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Maori Party MPs turn on Hone

Written By: - Date published: 9:56 am, January 19th, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: maori party - Tags:

On Sunday and Monday, Hone Harawira gave very cogent and candid assessments of where the Maori Party has gone wrong by losing connection with its ideals and base. By the standards of mainstream parties it was extraordinarly blunt and appeared to be a challenge to Tariana Turia. But the Maori Party can be and should be different, eh? Seems not.

Hone’s four fellow MPs have laid a complaint against him The Herald reports:

The party’s president, Pem Bird, yesterday received a complaint from fellow MP Te Ururoa Flavell, supported by MP Rahui Katene, and party leaders Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia. Mr Bird did not say the nature of the complaint. A meeting will be held on Friday to resolve the issue. “The Council will be in a position to make further comment after that meeting.”

Well, it’s pretty clear what their complaint is about. They don’t like that he has critiqued the party’s direction, and they certainly don’t like that he has done it in public.

But all four of them taking a complaint about him to the Party President is a bad, bad move. Striking him down will only make him stronger.

First, it’s not clear from the Maori Party’s rather vague rules that he has done anything wrong – and you can bet that Harawira was canny enough to check the rules first. In fact he could well argue that he is arguing for the Maori party to stand true to the kaupapa described in the Party constitution.

Second, if they force Harawira out of the party (and what else can the four other MPs taking a complaint against be seen as but a notice that he is no longer welcome?) then they will lose their one claim to still represent the activists. The guts of the party will be ripped out if Harawira leaves, especially if he forms a new party with Matt McCarten and Sue Bradford, because most of the activists will go with him

I wonder if Hone knew that they would respond like this? I wonder if he knew this would be his justification to split with the sell-out faction of the Maori Party and take would be his justification to split with the sell-out faction of the Maori Party and take his activists into a new Left party?

With his new SST column and McCarten’s one in the Sunday-Star Times, a new party would have excellent platforms for communicating its deals and Harawira’s seat (which he will hold with or without the Maori Party) makes it a viable proposition.

101 comments on “Maori Party MPs turn on Hone ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    But all four of them taking a complaint about him to the Party President is a bad, bad move. Striking him down will only make him stronger.

    …to paraphrase Obi Wan. Nice one EDDIE.

    But actually, the MP need to listen to Admiral Ackbar at this point – “It’s a trap!”

    Too late, they jumped right into the middle of it and Hone has sprung it.

    With this all out attack involving their other four MP’s, the MP have nowhere to withdraw to now in terms of a compromise or a neutral broker within caucus.

  2. There is a strong likelihood that with the way the other four Maori Party MPs are carrying on, Hone could stay within the party, and after the election, he’d be the only one of them left. I am pretty sure that he would prefer this to any cohabitation with a leftist party.

    The Maori Party would be purged of the sellout NACTolytes and could get back to fighting the good fight – not simply be a front for the iwi leadership forum.

    • Draco T Bastard 2.1

      Nope, Hone has precisely two choices at this stage: Kiss arse and ask for Turia’s forgiveness or leave and I’m not sure that any amount of kissing arse would get forgiveness. The attack by the other four MPs indicate that they’ve finally decided to push him out.

      IMO, he’d do himself and the country a big favour by leaving.

      • And I cannot see Honi kissing arse. D.T.B Like him ot not he’s straightforward and stands by his beliefs . No I think he will leave and the rest of them will disappear at the next election maybe before.

        • ron

          It might be a set up. Hone might be looking to get dumped. He’d have a lot more credibility if he walked. If he DOESN’T walk he destroys any shred of credibility he might have.

  3. Bill 3

    It would be strange and disturbing (if not already known), that because of the structure parliamentary parties necessarily adopt to function in a parliamentary setting, that many genuine representative expressions of constituents get quashed in order to maintain a ‘unified’ front.

    Having to adhere to a ‘party line’ and deny the exercising of one of the more basic democractic rights doesn’t say much for our particular form of democracy .

    Any Hone character would be chopped up and stomped down no matter which party he was a member of. And that includes any potential new party of the left. Democracy, freedom of expression and parliamentary representation do not mix.

    • Daveski 3.1

      Indeed Bill. Contrast this with the treatment of Chris Carter for talking out about Labour and Goff.

      • Blighty 3.1.1

        yup, same treatment to what an MP in a major party gets – Maurice Williamson is another example.

      • Alexandra 3.1.2

        Bad comparison. Carter was not speaking out on labours policy direction, or Labour moving away from its core values. Carter’s refusal to reign in his spending after Labour MP’s were requested do so, followed by his covert, spiteful attack on goff was what got him in strife. The MP would do well to listen to what Hone is saying as it represents what most Maori are thinking.

    • Having to adhere to a ‘party line’ and deny the exercising of one of the more basic democractic rights doesn’t say much for our particular form of democracy .

