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Winston's Drops The 'M' Bomb 

Winston may or may not be a 'racist' - a pejorative that has just about lost its meaning, but he has surely raised the stakes with his promise to hold any potential partner to the elimination of the Maori seats, and the reduction of Parliament to 100 members. There are plenty who believe even this reduction too conservative. 

But the Maori seats are another matter that will raise the stakes on race relations in this country. Even his erstwhile companion - Shane Jones has eschewed the opportunity to support him, preferring to allow the decision to be made by the Maori electorate alone. If that were to be the case, the referenda would need to be separated for obvious reasons, and that will surely not sit well with Winston who clearly sees the combined voting paper as more likely to achieve his objective.

Again, Bryce Edwards sees it a major vote attraction for NZ First - one that is likely to surpass any other of their policies leading up to the election. I guess Winston can always be subsequently 'negotiated' out of this position, but it would not sit well with the vast majority of non-Maori voters (and probably quite a percentage of Maori) who are likely to vote for the party on this issue alone. I won't speculate on exactly what category they are likely to represent.

It will be interesting to see just how Shame Jones negotiates his way through this minefield with Winston. It could well be a game-changer, but even he must give Winnie credit for being consistent. 

As with Matiria's 'confession', this could make for a very interesting election. Bill English and his policies looks positively dull by comparison, even as they are systematically released to the electorate.


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