Hone suspended

Written By: - Date published: 2:33 pm, February 7th, 2011 - 61 comments
Categories: maori party - Tags:

Hone has just been suspended from the Maori Party caucus by press release.  Pita and Tariana have had enough and they’re cutting him off in parliament – which surely can only be a prelude to him being cut off at party level as well.

Presumably that’s a “no” to Te Tai Tokerau’s request for more meetings to resolve the matter outside the discipline process.  And I’m sure we can all guess what the Disputes Committee is going to decide.

So, what’s Hone’s next move?  He was very cuddly with the Greens at the weekend, there’s still those New Left Party rumours and a lot of the locals would no doubt like him as an independent, not constrained by any caucus…

And is all this at National’s request?

What’s your guess?

61 comments on “Hone suspended”

  1. vidiot 1

    A) Hone to form new right wing party with Kyle Chapman.
    B) Hone to form new left wing party with Sue Bradford.

    Either way, I think he’s destined to be the next Peter Dunne / Jim Anderton (1 MP party).

    • higherstandard 1.1

      It’ll be the Sue B option.

    • Colonial Viper 1.2

      Someone said on another thread that the Maori seats can’t act as lifeboat electorates as Epsom does for ACT. Is this true?

      • oscar 1.2.1

        That was me, and I can’t find anything in the legislation that refutes this.
        My understanding, and this has been confirmed by people working in the electoral arena, is that Maori Seats are completely separate from general seats.
        So if a new left part want to form, they can only rely on getting into parliament with Hone as long as they run only in Maori Seats.
        If they put a candidate up in Maori seats, and go for the party vote in general seats, they have to get that 5% threshold of party votes in genenral seats in order to get MPs in parliament, and will have the benefit of holding maori seats too assuming their candidates win.
        If they don’t reach the 5%, but their candidate wins in the maori seat, then only that candidate represents the party in parliament.
        Of course, they may want to run in the general seats as the MP do, but party votes cannot be combined from both maori and general seats.

        • gobsmacked 1.2.1.1

          No, any electorate seat is a threshold. No difference between General and Maori.

          (until the Gerry Brownlee amendment, passed under urgency October 2011 … )

          • Bunji 1.2.1.1.1

            To further what gobsmacked said the elections site has it here.
            It merely refers to electorate seats, not general or maori.

            • Lanthanide 1.2.1.1.1.1

              Thanks, I tried to correct oscar last time just using plain logic, but it wasn’t sufficient.

          • Graeme Edgeler 1.2.1.1.2

            I can confirm that Gobsmacked is correct. A win in a Maori electorate is sufficient to allow a party with enough votes to earn list seats, even if it falls short of 5% of the party vote.

            See section 191 of the Electoral Act 1993.

            • Oscar 1.2.1.1.2.1

              Thanks, now I can go and debunk this and have some facts to be right this time. It didn’t sound either fair, nor democratic when I was told about it originally.

          • Oscar 1.2.1.1.3

            See, this is what I thought too, but I was corrected by people for whom the electoral law is a speciality.
            Perhaps there might be others that beg to differ, but I can’t find anything that proves them otherwise on legislation site (which is what I use moreso than the elections website which doesn’t have a lot of information on maori seats)

        • orange whip? 1.2.1.2

          …party votes cannot be combined from both maori and general seats.

          That’s odd. I voted on the maori roll, my party vote went to the Greens. Are you saying my party vote didn’t get tallied up with all the others and count toward the total Green party vote?

          I’ll be very disappointed if this is the case. (It’s not though)

          • Bright Red 1.2.1.2.1

            no, oscar’s not correct. your vote counted.

            • Oscar 1.2.1.2.1.1

              The vote only counts if that party gets above 5% in the general seats.
              See, second class rules for Maori and Maori Seats.
              Of course legislation only refers to general seats, and aside from one section outlining how maori seats are established, there’s nothing relating to the way the votes are counted, and how it relates to general seats.
              Until that happens, I’m simply just going to parrot what Ive been told. Maybe Edgeler will be able to clear it up?

              • Pascal's bookie

                Of course legislation only refers to general seats, and aside from one section outlining how maori seats are established, there’s nothing relating to the way the votes are counted, and how it relates to general seats.