      You’re right in today’s context Bill. But actually, when Parliamentary democracy first evolved it was very much a representative model. Alright it wasn’t perfect at the electorate level (not everyone getting a vote, etc) but when the newly minted MP hopped on his horse and rode to Parliament he (it was inevitably he – another fault at the electoral end of the process) was under no illusions that if he didn’t represent the interests of whoever held the franchise then he was toast.

      Political parties evolved as creatures of convenience. Initially they were quite loose, with MPs still pretty much free to vote their conscience on most issues. But slowly they became vehicles which permit an elite to control the actions of everyone who joins.

      That wouldn’t be a bad thing if voters could see that, and thus see the value of throwing independents (both within and apart from parties) into the mix. But they don’t, and MMP encourages the grip of the elites in any case – which is why I oppose it.

      If we want more Hone Harawiras in ou Parliament – and I do, not because I necessarily agree with all that he says but because we need MPs with the courage to speak their mind and vote their consccience while remaining in touch with their base – then we need to look beyond the Maori Party and admit that the politicval system which could see him expelled for this is irreparably broken.

      • Draco T Bastard 3.2.1

        Any representative political system will always evolve into a party political system as people working together is always stronger than individuals working apart. A FPP system will always give two strong parties that pretty much hold government between them even though they will hardly ever actually have a majority and a proportional system will give multiple parties and coalition governments that actually do have a majority.

        There isn’t any way to change that unless you want to go for full participatory democracy and then everyone has to see themselves as belonging to the community (which the RWNJs will never do).

        • Rex Widerstrom

          I’d say things have devolved into a party political system.

          Yes, people working together is better than people working apart but who says the same people have to work together (and, more importantly) agree on every issue.

          What’s wrong with me siding with you on the price of apples today, and disagreeing with you on the price of bananas tomorrow? Why must we both be “whipped” into acquiesence, often against our own beliefs? What’s wrong with me stating my reasons for pricing bananas and seeing if I can get the majority of other representatives to agree with me just on that issue?

          Or, if we both decide we think alike on fruit prices, we give one another our proxy on that issue, and that issue alone (or such other issues on which we can agree in advance) but that’s where it ends?

          There are many ways to moderate and constrain representative democracy – recall, referenda, recoverable proxy (and that’s just the “R’s” 😉 ) before we resort to full scale participatory democracy. Why not try some?

          • Ari

            Ideally speaking a Party is more like a group of people who agree we should be voting on fruit as opposed to vegetables, anyway, so there’s room for them to disagree on particular fruits. The other posters are definitely right that whipping and control by the party elite have been bad for our political system, though.

          • KJT

            The common mis-apprehension in all this is that we actually have a democracy, or that anyone apart from those who have “bought” the politicians have any say in Government.

            We have a three yearly rotating dictatorship where our only option is to vote for the lot we did not like last time to get rid of the lot we don’t like now.

            The closest political system to real democracy is the Swiss.

            Unfortunately any moves towards Democracy in NZ would have to be over the bodies of politicians who dream of having absolute power, under our system, for three years. Even small steps like MMP are opposed by politicians and their backers, of all stripes.

            A few cherry picked results of Switzerland’s or California’s system of voting are commonly used as an argument against democracy. The results are representative of their societies and would probably have occurred in the quoted cases under a revolving elected dictatorship anyway.

            In fact, in New Zealand, the public supported women’s suffrage. It was parliament who held it up. Under the Swiss system of direct democracy NZ would have most likely voted women the vote much sooner than we did . Same with gay rights.

            Politicians very often get it appallingly wrong.
            It is doubtful that a majority of the public would have voted to throw the baby out with the bathwater in the 80’s. Or to Ruthenasia in the 90’s, to name just two cases.
            Muldoon would not have been able to gerrymander his way into power for so many years with election bribes to a couple of minorities.

            Just because some people on the left disagreed with the majority on a recent referendum does not invalidate the principal.

            Wisconsin and some other American States have a good track record with BCIR. Why do opponents of democracy always talk only about California?

            Other arguments against democracy usually show an unstated contempt for ordinary people. They “dared to disagree with me they must be wrong” or “they cannot have understood the question”.

            Self determination means making decisions for ourselves, not having 120 self important, arrogant and mostly ignorant politicians making them for us.

            “If voting made any difference they would abolish it” Abe Lincoln.
            “Democracy is the worst system of Government, except for all the others” Winston Churchill.

            “The biggest obstacle to democracy is the illusion of the poor that we have democracy and the abject terror of the rich least we get it”.

            Lastly as “No right turn” says. “Even if we make the wrong decisions at the end of the day it is our decision to make”.

  4. A new party would have excellent platforms for communicating its deals and Harawira’s seat (which he will hold with or without the Maori Party) makes it a viable proposition.

    In that event do you reckon any Labourites like Kelvin Davis, Shane Jones or Parekura Horomia would jump ship also and contest Maori electorate seats with a back up list rating high enough to qualify if they campaigned hard to get over 5% among the great unwashed of young and disillusioned swing voters…

    …or are they better of in keeping safe, staying put, maintaining their distance as natural Labour allies with Hone depending how things pan out ?

