What a mess. The Maori Party is in its final phase as the vultures move in to fight over the corpse. Katene wants Turia’s job but will she be the one given the tap or will it be a member of the Turia clan? Flavell has made a play for Sharples’ job, but there’s no mechanism for deciding leadership battles. Harawira has offered a re-merger, something he has predicted since MANA was founded. Sharples is open to it, Turia isn’t but she wants Sharples gone. Key won’t work with Harawira.
Let’s face it, Harawira offers the Maori Party the only hope of a future it has. Only he can help it reclaim its natural place in the political spectrum and rebuild faith with working class Maori. But Turia will fight that right to the end. She wants to keep that limo seat.
Here’s my prediction: Turia’s replacement will be some unknown she can control. I doubt its Katene or she wouldn’t have broken cover to say she’s keen to have the job. The Party won’t insult someone of Sharples’ mana so much as to take the leadership off him if he still wants it. Flavell will probably choose to leave rather than waste his time, sparking a by-election that the Maori Party will lose to MANA’s Annette Sykes. So, the Maori Party goes into 2014 with an unknown, Sharples, and very little incentive for MANA to cut it a deal not to stand in each other’s seats when those seats are there for the taking.