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“It’s not okay” today either

Written By: - Date published: 11:45 pm, July 10th, 2008 - 37 comments
Categories: maori party, Social issues, uncategorized - Tags:

The other day Dancer made some good points about the campaign “It’s Not Okay” and the role that organisations like the Families Commission play, as we strive for a caring and compassionate society. And Russell Brown who participated in the ads shared his view through the comments, that it had “helped focus minds” and dedicated his blog to it today.

So the Maori Party now finds itself in a tricky predicament, following Truth’s front page revelations today about Derek Fox having “a well-known history of violence towards women”. For the Maori Party, Fox is a good candidate, with appeal stretching further than the Ikaroa-Rawhiti electorate seat he wants to contest against Maori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia. Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, himself by no means sparkling clean on this front, was said to have known about the rumours. To be honest it wasn’t that hard, on both counts they were pretty established rumours in some Maori circles.

The predicament for the Maori Party though having been strong on the anti-violence message is when and how will they remove Fox as candidate. Tariana Turia is on record as having said “violence is unacceptable in any form”. Hone Harawira has similarly claimed that “[b]ashing the missus and the kids is a serious problem all over the country, and every step we take to reduce the devastating effects of that violence has to be commended”. These kinds of statements make it difficult to see how they can both keep Fox as a candidate and maintain Party unity while also upholding the principles that they purport to follow.

For the Maori Party this week comes on the back of previous revelations back in May that a former 2005 Maori Party candidate was arrested, accused of grooming young teenage girls on the internet and meeting them for sex. In the past Tariana Turia has issued her own challenge – “The challenge for this Government now is to extend its gaze to every institution and to ensure that we say ‘no’ to violence at all levels.” It’s a challenge that she, and the Maori Party she created, must now answer. So, does the Maori Party agree “It’s not OK”?

So far their attempt to quash the story hasn’t worked. It’s no secret that the Maori Party are looking to work with the Nats – maybe John Key would be willing to lend them Crosby Textor for a bit…

37 comments on ““It’s not okay” today either ”

  1. tarquin 1

    Lets see what comes out on this eh, before we judge the mote in thy brothers eye.

  2. Where historical offenses are concerned, I’d say there should be an element of forgiveness amid the baying for blood.

    Destroying the careers of people who have long ago stopped “bashing the missus” (if they ever did – what a lovely, powerful smear if you can pull it off) doesn’t make any sense. Certainly, no one in their right mind would own up to it after the fact, given the consequences.

    From a “harm reduction” point of view, It seems to me restorative justice would be a better approach than the usual (often counter-productive) hang’em high stance Kiwis take toward crime generally.

  3. Steve – agreed.

  4. “It’s no secret that the Maori Party are looking to work with the Nats”

    So is this why “The Standard” is putting the boot in ? I’m sure that if the Maori Party was cosing up to Labour you would be very quiet on the issue.

    I see the name of the poster is suitably “politically correct”.

  5. Stephen 5

    Lol, the name of the poster could be ‘whenua’, Bryan..?

  6. Tane 6

    Bryan, some Maori people have Maori names. Get over it.

    Anyway, as far as I see it I don’t think there’s much to be gained bagging the Maori Party on domestic violence. Nothing I’ve seen so far suggests they are soft on it, and I don’t share the view that someone who has done wrong should be shunned forever – the idea of redemption is core to left-wing principles.

  7. higherstandard 7

    While not excusing the behaviour of Tony Veitch or Derek Fox I would like to note the following.

    Both undertook voluntary anger counselling, admitted they were in the wrong and appear to be reformed and contributing to society.

    That there appears to be a feeding frenzy in the media regarding these two yet still no-one has been brought to account in relation to the murder of the Kahui twins is somewhat concerning.

  8. sally 8

    Both undertook voluntary anger counselling, admitted they were in the wrong and appear to be reformed and contributing to society.

    Tony Veitch tried to buy his victom off, HS. Hardly admitting he was wrong…

  9. T-rex 9

    That’s an interesting point actually HS.

    We start campaigns like “it’s not ok” to encourage people to come out and admit an issue exists… but when they do, we crucify them.

    Makes you think. I was pretty pissed at Veitch, but now I’m starting to question myself.

    I’m not sure anyones interests will be served by hanging him out to dry, and I’m not sure he deserves it.

    Ha! Captcha: ‘Award Democratic’

  10. mike 10

    Will the MP extend their softening view of historical events to the Treaty as well?

  11. T-rex 11


    He underwent councelling for a year. That’s exactly what he should have been doing in the circumstances. This does NOT forgive his actions, but can you blame him for wanting to keep the allegations secret?

