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Hone’s motives grow murkier

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, January 21st, 2011 - 17 comments
Categories: maori party - Tags: , , , ,

Why did Hone Harawira pick a fight if he wasn’t prepared to see it out? One News last night had him saying he wants to stay with the Maori Party. Patrick Gower reckons Hone’s assault on the leadership is all about building cred to take over next year but Hone’s saying he would support Te Ururoa Flavell for male co-leader. Curiouser and curiouser.

Very oddly, the One News video isn’t online but it had Harawira saying he would stay with the Maori Party and senior Maori Party figures who support him saying he should stay too because he can achieve more as a Maori Party MP than an independent (what about as a member of a New Left party?).

Gower reckons that Harawira loves the Maori Party too much to abandon it. It’s a good point that Harawira has been a driving force behind the Maori Party from the start so he’ll be loath to walk away but don’t think Gower’s explanation for this stoush, that Harawira is trying to confirm his position as the leader of the ‘true’ Maori Party in preparation to take over after the election, stacks up. Harawira is constantly saying he doesn’t want to lead and that he would vote for Flavell to lead. And why pick a fight now, before the election? (Gower’s piece, btw, reveals a deep animosity between Pita Sharples and Harawira)

If leaving and leading are out then what’s the play? I refuse to believe that Harawira wrote what he did in the Sunday Star Times without knowing that it would ignite open conflict with the leadership.

Has he been talked down by those senior supporters? Has he been offered something behind the scenes? Is this all just, as I suggested in the first post on his article, a way for the Maori Party to placate its restless activists with promises that it will be better eventually while continuing to sell out to National?

Maybe it’s a double bluff – he does intend to leave but is still trying to make it look like he wants to stay so that when he is booted out he will appear to be in the right and the leadership vindictive. But will the leadership choose to boot him if he is making consolatory noises? Sacrificing 20% of their seats and a large chunk of their activists to boot isn’t something Tariana Turia and Sharples will do unless they absolutely have to. And they won’t have to if Harawira continues to soften his stance.

Maybe, just maybe, everyone’s been over-analysing. Maybe Harawira’s column is just what it appears to be on the surface – a critique of the Maori Party’s direction and a call for it to return to its roots. Maybe, although undoubtedly aware they would take it badly, he has only been trying to give the leadership a wake-up call and he has been prepared to take the flack for doing it. In the last few days, the leadership will have seen, as we have, that a hell of a lot of their activists feel the same as Harawira and they risk bleeding votes to the Greens big time. Maybe Harawira is just giving them the boot up the bum that they need to keep their base.

It’s a hell of a way to go about it but, then, Harawiras never do things by halves. I’ll await his next SST column with interest.

17 comments on “Hone’s motives grow murkier ”

  1. just saying 1

    Stayed up to watch Te Karere specially last night. Unfortunately they no longer have subtitles and my stage one Maaori told me very little. Big pity about losing the subtitles. I’ve always found it to be one of the better news programmes.
    Any Te reo speaker catch it?

    • J. Andels 1.1

      I suspect only the early morning and perhaps afternoon broadcasts of Te Karere have subtitles, and not the late night one.
      I wish it was an option on Freeview or Teletext to have subtitles or not

  2. Harawira’s realised that:
    1. National will probably win the election
    2. Their policy agenda will continue to be very harmful to most Maori
    3. Key has rewarded Sharples and Turia with the constitutional review and Whanau Ora, respectively, so they both have strong personal incentives to continue to support National and said agenda.
    4. So I think Harawira is trying to shame his leaders into backing away from their close relationship with National by provoking a wider debate about the party’s values and direction. I don’t think he wants to be leader or to split and join a new party.
    5. His position is comparable to Jim Anderton in Labour during the 1980s. Like Anderton, Harawira will probably lose this battle and be forced out of his party.

    • Bright Red 2.1

      Anderton (and those on Labour’s Left who stayed in the party, rather than leaving) won the war. They purged the rightwing cabal (by and large) and reversed direction away from privatisation and cuts – even if they only went part of the way to restoring what was lost. Anderton has essentially been back in the Labour Party for five years.

