Guest post: Tane Phillips for Māori Vice President

Written By: - Date published: 8:00 am, August 23rd, 2016 - 11 comments
Categories: democratic participation, labour, Maori Issues, Politics - Tags:

The Standard’s authors have offered candidates for the upcoming Labour Party internal elections the chance to guest post about why they’re running. Tane Phillips has been nominated for the position of Māori Vice President.

lprent: Note that, like all campaign for party position posts, this post will be fully moderated to prevent excessive trolling. So expect delays before your comments appear.

Ko Tane Phillips taku ingoa.

Post-settlement, Māori and their iwi are becoming a major influence on New Zealand’s future. Not just in terms of our culture, but our economic development, and our environment.

This is an exciting time for Māoridom and for all of New Zealand. And it’s a time that Labour, as the next government, needs to be involved in.

But to be a part of this important change Labour needs good relationships with Māori, and a strong and thoughtful Māori voice within our own party.

Together with our hard-working Māori MPs and Labour members I’ve been helping provide that voice as the Te Kaunihera Māori policy rep. Now, with Nanaia standing down, I’m seeking the opportunity to give Māori voice in Labour as Māori Vice President (and I know I have big shoes to fill).

I’m 53 years old and have been married to my wonderful wife Wendy for 30 years. We’ve got three beautiful children and four great-looking mokos. There’s nothing like being a grandparent to give you a deep appreciation of the future and of the path that has led to the present. Kia whakatōmuri te haere whakamua.

tane phillips

On the front line with the next generation.

My life with Labour started when I was a moko myself – at our dinner table we grew up talking about politics and unionism. My whanau and I have been part of many Labour campaigns and I’ve long been a member and an activist. Right now I’m Chairman of Waiariki LEC as well as policy rep for TKM.

I am a Union Secretary of the PPWU which is based in Kawerau and covers production workers at the mills there. I’ve been a union member for over 30 years and have held positions inside the movement both within my Union and globally in Workers Councils. Together with my time on Labour’s Policy Council this has given me a deep understanding of governance and how important it is to connect the decisions we make to what is needed and happening at the flaxroots.

The great passions of my life are my whanau, workers’ rights and the advancement of Māori. The great challenges we face as a nation, like housing, the future of work, and climate change and the protection of our awa, will be so much less difficult to address if we work together as Labour, as workers, and as Māori.

I have great hope for our future with a Labour-led government, and I want to be a part of building the better Aotearoa that we all deserve.

Ma whero ma pango ka oti ai te mahi.

11 comments on “Guest post: Tane Phillips for Māori Vice President”

  1. Kia ora Tane – I like your passions and wish you all success in your campaign/s

  2. Chris 2

    Hi Tane,

    I put a version of this on Eva’s post a while back but think I was a bit too late to get an answer so will put here again:

    Labour supported the government’s last legislative attack on the poor in the Social Security (Fraud Measures and Debt Recovery) Amendment Act 2014 and is set to support the government again in the Social Security Legislation Rewrite Bill which does a whole bunch of nasty things like throw entitlement into regulations so that if people don’t fit the tightly prescribed criteria there’s nothing the law can do regardless of need – a change that’s consistent with how ACC currently works but which is a silly change when you realise that welfare requires flexibility to ensure a safety net is maintained. Labour also axed the special benefit in 2004 and did other horrible things in it’s 2007 amendment Act.

    Do you agree with Labour’s approach to benefits over recent years? Has, in your view, Labour changed in any way in its approach to social welfare benefits and is sorry for doing these things? If not, do you think Labour should be sorry? Or do you think we should expect pretty much the same approach if Labour becomes the government?

    • Michael 2.1

      Well said. Every candidate for office in the Labour Party must be challenged on where they stand on social justice issues, in particular whether they support the caucus’ repeated decisions to vote in favour of unjust and oppressive laws, such as the one Chris refers to, above. If candidates can’t or won’t answer honestly, they’re not worth voting for.

    • Tane Phillips 2.2

      I think benefits need to be looked at in its entirety and some of this one size fits all is crap .ACC I feel is being manipulated as in they are very quick too call something degenerative as in wear and tear rather then an accident .I have helped people to question the initial diagnosis to some success ! I hope I have answered your question sufficiently

  3. Atiawa 3

    Kia Ora Tane.
    What are your views on the King stating his lack of confidence in Labours leader and decision to support the Maori & Mana parties?

    • Tane Phillips 3.1

      I was disappointed as to me the Kingitanga should be above the mundane and now it is not! But I wasnt surprised with Tuku involved ! The table that the Nats and the Maori Party sit at is built on benificarys and the low wage economy which has caused poverty and homelessness

  4. Good luck Tane. I’m not a member, but you’d have my vote if I was!

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