Key: Tuhoe would have me for 'dinner'
Thu, 13 May 2010 12:45p.m.
UPDATED AT 3:21PM
Prime Minister John Key today said he was hopeful of eventually reaching a Treaty of Waitangi deal with Tuhoe - just minutes after a speech where he joked about the iwi eating him for dinner.
The Government's relationship with the Maori Party took a hit when Mr Key announced on Monday Tuhoe would not be given Te Urewera National Park as part of a settlement. This was despite the iwi understanding it was on the table.
Mr Key said such a deal was outside the scope of settlements and would be "a very unusual" step for the Government to take.
The move angered the Maori Party and co-leader Tariana Turia said the Government had not acted honourably and chief Tuhoe negotiator Tamati Kruger said Mr Key had "intervened" at the end of an 18-month negotiation process based on worries expressed at last weekend's National Party regional meeting in Masterton, where concerns were raised that the Government was making too many concessions to Maori.
At a tourism event in Auckland today Mr Key joked about enjoying a dinner at a Ngati Porou marae on the East Coast of the North Island this week.
"The good news is that I was having dinner with Ngati Porou as opposed to their neighbouring iwi which is Tuhoe, in which case I would have been dinner, which wouldn't have been quite so attractive."
The Maori Party's Te Ururoa Flavell said the remark was disappointing and Mr Kruger was unhappy with it.
After the speech Mr Key said he thought the iwi would get the joke. His office later reiterated it was a light-hearted remark.
Mr Key said the negotiation with Tuhoe was always going to be complicated and the easier deals were completed first.
"I am hopeful that we can get a successful conclusion to negotiations with Tuhoe...that may take some time," he told reporters.
Mr Key said a 2014 goal of settling all claims was aspirational and he was not prepared to meet that if it came at too high a cost.
"I think it's important the Government is up-front with what it says and that is that why we made the decision. We can't fully vest the national park in the iwi. To do so in my view would be a step too far for most New Zealanders, but would also set a unique precedent that would have to be followed almost certainly in a number of other negotiations we have."
Mr Key disagreed that the decision was made public because of the National Party regional conference.
"The timing was forced upon us for a number of reasons... Tuhoe decided to hold a hui at the end of this week and I thought at that point it was very clear we made it clear to them as to actually what was possible and what wasn't."
He said the idea was considered but there were concerns that it would set a precedent for other iwi.
It was understandable the Maori Party was disappointed as Tuhoe had suffered losing significant lands, but he thought the party would understand the Government's need to balance different demands.
Listen to Tuhoe Chief Negotiator Tamati Kruger talk about the gaffe on RadioLIVE.
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15/02/2011 8:21:05 p.m.
To Baker, yes of course shit happens thats why we have him as our PM , we have every right to speak our mind especially how he just joked about my&our IWI !as tangata whenua (our culture) have every right to speak our minds as John Key only says of what hes heard, he is not maori, he is not from tuhoe, so how could he know, and he has no righ to joke about TUHOE being cannibals. It may be true but whats it to him, he doesnt have a right to comment on our history, and to say were greedy on what he gives us, please dont go there, we chose him as PM , he is nothing withou us, i tautoko him all the way but im awesomely shocked on how he could be rude with this comment, im speaking my mind as a 15 year old and writing a letter to him because not only is thins for my school work, but I want him to know this comment does affect our youth from tuhoe, so blaker do not judge on our livings some of my family are on the benifit so shit what ! ? idont see anything perfect about you, Tuhoe speak your mind ! Heni-Ana
28/05/2010 3:04:22 p.m.
Baker, Tuhoe aren't being "given" anything, they're getting stolen property returned, learn your history man this country is built on the violent theft of land from the locals.
The treaty was an agreement between two nations, ours and theirs our ancestors violated that agreement and we should make reparation for that. Besides it'd be better to have maori working for their Iwi making a living than being on the dole right? More money for the lazy white people who are also bludgers cos there's plenty of them too you gonna get all our cuzzies off the dole?
13/05/2010 6:50:43 p.m.
theft is theft when its stollen from Maori , what ?
13/05/2010 6:25:08 p.m.
Grow balls wrote:
John Key can say whatever he likes about any one of us in the nation, given the topic may be 'politically sensitive' considering it has only been a couple of days however Tuhoe appear to the nation to be staunch and self determining yet words hurt? I don't understand this tribe pouting like a spoilt child does not win politics!!
13/05/2010 3:41:00 p.m.
Hey Tuhoe - S**T happens, get over it, you can't do anything about it so stop complaining. Be happy with what you were given and leave it at that. John Key could have just given you all nothing, that's greed for you, no matter how much your given, you still want more, in fact you want all of it but that's not how it works. Go get some jobs and help our economy get back on track, tell all your cuzzy bros to get off the benefit and contribute something to our society other then more bad statistics towards Maori
13/05/2010 2:56:24 p.m.
The Maori party has some credibility currently, however as with all race based claims on land etc the public gets beyond wary, and in fact gets fed up. As there are no longer any fullblooded Maori in NZ it is high time to knock this bleeding of the country and the taxpayer on the head. We all live in the 21st century globally whether we like it or not and continuing the '2nd class citizen hand out grabbing anything you can based on race' charade is demeaning. When will the Maori party leaders work that out. Maori are fast becoming irrelevant as we turn into an Asian country. Now try and call me a racist....just pointing out the facts.
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