Apart from the question of Maori seats there seemed to be no prepared or fiercely defended positions. No Maori seats on the Auckland Unitary Authority will be a hard position to sustain in any case given that two Maori electorates cover the area and why should citizens who have chosen that roll be disenfranchised. To say nothing of the Maori Party's calm and persuasive advocacy. The government clearly finds them a more comfortable partner than Act. My guess would be that there will be two Maori seats in the final mix - it would be hard to argue for more - whatever other justifications there might be.
I must confess to being impressed by the committee's staunchness - they are going to hear an awful lot of repetition driven more by partisan rhetoric than reality. (Pleased that Phil Twyford mentioned my blog.)
I remain optimistic that there is a genuine intention to listen and respond and I did not sense any kind of dogmatic defense of the government model. The committee's questioning was to the point and I must say stimulating.
Jury must be genuinely out on the result.
But then I am a glass half full kind of guy.