Saturday, March 5, 2011
Frank Newman: Where's Winston?
While Peters has stayed silent the grassroots movement that is the Coastal Coalition has filled the cavity of silence. It has come from nowhere to gain widespread support and sufficient funding to conduct a high profile awareness campaign. Their success is clearly evident in that they are the major participant in the debate and commentary on the issue rarely goes by without them getting a mention. Meanwhile Peters has been a non-starter and despite their best efforts, ACT has failed to get traction, being largely an appendage to the debate rather than a primary player.
So why has Peters not come out all guns blazing on this issue? If every there was a case of a man for the times it is Peters and this issue. Why has Peters not contributed anything but cursory attention to stop the bill from passing into law?
Only he knows the answer to that but my guess it’s because he wants the bill to pass so he can launch a campaign against it. Put simply, he will have a stronger and longer re-election platform to repeal the bill once it becomes law.
Assuming this is the case, does that matter? Yes it does. We know that the Hon Chris Finlayson has his fountain pen ready to give away 2000 km of our coastline to corporate iwi. That is likely to happen before the 23 November election.
Is Peters willing to allow that to happen, for the sake of his political convenience? It’s a question worth asking because it’s a question about what Peter’s cares for most: vast tracts of the coastline being given to Maori, or having a stronger platform for his re-election.
at 11:48 AM