cent of them just want a house."
Meet Don and Casey
Don Brash and Casey Costello will speak in Hawke’s Bay at 7pm on Tuesday, February 28, at the Havelock North Community Centre.
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