But I'm more interested in the ' />

There's speculation over a new hard-left political party involving Hone Harawira, Matt McCarten and Jim Anderton.

But I'm more interested in the far right. Are we seeing the fomenting of a single issue anti-Maori party?

And if it's New Zealand's Tea Party, is Muriel Newman our Mama Grizzly?

It's interesting that two former right-wing politicians - Don Brash and Muriel Newman - gained national headlines this month over their opposition to the Marine and Coastal Area (Takutai Moana) Bill.

Brash and Newman timed their publicity perfectly to coincide with the protesters disrupting business and tourism at Taipa. Many in New Zealand would have let out three cheers when Attorney-General Chris Finlayson told the Northland trespassers to "go to hell" after they demanded he fly up and meet them.

That's not enough for the Tea Partiers. Newman gets finger-waggingly silly on her web page when she claims the bill makes these protests "a sign of things to come".

When she was an Act MP, Newman touted the same scaremongering about the prostitution reform bill being a "sign of things to come" - whatever these dastardly "things" may be.

Newman's activists, the Coastal Coalition, don't want National to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act, a dreadful breach of property rights passed by Prime Minister Helen Clark. Apart from privately-owned beaches, the Coalition want the coast to remain in Crown ownership, even if it was previously pinched from Maori.

There's been internal dissent in National's ranks. Then, last week, Don Brash pitched in again in an Orewa speech, when he called the Maori Party a "racially-based political party".

But it is not.

When Sir Robert Jones confronted Tariana Turia with the same accusation, she challenged him to join up, saying the party was open to all ethnicities.

Also, Brash reckoned, there would be "an outcry" if a group of European New Zealanders set up a European New Zealand Party. But I doubt there would be.

A leaked memo from National MP Allan Peachey proved some are grumpy over this foreshore and seabed issue, so clearly MPs are getting flak from the more right-wing members who feel Maori are getting special treatment.

They're not - they've been treated badly. But in politics it's the perception, not the reality that matters. The minister responsible for this legislation, Chris Finlayson, is both intelligent and wise (they don't automatically go together) but, strangely, Brash prefers to heed melodramatic ramblings from right wing media commentators, rather than listen to rational legal explanations.

Would a Tea Party led by Newman and Brash have a following? Too right. Winston Peters is stuffing around like a push-me-pull-you, and can't resist playing tag with the media which just irritates, then turns off, the public.

And it wouldn't be hard to find 5 per cent of New Zealanders happy to put the boot into Maori when it comes to property rights.

Reading Muriel Newman's October 2010 open letter to John Key is like watching hysteria in action, with her don't-let-facts-get-in-the-way-of-a-good-panty-wetting. Not content with this bill, she says, "powerful iwi elite" will stop at nothing until they own and control New Zealand's entire coast.

She continues: "Your bill is likely to lead to the widespread exploitation of the marine environment, as profit-taking by customary title holders becomes a major driving force in coastal areas" and so on.

So what about the 13,000 Pakeha private titles covering around 30 per cent of the coast? Nothing is said about those in Newman's campaign. Pakeha are permitted to make money, but not Maori. Pakeha have property rights, but not Maori.

How repugnant this all is. But we're fortunate we live in a country where this is out in the open, to know that behind their "equality before the law" platitudes some people do indeed speak with forked tongues.

Let them form a party, if that's what they want, so they can bring out all the chicken lickens who think this bill will cause the sky to fall.

But it's ironic in the midst of this that the Maori Party itself is divided and endangered over this very bill, because iwi property rights are still considerably less than those guaranteed to Pakeha.

Tell that to the Tea Party.