The Maori Party conference finished yesterday. There were several articles (mostly from Audrey Young) reporting different stories arising from the conference. It’s not good news for the Maori Party.
Maori party members are crying out for a “Maori Dotcom” to bankroll them into the next election. The party is on a fundraising and membership drive to save itself from extinction. Party membership has slumped to about 600 financial members from its peak of about 23,000 in 2005.
At its annual conference yesterday, keynote speaker and communications consultant Matthew Jansen warned the party would be wiped out in 2014 – or at the 2017 election if it was lucky.
From 23,000 to 600 in 7 years – that is an astonishing decline. It would suggest that the current leadership and strategy is not working. But…
Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples may stay on to fight the next election. … Mr Sharples says his party convinced him to stay on. He has led the party with Ms Turia for eight years. Both may now perform at the 2014 election.
…no change in leadership and…
Mr Bird said that being at the table of Government was a ”no -brainer.” … “What is clear is that we have always acted honourable in our dealings with the Government. We are proving stable Government without cost to our mana.
“Whether the voter agrees with this is a moot point…”
… no change in strategy. The Maori Party is (unfortunately) not necessary to “stable government” for the Nats, and their support for a government which is so damaging to so many of their constituents clearly is damaging to their mana – Bird’s denials notwithstanding the facts speak for themselves.
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she would like the Maori Party to return to its broader support base, including Pakeha.
… when the party faced its first national election in 2005, about a quarter of its members were Pakeha, and it stood 55 candidates in general seats as well as the seven Maori seats.
Worth a try I guess, but I don’t see any reason for Pakeha to be any more impressed with the Maori Party’s performance than Maori are themselves.
In my opinion the MP signed their own death warrant when they allowed the split with Mana to happen. The coverage above paints a picture of a party in terminal decline.