Māori politics – “don’t believe the hype”

Written By: - Date published: 8:42 am, January 24th, 2017 - 81 comments
Categories: election 2017, mana, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats - Tags: , , , ,

Totally unexpected in an election year, but Te Ururoa Flavell is making a play for the Māori seats. Here’s Mihingarangi Forbes on RNZ:

Flavell: ‘Times have moved on’ from historic Rātana-Labour link

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has denounced the historic political tie between Rātana and the Labour Party and is proclaiming a new unified Māori movement.

Speaking at Rātana Pā yesterday, Mr Flavell, supported by hundreds from the Kīngitanga, various Māori organisations and Mana leader Hone Harawira, made a direct and convincing play for Rātana’s political support. …

Exactly what he should be doing of course. It involves a political lifeline for Hone Harawira:

Mr Flavell said he was ready for a new unified Māori movement.

“Now is the time for us to make that a reality. One political movement under a Māori Party banner, which will pull back those seats from Labour and stay in kaupapa Māori hands forever.”

Accompanying Te Ururoa Flavell to Rātana was Mana Party leader Hone Harawira. “We started off with an agreement for Tai Tokerau and Waiariki not to stand against one another in those two seats and looking at what’s going to happen in the other seats,” said Mr Harawira.

Message for Mr English:

One thing the two Māori parties agree on is that the Prime Minister should attend Waitangi. “Any man who purports to be the leader of the nation should front at the birthplace of the nation and if he can’t he’ll never really be a leader,” said Mr Harawira.

So is this the dawn of a new day for Māori politics? I’m not qualified to comment in depth, but Morgan Godfery had some thoughts on the matter last month:

Behold, Māori politics’ great realignment. Or, don’t believe the hype

Talk of a resurgent Mana Party, unshackled from Dotcom and buoyed by a Māori Party pact, has prompted suggestions of a new order in Māori politics. Morgan Godfery explains why he’s just not buying it

What most Pākehā don’t understand because they don’t know history and what the Māori Party refuse to acknowledge because it’s inconvenient is Labour has always occupied “the centre” in Māori politics, usually with the conservative and rurally dominated Māori Council to the right and the progressive Māori Women’s Welfare League and trade unions to the left. Sometimes Māori in Labour shift left, as they did under the old trade unionist and legendary radical Matiu Rata, other times they return to the centre as under Koro Wētere and Dover Samuels, and today they occupy the soft left (thanks in part to former Māori Women’s Welfare League life member Parekura Horomia).

Labour understands its place yet the Māori Party is stuck in a tight knot, slumped over the Cabinet table in a cold sweat as its co-leaders figure out how to reconcile the tension of their insider-outsider status. If a “realignment” or “reordering” is happening it will only happen after Flavell and Fox have squared their status as a party of government with their positions outside of Cabinet. It’ll happen when they reconcile their status as leaders of a parliamentary party with the social movement they came from. It’ll happen when they can, as Sir Āpirana Ngata once put it, “reinterpret the Māori point of view to Pākehā power.” …

Plenty more interesting background in that piece. A difficult sell for the Māori party after propping up a destructive National government for so long.

81 comments on “Māori politics – “don’t believe the hype””

  1. The realignment is happening and will be presented as such to Māori and anyone else that is interested. Many will like it and vote for it. The past will be reconciled for the future. And of course it will all be seen as shocking by the commentariat. Prob lots of insults and sellout talk which many Māori just smile at because the hypocrisy drips off those who really just want slave votes not partnership votes.

    • Chris 1.1

      “Prob lots of insults and sellout talk which many Māori just smile at because the hypocrisy drips off those who really just want slave votes not partnership votes.”

      But for the arrangement to work doesn’t it still mean the Mp needs to cut itself loose from the nats?