                Here is how the Act says list seats are allocated

                4) The Electoral Commission must disregard any total under the name of any party that—
                (a) has not achieved a total that is at least 5% of the total number of all the party votes received by all the parties listed on the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote; and
                (b) is a party in respect of which no constituency candidate who is either—
                (i) a candidate for that party; or
                (ii) a candidate for a component party of that party (being a component party that is not listed on the part of the ballot paper that relates to the party vote but is, in accordance with the details held by the Electoral Commission under any of the provisions of sections 127(3A) and 128A, a component party of that party)—
                has had his or her name endorsed on the writ pursuant to section 185 as a person declared to be elected as a member of Parliament.

                http://www.legislation.govt.nz/act/public/1993/0087/latest/DLM310034.html?search=ts_act_electoral_resel

                Nothing about general seats. It says in (b) that if the party has a candidate declared elected to parliament, then that parties list votes are taken into account when working out how many list candidates each party gets…

                • Rich

                  There is no distinction between party votes cast by people on the general and Maori rolls. The Maori option only applies to votes in electorates. Clear?

  2. Rharn 2

    And is all this at National’s request?

    If it is and documention or perhaps an allegation then that’s the end of the Maori Party

    • Bright Red 2.1

      yeah, with the desertions in the ranks of Maori Party staffers (people as disillusioned as Hone), the leadership has turned to the Nats for support and been co-opted.

      • Anne 2.1.1

        Spot on Bright Red. It’s well known that the MP (read Turia and Sharples) have been running to the Nat Beehive researchers and staffers. I’d go further and say they were instructed to “cut him loose when we tell you the time is right.” In practice, the Maori Party is no longer… it’s a subsidiary of the National Party with pretensions only of being an independent political party.

      • Bob 2.1.2

        Divide and Rule ? once again . Its the back stop when all else fails

  3. higherstandard 3

    I hope he gets into bed with Sue and Matt and they run on a hard left manifesto.

  4. mikesh 4

    It’s probably just what he wanted. It’s better politically for him to be pushed out, so that no-one can say he turned his back on the party.

  5. I hope that the Maori party do not implode. Future survival may be down to not being in a coalition with any government.

  6. Shane Gallagher 6

    I do not think he will go with the Greens – the culture in the party would not suit him I think.

    Also he is really only interested in promoting Maori issues above everything else and I cannot see him aligning himself alongside anything other than another Maori party.

    But I suspect the Maori Party is going to split massively over this. Their base is way to the left of where the leadership is…

  7. gobsmacked 7

    One consequence will be to increase the overhang.

    Maori party vote down to 1% (one seat), maybe three electorate seats retained (bye bye Rahui Katene), plus Hone = three seat overhang. If Dunne survives, overhang = four, i.e. 63 needed for a majority.

    I’m discounting the Hone-Sue Umbrella Left party, I reckon that’s journos interviewing computers.

    • Bright Red 7.1

      depends on the size of the parties’ party votes. United Future could get as little as 0.5% of the vote and still not cause an overhang. (it’s complicated and mathsy to explain why but you can chuck the numbers into the elections site calculator to check)

      • Bob 7.1.1

        Bit like the Duckworth Lewis system in cricket , who knows what will happen if it rains on THE day ………?

  8. On the assumption that Hone has been aware this was coming, he’s been very clever at repeatedly saying (once again I heard him say it on radio this morning) that “I respect the leadership, have no leadership ambitions and want to stay with the Maori Party. All I want is tikanga Maori processes, not Pakeha processes, followed”.

    After hearing him say that so often and then him getting suspended through a press release – Hone, 1: Pita and Tariana, 0.

    They mention the party’s tikanga throughout the press release, but all that shows is that Hone has forced them to fight the battle on rhetorical turf he’s chosen. It shows – at least to the public – that they use the words but do the dumping electronically rather than face to face (like texting ‘I divorce you’ three times in Muslim countries).

  9. The whole concept of a Maori party for all of Maori, was arguably destined to end this way. In a more fractious political environment where ethnicity/religion are the dominant basis for political affiliation, such as Iraq or more contemporary Belgium – its place would seem more natural.

    The Nats are the ones who have destroyed the Maori Party, because they pulled the leadership into their embrace, and both Turia and Sharples feel they have more lose personally by walking away. Perhaps they even genuinely feel that they have made progress for Maori – but they seem doomed to repeat the 1999 NZ First experience.

    Maori voters have consistently sided with those parties advocating a centre-left to left wing platform since the early days of Labour-Ratana alliance. National itself still polls in range of historic lows among Maori voters, and is seen as the enemy. The Maori Party might have hoped that they could alter the fundamental character of a National-led government, but it is in fact the opposite. Turia and Sharples may as well be National Party candidates on the list and join their pal Tau (a former staunch unionist) in the National caucus.

  10. Lanthanide 10

    I posted the below in Open Mike, but got no bites (except oscar telling me I was wrong about Maori electorate seats being just like any other electorate seats, see 1.2.1 above).

