Maori Party’s prognosis ‘grim’

Written By: - Date published: 10:52 am, May 17th, 2011 - 14 comments
Categories: mana-party, maori party - Tags: ,

Morgan Godfery’s blog Maui Street is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand Maori politics. His latest post provides a fascinating insight into the decline of the Maori Party.

It’s not just the polls showing the Mana Party supplanting them that should be of concern. Not only have they lost their last supporter in the blogosphere, but

The same is true in the mainstream media. Rawiri Taonui, who is perhaps the most prominent Maori political commentator, expressed roundabout support for Te Mana. Willie Jackson, who regularly offers commentary on Maori politics, has also expressed support for Te Mana.

If it were just media figures and the blogosphere wavering it would be manageable, but the MP’s bleeding even its most dedicated activists.

Some of the party’s most experienced and talented activists have switched allegiances. Think Annette Sykes, Potaua from, Tim Selwyn and so on. Maintaining a core of experienced activists would have guaranteed the party’s short term survival at least. But now they must rely on the National Party and a small faction of loyalists to, among other things, run campaigns, draft advice and organise party events.

To be fair, National’s been running the Maori Party’s media messaging for a while now. It goes back at least a year before the emergence of the Mana Party, possibly two. There’s a reason Hone called the MP “‘the Maori translation service of the National Party”.

Morgan continues:

Ultimately the Maori Party does not have the numbers on the ground. The party’s academics have also dropped away, for example Moana Jackson and Margaret Mutu. The Maori Party must now rely on their parliamentary staff to perform extra-parliamentary work, such as policy formulation. Lastly, Electorate branches in Te Tai Tokerau and Waiariki are in tatters. The party never created a youth branch, they have no presence on university campuses (where a wealth of talent can be tapped) and membership is declining as former supporters chose not to renew their membership. The prognosis is grim.

Fascinating stuff – and potentially fatal at election time.

It’s hard to see where the MP can go from here. Its support for a National administration that is more explicitly neoconservative by the day and its refusal to rule out a coalition with Brash aren’t doing it any favours. An assertive tack to the Left to shore up its support would seem the logical course of action, but Turia will never let that happen.

The likelihood is that as the  party’s support base crumbles it’ll find itself increasingly reliant on organisational support from National and financial support from business donors. This can only strengthen the MP’s drift to the Right and further alienate its support base. I wouldn’t want to announce the death of the Maori Party yet, but it does give off the feel of a party in terminal decline.

14 comments on “Maori Party’s prognosis ‘grim’”

  1. richard bartlett 1

    I’m not rich, or a gambler, but I’d be very interested in anyone who’s offering anything better than evens that MP won’t be “Gone by Lunchtime”.

  2. …wonder what the iwi leader’s group’s take on the Mana party is and who they’re going to throw their support behind ?

    • Terry 2.1

      Their support is with Maori Party, even iwi leadership is in the same barrel as the Maori Party – out of touch?

  3. terryg 3

    sorry about the pedanticism, but its Morgan Godfery. Yep, it really does look like a typo.

    • Cheers, terry. The spelling gets everyone.

      • r0b 3.1.1

        fixed – sorry!

      • terryg 3.1.2

        Hi Morgan,

        I must confess. When I first saw a reference to your blog (danyl, I/S or Kiwipolitico, I forget which) I, being the pedant wot I is, immediately spotted the typo. then followed the link. at which point it became clear that I am an idiot. pretty funny really, given that I have a family name that nobody seems able to spell. I think I should change my given name to “family” 😀

        good blog BTW.

        • Morgan Godfery

          Thanks, terry. Quite often when filling out forms and what not people have had the nerve to tell me I’ve spelt my own surname wrong. Happens all of the time.

          But anyway, I should get to the topic of this post. The Maori Party is gone post 2014. They don’t have a succession plan, they’re not replenishing the rank and file and the iwi leaders won’t reach into their pockets.

  4. Draco T Bastard 4

    It’s hard to see where the MP can go from here.

    Taking into account the motions of the planets (Including all retrograde planets), sun and stars and the signs of the Zodiac that they’re passing through, analysis of the Maori Parties present trajectory indicates that it’s headed for the Dustbin of History.

    • terryg 4.1

      a shame really. I had high hopes for them at first. Of course as a Pakeha my opinion of the MP is worthless, but I’d hoped they would sort out the S&F issue properly – ‘cos i figure if Maori did get control of the F&S then they would be far, far less likely to sell the bloody thing to multinational corporations – unlike NACT.

      • Ron 4.1.1

        It IS a shame but I for one will be glad to see the back of them. Turia is going through the non-profit sector like a dose of salts cutting all sorts of great programmes to focus on her vague, untried whanau ora ideas. She’s a bully and a shallow thinker. They’ve supported some appalling legislation and they didn’t get what they stood in the first place to get – a decent result on the F&S.

        I don’t make many accurate predictions in politics but i said at the beginning that i didn’t think they’d go with the Tories because it’d be the end oif them. they did – and I think it’s the end of them, thank god.

  5. richard bartlett 5

    The MP adventure has demonstrated that if you lie down with dogs, you’ll wake up with fleas.
    The much touted (and apparently popular) idea that merely being in opposition is useless has now surely been put to bed.
    You stick with what you believe, in opposition, no matter how long it takes, not only because that is the honorable thing to do but because it frees you to stick
    to your guns and say what you believe to be true.
    No-one can escape the reality of Thesis, Antithesis, & Synthesis.
    We hang together, or we hang separately.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Via the MP a section of Maori have had a chance to ‘make their own mistakes’ and while they have done so royally I take no great pleasure from it. Why would it be good that maori in general terms are worse off than before the MP went with National/ACT? One can only imagine what awfulness Shonkey and Rodders used to express behind Pita and Tari’s backs.

    What I do take pleasure in though is the ideological hit that ‘identity’ politics has sustained. The MP will ultimately be dispatched by that embarrassing long stay guest-the class nature of society.

  7. polly 7

    we dont think maui street is that expreienced at all

    – -he has made some immature statements and when we saw him on the telly – it confirmed our suspicions.

    here are other people who write better than mauri street

    we dont read his collum anymore

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