  2. michelle 2

    Its about time Mana and the Maori Party put there differences aside for the sake of our people who are suffering under the Tories. I am a Mana voter and have been since the foreshore and seabed debacle but I always use my vote to get two Maori in parliament so like many other Maori who have worked out MMP I split my vote.
    I am not very happy with our Labour Maori members at the moment I feel they aren’t working hard enough for our people especially when we see Maori such high incarceration rates for our men and women these numbers are disgusting and even English should be concerned but he isn’t despite saying building more prisons is a fiscal and moral failure . Unfortunately under his government these rates have increased as has other disturbing statistics like homelessness and P use amongst our people.
    I see a vote for English as a vote for the same old we have had almost 9 years of them and look at our beautiful country it is in a mess and we are now a very divided nation and I blame this on poor leadership and divisive leaders like Key who sprayed and walked away just like it was nothing after destroying the social fabric of our country and our people.

    • Nick 2.1

      Spray and walk away…. Very funny and so true Michelle. Very hard for Maori party to negotiate with a guy who believes in nothing, at least with English you know where he stands (which is fuck you Maori) …. ShonKey gave all of NZ the middle finger and ran off laughing to Hawaii….maybe middle NZ will realize this before the election.

      • michelle 2.1.1

        Just because I have voted for Hone in the past does not mean I will vote for him in the future if he hasn’t got his shit together and that is exactly how he talks so that’s what I’m saying. If he hasn’t got his act together and he has been a bit quiet as of late I will vote for who I think is best for our country ( based on policy not looks) and it certainly wont be Act or the nasty gnats they have done far too much damage to our country. We seem to have become a very shallow nation when Andrew Little has to change his appearance to appease people. For goodness sake its about policy not looks.

        • Leftie 2.1.1.2

          In what way has Andrew Little changed his appearance?

          • michelle 2.1.1.2.1

            his glasses have gone due to pressure about him being angry and the rhetoric about key being so good looking leftie. Its our NZ media they are nasty stirrers by the way who owns the media ?

            • Leftie 2.1.1.2.1.1

              But he is still wearing his glasses. Just posted to Marty. The photos of Andrew Little standing with Pike River families has him with glasses and one without. But what’s this thing about his appearance anyway? Seems a shallow thing to focus on.

              Maybe you have answered the question on the shallow focus, “Its our NZ media they are nasty stirrers” and probably NP supporters too.

  3. Infused 3

    He’s kidding himself.

  4. weka 4

    Metiria Turei has been selected to stand in Te Tai Tonga for the Greens.

    http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA1701/S00075/metiria-turei-selected-for-te-tai-tonga-electorate.htm

    GP strategy. Turei is not standing in Dunedin North, to let others come through (i.e. the longer term health of the party). Her standing in Te Tai Tonga is about the party vote primarily. The Greens came second in the party vote last time round.

    http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-70.html

    “When I was elected as a Green MP in 2002 I was our first and only Māori MP, now a third of our caucus are Māori, and we will be standing more Māori candidates in this election than ever before.”

    • adam 4.1

      I think if people were smart, Tāmaki Makaurau should be a Green seat. The list MP from there did well on a campaign of not looking for votes.

      The current MP has a inaccessible electoral office in Onehunga. And I’m lost for what he has done as a MP, at a utter loss. Maybe not the worst MP in the house, but just absent from the world in any meaningful manor. Like most of the governments MP’s, is he just turning up to eat lunch?

      • dukeofurl 4.1.1

        Well you are not Maori, so hes invisible to you. Whats wrong with Onehunga, Auckland is a big place and is fairly central.

        • adam 4.1.1.1

          Sorry, did you read what I said? His Onehunga office is inaccessible, do you know what that means? Do you even know he has another office in Glen Eden?

          So what media do you think I watch, read in NZ? Any guesses? Here a hint, they speak the other official language, and do a fair of reporting on Waka Ama. And no it’s not just one channel, or paper either. Try looking, a whole world of news out there that is invisible to those who don’t look. Nothing to do with culture/race. And it was there, I mentioned the absent Mr Henare. I’m not say he is invisible, it’s just hard to remember him saying anything or doing anything in 2016.

          But interesting you think I live in a white only world….I think you may be projecting.

  5. Anno1701 5

    Just more pointless Idpol

    gag…

  6. Stupid little hooking into the Māori Party. Some will never get it – just lost more votes for labour and the greens prob. Little using tactics of old useless strategy – failed then and now.

