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Maori Party finished?

Written By: - Date published: 9:57 am, July 1st, 2013 - 83 comments
Categories: by-election, by-election 2013, labour, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats - Tags: , ,

Gotta love the reporting of the Ikaroa-Rawhiti by election. Here for example is John Armstrong:

Little joy for Labour, worse news for Maori parties

No good news for the parties that came first, second and third then? Ummm – how did National do exactly John – and why was that?

For a safe Labour seat, the win was very much in the realm of the ordinary and the predictable.

Well yes, what did you expect?

Labour can take no joy from its candidate, Meka Whaitiri, capturing just 42 per cent of the vote compared with the late Parekura Horomia’s 61 per cent in 2011.

This is bullshit, and it’s a line we’re seeing everywhere in the reporting. Horomia was a long serving and widely loved MP. Whaitiri was standing for the first time, of course you don’t expect her to match Horomia’s personal popularity right out of the gate. When the electorate was formed in 1999 Horomia’s majority was 695. On Saturday Whaitiri’s majority was 1,761, in other words she has made a stronger start than Horomia. That is the fair comparison to make. (Whaitiri also won more of the vote in percentage terms than Horomia in 1999.)

The good news for Labour was Mana pushing the Maori Party into third place. That places a further question mark over whether the Maori Party will return enough MPs to Parliament at next year’s election to help John Key stay in power.

So, good news for Labour and for Mana, contrary to your headline John.

Note the built-in assumption that the role of the Maori party is to support John Key (interestingly, not the National party, but John Key personally). Yes, those days may be over, because the Maori Party looks like it’s finished. The leadership in-fighting has dragged on, and even after this latest rout Sharples has not come out and said that he will step down.

Key unfazed by Maori Party by-election shock

Prime Minister John Key says he is not worried by the Maori Party’s poor showing in the weekend by-election as Labour predicts the minor party will be wiped out at the next election. …

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples has acknowledged infighting over the leadership contributed to the poor showing and members are expected to discuss the issue this week. “I do acknowledge that and am disappointed it’s been allowed to be aired so publicly,” he told National Radio. …

A Maori Party wipe-out at the next election would rob National of a crucial ally.

I would be surprised if the Maori party recovered from here, and I don’t think that many – apart from the Nats – will miss it when it’s gone.

Update: Native Affairs has unconfirmed reports that Sharples has stood down as leader of the Maori Party. Now it’s on The Herald. Too little too late.

83 comments on “Maori Party finished? ”

  1. geoff 1

    Possible that Shane Jones may eventually move to Mana if they started taking the Maori vote?

  2. Mary 2

    The Maori Party has been in a state of decay from the time it joined forces with Key. The by-election result simply reflects that. It’s not very strategic, though, for Shearer and Jones to talk of the Maori Party’s irrelevance or being destined for implosion when at the same time Hone’s calling for amalgamation. Labour may well find itself having to accommodate and work closely with individuals within the Maori Party they’re as good as bagging personally. More dumb-arse advice from Shearer’s office.

    • Te Reo Putake 2.1

      Eh? Shearer noted that the MP was sliding into oblivion. That’s a fair call. Hone Harawira also said: “I think it [the by-election] sends a very clear message to the Maori Party that hanging out with National is like a death sentence in the Maori seats.”

      So is Hone “not very strategic” and “as good as bagging personally” individuals he might need to work with? Or are you just projecting, Mary?

      • Mary 2.1.1

        Hone’s saying that there’s no future for any party that holds itself out as representing the interests of Maori if it aligns itself with the likes of Key and his mates. He’s then offered an alternative by saying to the Maori Party “hey, let’s join forces and take these greedy anti-Maori moneymen on together?” Shearer, on the other hand, has taken a different approach by lambasting the Maori Party for becoming Key and National’s lackeys but then instead of offering an invitation to work together for the good of Maori against the oppressor, Shearer’s sentiment is pretty much “well, you’ve made your bed and now you’re paying the price which is political oblivion, so good riddance.” Interesting contrast really, when Hone’s opponents are forever calling him nasty and divisive. Just look at Hooton’s latest piece of drivel in the NBR.

