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Mana vs. Maori

Written By: - Date published: 7:34 am, August 7th, 2011 - 49 comments
Categories: election 2011, mana, mana-party, maori party - Tags: , , ,

Like the American debt limit deal, I always thought that Mana and Maori would find some kind of bloody compromise at the eleventh hour. It is so obviously in the best interests of the two to cooperate. But they’ve passed the point of no return now.

Mana to take on Maori Party seat-for-seat

Hone Harawira’s Mana party will go head to head with the Maori Party in all seven Maori seats, and stand high-profile candidates in some general seats. …

“Our research tells us that if every poor [person] voted for Mana we’d capture half the votes in Parliament,” says Mr Harawira.

That’s a clever line.

Mr Harawira has so far been the face of the Mana party. But by this afternoon, there were three, Harawira flanked by the new co-Vice Presidents – activists Annette Sykes and John Minto.

Mana will stand in all seven Maori seats, and some general ones. There is no official word yet on who will stand where, but it is understood Ms Sykes, Mr Minto and former Green MP Sue Bradford will be on the ballot.  …

A Maori Party spokesperson said they had no comment about today’s announcement.

The Maori Party is going to get decimated (in the modern sense of the word), possibly wiped out. Good news for Labour, who will pick up more Maori seats this time. What’s going to become of Mana is harder to predict – the personalities and the policies certainly polarise opinion! I admire their passion and most of their goals, but many lefty activists whose opinions I respect are very wary of Mana. Time will tell I guess.

49 comments on “Mana vs. Maori”

  1. There is a rumour that Mana is contemplating standing Bradford in Waitakere.

    I hope they do not do that.  Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni has an excellent chance of beating bene basher and pseudo westie Paula Bennett but every vote will count.

    I am sure there would not be a greater cheer on election night by the collective left than at the sight of seeing Bennett defeated. 

    • Penguins Pal 1.1

      Yeah right, going by her disgraceful performance in the house last week, she will come a very distant last.

      • Pete George 1.1.1

        Yes, there’s a possibility Bradford would pick up a lot of left votes that don’t think Sepuloni is up to it.

        The more candidates the better for democracy.

      • felix 1.1.2

        You either need to watch a lot more parliament or read a lot less Farrar.

        I note a lot of crowing from the right about Labour MPs being “disgraceful” in the house over the last couple of days.

        (Ever since Blinglish got his stupid arrogant arse booted out.)

    • Jenny 1.2

      There is a rumour that Mana is contemplating standing Bradford in Waitakere.

      I hope they do not do that. Labour’s Carmel Sepuloni has an excellent chance of beating bene basher and pseudo westie Paula Bennett but every vote will count.

      I am sure there would not be a greater cheer on election night by the collective left than at the sight of seeing Bennett defeated.


      There is a rumour that Labour is contemplating standing Sepuloni in Waitakere.

      I hope they do not do that. Mana’s Sue Bradford has an even better chance of beating bene basher and pseudo westie Paula Bennett than Sepuloni, but every vote will count.

      I am sure there would not be a greater cheer on election night by the collective left than at the sight of seeing Bennett defeated.

      • QoT 1.2.1

        Nice turnaround, Jenny. Of course I think Carmel Sepuloni did *already* get the nomination, so could feel entitled to call dibs.

      • marty mars 1.2.2

        Nice one Jenny.

        labour will be trying not to go out the back door so sadly they will not see the tactical and strategic vision of getting more ‘left’ into parliment – it’s all about them.

      • The Voice of Reason 1.2.3

        So splitting the vote on the left helps defeat Bennett how exactly? I would have thought the Mana Party siphoning off a few hundred votes would help National retain the seat, but perhaps my maths is flawed.

      • Bill 1.2.4

        Who might be standing where aside, am I the only one experiencing a sense of misgiving that John Minto and Sue Bradford are in this?