      • mcflock 2.1.1

        If the labour left won the war, labour would be as far left as national is far right.

        Yes, Anderton is back in Labour, but labour aren’t back on the left.

    • ak 2.2

      Or maybe he’s realised that:
      1. National has broken or diluted all its pre-election promises (public and other) to the MP, while
      2. The MP has fulfilled its side of the bargain (to stymie ACT’s electoral poison), and
      4. Maori are now worse off since 2008, but
      5. The MP is too valuable to lose

      and he’s peeved.

      And maybe he’s also realised that:
      1. Maori will never get anything without holding the balance, and
      2. Labour’s still too far away.

      This is a message to his colleagues: move away from our welching bed-mate or be smothered. Labour must now do what Key did in 08: frantically flirt in private using Hone’s own sweet-talk and its own record. And have the courage to ignore the media.

  3. Nick C 3

    Maybe he just likes the attention? It would be consistent with all his other behavior, like going AWOL in Aussie and his white mofos email.

  4. Firstly Hone is an activist, secondly he is an MP. Hone has become disillusioned with those whom he expected to support him (his own caucus) on the Forshore and Seabed Act. Being the activist he is, he will remain true to his cause even without those he expects to support him. Maximising his power base is the direction he will go in, this is why he entered parliament. Until a better offer presents itself, staying where he is, is not missing an oppertunity as the Maori Party may chose to go their own way after the 2011 election.

  5. Fisiani 5

    Hone just wrote what he thought without thinking about the consequences of being a traitor to the Maori Party. He is not a strategic thinker. He is not a politician. He is just a backward looking grievance mode racist stirrer with a permanent chip on his shoulder.

    ant spam useless (priceless)

    • Colonial Viper 5.1

      hand me a Tui, Fis.

    • Swampy 5.2

      so true. what lets start another left parety because all the other ones didnt work LOLLOLOL what a familiar refrain. matt mcartens been involved in how many of these partys and now he thinks he should start up another one. which will ftagment again the left of politics. what did the fool think he was doing standing in mana as the independent,

      keep at it guys waste your energys on partys that never going to go anywhere or be part of any futre goverment so divide the lefty vote. harawera and his like want the partys like the MP and the greens not to form a coalition or be part of a goverment they want to stand on there principals and keep them pure and uncompromised but this is just the hard idological minority its not real people you cant eat principals

      so as long as these idoelogs are busy siphoninh off left wing votes that cant be part of coalitioon goverments theyre keeping labour out of powerr.

  6. It’s a good point that Harawira has been a driving force behind the Maori Party from the start so he’ll be loath to walk away

    I think that’s a big part of it. I openly criticised the direction of NZ First under Lhaws’ control for nearly six months before the list rankings came out and even afterwards I refused to resign because damnit, when I joined it hadn’t even fought an election, had no MPs and was rating around 3% on a good day.

    While a lot of other people put in a huge amount of work to build it up from nothing so did I, and I wasn’t about to just hand it over to someone who effectively represented the antithesis of most of the principles on which it had been founded.

    And like Hone I didn’t want the leadership, or deputy leadership, or anything else… I just wanted the party into which I’d poured my heart and soul to remain true to itself.

    I can see Hone asking himself why he should start again (even with Matt McCarten) when it’s he who best represents the founding principles of the Maori Party, not those aligned against him.