        • BLiP 2.1.1.1

          . . . Just look at Hooton’s latest piece of drivel in the NBR.

          No thanks, I can imagine.

          I kinda don’t blame Shearer for telling the Maori Party to get fucked. The primary driving force for the forming of the Party was spite and such bitterness that its MPs would rather work against the interests of Maori than with the opposition. The maori Party starting lying when it nuzzled up to that Nice Mr Key and told us all it was “mana enhancing”. Giggling like schoolgirls in the back of their Beemer, any guilt Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples may have endured was washed away in the comfort of molly coddled priviledge. Maori are now worse off than they might otherwise be if the maori Party had actually worked for Maori.

          I don’t know if this is the end of the Maori Party, but it is a boost to the Mana Party. Good job and I hope it puts Labour on notice.

          • Mary 2.1.1.1.1

            Yes, I think fuck ’em, too. Just thought it interesting that Hone was calling for union, while Shearer was publicly telling them to get stuffed when they’d potentially be on the same side if Hone’s invitation were taken up. Having said that, though, Eddie’s observation that there’s nothing left of the Maori Party to join with Mana is probably more accurate an analysis so again, fuck ’em. A good chunk of Maori Party votes will go Mana’s way and very few to National so Mana doesn’t need them anyway so I’ve changed my mind and say again, fuck ’em.

  3. tc 3

    Key only needs their compliant votes the nats dont care if they live or die as others can be found. The MP was always about turia IMO and her hatred of labour which shonkey exploited , they have aided the nats plunder and widening of disparity so as these realities kick in I can see the MP being kicked out.

    • Mary 3.1

      That history would make for an interesting reunion via a Mana/Maori Party amalgamation. Tariana mightn’t be around but anti-Labour sentiment will still be.

  4. Winston Smith 4

    Yeah keep up that wishful thinking

    • Te Reo Putake 4.1

      Did you mean to say that out loud, Winston?

    • felix 4.2

      Which part, Winston?

      Do you disagree that the maori Party are finished?

      • Winston Smith 4.2.1

        Whatever minor ructions happens the media has already decided National will win and the media hate being shown up

        But 2017 isn’t far away…

        • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.1

          Nah, the media are like 5 yr olds playing football.

          Just coz they are all running in one direction at any given moment, doesn’t mean shit.

        • felix 4.2.1.2

          I don’t follow.

          Which part is the “wishful thinking”?

        • fender 4.2.1.3

          Oh thank goodness the media have made their decision, saves us a trip to the polling booth.

          Dick.

          • Winston Smith 4.2.1.3.1

            I’d suggest that Labour save their money for 2017 rather than spend up large on this election, also install Cunliffe after the next election because he seems to be the only labour candidate that can get his message across

            • Pascal's bookie 4.2.1.3.1.1

              Even though polls are all saying it’s a toss up at the moment?

              Good advice there, I’m sure folks’ll take it right on board.

            • fender 4.2.1.3.1.2

              “…..save their money for 2017 rather than spend up large on this election, also install Cunliffe after the next election……..”

              What a stupid thing to say, you should save your brain cell for putting your pants back on.

            • fender 4.2.1.3.1.3

              By your reasoning Key should put his “great communicator” Parata and “the future” guy Bridges on the back-benches.

        • Colonial Viper 4.2.1.4

          Are you happy that “the media” have decided on behalf of the nation? Aren’t they supposed to report the news, not make the news?

          • Winston Smith 4.2.1.4.1

            Am I happy with the role the media play?:

            No but it doesn’t change the fact they do and in 2017 they’ll annoint Labour and that’ll be that

            Aren’t they supposed to report the news, not make the news?:

            Yes but in the case of John Campbell, Andrea Vance and the political reporters for TV3 and TV1 they seem to be making the news don’t they

  5. Tiger Mountain 5

    The MP being identity based was always destined to be finished one way or another like most ªall class” parliamentary parties. Yes, relevant issues raised “foreshore and seabed” etc but their cuddle up with the Natz has seen all relevant stats tank for Māori voters.

