Alas, we must rely on the media to find what our leaders said while pitching for the Maori vote at Ratana

Buzz from the Beehive

A great deal has happened since January 19.

Among other things, a new Prime Minister and deputy have been sworn in and our leaders (past, present and aspiring) have delivered speeches at Ratana.

Newshub reported that politicians of all stripes had descended upon Rātana for the unofficial start of the political year.

Jacinda Ardern has delivered her final speech as Prime Minister on Tuesday afternoon, following remarks from incoming Prime Minister Chris Hipkins.

National leader Christopher Luxon was also at Rātana for the first time. He was welcomed alongside Te Pāti Māori on Tuesday morning.

Luxon – you will learn much further down in the Newshub report – delivered a speech, too.

But the spotlight was turned first on Ardern:

Delivering the final speech of her premiership, Ardern acknowledges the importance of being at Rātana with mana whenua.

“I say if you’re going to leave, leave with a brass band. And if you’re going to leave with a brass band, leave with a brass band from Rātana,” she says, referencing a brass band she walked in with.

She ended her speech by thanking Kiwis for “the greatest privilege of my life”.

Hipkins said  he had been coming to Rātana for nearly 20 years, having first visited in 2004 under Prime Minister Helen Clark.

He said Ardern had implored non-Maori New Zealanders to “walk across the bridge” and stand in the shoes of tangata whenua.

That would  continue under his Government, Hipkins said.

Maori or non-Maori, we are all in this together, Hipkins says. He says Labour will seek to bring New Zealanders together.

Hipkins brought co-governance into considerations with a facile claim that National’s position on co-governance changes between when they are in Government and when they are in Opposition.

The former National Government engaged in co-governance, he says.

Yes, some co-governance arrangements were set up on John Key’s watch as Prime Minister.

But the concept was widely extended on Jacinda Ardern’s watch, most contentiously after she found Labour could govern – after 2020 – without having to depend on the support of New Zealand First. That party had kept the brakes on her urge to steep the country in te reo, incorporate tribal governance systems in local government, assimilate mātauranga Maori into our science structures, and enthusiastically embrace Maori cultural practises, such as greeting foreign leaders with a hongi.

Newshub went on:

Co-governance arrangements that have been entered into take on many forms, he says. It’s important to talk to New Zealanders about why the Government is engaging in these actions.

Race relations should never be used to divide New Zealanders and it has been in the past, Hipkins says.

Then the report brought Luxon into the picture:

Christopher Luxon begins his speech by speaking in te reo Māori. He reflects on the relationship between National and Māori, such as the efforts by Chris Finlayson in treaty settlements.


Addressing co-governance, Luxon said it has been a “divisive and immature conversation over recent years”. He believes the Government hasn’t been upfront or transparent about its intentions and hasn’t taken people with it.

Luxon says National opposes co-governance in the delivery of public services, such as in health and justice. National supports the targeting of people on the basis of needs, not ethnicity. He says that might be “difficult news”, but it doesn’t mean National doesn’t want to involve Māori.

Point of Order recognises that citizens who want to know what our leaders have said are often ill-served when they must rely on the edited versions published by state-subsidised journalists and broadcasters.

We didn’t expect to find Luxon’s speech on the Beehive website.

But we did expect – or rather, hope –  to find the speeches delivered by Ardern and Hipkins.

But guess what?

The latest news you will find there is:

19 JANUARY 2023

General Election to be held on 14 October 2023

The 2023 General Election will be held on Saturday 14 October 2023, Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announced today.

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern announces resignation

Jacinda Ardern has announced she will step down as Prime Minister and Leader of the Labour Party. Her resignation will take effect on the appointment of a new Prime Minister.

2 thoughts on “Alas, we must rely on the media to find what our leaders said while pitching for the Maori vote at Ratana

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