    • Leftie 6.1

      Can you elaborate on the “Little using tactics of old useless strategy” and “stupid little hooking into the Maori party”?

      • marty mars 6.1.1

        Can’t link, on phone. Little has attacked the MP saying that have done nothing for Māori etc

        He may notice who they are walking with and standing beside today and tomorrow because his spit lands on them too.

        He may consider that the MP are still getting votes from Māori.

        He may even notice the hypocracy of him saying that to Māori.

        IMO Māori aren’t impressed by Fred hair, black clothes and contact lenses.

        • Leftie 6.1.1.1

          Fred hair, black clothes and contact lenses?

          • marty mars 6.1.1.1.1

            He aint the fonz

            • Leftie 6.1.1.1.1.1

              I haven’t seen any recent photos where he looks like the Fonz. The photos of Andrew Little standing with Pike River families has him with glasses and one without. But what’s this thing about his appearance anyway? Seems a shallow thing to focus on.

        • red-blooded 6.1.1.2

          Marty, if Māori are so enamoured with the Māori Party, how come Labour was won back so many of the Māori seats?

          • Leftie 6.1.1.2.1

            Good point Red-Blooded, Labour holds 6 out of the 7 Maori seats. When I pointed that out last year, we had a big fight.

    • michelle 6.2

      yes agree marty mars he should be saying I will work with any party that wants to improve the lot of all NZers and that wants a change of direction and therefore government, he ( Little ) needs to be careful here. Mean while the gnats are busy quietly plotting away( there oppositions demise) as they have done in the last 3 election but their time is up. 3 termitis and a kick in the guts to too many NZers out they go hooray! cant wait for the day.

      • weka 6.2.1

        “yes agree marty mars he should be saying I will work with any party that wants to improve the lot of all NZers and that wants a change of direction and therefore government,”

        I agree. I haven’t seen what Little said yet, but I’m always suprised by this stance from Labour. It took them long enough to get on side with the Greens, you’d think they could apply the same thing here. On the other hand I think Labour feel an ownership of the Māori seats and thus go hard for them. FPP thinking.

        • Leftie 6.2.1.1

          I have posted excerpts from an interview “Waatea 5th Estate – Labour vs NZ First – the fight for Maori votes” @ 6.3.2

      • Tamati Tautuhi 6.2.2

        Try NZF appear to be reasonably balanced.

        • weka 6.2.2.1

          A vote for NZF risks a 4th term National govt.

          • Leftie 6.2.2.1.1

            Will people feel the same about the Maori party?

          • Tamati Tautuhi 6.2.2.1.2

            Highly unlikely Winston will go with National however I believe he will pick up a good percentage of disillusioned former National Party votes. National and Jenny Shipley shafted him after the first MMP Election and I am sure it is still raw in the back of his mind.

            • weka 6.2.2.1.2.1

              Nevertheless, irrespective of what any of us believe about what he will do the only thing we know for certain is that he won’t rule out supporting a 4th National term. So any left winger voting for him is risking that. I don’t see the point unless one is ok with him doing that.

          • James 6.2.2.1.3

            I reckon it almost gaurentees it.

    • bwaghorn 6.3

      What else was he to do when the maori party have stuck to national no matter what , and when the made their highly organised preemptive strike with the nats and that crook tuku yesterday?

      • marty mars 6.3.1

        He didnt need to DO anything. Doing something was too risky unless the result is actually what you wanted.

      • Leftie 6.3.2

        +1 BWaghorn.

        Andrew Little: “Labour has been careful to essentially grade their co-operation based on how willing to oppose the government each party has been, so the Māori Party hasn’t been outright attacked like it was under Clark, but Labour is also saying, we’re not sure a vote for them will change the government”

        Andrew Little: “There cant just be a change of a line up with the National party leading it. There’s got to be a change in government, change in values, a change in real policies, that’s going to deliver more housing, affordable housing, a better education system, a health system where people can get the health care that they need, a police department that can actually do the job of responding to burglaries and keeping people safe…”

        Andrew Little: “I’m saying that we will work with parties that are serious about changing the government and getting a change that’s going to give everybody a better chance including Maori.”

