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Nick Smith In Trouble, Again!

You simply would not know the subtleties of what goes on in Parliament if your sources were confined to RNZ or the MSM. Politik and now Newsroom are fortunately providing an alternative by which we can continue to admire Nick Smith’s privileged ability to ‘stuff-up’ everything that he puts his hand to, under the benign sponsorship of his great mate – Bill English.

The latest example is his inability to handle, or let alone understand Marama Fox’s motivation as she continues to put a fire under just about everything that he attempts to do by threatening to remove the Maori Party’s support every time she knows that Seymour and Dunne have washed their hands of whatever Smith is trying to put in place.

Their motives are purely political of course, but Fox’s motives are quite different, and in the case of her refusal to support the Resource Legislation Amendment Bill are designed primarily to gain brownie points over the Greens, whose anti GM stance has been part of their very fabric.

Fox is claiming, or appears be claiming that Smith reneged on an earlier promise to remove the sanction clause that allows the Minister to over-rule local attempts to retain GM free status. This currently applies in Hawkes Bay to the immense frustration of farming interests that have a vested interest in introducing genetically modified crops. Local choice would I imagine make their introduction elsewhere moot, and probably impractical.

Smith has fought for the retention of the Bill’s basic tenets for over two years, and it is becoming very late in the piece to be having to deal with a recalcitrant Maori Party holding out on what to him and his party is an essential element of their legislation. Fox is adamant that she earlier had the assurance of the removal of the offending clause, and has only reneged when they saw the final draft of the Bill. Be that as it may, it is a sticking point that once again demonstrates Dr Smith’s incompetence, as if we needed anything else to convince us..

Marama is coming into her own as a wily Fox, and she has proved extremely adept at manipulating her party’s two votes in this minority situation. Should Maori manage to claw back any more seats from Labour, as appears likely, they will be formidable in any possible National coalition, and provide a highly likely connection for Labour along with NZ First after election night when Labour’s agreement with the Greens dissolves, and the negotiations begin.

No-one should be counting their chickens until then.




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