  6. lurgee 6

    I think a more interesting possibility would be a Mana-Green deal in the Maori seats. Mana would profit from green support, and the Greens would be spared the expense and effort of futile campaigning. Then it would be an interesting contest between Labour and Mana, assuming the Maori party continues on its road to irrelevance.

    • weka 6.1

      Party vote Green, electorate vote Mana? (assuming Mana will get more MPs via the electorate than from the list, which is not a given).

      “the Greens would be spared the expense and effort of futile campaigning”

      The GP doesn’t consider it futile. Campaigning in the electorate raises their profile, which helps the party vote. That’s what they are after (and probably some longer term strategy around getting some electorate wins again once they’re big enough).

      I’d like to see accommodations made, but at the moment neither Labour nor Mana are able to offer the GP anything that is worth more than what they’ve got now with current strategy.

    • Jackal 6.2

      +1 I think the Greens should give serious consideration to this. If we take the growth in support for the Mana party (9% to 2011, 18.8% to 2013) and combine those 2,607 votes with the Greens support of 1,188 votes, they would be on par with Labour in Ikaroa-Rawhiti for 2014. Obviously the people who voted for the Greens would be more naturally inclined to support Mana.

      On the issue of the Maori party being finished, I think it is. Clearly, Hone Harawira was right to start a new party because the infighting has not stopped, with Turia, Sharples and Flavell appearing to be too pig headed to do what is required…namely cut all ties with National. Their arrogance and support for a government that has caused even more impoverishment and hardship will be their downfall.

  7. gobsmacked 7

    Now we’re just waiting for the obvious follow-up question …

    Shearer: “Maori Party is finished.”
    Interviewer: “So, will you work with the Mana Party? With Hone Harawira?”
    Shearer: “Um …”

    What should he say? Or rather, what will he be told to say?

    (My answer’s the same as always – he should have said from day one that he wants a Labour/Green government. That pushes Winston and Hone and anyone else to one side. BUT Shearer never says that, so he himself invites the questions, and can’t answer them. They won’t go away.)

    • weka 7.1

      He should say that Labour will consider working with any party that supports the general aims and policies that Labour would be implementing while in govt (or some such).

    • shearer will say whatever he has to to get labour into power.

      If i was advising Hone I’d say taihoa to any labour pretend friendship. Remember just the other week shearer was terrorising – nothing has actually changed, apart from the by-election that is 🙂 labour will chew up any minor party if they can and that includes the Greens if the Greens let them.

      • gobsmacked 7.2.1

        I think Weka and Marty have summed up the problem nicely.

        Weka’s answer doesn’t rule out Hone (and will be presented as such in the media).

        Marty’s answer does rule out Hone (because saying “No Hone, no way” is what the advisers, commentators and general spouters will be telling him to say – it would be “strong”, “decisive”, “appeal to middle NZ” etc).

        The point is, Shearer already knows that the question will be asked. So he should have an answer. (Whether I like the particular answer is beside the point, having NO answer is the worst of all worlds, especially when communicated by Shearer who makes “Tea or coffee?” sound like a moral dilemma).

  8. millsy 8

    The Maori Party has been doomed ever since it chained itself to National, though Brown Table-ers will probably keep voting themselves the right to go in and tell “their people” how to run their lives, under the guise of “self-governance” and “self-reliance”.

  9. fender 9

    Maori Party finished?

    Hope so, right-wingers of any race are a waste of space.

    • weka 9.1

      What should we do with the half of the country that is right wing? Export them?

      • fender 9.1.1

        Ok 🙂

        I’m “comfortable” with that. I know it’s an extreme comment, but it’s a grumpy Monday and that Hooton is on my radio!

        • weka 9.1.1.1

          Turn it off!!! 🙂

          • Colonial Viper 9.1.1.1.1

            Half the country are not right wing. I would say roughly 20% to 25% are. The fact is that our political parties have simply ignored (or taken for granted) the NZers who are actually quite socialist in attitude.