    Still, imagine Jones vs Sharples and Horomia vs Turia or the other way round. It’d be bunfight worthy of pay per view.

  5. randal 6

    hONE IS THAT RARE BIRD. APOLITICIAN WHO SPEAKS HIS MIND AND DOESNT CARE WHERE THE CHIPS MAY FALL. he is not some analy constricted creature constructed in a government office in wellington.

    • johnm 6.1

      Hi randal
      Well said! Hone is not a for money and position anally corruptible thing of the Parliamentary system.He’s straight and decent and doesn’t want to assist this ideologically blinkered ACT-nat Privatized Freak Show (Despite their air of importance and flash harry suits and catchword logo: “Privatize” Privatize!”) we have as a government at the moment.

      • Deadly_NZ 6.1.1

        And the other thing is that he knows how to use the media, this could be the start of the cracks in the Nactmaori party alliance. Just what Labour need, and Hone won’t lie down quietly either.

  6. Here’s my thoughts:

    In order to understand the current major schism within the Maori Party, you need to understand the major contradictions within the party and within Maoridom as a whole.

    The Maori Party is a pan-Maori party, and is trying to represent vastly different Maori interests. It has always had a very contradictory voter support base. After all, not all Maori think alike, have the same political views, or the same economic interests. Most importantly, the party has tried to represent the interest of poor Maori and the growing middle income Maori. (But there are other tensions as well).

    This has been a very strong contradiction within the party, and a contradiction that has never been resolved or properly tested. Going into coalition with the National Party has been a small test of that contradiction between poor and rich Maori but it was tempered by the fact that the Maori Party joined a coalition that was already been formed and the coalition’s existence was not reliant on the Maori Party’s support, and thus the party wasn’t the king maker. But if, after the next election, the Maori Party is in a kingmaker position, then there will be huge pressures on that contradiction.

    The party clearly has a left and right. With the right of the party led by the co-leadership of Turia and Sharples. These people are more conservative, more aligned with traditional iwi structures, with aspiration Maori, and quite happy to be in coalition with National.

    The left of the party is obviously led by Harawira, who comes from a more anti-establishment and radical background. Harawira has come to champion the poorer support base of the Maori Party, especially urban working class Maori, who have less to do with traditional iwi and are less enamoured with the National-led Government. There’s a lot of rank-and-file support for Harawira in the party, and obviously even more so in his own electorate.

    Harawira himself has internal contradictions – mostly the tension between his Maori nationalist politics and his more leftish/working class orientation. At times he seems to shift between these quite different ideological principles. And if he was to start a new Left Party with the likes of McCarten and Bradford, he’d essentially need to ditch or downplay his radical Maori nationalism and take up a more leftwing political orientation.

    So currently Harawira is the key person in the Maori Party. Turia and Sharples are heading towards the end of their time in politics. Harawira is positioning himself to take over the party and resolve the contradiction between rich and poor Maori Party voters by forcing the party to take a side. He wants them to choose to be a left or right party, and he obviously wants them to be a left party.

    If he doesn’t win, he will certainly leave the Maori Party, either to be an independent Maori MP for his electorate, or to help build a new Left Party with McCarten and Bradford. Today’s confrontation makes it look like he’s losing the internal battle and will eventually depart.

    • Bill 7.1

      Can’t quite see why a desire for self determination (Maori natioonalist politics) and general left/working class politics need present a contradiction.

      Also, there are instances of parties predicated on independence that contain both a right and a left wing. In these cases, the right and the left have buried their differences for the sake of the larger vision. The idea is that these parties will bifurcate when the main goal is achieved.

      Both Plaid Cymru and the SNP are such parties. Interestingly, in relation to your claim that nationalism and working class politics don’t marry up, both of these parties express a left wing bias that would shame the likes of Labour.

      • Rich 7.1.1

        The Scots and Welsh don’t have any traditional tribal structures. (The Highlanders did up until the clearances, when the chiefs totally fucked their followers over and destroyed all but a tartan-clad image of their tradition).

        • Bill

          The tartan clad image was a Victorian construct, but I take your point.

          That aside. Are you suggesting that because traditional tribal structures are conservative that right wing politics will be embraced? Because if that is what your saying, it’s not borne out by evidence. Many traditional tribal structures espouse radical left politics. Consider the various tribal political movements in Latin and South America. Or the indigenous politics of North America and Canada.

      • Draco T Bastard 7.1.2

        Can’t quite see why a desire for self determination (Maori natioonalist politics) and general left/working class politics need present a contradiction.

        Because traditional Maori culture is right leaning, top down, authoritarian. It has become even more so since the coming of the pakeha as shown by the Kingi Movement and present Maori business elite which is a move to a centralisation of power.