    With Hone’s ructions in the MP, he’s starting to look more inept than he looks calculated.

    But anyway, if he does leave the MP, I’m sure either The Greens or NZ First would welcome his safe electorate seat. It would work out quite well politically with NZ First – it would set up a definite spoiler for National because of Key’s impetuous ruling out of Winston. I guess the problem is whether Winston and Hone would see eye to eye, and whether Winston would let another high profile voice take over his party (then again, Winston is getting pretty old these days and needs some sort of succession plan in place…).

    • Puddleglum 10.1

      With Hone’s ructions in the MP, he’s starting to look more inept than he looks calculated.

      That could be right, Lanthanide. I have no particular insight into this story.

      I remember being told once, though, by a reasonably well-connected Tainui, that it’s almost impossible for non-Maori to read the tea leaves of Maori politics because it’s often about what’s happening ‘internal’ to Maoridom. If some action or decision looks ‘inept’, ‘confused’ or ‘miscalculated’ from the outside that doesn’t necessarily mean much – it’s a move in a game we (outsiders) aren’t playing and aren’t aware of, and it’s hardly ever only the game we think is being played.

  11. The maori party is trying to cut Hone away, perhaps on instructions, but they are deluded. The arrogance of saying they are the last hope of parlimentary representation for maori – do they know something the rest of us don’t?

    “and ruin the “last chance” of a strong Maori-based party in Parliament.”
    http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10704607

    They have chosen key over their people – so be it – they will suffer greatly at the ballot box. I cannot remember reading in the constitution that being in power was the be-all and end-all – I thought it was about the kaupapa about empowerment of maori and making this country a better place.

    Leadership is given from the people and they can take it away too and that process is messy.

    • pollywog 11.1

      I thought they were a one trick party solely about getting Labour’s Foreshore and Seabed act repealed.

      So how’s that coming along ? You’d think it would have been done and dusted in the first weeks of the coalition aaaaaaaages ago…

      I reckon they’ll try and rinse the issue out for a second electoral cycle and keep their noses firmly in the trough till then.

      oh and H-1 FTW !!!

      • marty mars 11.1.1

        Well they say they have achieved what they said they would – pity they don’t step down now and let the party carry on in a different direction – that would be honorable.

  12. Bored 12

    Good on yer Hone. I have called you a racist bastard in the past, and I wont retract it BUT I will call you a principled racist bastard. Well done!

  13. Rodel 13

    If I’m not mistaken, the PARTY VOTE from the Maori roll at the last election was :
    50.11% for Labour, (69,172 votes)
    28,89% for the actual Maori party (39,883 votes).
    7.45% for National ( 10,279 votes)
    Yet the Maori party went with National.
    Regardless of the rationalising of Maori party leaders (justifying discreditable actions with plausible reasons), was this an appropriate response to the declared preferences of the voters?
    Hone Harawira doesn’t think so and nor do I.

  14. MeToo 14

    I’d like to see Hone run for NZ First in Te Tai Tokerau 😛

    No need for Hone to form a party; NZ First doesn’t have to worry about the 5% threshold. The big loser is National and its supplicant Maori party.

    • Rodel 14.1

      Now that would be something! That’s cat and pigeon stuff. Never thought of that! Wonder if Winston/ Hone or Tania has?

    • Pascal's bookie 14.2

      Nah. Winston. Foreshore and seabed.

      Not going to happen.

  15. ak 15

    Don’t panic.

    Face-saving slap and a cooling-off period, normal transmission resumed in a few weeks, this wee olive branch missing in the pakeha version: Ka noho tonu a Hone hei Mema mo te Tai Tokerau, ka noho tonu ia hei mema no te Ropu Torangapu Maori,

    This taonga’s much too precious to destroy over a spat. Everyone knows it.

    Nice try NACT, now give up Divide and Conquer and back to the bennie-bashing. It’s all you’ve got left.

  16. erentz 16

    Would like to see him stand as an independent and tell his electorate to give their party vote to the Greens.

    In fact given the Maori Party win more seats from the electorate vote than their fair share they’d otherwise get from the party votes — I’d have liked them to do this in general. Gets Maori Party voters increased representation. Win-win.

    (Unless I’m mistaken and the Maori Party didn’t win more seats from the electorate vote than they got in party vote.)

    CAPTCHA: win

    • Lanthanide 16.1

      Actually it’s always in the parties best interest to increase their party votes, regardless of whether it wins them any more seats.

      At the moment we have an overhand in parliament because of the MP, either 122 or 123 seats instead of the normal 120. Maori Party have 5 MPs, or 5/123 = 4.1% of all seats. If they instead got sufficient party votes so that there was no overhang, but still got 5 MPs, then it would be 5/120 = 4.2% of all seats.