            • Winston Smith 9.1.1.1.1.1

              I think its more complicated than that, I’m right wing in some areas and left wing in others and I’m guessing theres probably quite a few people like me out there

            • weka 9.1.1.1.1.2

              “I would say roughly 20% to 25% are.”

              What are you basing that one?

              I think it’s more likely to be a three-way split: conservative, socialist, and people who are economically conservative but socially liberal. Except we know have people who’ve been raised in with the greed and consuming ethics forefront, so it’s hard to tell what’s going on.

              “The fact is that our political parties have simply ignored (or taken for granted) the NZers who are actually quite socialist in attitude.”

              How so (in the context of this discussion)?

      • Weka Put them all on an island with a piece off 4/2 with a nail in it and let them clobber each other,

        • weka 9.1.2.1

          Does that include your relatives, or children or anyone you care about who has voted on the right?

  10. Ant 10

    The Maori Party have to shoulder some blame for the low turnout and for the low rate of sign-ups to the Maori Electoral Role. There was a lot of hope and pride when they first popped up, but after 2 terms of eating Nationals crumbs from the table, they’ve disillusioned a lot of voters.

    • weka 10.1

      What’s the usual rate of voter turnout in by-elections, general and Maori seats?

      • lprent 10.1.1

        Roughly 50-60% of the turnout in the general elections is a good rule of thumb. In fact it tends to equate pretty well with the voting for local bodies in general electorates.

      • Ant 10.1.2

        It was trending up and spiked quite high after the Maori Party formation – mid 60’s IIRC, and has been trending downward ever since, I think it was under 50% or so in 2011.

  11. McFlock 11

    Not quite “finished” – they’ll fade away like United Past. Electorate seats held by a few MPs for whatever reason, then a couple of MPs, then one, and eventually just blink out.

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      “United Past” 😀

    • Mary 11.2

      Well Sharples is finished by the looks of things. Maybe he’s positioning himself for a move to Mana? Somehow I doubt it. Another nice chap who needs to go. Hope David Shearer’s watching.

      • McFlock 11.2.1

        pfft

        cos a 71 year old can’t just retire, and really it’s all about shearer anyway…

        • Mary 11.2.1.1

          He’s not retiring because he’s 71. How old’s Winston? And while I didn’t say it was all about Shearer, now you’ve mentioned it, wouldn’t be grand if he took a leaf out of Pita’s book and took one for the team? Or perhaps Labour should take a leaf out of Labor’s book?

  12. bad12 12

    Is the Maori Party finished, in a word YES, what started out as the proud banner of a generation of Maori young and old has among the more urban electorates, after two terms supporting the National Government burnt all of it’s once considerable capital,

    The only salvation for the Maori Party would in my view be an immediate amalgamation with the Mana Party a marriage doomed not to happen as ‘political and personal ego’s’ are involved here,

    Maori Party leader Pita Sharples best illustrates the ego-centric nature of the politics involved by focusing upon the Maori Party’s ‘leadership ructions’ as the reason for the poor result for the Maori Party in Saturday’s Ikaroa-Rawhit by-election, Sharples best described these days as a doddering old fool cannot really believe in the face of the 2011 election’s evidence that it is the support by His party for this National Government which has seen Maori Party support plunge,

    The deluded leader of the Maori Party would rather than shoulder the blame cast that blame at the feet of fellow Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell for challenging Sharples for the leadership of the Party and in all probability making an unstated challenge to the party’s coalition with this National Government,

    A look at the Maori electorate tells us that the Maori Party has nowhere,except an 18 month slow march into oblivion, to turn at the 2014 election in an effort to recapture it’s previous level of support, in 6 years of coalition with the National Government the Maori Party has gained the less than stunning Whanau Ora ‘slush fund’ and Pita Sharples has been personally responsible for ‘Maori Focus Units’ in some of New Zealand’s jails whilst remaining grimly silent on the need for such ‘Maori Focus’ befor any of the whanau get anywhere near a jail cell or the ‘institutional bias’ of a justice system that glaringly and gladly seems to favor Maori as the ‘focus’ of it’s inmate population,