      • Alexandra 7.1.3

        I agree with Bill, nationalist politics and left politics need not be inconsistant, however for that to be achieved many on the left will need look beyond marxist class ideology. The inability to do so, cripples any genuine consideration to alternative forms of power sharing.
        Perhaps Harawera priority at present is to get rid of National/Act and start getting our people back into education, skills training and jobs, and looking after our enviroment.
        Ive been disappointed with some of his antics and have long wanted him to leave the MP, but I do respect that he’s hung in there, that he’s done all he can to turn the tide and not readily jumped ship like his leader did. What ever happens now I wish him all the best.

        • Draco T Bastard

          …however for that to be achieved many on the left will need look beyond marxist class ideology.

          Identity politics is part of what got us into the mess that we’re in now. This is because they’re complete bollocks. There are multiple reasons for that but the major one is that we’re one society living in one land. You quite simply cannot have multiple societies living in one land – unless you want civil war.

          • Carol

            Identity politics are not bollocks and did not bring about this mess. Before the rise of feminism, anti-racist civil rights, the gay movement, Maori rights etc, the left tended to be dominated by white heterosexual males. Others were marginalised and oppressed, even within the left.

            As neoliberalism was on the rise, it co-opted a narrowed version of identity politics (one based on individual rights, rather than collective action, and split off from the class struggle), in order to draw on the rise in acceptance of equal rights for all groups in society. Neoliberalism piggy-backed on the success of (largely left wing) identity politics.

            Yes we are one society, but we are a diverse bunch, and currently society is organised to benefit some sections more than others. Separating the class struggle off from identity issues would just be a return to the dominance of one section of society within the left movement.

          • Carol

            PS: I should add, that while I see identity issues as of continuing importance, these days I see the struggle against neoliberalism, class oppression/repression, and corporate power as being the central one. OTOH, I also think it is still important to actively support continuing struggles around identity issues, from a left perspective. In many ways they are intertwined, and which elements should be foregrounded depend on the issue and the immediate context.

            Society is a complex whole made up of diverse interwoven elements. That’s why the Maori Party are in a bit of a quandry. They were formed to deal with very important disadvantages of and wrongs perpetrated against Maori people. But within the MP and Maori people, there are differences in relation to their differing positions within the wider society.

            I am particularly heartened that Hone sees the Green Party as the one the MP (and himself) is/should be most aligned with. This strengthens my support of the Greens, and will probably vote for them again in the next election. MMP provides the possibility for diverse factions within society, with some similar aims, communicating, collaborating and when relevant, working together to achieve mutually desired outcomes.

            • Bill

              I entirely agree with your principle comment. But why in your ‘PS’ do you then separate or wall off ‘identity’ politics from ‘class’ politics, ie center ‘class’ politics but exhort that ‘other’ political issues should still be supported?

              Surely a substantive leftist programme would cross reference all the relevant politics in any particular cause it was focussing on? So for example, in opposing neo liberalism shouldn’t the left ensure that it’s organisational structures embody the principles of and/or tackle the disadvantages highlighted by various identity politics as well as incorporating relevant aspects of their respective analyses in its principle critique of neo liberalism?

              Otherwise the left will run around in circles tackling various bush fires and go nowhere fast…as it has been doing. And bleed support as integral components of left politics fall below the radar…as has happened.

              The natural constituences of the left should be opening doors between their various perspectives to allow a free flow of influences rather than decompartmentalising the ‘fields’ of race, feminism, class or whatever.

              Unless the left integrates all aspects of leftism in a left agenda, the left will never itself develop beyond a parody of the present and as such perpetuate inequities it claims to oppose. As as happened.

              edit. More succinctly. Oppression has an economic component and a gender component and a race component etc. and each component impacts on and reinforces the others. So the question becomes whether we are against oppression or only certain aspects of it. If we are against oppression as a matter of principle then all aspects of oppression must be incorporated by the left and tackled from the perspective of an integrated whole.

      • Richard 7.1.4

        Plaid Cymru and the SNP have an advantage in that they are talking about self-determination for a (fairly) clearly defined geographic region.

        Maori self-determination/nationalism issues are more complex in that here we are talking about the nationalism desires of a group that is scattered throughout the mainstream population. Which isn’t to say that Maori self-determination isn’t an impossibility. Welsh and Scotish nationalism desires can be “resolved” by agreeing to draw lines on maps. That doesn’t seem an obvious option here.

    • MrSmith 7.2

      Who asked you anyway Bryce , ‘Go Harawira’ bring on the revolution .

      • Maynard J 7.2.1

        It’s a comment thread, Mr Smith, and by its very nature asks people to contribute. Let’s not get silly about that now.

  7. Patrick 8

    This is only going to make it harder for Key to form a government later this year.

    If Hone is pushed from the Maori Party I think it is really going to hurt them electorally. They will lose Te Tai Tokerau (which he’ll retain as an independent, and possibly form a new party, but not instantly), and with Labour standing a very strong candidate in Rino Tirakatene, it really puts their low profile backbencher – Rahui Katene at risk of losing Te Tai Tonga.

    That could see the Maori Party easily reduced to three seats in Parliament.

