Tauranga's $10.3 million Lotto Powerball winner Lou Te Keeti sat down for a flat white today with fellow millionaire Gareth Morgan to talk politics and cannabis and Winston Peters.
The pair had advice for each other. The Opportunities Party leader Morgan advised Te Keeti that women generally knew best.
"Don't let it go to our head. Listen to your wife. The wife is usually right. We men are often driven by testosterone while our women know us, what's right for us, for the family. My own wife is amazing . . . at the moment she is climbing one of the highest mountains in Russia to put the TOP sign on top."
Te Keeti laughed and said he could not get his wife Valerie to leave Tauranga.
"She is a real homebody, she likes to be around the children and grandchildren, and her animals - the chooks, ducks, horses. And me."
Te Keeti said he agreed with Morgan's policies.
"He has the best policy of all the parties on caring for the environment and leaving a legacy for future generations that parallels the Maori view of stewardship or kaitiakitanga."
Te Keeti's advice to Morgan was that he needed to connect better to Maori people and he invited The Opportunities Party leader to hold a rally at Wairoa Marae, where the Lotto winner is kaitiaki and kaumatua.
Te Keeti approved of legalising cannabis.
"I am not a user and I don't smoke cigarettes, never have done but I agree that the cost of enforcement through policing, courts and incarceration could be better targeted elsewhere to assist the economy.
"Cannabis use is a health issue, not a criminal issue. I liken this issue to the gay movement which took years to be accepted. Heck, if we were to look behind the closet, half of Tauranga would be in jail. Should the legislation happen we may be surprised who comes out of that closet."
Morgan said his research showed that young and poor Maori were 57 per cent of the vote and, to mobilise them to the ballot box, his feedback was that cannabis legalisation was an important issue to remove the harm from the drug being controlled by a criminal underworld that was also "peddling extremely harmful drugs like P and synthetics that are killing people".
The new friends also debated water.
Te Keeti said he had strong views on this issue.
"The government has abdicated responsibility for it and are deliberately avoiding the question of ownership for fear of potential legal challenges from iwi.
"But they have created a commercial environment that allows water to be exported free. My view is that John Key has already made the deal through the free trade agreement and is using these credits for leverage."
Te Keeti said he thought the meeting went well and he hoped to stay in contact with Morgan - and he even might join the party.
"If I were investing I'd rather entrust my money to someone like Morgan who has demonstrated a history of success rather than a government you can't trust."
The pair agreed Maori had been 'sold short" in Treaty negotiations and Morgan discussed how Te Keeti was going to reopen his wai family treaty claim to reclaim land which he said was rightfully his, which he said he would fight now that he had the money to pay lawyers.
Morgan said the fact you needed money to get justice shows how unfair the current systems were.
"I want to communicate to Pakeha what the treaty means and given Maori settled at 1.5 cents in the dollar, that cannot be described as money grabbing. "
Te Keeti said he did not identify with the Maori party or Winston Peters.
Morgan said that in his view Peters was a "traitor to Maori"
"He is chasing the white vote, selling Maori down the river... but all the aunties love him with his Cheshire cat grin."
When told of Morgan's comments, Peters told the Bay of Plenty Times that "I haven't really got a response to such an outrageous statement" and "I do not intend to give such as bigoted and racist comment the oxygen of respectability by responding to them."
Peters said he met Te Keeti decades ago.
"That's the difference between me and my critics... my advice to Lou having won the Lotto is be careful now who you mix with.
"The tragedy is that this government has gone down a path, subscribed heavily to Gareth Morgan, of separatist legislation of separatist rights based on race. That pathway is broadening by the day. ..a kaumatua in Tauranga would know just what economic and social terms have declined for Maori in the last decades, Maori housing ownership is down by 38 per cent, that is a crisis, youth unemployment over 25 per cent. Prison population increasing. Lack of educational outcomes. What is required is we focus on human needs."