Feb 1, 2011

"It will benefit Maori"

So Tariana Turia supports asset sales – it’s hard to see why. To rationalise her stance Turia claims asset sales could, key word here is could, benefit Maori. Iwi, particularly Mark Solomon, Tuku Morgan and FOMA, are also salivating over the possibility of getting their corporate hands all over our, key word here is our, national assets.

Turia operates under the notion that what is good for iwi is by definition good for Maori. This is not strictly true - especially in this case. The government is essentially selling future profit for short term gain.  We are told the immediate windfall from asset sales will be used to pay down debt. With this in mind it is safe to assume we will see a decrease in government services in the long run. Now the big question is will iwi step in and negate the decrease? Probably not. I doubt iwi have any desire to do so, and fair enough, but surely there is an obligation to do so. This is all about the people right? Surely if iwi were to engage in a rational cost/benefit analysis it would show Maori receive more value with the assets in government hands rather than iwi hands.   

Realistically, iwi will have a minority stake only. Even iwi katoa lack the capital to become major shareholders. So why bother when you will have no control over the direction of the company – especially decisions regarding price rises etc? In a previous post I wrote;

Iwi are now seeking neo liberal ends such as the right to exploit natural resources and the commodification of land and taonga. They also want to play a part in the privatisation agenda of the current government (e.g.private prisons, PPP etc...). It appears to me that iwi authorities have rationalised such goals by adopting the ‘trickle down’ philosophy. They seem to reason that Maori participation in the neo liberal experiment will result in indirect ‘trickle down’ benefits for ordinary Maori despite the trickle down theory been rather discredited.

This is all about iwi’s new found corporate agenda.

Turia is a great example of an indigenous corporatist so no surprises that she supports assets sales (along with private prisons). I’m not holding my breath but I do hope that she justifies her position. I’m sick of the Maori Party, and iwi for that matter, supporting something which is clearly fucking stupid without any reason besides “it will benefit Maori”. How? Why? When? Get your act together.

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