“…Prime Minister John Key’s dismissal of the Waitangi Tribunal is “corrosive” towards his relationship with the Maori Party, which hasn’t ruled out walking away from their agreement, its president Pem Bird says.
Mr Key sparked outrage among Maori this week when he said the Government could ignore tribunal recommendations and reiterated his opposition to anyone owning water.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said she was disappointed with the inflammatory remarks and wanted a meeting with Mr Key.
After initially saying he was too busy to meet, Mr Key yesterday said he would meet Mrs Turia and co-leader Pita Sharples by the middle of next week.
Senior Maori Party figures held a teleconference last night to discuss what position they would go into the meeting with.
Mr Bird said they had not ruled out walking away from their supply and demand agreement with National.
“It goes back to the provocative comment … It’s corrosive of the relationship.”
Mr Key’s comments undermined the tribunal process and his relationship with the Maori Party, which was meant to be “mana-enhancing”.
“That’ll only work with mutual respect and mutual trust, for any relationship that’s the glue that holds it together and that comment is a departure from that.”
Mr Key’s statements were intentional – Mr Bird said…”
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