Luxon is leader but what's in it for Māori?

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

One day into the job and Christopher Luxon seemed to be relishing his new position as National leader.

The party is confident he's the man for the job but what is in store for Māori from this former businessman?

He's confident, calm and charming, attributes necessary for any political leader and the ones National party hopes takes it over the line at the next election in 2023. 

In his speech, one of very few so far as an MP, Luxon said, "I’m proud to lead a government-in-waiting that will work every day to represent all New Zealanders – a “national National Party” that earns back their trust and confidence, and actually delivers for them."

But, while the party might be better for the switch in leadership will Māori? 

Christopher Luxon told Te Ao Māori News "My message simply is Māori do very well under a National government."

Outdated views

Looking at Treaty settlements, the Māori economy and Whanau Ora it may be true although for the last the mihi should probably go to Dame Tariana Turia. 

As for the current caucus, some of its members' views may be a little outdated, such as Paul Goldsmith saying that in his opinion, 'on balance' colonisation was a good thing

Another, Stewart Smith, suggested polling the public on the name Aotearoa, his then leader backing him saying "I think it's probably something we could go to a referendum on and ask what people want. People are starting to get, I think, quite tetchy about it, and they're feeling like that because they're not being included in the debate."

Luxon, however, promises an inclusive future for the party. 

Repeal plans

He has been the spokesperson for Three Waters and in October said “National opposes the Three Waters asset grab.

"If Labour rams its plan through, we have committed to repealing the entity model when we form the next government in 2023 and returning seized water assets to councils.

“We’ll continue to fight Labour’s centralisation and control agenda. It’s vital we keep the ‘local’ in local government.”

The Māori health authority was considered a win for Labour but the Collins leadership opposed it.

At the time Shane Reti said a pandemic wasn't the time for restructures, and those sentiments were doubled down on by the new leader. 

He seems to be hitting the right note but will he get Māori to tune in?