        Willy Jackson: “So you’re not ruling out the Maori party?”

        Andrew Little: “Well, I don’t see that… they’ve been shackled to the National government for the last 8 years… I can’t see.. they don’t represent, to me the Maori party don’t represent change, in the end the voters will decide the make up of parliament, but we will campaign, I will campaign on, if you want to change what’s happening now, you got to change the government, so you’ve got to vote for the party of change”

        (Willy Jackson continually interrupted Andrew Little)

        Andrew Little: “Let the voters decide, but we are the party of change, the Greens are a party of change, that’s what we are committed to, lets see what the voters turn up at the parliament and if we are in a position to do so, we will talk to those interested in fundamentally changing what the story is now.. We know who those parties of change are, right now.”

        Andrew Little: “They’ve [Maori Party] shackled themselves to the National government for the last 8 years, they are as responsible as any National mp for the failure of people to get affordable houses, a decent education and all those other issues.. They’re not, right now if I think about the radar, about the parties of change, they are not on it”

        Waatea 5th Estate – Labour vs NZ First – the fight for Maori votes

        <a href="http://thedailyblog.co.nz/2016/08/30/waatea-5th-estate-labour-vs-nz-first-the-fight-for-maori-votes/

        Tuku Morgan is ex NZ First. Winston Peters didn’t say very nice things about him back in 1998.

        <a href="https://fmacskasy2.files.wordpress.com/2012/09/peters-sorry-about-coalition-nzpa-14-september-1998.jpg

  7. Morrissey 7

    Māori politics can only get better now that THIS waste of space, this wairangi huakore, this hoha is gone….

    http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-4D-i1gbnwuc/UXM5iHqrGwI/AAAAAAAAJFI/ZgXMbyPhX9A/s1600/Tau+Henare+Gone.jpg

  8. Brutus Iscariot 8

    Gareth Morgan just called WP an “Uncle Tom”.

    Faeces hitting spinning blades in 3…2…1

  9. Leftie 9

    “However, it’s hard to shake the feeling they would prefer to pick up where they leave off with the current government.”

    <a href="http://www.stuff.co.nz/national/politics/87761273/Maori-Party-Dynamic-duo-make-some-noise-in-2016-and-stay-on-the-hunt-for-election-year

  10. bwaghorn 10

    What would the mp numbers be for labour if they lost three maori seats but got the same party vote in the GE?

    • weka 10.1

      Afaik the number of list seats just goes up, so the overall numbers stay the same. But it’s the relationship between electorate voting and party voting that’s also important (hence the Greens campaign in some electorates to increase their party vote), and Labour historically have had strong ties to Māoridom via the Māori seats they held.

      • bwaghorn 10.1.1

        cheers
        I just can’t see Hone going with the nats, so all may not be lost if mp /mana get a few seats , lab/greens/mp/mana , would be far better than anything including nzf

        • weka 10.1.1.1

          yep. Which is why Little should have played this one more canny IMO. But maybe it can still work out that way.

          • bwaghorn 10.1.1.1.1

            What did he say that was untrue ? the maori party have gained fuck all and stood mute while their people have stood still at best, no jobs no houses no health , i used to agree with Mr Sharples about being in the tent but being in the tent with key has castrated the mp .

            • BM 10.1.1.1.1.1

              National never needed the Maori party to govern.

              He invited them in because he thought they could help Maori do better.

            • weka 10.1.1.1.1.2

              It’s not that it’s untrue, it’s that I want Labour to build good working relationships with all their potential allies.

              • Leftie

                It appears Labour is building good relationships with it’s allies, but it doesn’t look like Labour see the Maori party as a potential ally though, and the Maori party haven’t helped in that regard either.

                • weka

                  Apart from the Greens, who is Labour building good relationships with?

                  I’m happy to bang Labour and the Mp’s heads together, but I still think there is more onus on Labour to lead on this.

                  • bwaghorn

                    telling the mp they have gained nothing but 8 years of propping up a smoke and mirrors gov is leading , if people choose not to follow that is not Littles fault , sometimes you have to show your teeth, it’s up to the mp to choose their people over having the nats install a tame ruling elite faction of maori , which i bet was how it was done in the 1800’s

                  • Leftie

                    Why more onus on Labour? Would have thought the Maori party has equal responsibility too.