        Bearing in mind that the mainstream will be going all out to ‘get’ the Mana party, I’m wondering why they have gifted the mainstream the opportunity on a plate as it were by having Bradford and Minto on board.

        I know they have both done good things. But Sue Bradford isn’t altogether popular (in fact, she’s down right unpopular) among large sections of the population that Mana need to target. The number that was done on her by the mainstream over the anti-assault legislation was a number well done. Lamentably. And the sentiments that were sold to people during that time will be gently stirred again and again by the mainstream.

        They will also have a field day with John Minto. It’s all too easy. “Look at this angry, angry guy yelling through a mega phone. He’s not fit for the purpose… he’s locked in the 1980’s.” ( Just the other week we saw shades of what to expect on TV1 coverage of the Blair protest. It was edited to portray an image of almost clownish anger. )

        I know it might not be popular to say this, but less prominant individuals who the mainstream couldn’t target so easily would have been a far better option for Mana. As it now stands, the message that Mana (presumably) wants to send is going to be buried beneath the mainstream’s ongoing character assasination of those two people. They’re not going to bring any new votes to Mana and are likely going to cost it votes. Not their fault I know, but hey.

        • just saying

          I’m not used to Realpolitik from you Bill.

          It’s a risk, but I think that many of the voters Mana is targetting have been so disengaged that Bradford’s, and Minto’s (media created) reputations will be less of an issue. And there are also those that will support Mana at least partly becauseof their involvement.

          There is a big need for hard-hitters who are able to take the shit that will rain down on them from all directions, and stand their ground. They will bring much-needed media attention (albeit hostile) to be able to present at least a taste of left-wing discourse to the public.

          I hope.

          • Bill

            Isn’t the reality the opposite of what you reason, JS? ie that because so many people are disengaged, it is only the media generated reputation that will be perceived and acted on?

            And I don’t in any way mean to suggest that Mana compromises on its ideology. (realpolitik) It’s just common sense that dictates there are some messengers who will be better received and perceived than others.

            • Olwyn

              It is highly unlikely that Man will get an easy ride from the media whoever they choose at this stage, and seasoned campaigners will have the experience to stand their ground under pressure. What they are trying to do, as I understand it, is wedge a working class/Maori voice into an artificially framed debate between mythological teachers (don’t be so mean to them) and equally mythological tradesmen (clamp down on them). Being controversial, at least while in the process of planting their flag, may actually serve their purposes better than media approval would.

              • It is highly unlikely that Man will get an easy ride from the media whoever they choose

                Yes, it’s a hard one (always is for people going against the rhetorical and cultural current). Having unknowns as candidates would probably lead to headlines like “Mana unable to secure high profile candidates”. And, given their lack of profile, there’s little motive for reporters/news outlets to cover their press releases, meetings, etc..

                Political parties – as opposed to movements – will always have a hard time in representative democracies given how pivotal the media are in modern elections and nation states.

                • Colonial Viper

                  Political parties – as opposed to societal movements

                  I took the liberty of making a slight edit above. I reckon you’ve hit the nail on the head.

                  Many decades ago, Labour was the political organisation which represented a broad societal movement. One motivated about workers rights, decent pay, collective action and a strong socialist democracy for all to enjoy.

                  But now, and for many reasons, that broad societal movement has dispersed, and there has been no replacement except for narrow individualistic consumerism.

        • Pete George

          am I the only one experiencing a sense of misgiving that John Minto and Sue Bradford are in this?

          My guess is far from it.

          The thinking may be that increasing the number of activists will increase appeal for Mana, but it risks doing the opposite. Some people may tolerate or even support one outspoken attention seeking activist but the more there are the more chance of alienating support.

          I wouldn’t vote for Harawira (if I could) but I give him some credit and admiration for what he wants to achieve and some of his tactics are quite smart. As for supporting Mana, for me Bradford halves that likelihood and Minto halves it again.