    The electorates, Te Tai Tonga, regained by Labour’s Rino Tirikatene in 2011 from His cuzzy, the Maori Party’s Rahui Katene the first casualty of the Maori Party coalition with National, the Mana party movement does’nt figure much in the political atmosphere this far South, (Wellington’s radicalism being more Green), so Te Tai Tonga is ‘safe’ for Rino and Labour, (with the codicil, for now),

    Te Tai Hauauru, aunty Tariana’s turf, the lady who spat the dummy at Labour over the foreshore and seabed and then settled her over indulged tiro into the leather of a Beamer offered her way by National along with arguably a worse piece of seabed and foreshore legislation than the previous Labour attempt, She who set the whole ‘Maori Party revolution’ into motion has gone conspicuously silent on the plight of ‘Her people’ and will retire into obscurity at the 2014 election,

    Te Tai Hauauru is the hardest of the Maori electorates to ‘read’, i could theorize that aunty Tariana will annoint Ken Mair as Her successor in a glorious gesture to that one’s overly inflated image of Himself and thus hand the seat back to Labour,

    Have Labour got a strong local candidate in mind for Te Tai Hauauru, if so the chances are that Labour will take this seat back from the dying Maori Party as Turia’s personal support is what enabled her to take the seat first for Labour and then for the Maori Party, i cannot see Mana figuring much in this electorate either,

    Waiariki, with MP Te Ururoa Flavell enjoying an ongoing high profile you would think that this would be the ‘safe’ Maori Party seat, think again, in 2 elections Mana’s Annette Sykes has taken it to Flavell and chiseled off large chunks of His vote,

    November 2011 left me with the view that if Annette Sykes stood again for the Mana Party in the Waiarirki electorate She would in probably give Te Ururoa the kick, my minds changed here, if Labour can find and field a strong local as their candidate i think that in this electorate the fight between Annette and Te Ururoa will allow the Labour Party to recapture this electorate just, which is a pity because my personal preference is for Annette Sykes to stand again and win the seat, (if i were a Labour strategist, and Annette Sykes does stand against Flavell i would be thinking a weak Labour candidate concentrating on the Party vote would provide an extra seat for the ‘left’ and yes many of us will have a small snigger at the notion),

    Hauraki-Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta holds the seat for Labour, Her personal Mana will ensure that only an act of the gods will remove her from the seat,

    Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Meka Whaitiri will be holding onto this seat for quite some time, much has been made of the combined results of the Maori and Mana candidates in the by-election, first, is a merging of the Maori and Mana Party’s likely this side of judgement day, second, by-elections are notorious for throwing up radical anti-establishment results and while i and many others can only dream of a switched on Maori electorate en masse splitting their votes in a glorious orgy of tactical voting one day they just might, but 2014, nah Meka owns Ikaroa-Rawhiti for the time being,

    Tamaki-Makaurau, Bye bye Pita Sharples dont let the dogs bite you on the way out the door, i should leave it there, Sharples is dog tucker in the Auckland Maori electorate, Mana could stand Brucie the blind donkey,(yeah the same one Pita’s mate Slippery plucks the soft hairs from it’s anal crevice to cover his ever expanding bald spot), and Labour’s Shane Jones will win without raising a sweat,(which is a spot of luck coz Shane has had to dive into the dictionary at times to educate himself on the meaning of such phrases as, manual labour, and hard work),

    Sharples has a majority of barely 1000 in Tamaki -Makaurau any bets on Him reversing that number in 2014,

    Last but not least, Te Tai Tokerau, Hone’s seat, i think He will keep it…

  13. r0b 13

    Update: Native Affairs has unconfirmed reports that Sharples has stood down as leader of the Maori Party. Now it’s on The Herald. Too little too late.