      Pretty tiddly difference in reality, but it can considerably change the electoral calculus by denying those seats to other parties – eg Greens going from 9 seats out of 123 to 8 seats out of 120 are weaker, and could be the difference between a Labour + Green coalition and a Labour + Greens + Maori Party coalition, which would be better for the MP.

      • Marty G 16.1.1

        it’s in the party’s interest, yes, but a Maori Party supporter should vote for the Maori Party candidate and their second favourite party because giving a party vote to the MP will be more or less ineffectual, whereas they could help their second best get an extra seat – basically two votes for the price of one. same logic applies to anderton and dunne.

  17. Chris73 17

    Hopefully he’ll take the hint and piss off and let the rest govern. He truly is someone that loves the limelight.

  18. Mike Smith 18

    Sharples and Turia are suspending Hone from the Maori Party caucus because they made a mistake in sending a complaint against him to the Party disputes committee. The Maori Party President Pem Bird has said that the disputes committee would make a recommendation to the Council. The Maori Party constitution says that the Council makes its decisions by consensus. Its membership are representatives of the electorates. Te Tai Tokerau would never consent to suspending or expelling Hone, an effective veto over any recommendation from the disputes committee. Mai Chen has no doubt advised the Party to that effect. This issue has a way to go yet – MPs who get distanced from their Party do not have a great future, and I don’t think Hone is the one in that situation.

  19. Anne 19

    @ Mike Smith
    Earlier I put up a comment that effectively said Turia and Sharples were under their Nat. masters’ instruction to “cut Hone loose when the time is right”. While I still believe that to be correct, your analysis makes huge sense.

    Turia and Sharples have bungled it? If that proves to be the case, it serves them right. They put self preservation ahead of their own people, and they will likely be ultimately punished by them for doing so.

    • Colonial Viper 19.1

      I hope Hone has got some cool headed top gun advisors behind him.

      Sharples and Turia have shown themselves to be the Douglas and Prebble of the Maori Party.

  20. Shazzadude 20

    Here’s a proposition: I think this gives Metiria Turei a good excuse to run in Te Tai Tonga. She’d have a good chance I think.

  21. Rahui Katene is more aligned with green party views that Sharples or Turiana so running in Te Tai Tonga would not be in the greens interest. Labour is running there, and Shane Jones is running against Pita Sharples in the maori auckland electorate.

    It is worth noting:

    Maori Party leader Pita Sharples has said he and co-leader Tariana Turia are open to putting their leadership up for contest http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10700861

    Essentially a conflict point between NZ First, the Maori Party, The Greens and Labour would be free trade, and the TPP.. with Labour under Goff being pro free trade, and many unions not.

    Sections of the maori party and the greens get along, and it is hard to tell where things are going, one thing is clear: this time next year things will look very different.

    Both Labour and the Maori Party have leadership issues. Goff is unlikely to be able to provide a clear alternative to Key unless he decided to take a review of his commitment to free trade and neoliberalism.

    • Marty G 21.1

      Katene’s the worst of them. Her actions over the ETS were a fucken disgrace.

      and she’s going to lose Te Tai Tonga so ideas of her as co-leader are pointless.

      • gobsmacked 21.1.1

        If you want a laugh (at a sick joke), read Rahui Katene’s maiden speech in Parliament, two years ago. What a radical! What a fighter!

        And since then, she’s done … absolutely nothing. Except parrot the Nats.

        • Colonial Viper 21.1.1.1

          Here’s an excerpt

          My father hated injustice wherever he saw it: he marched in the 1975 Land March and was one of the original claimants in Wai 262 €“ the Flora and Fauna claim €“ for which we still await the Waitangi Tribunal Report, seventeen years after it was first lodged.

          Dad was arrested at Bastion Point and at Raglan. This key I wear is his. It opens the padlock on the chains on the statue erected by Aunty Eva Rickard at Whaingaroa to commemorate their land struggle and those arrested there. He worked with social and government agencies to encourage them to find better ways to work with Maori. He supported his Uncle Rangi Elkington to establish Whakatu marae in Nelson.

          And he always tried to interest his children in his activities. I know that he is watching and smiling proudly today from Heaven.

          http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0812/S00131.htm

      • orange whip? 21.1.2

        She’ll lose Te Tai Tonga as long as the Greens don’t do anything stupid. Such as run their co-leader and split the Labour vote.

  22. climate justice 22

    Marty – Rahui supported a carbon tax, but was undermined by labour and over parties going for a neoliberal ETS – carbon trading scheme – a choice between a labour or national ETS is not a choice.