    If the votes end up being as close as they’re looking – this isn’t just a big problem for the Maori Party, it also becomes a big problem for John Key.

    • Blighty 8.1

      Rino Tirakatene can really embarrass Rahui Katene over her behaviour with the ETS – hardly ‘mana-enhancing’ when you try to hide your own minority report and then vote for a bill days after your strongly-worded opposition to it becomes public.

      • pollywog 8.1.1

        the Maori party has shown that you can get by with only one trick in your playbook…get rid if the Labour Foreshore and Seabed act…

        …a new left party could get by with only one trick too, scrap the Emissions Trading Scheme.

        its a simple issue that is easily expounded upon to show it’s unfairness towards the average Jo in favour of big business and would resonate with young voters by being a massive point of difference between a new left choice and Labour.

        it could probaly capture some centre right middle ground swingers as well given the vitriol Nick Smith inspires

        i reckon Hone would do well to add that to his list of grievances

    • Pete 8.2

      A lot of ifs.

      What if Maori reduce to three, if Greens miss the threshold and if Winston’s last gasp is as healthy as his lungs must be? What if all of the above?

      • Bright Red 8.2.1

        The greens aren’t going to miss the threshold, they averaged 8% in last year’s roy morgans – the others are possible.

  8. Deadly_NZ 9

    And also with Hone on one side And Winston out there as well and both know how to use the media, that’s going to have to cut into ol Smiley wavey’s air time as well may even take a lot off of him. And if Mccarten comes in from another side yep Ol’ Shonkey is gonna have media starvation, well heres hoping. Unfortunately The Same could happen to Goff too.

  9. greenwelly 10

    Phil Goff turned on him too


    Goff told Breakfast that Labour had coalition partners.

    … Goff would not, however, talk to Hone Harawira, saying there were “lots of things I fundamentally disagree with him on”.

    • Draco T Bastard 10.1

      Ok, Goff just cut Labours throat.

      • Colonial Viper 10.1.1

        Oh FFS

        Siding with the elite right winger MP’s in the Maori Party now? What next.


      • pollywog 10.1.2

        … did Shane Jones just take one step closer to the plank or is this a cunning plan by Phil to push him into a dialogue with Hone on his behalf ?

    • Marty G 10.2

      God dammit phil. The answer is ‘ he’s still a maori party mp, and his future is their business. I can’t speculate on hypothetical situations’

    • orange whip? 10.3

      I can haz new Labour leader nao plz?

    • The Voice of Reason 10.4

      Sweet work from Goff there. Clearly distances himself from from a loose cannon and gains a nod of approval from middle NZ. He’s obviously learned from the Carter debacle that a decisive stance goes down well with the voters. It’ll also help his relationship with the majority of the Maori Party MP’s, who he may need in the post election coalition building.

      Ok, a there’ll be a few squeaks of outrage from some on the left, but frankly, if Labour have to go into coalition with an unrepentant racist, Peters is a far more stable partner than Harawira would ever be.

      • Draco T Bastard 10.4.1

        To be honest, I don’t the Maori Party will have any MPs after the next election. In helping NACT to lower wages and remove workers rights they’ve made things worse for their people.

      • Bright Red 10.4.2

        making the play for the middle ground has its appeal but he has to be able to leave open the option of working with a New Left party if needs be to form a government – and that party may include Harawira.

        I guess he will just have to dance on the head of the pin if and when that happens but it seems silly to attack Harawira when it’s not called for – he could have turned this into a quesiton of the stability of Key’s government instead.

        • Bright Red

          yup. goff has succeeded in making this about who he would work with, not Key’s government


          “Personally I would choose Harawira over Peters anyday.

          But what is significant is Goff ruling out even having discussions with Harawira.

          Because many on the left want him to join forces with Bradford and McCarten and form a hard left party. If Harawira stood for them, they would not need 5% to get elected.

          But Goff is apparently saying he would choose opposition, rather than deal with Harawira. Is this really his position?”

          • The Voice of Reason

            It worked for Key. He ruled out Peters prior to the last election, and it was a successful tactic in that helped soften NZP’s vote to below 5%. This won’t hurt Goff in any way and should help him gain traction with undecided voters, who aren’t likely to want a bar of Harawira.

            BTW, BR, you should attribute the quote to Farrar. People who don’t hit the link might think it’s your opinion.

        • Alexandra

          Silly alright BR, STFU is sometimes a very good option, especially when Harawira is sticking up for unions…reeaaally silly

    • just saying 10.5

      Goff shows his true colours again and again and again…..


      Will there ever be a time when Labour (the party as opposed to the parliamentary troughrers) says Enough? According to Bryce Edwards, Goff was considering joining ACt at one point, so maybe there has been a little move to the left… Sadly only as far as National territory though.

    • I wish he did not do that. Dealing with Hone or dealing with Winston … Hmmmm

  10. The Economic Illiteracy Support Group 11

    I think it’s instructive that the issue that drove Tariana from the Labour Party – the seabed and foreshore – is also the trigger for Hone departing the Maori Party. Live by the sword, die by the sword, I guess.