        • weka

          ” am I the only one experiencing a sense of misgiving that John Minto and Sue Bradford are in this?”
          I’d like to see the rest of the line up and who is standing where and how Mana are going to manage their campaign. I’ve felt uneasy about Minto for exactly the reasons you mention, but not so with Bradford, who despite the the section 59 media coverage still does well in the media when interviewed. Besides, Harawira and Sykes are unlikely to get better treatment from the MSM if they are the only high profile candidates and it would likely end up being Maori bashing coverage too.
          Maybe it’s a gamble, but coming out with four reasonably high profile, strong, experienced people makes sense to me. I have to keep reminding myself that they’ll be in this for the long haul not just this election.

      • Terry 1.2.5

        Micky Savage has it right about Bennett. Wow, her defeat would be almost as good as Key himself going under (these two are in cahoots of course). She puts up a front (again, like Master Key) but acts viciously toward those on the bottom rung.

        • Colonial Viper

          Bennett’s not going anywhere even if she is defeated, she’ll be high on the NAT list.

    • just saying 1.3

      Do you not think, Mickey, that there might be a benefit to democracy, to the left as a whole, and to human rights in NZ, to have the media covering Bennett and Bradford going head-to-head in the election campaign?

      • The Voice of Reason 1.3.1

        Won’t be happening. There is no way in hell Bennett will be going head to head with Bradford, if Key’s attitude to debates is any guide. I’d be surprised at any sitting Nat MP debating the also rans head to head, unless it was to make the Labour candidate’s job more difficult by giving the spoiler some undeserved credibility.

        • just saying

          You mean like Bradford in Waitakere?
          And if not, I’m sure a seasoned campaigner like Bradford could find many ways to take the fight (and the media) to Bennett.
          Bring it on.

          • Rich

            Does it really matter? We (still) have MMP, so it won’t make any difference to Labour or the Nats total MPs (Or indeed for Mana, unless they get an overhang or Hone loses Te Tai Tokerau).

            That means that (unless you are Maori, live in Ohairu or Epsom) that you can vote for the candidate you *actually support* and be confident of your vote counting. Which is a good thing – I don’t like voting for Labour, and am glad I don’t have to.

    • Pundit X 1.4

      Bradford IS going to stand in Waitakere – an open secret amongst the West Auckland Greens. Bradford just can’t pass up the opportunity to have a go at Bennett and yes she will lose, and yes she will scupper the chances of Carmel Sepuloni but its the purity of you socialist principles that matter most not whether National’s bene basher remains in office…

      • Colonial Viper 1.4.1

        I’m very interested in seeing Bennett go up against Bradfords left(wing) hook.

        • Pundit X

          Its not entertainment Viper its real politics and when the dust settles Bennett will be left standing, with Bradford as a Mana list MP…

          • just saying

            It’s not very entertaining being at the bottom of the heap being trampled underfoot, struggling to survive. And it hasn’t been very entertaining being screwed over by Labour as its parliamentarians and hangers-on enjoy caviar and champagne, as the lap dogs of the rich and powerful, bending over backwards to avoid mentioning the poor and disenfranchised lest the bad smell attaches itself to their exalted personages.

            Labour is just beginning to reap what it has sowed. Questions is – when will they sow a different crop?

          • Deadly_NZ

            Yep when it could have been a labour seat and they would still be in on the list so will have 3 years to ‘get it on’ if mana make the grade.

  2. ron 2

    the “decimation” of the Maori Party isn’t just good news for Labour. It’s good news for all of us.

    • KJT 2.1

      Time the party for the Maori support of NACT greed went the way of other dinosaurs. Like Brash.

      National will be trying desperately to pull the stake out of their heart as support continues to drop.

  3. alex 3

    I’d be very surprised if Mana got up to more than just TTT, pleasantly surprised, but I just can’t see enough of an electorate going for a Mana candidate, or the party itself getting enough list votes. It could happen, and running big campaigns in the Maori electorates, which traditionally split votes for tactical reasons, could end up being enough to get them to 3 or 4 %. But… I just don’t see them being given the oxygen to get momentum going.