    The maori party leadership and the Iwi Leadership Group and Nick Smith worked together without the maori partys mandate or Rahui’s choosing to support a National ETS.

    Rahui has sad many great things, but like a lot of politicians (including labour ones) ends out with the party doing things that are against her principles. Ngai Tahu for example have not made a clear statement on their views about coal and lignite mining in Te Wai Pounamu.

    Labour is still pro coal mining, isn’t vocal on lignite, supports ineffective carbon trading, more oil extraction and free trade (including with India to sell them more coal).

    The Maori party has called for a cross party working group on peak oil several times.

    So I would not blame Rahui for all the Maori Partys failings on climate issues, but do agree it is sad that the maori party decided to prop up a useless ETS that like labour’s will see emissions continue to rise.

    Hone Harawira was prepared to visit the Happy Valley area (the Upper Waimangaroa Valley) on the West Coast that Trevor Mallard and Chris Carter were fine with allowing Solid Energy to turn into a strip mine to continue exporting coal and emissions to China.

    The failings are not the Maori Party’s alone. Maori leadership on climate change would be a much welcomed thing, as well as more leadership from unions etc.

    • Lanthanide 22.1

      Labour wanted a carbon cax, but Bill English posed on a tractor at Parliament and Winston and Dunne wouldn’t back it. Blame them.

  23. climate justice 23

    Big polluters were involved too, including the man now representing the coal/mining etc industry:

    “Chris joined Saunders Unsworth in 2002 having played a lead and successful role at that time in arguing the business case against the proposed carbon tax.

    Chris works extensively in Australia as well as New Zealand, and has a strong technical and commercial background in the mining and energy sectors. He has a BSc (Hons) in Mineral Technology, and an MBA, both from Otago University.

    Chris has been engaged in a number of roles over recent years. Current roles include; CEO of Straterra (an organisation that represents the mineral sector in NZ); director for 5 years and now Chairman of Auzex Resources Ltd (a mineral exploration company listed on the ASX); Executive Chairman of the NZ CCS (Carbon Capture and Storage) Partnership; Director of the CO2CRC (a world leading Canberra based Federal and State Government and industry funded CCS research organisation), Executive Chairman of the Coal Association of New Zealand.” (Saunders Unworth PR firm http://www.sul.co.nz/page/chris-baker.aspx)

    Labour should of fought back.

  24. Jenny 24

    “This country has no freedom, no plurality of opinion.”

    Egyptian plumber, Ahmed Mustafa, protesting in Tahrir Square

    anti-Mubarak protesters seek new resolve

    These are the words of an Egyptian working manprotesting for democracy who saw his son gunned down in front of his eyes on Saturday.

    This man and many other Egyptian men and woment are prepared to give their lives for the right to have a “plurality of opinion” and freedom to express it.

    So why, do we, here in New Zealand find the concept of a plurality of opinion so shocking and unusual?

    Is it because it is very unusual in this country to see a politician from any of our political parties speak forthrightly without fear or favour?

    If more politicians did this more often, maybe we would get used to it. We may even get to expect it and even demand it.

    What other crime than voicing his opinion that the Maori Party should not stick with National beyond this term, has Hone Harawira committed?

    Yes he made an error in leaving his delegation in Europe to do a bit of sight seeing, and yes his language is a bit rough.

    But he has never broken caucus discipline, no matter how much he railed against it. Harawira has always honoured the confidence and supply agreement his party has negotiated with the government .

    What ever Hone Harawira is, he is not, as many of his detractors claim “a wrecker”.

    All he has done is voice the opinion that with the election coming up, and their agreement at an end, that it may be time for the Maori Party to reassess their alignment with the National Party.

    But it seems that the leadership have made up their minds they are going to stick with Key and National after the election and they will brook no counter possibility.

    And anyone who dares challenge this consensus must be expelled.

    My wish is that the democratic will of the Maori Party membership is listened to and and the Disciplinary Committee finds for Harawira and he is not expelled from the Maori Party. Further I think that the Disciplinary Committee orders that Hone Harawira’s suspension from caucus be lifted.

    This would be the result if democracy and pluralism wins out over narrow and conservative bureaucracy.

    A lot of critics are saying that, “that can’t happen, the relationship has broken down, they can’t possibly work together anymore”. I say, well they will jolly well should have to work together if that is the will of their supporters. As should we all. That is, if we sincerely want to make the world a better place.

    To paraphrase Ahmed Mustafa the Egyptian plumber, protesting against corruption and tyranny in his country, “No plurality of opinion, No freedom”.

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