  11. Pascal's bookie 12

    It’s kind of hard to see any advantage for the mP

    in having Hone stick araound as an independent, (and voting agin the ‘not the F&sA’)

    and even less advantage in fighting a by’lection (and losing).

    So what are they thinking?

    • infused 13.1

      Hardly. He’s a wanker. He needs to go jump of a cliff. All he brings to the table is a racial divide.

      • Bright Red 13.1.1

        “All he brings to the table is a racial divide.” and a vote for the Key led government

      • pollywog 13.1.2

        i think you’ll find it’s a cultural divide infused, and it needs to be bridged if we want to move forward as one nation

        • Colonial Viper

          and it needs to be bridged if we want to move forward as one nation

          Gotta figure out how much people really want this. I have a feeling that some people are keen only as long as this happens strictly on their terms.

          Before we talk about any constitutional review BS we have to start a discussion on this. Not just cultural and racial divides, but socioeconomic divides as well.

        • infused

          Nope. He’s a racist.

      • Pascal's bookie 13.1.3

        “All he brings to the table is a racial divide.”

        Yeah, those iwi/kiwi billboards of his were were pretty self explanatory on that score.

      • travellerev 13.1.4

        No actually I agree with Bomber. Turia and Scharples are so far up National’s ass they are almost invisible and Maori and believe it or not a lot of Pakeha losing their jobs and being squeezed in the coming depression (which unlike the predictions is far from over) will need voices like Hone’s standing up to them against the fat cats culling the services and support for the poor of this country.

  12. bomber 14

    I’m sorry, what? Hone brings racism with him? And what exactly does Winston Peters and Michael Laws bring then? If National win in 2011, our nation will be damaged beyond repair, you would skip a chance of defeating the Government by betting on NZ First over and above a new left wing party? Come on, only ACT Party acolytes are that wide eyed.

  13. prism 15


    you would skip a chance of defeating the Government by betting on NZ First over and above a new left wing party

    Are you saying that pragmatically, to deal down the NACTs this year, that it is better to embrace NZ First or better to get behind a new, unproved left party in the hope that they can make enough impact on the bewildered voters to get 5% or an electorate. The more I write, the less I feel that a new left party would achieve much in its first election.

    captcha – creatures – as in voters are creatures of habit, or have we evolved to cr..s of hobbit?

    • Pascal's bookie 15.1

      Way I see it, if you want a Labour led govt that’s leans more to the left, you want to see them aligning with folks to their left. For that to happen they need firstly for those left wing parties to exist, and secondly to get the message from their (Labour’s) base that aligning with centrists will see the base move to the left parties.


      If labour doesn’t want people that value identity issues, they will lose them, and see how far they get.

      You beat rednecks by aggravating and confronting them. Appeasing them never works.

    • bomber 15.2

      Well your comment at least proves you haven’t actually read my post. A New Left Party wouldn’t have to get over 5% now would it prism? Hone’s electorate seat would pull a sub 5% threshold, a new left party is only looking for 3-4% and it gets representation. The more I write to explain the obvious the more I realize how slow my comrades on the left are.

      • prism 15.2.1

        Bomber – I may be slow but ‘my comrades on the left’ ain’t necessarily so! And to be fair, to me, I did say to get 5% or an electorate. so allowed for Hone winning an electorate and carrying the party with him. I do understand that thanks.

        So you think he would win his electorate seat, and be another charismatic person who can build on it to create the commitment of a sector of voters? Anderton wasn’t able to do it with old-time labourites but Hone appeals to the idealists and the stroppy, and the disaffected amongst Maori and they still have a basis for concern, despite Treaty settlements.

        • Draco T Bastard

          Anderton went right along with the rest of the Labour Party – he just did it a couple of years later.

          • prism

            Draco TB – Anderton I think made a pragmatic decision that worked for him. His ‘cloth cap’ support continued in Sydenham, despite labour voters in the rest of the country (probably older) not getting behind him in notable numbers. He initiated useful, good things for the country while with Labour so achieved and made his mark.

            The Maori Party has the social welfare funding to show, and this may just redirect part of the present Budget vote not be new money, what else have they achieved? The foreshore was a bone of contention that has been temporarily buried, not finished satisfactorily to anyone I think.

  14. JonL 16

    Hmmm…my Maori cuzzies over here in Aus. are all supporting Hone (these are ordinary, working, thinking, Maori). They don’t like where Turiana and Pita have taken the party and reckon that Hone is the only one left with any Mana at all. I tend to agree. I’m not voting Maori Party this time unless there’s a radical shakeup in their outlook!

    • Bright Red 16.1

      even if you support the Maori Party don’t give them your party vote, just candidate vote. They get more seats through winning electorates than their party vote gets them anyway – so giving them your party vote won’t help them win more seats.

      If you give your party vote to your second favourite party instead, you might help them win an extra seat – it’s like two votes for the price of one.

