August 03, 2016
Clark best UN candidate for indigenous support
Media commentator Russell Brown says accusing the Maori Party of treason for not supporting Helen Clark's bid to become the next United Nations secretary general is stupid, and the party has a right to be wrong.
Mr Brown, who co-hosts Media Take with Toi Iti and runs the Public Address website, says criticism of the party has become extreme.
He says there was obviously an internal debate that led to co-leader Marama Fox switching her earlier position of support.
But if the criteria is support for indigenous peoples, the former New Zealand prime minister is the most qualified of the candidates, as he saw when he went up to New York this year for a United Nations conference on drug policy.
"The UN Development Programme which she is head of was really prominent there and added a lot of the structure. I got the impression this is an agency running well and when you look at the kind of things Helen Clark said, she has kept indigenous people in the conversation. When you look at her record over the past seven years, it's pretty good," Mr Brown says.
He says Helen Clark probably regrets her political missteps over the foreshore and seabed debate, but it must be remembered John Key had to engineer a 180 degree reversal of the National Party position to win the support of the Maori Party.
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