Waihoroi Shortland, the Maori Party candidate in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate, has been warned to “Watch your back, lest it be bitten by the Maori Party dogs”.
What makes this warning so extraordinary is that the person issuing it is none other than Shortland’s predecessor, Solomon Tipene, candidate for the same party for the same electorate in the recent by election. Claire Trevett reports:
Watch your back, candidate warned
The Maori Party’s Te Tai Tokerau byelection candidate Solomon Tipene has warned his successor to watch his back “lest it be bitten by the Maori Party dogs” – a reference to the leaders of the party.
Mr Tipene – who came a distant third to Mana’s Hone Harawira and Labour’s Kelvin Davis in the electorate – made the comments on Te Kaea after Waihoroi Shortland was selected to stand for the party in the election. …
“Watch your back, lest it be bitten by the Maori Party dogs. I’m referring to the leaders – they did that to me and Hone Harawira.”
Not only is Tipene attacking the Maori Party leadership in the strongest possible terms, he actually seems to align himself with ex-rival Hone Harawira as a fellow victim of mistreatment.
Mr Tipene did not return calls yesterday but the party president Pem Bird said it was clearly a reference to Tariana Turia over her comment in the lead-up to the byelection that Mr Harawira should win it, if he had put in the work.
Actually there was more to it than that. According to this account at the time: “Ms Turia has said Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene is lovely and kind, but doesn’t understand politics”. (This was read by some as an endorsement of Labour’s Kevin Davis.) Anyway, maybe Mr Tipene is a fast learner. He seems to understand politics just fine now. And he certainly seems to have had the last laugh on Tariana Turia.