  15. gobsmacked 17

    Despite all the frothing, the situation’s pretty straightforward.

    Hone Harawira will retain his seat, whether he’s in the Maori Party or not.

    If Key or Goff need his vote, they’ll come calling, whether he’s in the Maori Party or not.

    But the likely outcome is that they won’t need that one vote. Either National will have the numbers (including the Maori Party Ministers, who will happily take the baubles at a bargain price), or Winston will get 5% and will veto Hone anyway.

    The Labour-Green-Maori Party majority (with no Winston) was a nice idea, but Sharples and Turia have made it clear they’ll be National’s bitch, there’s no point deluding ourselves any more on that one. The Foreshore & Seabed fiasco has proved that once and for all. Labour are now offering repeal, which is what the Maori Party was formed to achieve. But Sharples and Turia would rather vote for the FSA, under a different coloured wrapping paper.

    So the Maori Party is dead, it’s just going to have a very slow and bitter tangi.

    • Richard 17.1

      But the likely outcome is that they won’t need that one vote….

      If Harawira launches a party then he will be more than one vote — he will pull others into parliament, much like Hide does/did.

  16. bomber 18

    The possibility of a new left party with Hone, Matt and Sue just led One Network News tonight, perhaps our comrades in Labour need to sense the opportunity some are working hard to present to them to stop this Government?

    • The Voice of Reason 18.1

      I didn’t see One News, but on their website there’s a clip that looks like it might be tonight’s news:


      They lead with a story about Hone’s attack on his colleagues and their complaint in response. Note the first frame which shows Hone and the MP logo, not Hone, Sue and Matt. So not actually about the possibility of a new left party, though it does get a mention at the arse end of the story.

      The only winner if a new left party is actually formed is going to be the right. The left needs to remember that divide and conquer works best when it happens to your opponent’s team, not your own.

      • bomber 18.1.1

        3.5% will gain 5 mps, that’s hardly divide and conquer now is it voice of reason?

      • Colonial Viper 18.1.2

        The left needs to remember that divide and conquer works best when it happens to your opponent’s team, not your own.

        Oh, you fear that our strongly left political parties who may be weakened by the vote splitting actions of Hone, Sue and Matt? Which ones?

    • Gotham 18.2

      Bomber, respectfully, I have to say that there is one big reason why I wouldn’t support your enthusiasm for a new left party relying on Hone’s electorate seat.

      For me, the biggest sham of our current setup of MMP is that an individual, with no national support, can win an electorate seat and thus not only enter parliament, but with only a fraction of party votes, sneak in a handful of other MPs. (In other words: ACT; Peter Dunne)

      I am hoping that after the election this year MMP will be taken to review, and it is cleaned up so this can’t happen. How this would effect Maori seats (which actually I do support), I don’t know. But in principle I do not support the notion that an electorate MP can bring in other MPs when they have only a tiny party vote – and then, like ACT, be in a position to hold a significant balance of power even though there is no mandate for their party policies.

      Caveat: I am a Green voter, and I get the irony that my party only entered parliament on the back of Jeanette’s win. But, I believe the Greens have proved themselves since, with gaining over the threashold at each election, that we deserve to be representing in the House of Representatives.

      • Marty G 18.2.1

        re your caveat: the greens won 5.11% in 1999, they didn’t need fitzsimmons to win in the end.

        re your substantive point: what you have to remember is that the 5% threshold is actually a weakening of the concept of proportional representation – a truly proportional system has no threshold. the justification for having a threshold at all when mmp was introduced in west germany was to stop neonazi parties getting a toehold (their threshold is 4%, btw).

        here, there’s not really any justification except that a party below this threshold somehow isn’t popular enough – why 5.11% is popular enough but 4.8% isn’t is beyond me.

        by allowing a party to get proportionality if it gets an electorate, the system that, despite not reaching the arbitrary level of 5% the party does actually have significant support – enough to win an electorate.

        • Gotham

          Yes, good points.

          But Hide only wins Epsom because Nation lets him, because it is beneficial to them for reasons a, b, c, d, etc., etc. That’s a manipulation of electorial representation. And for me, the focus on electorates is a hangover from our provincial political system of the late 1800s-early 1900s before party politics became more ingrained. I support a balance, which is why I like the lowering of the threshold.

          • Draco T Bastard

            And National let Hide win Epson because he would bring in 3 or 4 more seats for them. After all, there’s no way that ACT is going into coalition with anyone else especially now that they’ve become even more authoritarian than National.

            And, yes, electorates are a hang over from the 19th century. I’d prefer going full proportional and having no electorate voting.

          • Pete

            Hide wins Epsom because enough individual voters let him. The same way that Anderton has been winning Wigram. Parties offer their candidates, voters decide.

            You could as easily accuse the voters of Epsom of manipulation. And party lists. And every choice of electorate candidate.

        • Geoffrey

          The German threshold is also 5%.