    My question is: Will what we’re doing here help or hinder progress towards the goal?

  12. Tane: “I don’t think there’s much to be gained bagging the Maori Party on domestic violence.”

    If you are trying to help Parekura Horomia hang onto his very vulnerable seat there probably is.

    Labour should never have shafted Maori property rights with the Seabed & Foreshore Act. Wouldn’t it have just been easier to give Maori their democratic right to legal process ? Instead Labour pissed off a very politically savvy group of voters.

  13. Phil 13

    “the idea of redemption is core to left-wing principles”

    It’s core to most people – left, right, centre…

  14. T-rex 14

    Agreed Phil,

    It’s just quite inconsistent with right wing economic policy. Redemption requires opportunity, and the ‘poverty trap’ effect is a very real denial of that opportunity.

    I certainly don’t think those on the right are heartless, I just don’t think they realise some of the ways in which people can be shut out. I’ll rant in more detail on that when I reply on the housing post though…

  15. Tane 15

    Labour should never have shafted Maori property rights with the Seabed & Foreshore Act. Wouldn’t it have just been easier to give Maori their democratic right to legal process ?

    I tend to agree, but I guess that’s where political pragmatism comes in. You have to remember this is around the time National had billboards up bleating on about “our beaches” that the Maoris were trying to take away so they could ban white people from them.

    In my opinion Labour had to make a choice – try protect Maori rights and see their electoral chances go down the gurgler and with them the very rights Maori were trying to protect, or make a compromise that impinged on Maori rights but kept Labour in the game politically. They obviously chose the latter.

    I don’t think it was a nice choice, or even necessarilty the right one. I’m not even sure my analysis is correct. I’m just saying politics is a dirty business, and things aren’t always as easy or clear-cut as they might seem.

    The rise of the Maori Party gives me hope our political system can move beyond that kind of racism and wedge politics.

  16. Tane 16

    It’s core to most people – left, right, centre

    Phil, yes, it’s just you often don’t see it in right-wing politics.

  17. T-rex 17

    “The rise of the Maori Party gives me hope our political system can move beyond that kind of racism and wedge politics.”

    Uhh…. right.

    The rise of a party predicated on race gives you hope our political system can move beyond racism and wedge politics? That’s one optimistic outlook right there…

  18. Tane 18

    T-Rex. I agree ethnic parties aren’t ideal and give rise to all manner of contradictions, but in an environment where the two main political parties gang up on a minority, the minority in question often has little choice but to seek political power in their own right.

    The results of the Maori Party’s formation also seem to back up my thoughts – do you think National would try another Orewa speech or Iwi/Kiwi campaign if they had to rely on Maori Party support to form a government?

  19. T-rex 19

    Agree with your above, but sadly I think that’s a sign that racism remains alive and well in our political system. Suppression is different to evolution.

  20. higherstandard 20


    The only parties that didn’t play political games with the Foreshore and Seabed Act were ACT and the Greens who both took, from my perspective, a pretty principled position.

    ‘ACT opposed it on the grounds of the legislation being retrospective, that it was a denial of property rights (in this case Maori property rights), and that it was an unwarranted incursion by the Crown into areas that were specifically Tikanga Maori. The Greens also voted against the bill, saying that it overrode Māori rights and offered no guarantee that the land would not later be sold.’

  21. Tane 21

    HS, agreed. I guess my point is minor parties can afford to take principled positions. When you have to convince 40+ percent to vote for you then that isn’t always an option.

    It’s the exact same reason why National can’t reveal its true policy objectives, which are far closer to ACT than their current positioning would have you believe.

  22. higherstandard 22


    Indeed I’ve made the same point myself many times, which is why I take anything from National and Labour with a grain of salt.

  23. Ari 23

    If Derek has made amends, genuinely accepts responsibility for what he’s done, and publicly apologises, I don’t see a reason for dropping him. Veitch didn’t manage the second criteria, and whether he managed the first or not is very much debatable.

  24. Lew 24

    T-rex: “The rise of a party predicated on race gives you hope our political system can move beyond racism and wedge politics? That’s one optimistic outlook right there ”

    This is a common reactionary misconception about the maori party, and one you seem to have swallowed wholesale.

    The maori party isn’t predicated on race, it’s predicated on several tenets of Maori philosophy. The word `maori’ has a lowercase m in the party’s name and logo because it means `normal’ or `ordinary’. Their purpose is n’t to separate Maori from non-Maori; it’s to normalise Maori and their worldview into the NZ mainstream. They’re quite explicit in saying that anyone who agrees with and wants to live by this philosophy, regardless of race or anything else, is welcome to join and participate.


