New Zealand to follow Scottish devolution model?

August 20, 2008

The Maori tribe of Tuhoe is currently in talks with the New Zealand Government seeking self-rule reportedly based on the Scottish model of devolved Government.

The Tuhoe tribe or iwi are based in the central eastern North Island of New Zealand and are known as the Children of the Mist. Unlike many Maori iwis they have a certain geographical isolation living in a remote region, to the north of Napier and the fantastic wine area of Hawkes Bay, and have a very strong sense of identity.

The Tuhoe flag

The Te Mana Motuhake o Tuhoe is the Tuhoe political party leading the negotiations on self-rule with the New Zealand Government, and both parties are reluctant to say to the press how the negotiations are proceeding; but they have just signed a forestry deal together.

I particularly liked the traditional Tuhoe greeting – a hongi; pretty much a precursor to a headbutt – that their controversial activist leader Tame Iti gave the Deputy Prime Minister of New Zealand, Michael Cullen of the New Zealand Labour Party.

Tame Iti and Michael Cullen in a hongi

I can just see Alex Salmond and Gordon Brown do this!

Maybe not. I guess Gordon Brown wouldn’t be too keen:

Wasn’t the Glasgow East result a Glasgow Kiss to Gordon Brown already!