      • bomber 18.2.2

        Valid stance Gotham, here’s my stance – I DO NOT WANT NATIONAL TO WIN 2011, if they do, they will deliver a level of cuts to welfare that will decimate the communities of the most vulnerable in this country. I find it despicable that the poor have to do with less because of a global economic crash that has been caused by unregulated corporate greed, 3.5% is all a new left party would require to be able to bring in the 5 extra MP’s for a Labour-Green-Maori Party-New Left coalition to be able to actually implement a left wing agenda.

        Aren’t you as a Green party member sick of not having your policy actually implemented? We face a unique economic crises similar to 1929, the only answer National has to this crises is austerity and public service cuts when the public increasingly need those services.

        Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party need some new friends or National win, and Hone, Sue and Matt are far better friends than Winston Peters and Michael Laws.

        It’s as simple as that.

        • Gotham

          For sure Bomber, I totally agree, I hate National as much as you, for all the same reasons.

          However, I also think that the Greens are the party with the most to lose from the formation of a new left party. I believe they would bleed votes off the Greens more than any other party, and the Greens NEED to achieve that 10% dream. They need every single party vote they can get.

          Maybe Hone should jump over to the Greens?? (I ask with a sneaky little smile) The Greens are missing a Hone at the moment, as they slip alarmingly to the blue-green (in my opinion, and inspite of that, I am still voting Green) – someone to remind them of why they are there in the first place – to campaign fearlessly for the environment and social justice and stop trying to compromise in order to win approval from the ‘mainstream’. Sigh. Sometimes I really miss Sue B and Nandor…and Jeanette….and Rod….

          • bomber

            I’d love to wait around till the Greens gain 10% – but let’s be honest, do either of us think they will gain 10% this year?

            • Gotham

              Hmmmm….now you’re really asking me the hard question….

              I think we should aim for 10%. I think we can achieve it. But, to be honest, even if we did achieve it after this election I don’t think we would know what to do with it…I don’t totally support the direction of the leadership, and some of the new faces in the candidate pool make me feel a bit uncomfortable, and though I think there are a couple of great MPs there now (Hague, Hughes, and to an extent Delahunty) I think by and large we aren’t actually ready for real power and influence. Kind of like we are in the final year of high school, but not quite ready for university yet. BUT. NEXT election…after another term of experience and strategy building….

              But you’re right. Another 3 years of National is intolerable.

              Still I stand by my point. A new left party will hurt the Greens more than anyone else.

      • mickysavage 18.2.3

        If Parliament followed the Royal Commission’s suggested threshold of 4% then many of these problems would disappear.

  17. Jenny 19

    Hone Harawira is being censured for giving voice to a simple truth.

    ‘If the Maori Party stay with National through a second term they are finished as a political force.’

    Surely even Tariana Turia realises this as a likelyhood?

    So why would Tariana Turia want to stay in a coalition with a National Government when the likely result will be to decimate her party?

    History gives us a clue.

    In 2002 the Leader of the Alliance Jim Anderton took actions which destroyed his own Party to stay in Coalition with the Labour Government.

    The issue that caused him to collapse his party was Anderton’s refusal to back the Alliance Party’s directive to the Alliance caucus, to vote against the deployment of NZ troops to the Afghanistan war.

    Without the support of the Alliance MPs the Clark government was looking to the National Party and ACT for the necessary votes for the war. Something that they were reluctant to do.

    Despite the Alliance Party membership’s overwhelming opposition to this war, under pressure from the government, Anderton took it on himself to over rule his party’s governing body, the National Council. To get his way Anderton gutted his party’s internal democratic process, effectively wrecking it’s internal organisation.

    So why did Jim Anderton drive his own party onto the rocks?

    In my opinion the reason is this:

    Like Tariana Turia, Jim Anderton had a personal project that he was personally identified with, that needed the support of the government to be carried through. For Tariana Turia, no doubt it is Whanau Ora. For Jim Anderton it was Kiwi Bank.

    No doubt, both very worthy projects. And probably in the minds of both leaders worth sacrificing their membership’s support for.

    Like Turia, Anderton was able to carry the majority of his caucus MPs with him in defying his membership’s wishes. (For their pains, they all lost their seats in the collapse in Alliance membership and voter support).

    Is this, the future for the Maori Party?

    Will the flax roots membership of the Maori Party have a say in the matter?

    Will unlike the Alliance experience, will the flax roots be listened too?

    There is the very real possibility, that if the Maori Party membership come down on the side of Harawira in the upcoming hui, the Maori Party Caucus members will reverse their direction, and heed their members wishes.

    “History doesn’t repeat, I tell myself…..”, Split Enz.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      …will the flax roots be listened too?

      So far I haven’t seen any such listening from the Maori Party and I doubt they do any more at a hui. The only people they seem to be listening to ATM are NACT and the Maori business elite.

    • Bill 20.1

      What’s with the word ‘new’? Doesn’t that suggest that there is a party of the left in existence at the moment. (I should probably have added the word ‘viable’ in there somewhere, but hey.)

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