    • Lanthanide 3.1

      The real wildcard is that Mana may get people out to vote who previously didn’t.

  4. Paree 4

    I reckon the poor and uneployed are mostly with Mana, and across facebook they are moving fast with Mana Bases spread out all over, and Sue’s street target is gaining lots of listener’s around winz offices and the unemployed apart from those who are against oil and Nz assets being sold off as we type..They have set up Mana Pasific on a general scale.. other ethnic groups are also forming..should be an interesting election year with NZ first, The conservite group rallying..feel sorry for the Maori Party they are well behind in the voting Maori World cause thats all they can target and most member’s have switched over to Mana …

  5. Mana is 100% more exciting, anti capitalist and left wing than Phil Goff. Maybe if labour rolls Goff and abandons neoliberalism + announce lots of good policies NZ will start paying attention again…

    How is labour going to a) deal with climate change and environmental problems b) reduce inequality and c) provide more jobs for NZers…

    We need a left green govt – Mana could be part of that….

    • KJT 5.1

      Not entirely sure that Goff is a great fan of Neo-Liberalism.

      Labour has come up with some good policy so far. Hoping they come up with more. I do not care if it is borrowed from the Greens, so long as we roll National before they sell everything. And remove all the wriggle room. Like the right did to South Africa.

      Bit late to change leaders now anyway. Should have got rid of the relics two years ago.

  6. lefty 6

    It’s amazing how few people seem to understand how change takes place. Harawira, Minto, Bradford and Sykes have been in the front lines that make the breakthroughs that lead to change all their lives.
    They will do it again with Mana, while the wimps in Labour and the Greens sit back and watch, because actually leading any change might make them unpopular with some to the more conservative of their supporters.
    The right understand this of course – thats why they have been able to set the agenda in recent years. They put their radicals out in front to form the point of the spear, then follow through the gaps they force.
    Labour should at least have enough sense to follow the path set by the trailblazers in Mana. But it doesn’t so it won’t, and will end up siding with the establishment yet again.
    Thats why it doesn’t matter who wins between Bennett and Sepuloni in Waitakers. Bennett will be in parliament regardless and Sepuloni is not going to be part of a government that changes much if she and her party is elected.
    Labour should embrace a challenge from their left as an opportunity to do some real thinking and debating on what they stand for, not try to guilt trip any group that put froward a left vision.
    All my life I have heard labour say ‘Just stand aside, don’t split the vote, we will take care of everything’.
    But they never do, because they lack the courage to confront the ruling class.

    • Pundit X 6.1

      All my life I have heard labour say ‘Just stand aside, don’t split the vote, we will take care of everything’.
      But they never do, because they lack the courage to confront the ruling class.

      Yeh right lefty if voting changed anything they would abolish it..But all political parties operate under the constraints of an electoral system that favours compromise. Labour and the Greens are no different. I’m not sure what single handed trail was blazed by Bradford and Minto that enthuses you so. Minto was but one of many who campaigned to stop the tour – made prominent by the megaphone but Labour’s Andrew Byers behind the scenes contribution was probably more important. As for Bradford’s anti smacking legislation without the wimps in Labour and the Greens it would have been dead in the water. Unless you have a fatal attraction for cordite and the barricades politics in a democracy unnder MMP is all we have and its about winning over the electorate. The John and Sue show are unlikely to do that. Just make sure those that can are sidelined.

      • Craig Glen Eden 6.1.1

        Bradford wont have a shit show out West, she is not liked. Waitakere will be won or lost in the middle ground. Its that middle ground that didn’t like being told not to smack there kids behind. If Bradford stands out West she will be a side show.

        It makes me laugh when people like left and eco think Bradford and others like her are good for the left they obviously havent knocked on to many doors our canvassed in pubs out West.