  7. Whiskey Tango Mike Foxtrot 7

    How else do you get the rich AND the poor Maori to vote MP? If they didn’t do this, come election time, he could be hassled for being another bounty bar as he’s voted for some pretty hard core anti Maori policy and only gained his idea of a Maori flag flying from the Auckland harbour bridge.
    He’s got his head firnly stuck in his own ass, but I think thats the view he prefers to looking at all us wmf’ers, so good on him and I wish him the best of luck trying to become the first president of the Untied Maori Republic of Aoeteoa. (I don’t think he’s got the depth of character to be as corrupt as the present bunch of numb nuts, so I doubt he could mis manage the country more than it has been for the last 20 years or so. Hopefully then I can claim refugee status back to the EU as if it’s about indigenous rights, how come I can claim back to mine in Scotland, Ireland, Sweden, Norway or England, the caucus and middle east? (yeah, king of the world baby!) Or do we have to save that for any the neanderthal we back genre? Meanwhile he must be pissed that English mf’ers are busy choosing if he’ll have to go against his culture and accept a woman as the Queen of New Zealand, if she’s born first and all that jazz, (though how you can be a loyal sovereign of more than one nation is more double think than I’m currently capable), so maybe we should just make Hone king. and I bet with that in mind he sat down to do that flash piece of mahi for those white mf’ers. So sorry to Hone and the MP, but I’m not scared of a soverign Maori state, it would probably be better than the fedual police state the companies have got install for us, but I dont think that leeches and scumbags whipping their consituants up make for anything but page 3 news, ‘has anybody got a copy of the dailysport, I’m off to choke a darkie’, type rethoric.
    About 15,000 years ago in Asia there was a tribe of bright industrious and curious people. They were born in a time of great change with lands appearing before the shrinking glaciers. This tribe split with some people going South-East, and sone people going North West. This split was the first in many that has resulted in people like Hone and John Key and Phill Geoff not recognizing that most of us here caucAsians are indeed kin with all other subtypes of Asian peoples, Pacific Polynesians included. That’s behind the ‘mystery’ of blue eyes and red hair in pre-european polynesians – we are all one people, from the same original stock, we need protection from the companies, not each other.
    Captcha: eye

    • RedLogix 7.1

      If you want to argue the essential unity of the human race… then I’m right with you. Equally if you want to argue the parasitical and destructive nature of the capitalist financiers in a debt-based fiscalised economy… then I’m right there as well.

      What you have to be very cautious of is that these fine arguments are not misused as an excuse to dismiss the legitimate interests of the diverse nations and cultures. Justice is not served by sweeping aside history.

  8. Jenny 8

    Will the Maori Party caucus continue their united front against Harawira?

    “Maybe, just maybe, everyone’s been over-analysing.”

    Eddie

    I don’t know about “everyone” Eddie.

    It is a simple matter, as Harawira has said, he has been saying these things inside the Maori Party caucus and publicly for some time now. And he is not the only one. Turoa Flavel has also made similar statements, in the past.

    What is different now is that the leaders of the Maori Party have decided to try and impose some sort of censure for even suggesting that the arrangement with National is anything more than tactical, or conditional.

    Eddie, rather than look for non-existent Machiavellian plotting by Harawira. How about this? Try taking Harawira at face value and ask; Why has the Maori Party leadership chosen to act against the voicing of such opinion?

    Turoa Flavel is the MP whip, his role is the same as all other parliamentary whips. To impose caucus discipline at the behest of the leadership.

    Whether Flavel is actually the author of this complaint against Harawira is probably bordering on unlikely.

    The question is:

    In considering the complaint laid by the party whip, will the emergency hui called to determine this complaint, find for the leadership, or for Harawira?

    Further:

    If the proposed emergency Hui finds for Harawira. Will the majority of the Maori Party caucus, accede to this opinion, or continue to try to censure him?

    If the Hui find for Harawira, will the Maori Party leadership and caucus try to over rule this decision using some sort of bureaucratic legalism?

    Going on past examples the Maori Party leadership have conceded to the will of their membership. (As all leaderships should do in a democratic organisation). There is more than an even chance that the Maori Party leadership will carry on this tradition.

    Maybe this is what Harawira was alluding to when he said that we will do things in a Maori way?

    If the Maori Party leaders do try to defy the will of the hui, will the leadership be entering the same territory trodden by Jim Anderton?

    Jim Anderton, over ruled the democratic will of the Alliance membership, and in so doing gave the kiss of death to his party. Is this the future for the Maori Party?

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