  25. T-rex 25


    I stand corrected.

  26. Lew 26

    T-rex: I wrote a research paper on this, disambiguating their kaupapa. Email lewis#feayn;org if you’d like to read it.


  27. Ben R 27

    “The maori party isn’t predicated on race, it’s predicated on several tenets of Maori philosophy.”

    That is great in theory, but why was Tariana Turia complaining about white immigrants last year then? I note she stated she wasn’t being racist because she wasn’t complaining about Asian immigrants. I thought that revealed a certain bias based on skin colour rather than philosophy?

    I agree that their purpose is “to normalise Maori and their worldview into the NZ mainstream”, but think it’s naive to think you can just separate race out of the equation. It feeds peoples tendency to create in-group/out group distinctions based on race. Similarly if you had a ‘Chinese Party’, or ‘European Party’.

  28. I’m afraid the attempts on this blog to try and kiss and make up are all a wee bit too late.


    Still, Heather Simpson has stated a certain staffer in Shane Jones office has been ‘disciplined’ for certain activities. Will a body be found floating in Wellington harbor or is someone wiping a wet bus ticket off their wrist? 😉

    As for race based party’s- well if someone wants to form one and another person wants to vote for one then that’s fine, that’s democracy but it will be limiting the amount of votes it will ever get to those of its ‘race’ and ignoring the reality of a multi-ethnic society which is why all political party’s try and get candidates from as many different ethic backgrounds as they possibly can in order to expand the vote base. Unfortunately there are zero Asian, Pakeha etc faces in the Maori party line up.

    [Tane: What attempts are these Richard? I am confused. Personally I think it was stupid behaviour either way – if it’s a lone staffer then they should have known better than to act alone like that. If it’s directed from higher up then the Labour Party is even stupider than I thought.]

  29. Lew 29

    Ben R: “it’s naive to think you can just separate race out of the equation. It feeds peoples tendency to create in-group/out group distinctions based on race.”

    I think you’re absolutely right. I certainly don’t argue there’s no ethnic aspect to the maori party’s politics, I’m simply arguing the party isn’t predicated upon race or ethnicity – it’s predicated on philosophy.

    If you argue that the fact that it’s a Maori philosophical basis means they’re an ethnic or racial party, then for consistency’s sake you need to accept that the National and Labour parties’ foundations in European enlightenment philosophy mean they are also ethnic or racial parties – and to an extent this is so, because all parties are ethnocentric inasmuch as their philosophical bases are ethnocentric. The maori party isn’t unique in this regard – only in that it is the only philosophically Maori party.


  30. Ari 30

    It feeds peoples tendency to create in-group/out group distinctions based on race. Similarly if you had a ‘Chinese Party’, or ‘European Party’.

    We do have a “European Party”, it just calls itself the “National Party”, and it is by far the biggest source of exclusionary, one-size-fits-all-white-straight-men politics.

  31. Oh god Ari – don’t get them started. They’ll be talking about the oppression and racism they are exposed to for being rich white men…

    Honestly, whoever let these pricks get away with adopting the rhetoric of victim hood while victimising everyone else should be shot.

  32. Lyn 32

    Ari – you took the thought right out of my brain.

  33. mike 33

    Looking at the lists the Nats look to be one of the more multicultural Parties.

  34. Lew 34

    mike: Right, because you can tell what ethnicity people are by their names.

    Like Winston Peters, right?

    And Clem Simich?

    Ron Mark?

    Shane Jones?

    Charles Chauvel?

    Yeah, all good multicultural names, those.


  35. higherstandard 35


    Apparently that is one of the criteria along with whatever formulae Ari is using , one of which appears to be that if you are a member or supporter of the National party you are a heterosexual white man.

  36. Ben R 36

    “We do have a “European Party’, it just calls itself the “National Party’, and it is by far the biggest source of exclusionary, one-size-fits-all-white-straight-men politics.”

    Ari, Karl Marx was a straight white Male from Europe. The trade union movement originated from white males in Europe.

    I think that other factors are more significant in deciding whether to support National (or Labour) than whether you’re European or male.

  37. QoT 37

    The only time people should be “crucified” for “coming forward” is when they qualify their statements with “I’m not making excuses for my awful actions except that I was stressed and tired and cranky and she nagged me and I “lashed out” etc etc”.

    If Fox (assuming truth to rumour), or Veitch, or anyone for that matter, were to come forward and say “Yes, I committed assault, and it was wrong and unjustified and will never happen again”, more power to them. Just no more “I’m sorry I got caught”, please?

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