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Maori Party chooses oblivion

Written By: - Date published: 11:15 am, July 11th, 2011 - 18 comments
Categories: election 2011, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party - Tags: ,

There were two ways that the Mana vs Maori Party confrontation could have gone. Some form of cooperation could have seen them holding or increasing their seats, and thus Maori representation in parliament. Alternatively all out competition between the two will see them diminished or even wiped out.

Guess which of those options the Maori Party has chosen. According to Radio NZ last night:

The Maori Party has ruled out making a deal with Hone Harawira’s newly formed Mana Party.

Mr Harawira left the Maori Party after speaking out against them and fought to win the Te Tai Tokerau by-election as a Mana Party MP.

After the by-election Mr Harawira said he wanted to forget the past and form a deal with his former party.
But Maori Party president, Pem Bird, says the deal was put to the National Council on Sunday and it is against the deal.

He says the council members want the party to continue to build its infrastructure against Mr Harawira in the north. Mr Bird says the party will not sacrifice the Te Tai Tokerau seat for what might be seen as political opportunism and expediency.

That final comment in particular speaks to me of a party that has completely lost its grip. The Maori Party has comprehensively lost the Te Tai Tokerau seat. It isn’t theirs to “sacrifice”, they aren’t going to win it back in November. Instead of adjusting to this new reality they have chosen a confrontation that can only be damaging for them, possibly even fatal.

18 comments on “Maori Party chooses oblivion ”

  1. lprent 1

    I’d hazard a guess and say that the candidates from Labour for the Maori seats are going to be ecstatic. Politically it does look like a rather daft decision for the Maori party and possibly the Mana party as well…

    • Swampy 1.1

      The Mana party could have had the deal if they were genuine. Harawira has got too big a head and is foaming off that he is going to take over the Maori Party. The deal is only a grandstand to keep up his attacks from so it never had a chance from the beginning.

  2. Lilz 2

    The Māori Party by staying in the Tai Tokerau race has given Kelvin Davis another chance. Shane Jones must also have a great chance to secure Tamaki Makaurau from Pita Sharples. Tariana may end up as a party of one, if Flavell and Katene also fail to win back their respective seats. Interesting times ahead.

  3. Policy Parrot 3

    I’m not really sure that the two parties are really that compatible, at least in their current iterations. They are certainly talking chalk and cheese at the moment over policy, for example Turia doesn’t want a bar of Labour’s proposed CGT, claiming it will “hurt our young people” – which is pretty ironic – considering the number of bills that have become Acts in the current Parliament on the back of Maori Party support which “hurt our young people” much more than any CGT would.

    With Matt on board, its likely Hone will claim it doesn’t go far enough.

    I’m not really that sad about the demise of the Maori Party either to be particularly honest, it is fairly obvious that it has become beholden to the MLC since the early days – and is now essentially an indigenous smallholders rightwing party cloaking itself in the disguise of an ethnic party.

    Hopefully, Mana can become the party that most of the activists that split from Labour over the FSA wanted the Maori Party to be – it bodes well for future cooperation with a Labour-led government.

    Labour itself is better off free of a sector group that many of its members saw as more important than the party itself, and so will Mana.

    • mik e 3.1

      Youth Unemployment has sky rocketed under National and its support parties , the cost of living has sky rocketed and Turia is complaining about the rich having to pay their fair share. I predict she and the Maori party will be gone by lunchtime sunday after the election .CGT is way more beneficial to Maori because they hold on to assets intergenerationally . most of the policies like GST increases ACC degradation etc have been bad for Maori.

  4. Tiger Mountain 4

    In Te Tai Tokerau,
    • The Maori Party is a rump at this stage.
    • Labour will likely not turn out too many more voters in TTT.
    • Whereas Mana has heaps more young and poor (often transient non voters) to potentially track down and turn out in their vital flagship electorate.

    The rest is up for grabs though! hinging on Mana’s decision on Party votes and electorates.
    It is definitely not looking great for the Māori Party and that is a good thing given their track record and not ruling ACT out.

  5. ak 5

    Victims of the classic NACTZ divide and rule, abetted by their own, selfish, Helenhate motivation.

    Picked-off individuals (Iwi Leadership Group) flattered and fattened, blinded and spun, left clutching the same stale crumbs in a tawdry new wrapper (Whanau Ora) and now writhing in rejection from both sides. Key equating them with ACT today the final, fatal, stab in the back.

  6. Ron 6

    I’m really pleased that the MP decided against collaboration with Mana. I’ll be pleased to see them go.

  7. KJT 7

    The end of the Maori sellout party. About time.

    Supporting NACT has shown them to have no concern for the majority of Maori, or New Zealanders.

    Should change their name to the moneyocracy party, because all they now represent is the minority in Maori who worship greed.

  8. Every party vote for Mana now is vital. With the TTT stronghold safe, each additional 0.8% gets Mana another MP. Hone could be joined in Parliament by other fighters like Annette Sykes, John Minto etc. IN the electorate seats, we could see figures like Sue Bradford take on hated Tories like Paula Bennett. The constituency we are trying to mobilise are benificaries, the working poor and Maori, many of whom do not vote- never mind vote for Greens or Labour. A Mana party vote of 4 or 5 % could see many radical voices in the next Beehive. This can only be good news for Maori and the working class movement- we will need to build the resistance to the next National government both inside parliament and out on the streets.