    • McFlock 13.2

      interesting

    • bad12 13.3

      Oh no com’n Pete no need to toss the toys just yet i didn’t really mean any of the vicious attacks i have been mounting against you recently,

      The above of course is a large f**king lie on my part, and Dr Sharples resignation will be with much celebration and joy here in Whanganui-a-Tara, (a big what of a bay, one for language lovers everwhere),

      Such joy and celebration won’t be on my behalf as i don’t as a general roll voter have a vested interest in the Maori seats or Tamaki-Makaurau in particular, such celebration will be on behalf of those young Maori who with Mana and pride came door knocking in November 2008 seeking votes on behalf of Sharples and Co,

      I can easily emphasize and sympathize with the damage done everywhere up and down the motu by the subsequent sell out of all their hopes and dreams for ‘their Maori Party’ as their ‘leaders’ long winded on the ‘plight of their people’ then took the ministerial positions and coin along with the ride in the Beamers and the vows of silence when it came to addressing the negative results for ‘their people’ from having a National Government,

      After all at their age i suffered the shame of stuffing letterboxes with election material to gain what i thought would be a socialist government and got Sir(spit)Roger Douglas et al instead,

      So Doctor Sharples has made belatedly the right political gesture to saving what is to all extents and purposes the branch of the Kauri that died back then in 2008, far too little too late unless Flavell as leader is prepared to rip up the coalition agreement with the present government and begin talks with the Mana Party with a view to forming Mana Maori…

  14. the pigman 14

    Whether or not it’s finished is irrelevant for the purpose of assessing whether it was an appropriate thing for Shearer to say.

    His very thin veneer of kiwi bloke is not bolstered by such words. He might as well have called it “dog tucker mate”. It comes across as gloating, far-too-arrogant given circumstances (again, I think it was a solid win for Labour, however that’s not how it’s being reported… don’t let facts get in the way).

    It was ugly in the same way that John Key making a throat-slitting gesture across the House towards Phil Goff was ugly. (Even if considerably less odious in nature, Shearer should have considered the harshness with which it will be reported vs. reporting of Teflon John’s behaviour.)

    Finally, these ugly words now form the basis for the current Stuff political poll. http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/ Great job, Dave.

    EDIT: And finally, Shearer just gave the MSM it’s headline (in quotation marks) for when he steps aside as leader/Labour loses the 2014 election (whichever comes first).

    • McFlock 14.1

      A fair statement of political fact is not in the same ballpark as making a throat-slitting gesture just after someone tried to jump off a balcony. Nowhere near.

      • the pigman 14.1.1

        Saying it is ugly in the same way as is not equating them. I don’t really understand sporting analogies, so forget the “ballpark”, I’m just saying it taps the same vein of chest-beating, dick-swinging bullshit.

        • McFlock 14.1.1.1

          I didn’t see any gloating in it, or any dick swinging. Just a plain statement of fact.

          Whereas key’s actions were both threatening and oblivious to the intensely dramatic situation that had just taken place in front of him.

  15. No idea Dr Sharples was 71.

    A great politician, who gave the country great service.

    • gobsmacked 15.1

      Sharples was a hopeless politician. He was a great Maori leader for decades, until he got into Parliament. Then he became a fish out of water, and fish in a barrel for Key.

      Like David Shearer, he deserves to be remembered for his achievements before entering politics, not for his failure in it.

      • Brett Dale 15.1.1

        He was a man of integrity. He should be well remembered by all, no matter
        what side of the fence you sit on.

        • gobsmacked 15.1.1.1

          Nothing to do with side of fence. It’s simple maths: aims versus achievements.

          Hear the voice of Sharples in 2005, and compare it with now. He failed. Not because he went with National, but because he was totally outplayed by National. What did he achieve?

        • weka 15.1.1.2

          Except for that little matter of betraying many of his Maori constituents.

        • bad12 15.1.1.3

          Yes yes a man of integrity who laughingly said He didn’t care which side of the House the Maori Party supported as long as He was a Minister with all the perks, he had a new mortgage to pay don’t you know,

          That was the truth wrapped up in one of those self denigrating jokes that Billy T was a master at performing,

          Sharples has the malaise that many in the Parliament have, they believe in everything and nothing, and any and all beliefs can and will be subservient to the title of Minister, the money and the Beamer…

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