        You don’t get rid of National by putting up an activist all you will do is scare the punters shitless straight back to National, time for some on the left to wake up before you give the likes of Benefit another three years of bragging rights.

        Pundit is right people like Byers bring about change but dont scare the punters.

      • lefty 6.1.2

        The Springbok tour or section 59 are not the only, or even the most important things, Minto and Bradford have been prominent in.
        Bradford was a leader in the resistance to the Rogernomics and Richardson regimes for many years in the 1980s and 1990s ( a period labour tries very hard to forget).
        Minto has been an activist and unionist representing the interests of the poorest sections of the working class for many years as well.
        Defending the poor and vulnerable does not make you electorally popular, but it needs to be done.
        The Mana movememnt is deliberately choosing people with a track record of taking stands that need to be taken, rather than making themselves popular with the middle class. Many of the group of people who are the main electoral target for the Mana movement might not vote otherwise.
        The other target vote is the socialist left, so don’t worry they are not really competing with labour – unless offering hope to the disenfranchised, lifting the lid on the putrid system and giving the left something to vote for is something labour intends to start doing sometime soon.

  7. I would prefer that Bennett lost JS.

    Bradford could really spark a debate about poverty and campaign in Helensville against Key. 

    • just saying 7.1

      Good idea. I’d like that too.

    • QoT 7.2

      Sorry, micky, but could you physically be more blatantly self-interested for Labour? “Don’t run in an electorate where you might have a serious shot, that’ll hurt us! But we totally don’t mind if you do all the hard work challenging a popular PM in an electorate where you have no chance and your candidacy would be ignored as a gimmick, and also if you could try to make some inroads on the poverty/social justice front to push the national political debate in a direction we like that would be great.”

      • Colonial Viper 7.2.1

        If Sepuloni and Bradford run against each another, Bennett will win the electorate. I don’t think that basic fact is in any dispute.

        • QoT

          I can’t comment, Viper, I’m not a Westie these days. But that decision is made by the voters of Waitakere, who can choose their own representative.

          The issue is whether you think they should be denied a full range of candidates because Carmel Sepuloni can’t be asked to win it for Labour on her own merits. But thanks for playing the “my opponents clearly just need the basic facts explained to them, and then they’ll just have to accept my argument!” game, it’s really helping my concerns about Labour’s supporters yet again assuming they have an entitlement to the votes of the entire left.

          • felix

            That’s not how you spell “arsed” 😉

          • Colonial Viper

            What I’m saying is that the Left need to play an extremely measured and tactical game.

            Setting up friendly fire situations in electorates is something that you will see the Right Wing working very hard to avoid. Vote splitting loses elections and loses races, and they recognise that.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.2.2

        “But we totally don’t mind if you do all the hard work challenging a popular PM in an electorate where you have no chance and your candidacy would be ignored as a gimmick,”

        Labour always stand a candidate in the Helensville electorate doing the hard work as you put it Qot.Its no Gimmick!

        Putting activists in hi profile seats who have already resigned as an Mp because they thought they had had enough of the grind of Parliment that sounds more like a gimmick.

        Bradford wont win in Waitakere she would pull a few hundred votes maybe? Maybe a few thousand that might otherwise have gone to Carmel and therefore get rid of Bennett.
        Carmel by the way has been working hard out here for months so enough of the

        “Carmel Sepuloni can’t be asked to win it for Labour on her own merits” Bullshit.

        Surely you understand that the left needs to work together tactically or do you really believe the Greens and Labour don’t give a shit about poverty and other social issues and are prepared to take the risk of a gimmick so Bradford can spout on when she already had the chance to make a stand and walked away.

  8. Rich 8

    “Our research tells us that if every poor [person] voted for Mana we’d capture half the votes in Parliament,”

    He should read more Engels and less opinion polling.

  9. Mana should get Bomber Bradbury to stand in Epsom 🙂

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