    • lprent 8.1

      With the TTT stronghold safe…

      Sorry Joe, I don’t think that is the case. The by-election just showed how vulnerable TTT for Labour to old campaigners like myself. I was quite surprised at how much Kelvin picked up votes in a by-election.

      Kelvin got 87% of his 2008 electorate vote in an election where only 60% of the 2008 electorate votes were cast. If you add Hone’s AND the MP’s candidate vote together, they only got 59% of Hone’s electorate vote from 2008. A lot of that would have come from the minor parties vote. But we really have no idea what was from people who didn’t vote last time. However if the trend continues, the Hone’s position looks quite vunerable.

      Sure Labour put quite a few bodies into the short campaign. But in the long lead up to a general election they’ll be pushing smaller numbers for longer into that electorate both from the Maori electorate volunteers and the overlapping general electorates. After all there look to be quite a lot of party votes available in TTT as well.

      I’d say that counting TTT as won could be somewhat fatal if Mana doesn’t get 5% (which looks unlikely).

      • Tiger Mountain 8.1.1

        With traditional electioneering techniques fair comment lprent. However, having worked on the last census, the numbers of people in the Far North rather than West Auckland, under the radar or trying to be under the radar is significant.

        It is then problematic for Government to calculate the ‘disappeared’ into projections for future resources and infrastructure to these peoples possible detriment, but that is how it is for some.
        Mana Far North branches are committed to sniffing out non enrolled and non voters, and enroling them. No one can then tell people how to vote of course. But ‘if’ the approach works as intended Kelvin will remain a list MP in November. But I suppose one could say ‘if’ the polls had been correct Kelvin would have beaten Hone in the by-election.

        • lprent

          However, having worked on the last census, the numbers of people in the Far North rather than West Auckland, under the radar or trying to be under the radar is significant.

          Oh I’d agree – you can see it in the enrollment figures over the last couple of elections where the possible people according to the census are not matched by those on the roll. The problem is that they’d have to get on the roll to be able to vote. Would they be willing to do that for Hone?

          Well they didn’t in 2008 – the roll effectively dropped to less than 2002 levels. Even the 2005 increase in the roll over 2002 was less than most electorates. If they do get on the roll, they tend to be very poor voters in their first election afterwards.

          Did I mention I’m a cynic about “hope without strategy” election strategies. I’ve found that while they’re amusing to watch other people pin their hopes on them, they usually don’t work. What tends to work is figuring out how you’re going to run a campaign to identify who you want to vote and then making sure that they’re contacted several times reminding them that they should vote, who for, and why.

          Meanwhile the candidate does the candidate thing of trying to get people who do actually vote to vote for them.

          Phone polls tend to pick up the more conservative voters because they have phones. In TTT they would tend to pick up Labour voters. But generally I was really pleased with the Labour turnout in TTT. I suspect that there is a lot more Labour vote there to extract.

  9. mik e 9

    I see the Maori party have come out against capital gains tax strange when because of the way Maori assets are structured it is going to be far more beneficial for Maori.Its obvious they are following Nationals line .

  10. Swampy 10

    It is the Mana Party which wanted this deal much more than the Maori party did. Yet the Mana Party keeps saying they don’t need the deal and the Maori Party does. The deal has fallen over in large part because of Harawira’s bully boy attitude to it and trying to have a buck both ways. The original deal failed because Harawira breached it because he couldn’t keep his mouth shut and pass up an opportuntiy to attack the Maori Party. With this deal it was never going to happen when Harawira is grandstanding on it, trying to score political points by pretending he can work with other parties, all the while keeping up the attacks on the Maori Party. So no one should be surprised that it failed because with Harawira and the other failed politicians like Willie Jackson and John Tamihere involved it never had much chance of getting off the ground.

    If Harawira was an honourable person he could get a lot of cred by not standing candidates against the Maori Party in the other seats. But he is not that sort of person so he will stand the candidates in the other seats because really he wants to take over the Maori Party so he has to conquer them first. Harawira has no credibility outsite TTK because everyone elsewhere in the country knows about his infamous mother, her track record and what a divisive person she is.

  11. Adele 11

    Teenaa koe, Swampy

    I am not Ngā Puhi nor am I from Te Tai Tokerau. I have a great deal of respect for Titewhai and I believe her to be a passionate defender of the rights of her people. While others may readily bend over she stands upright and confronts the issues. Titewhai in her stance is merely exposing the rort being inflicted on tāngata whenua. If there is division look inwards for the cause.

  12. McFlock 12

    In many ways the Mana:Maori Party issue in TTT is a sideshow – how secure are the other six Maori Electorates for the Maori Party? MP got nutted pretty badly in the by-election, but this might just be based on the incumbent’s priviledge. 
    Is there any data or even guesswork on whether the other MP members are in safe seats? Neither Labour nor Mana are likely to do a NACT Epsom.

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