                  • bwaghorn

                    ”that’s all very well until we consider the Māori who voted for them”
                    Isn’t the whole point of electioneering to tell people that the other party they voted for is doing it wrong, it seems you think maori should be wrapped in cotton wool at all times.

                    • weka

                      Someone else said that about me recently, it’s a fundamental misunderstanding of my views.

                      “Isn’t the whole point of electioneering to tell people that the other party they voted for is doing it wrong,”

                      Depends. Would you apply that to Labour and the Greens?

                      IME the Greens prefer to work with people where they can. The whole hate ’em ’til they die thing is very old school.

                      I’m not in or around Māori culture enough to really have an opinion about this, but I also think there is something about loss of mana when you just criticise people all the time or damn them. If Labour want to hang on to the Māori seats at all costs that’s up to them. I think that Pākehā in general have a poor understanding of Māori politics, that Māori politics are not the same as Pākehā, and that we would be better off listening to what Māori are saying and doing and learning from that.

                      Personally, I’d like to see the Mp supporting a LW govt simply for the fact they are the only party in parliament arguing for lakes and rivers to be drinkable. That’s huge.

                    • bwaghorn

                      ” Would you apply that to Labour and the Greens?”
                      Yes it’s how a democracy works. although it’s better if it’s the genuine opposition is doing the attacking not two sides of the same coin fighting.

                      From the little i’ve seen of none political maori politics (ie farm trustees) it is held back by this need to protect mana/face and i’m betting real maori politics is the same.

                    • weka

                      so you don’t approve of the L/G MoU?

                      “Yes it’s how a democracy works. although it’s better if it’s the genuine opposition is doing the attacking not two sides of the same coin fighting.”

                      THat’s not democracy, that’s our parliamentary system. Doesn’t have to be that way, and yep, my point was that the Mp probably aren’t inherently opposed to the left. Let’s see what happens if they get the chance to support a LW govt or sit the next term out or choose National.

                    • bwaghorn

                      I wouldn’t think the mou will stop labour and the greens pulling each other’s policy apart but they also haven’t spent 8 years in support of the nats.
                      If they still hold true to Sharples words they want to be in the tent no matter what, but by lining up with english and the kings cronies the other day it sure looks like we know who’s team they are on.
                      A vote for mp is a vote for national, the lines are drawn imo

        • Leftie 10.1.1.2

          But publicly, it looks like the lines have already been drawn.

          “Opposition parties are today holding political talks at the Ratana Pa, the first big Maori event of the year.

          Labour, Greens the New Zealand First and Gareth Morgan’s Opportunities Party walked onto the pa together.
          The National-led Government and the Maori Party attended the Ratana commemorations yesterday.”

          <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11787705

  11. Leftie 11

    Audrey Young ‘s “The political dance begins at Ratana celebrations”

    “Labour faced criticism last year from Ratana speakers telling leader Andrew Little that he could not take Ratana for granted.

    Little said he had heeded that and he and the Maori caucus had worked on strengthening the relationship with Ratana.

    He described the Maori Party as “effectively the Maori branch of the National Party.”

    Asked if they would “last cab off the rank” if came to coalition building after this year’s election, he said: “Certainly after Greens and New Zealand[First].

    There’s whole collection, Maori and United Future, if they are still there. So they are certainly down the pecking order, that’s for sure.”

    <a href="http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=11786867

  12. Sad state of affairs… I voted for Mana last election,… how its all changed. Then again I also support aspects of NZ First ! and Labour ! ( some of them – not the neo liberals ! ) and the Greens ! There’s good people and policy’s in all of them.

    Hell ! – I even approved of Acts Seymour when he spoke out against govt surveillance of the NZ population – but that was the only time and I DEFINITELY wont ever vote for them !!!

    L0L!

    Basically any group or political party that addresses global neo liberalism and its negative effects on this country. Such a real pity the ‘ Left’ just cant seem to work it out together and reach some sort of consensus . Id like to see them all in somehow and National / Act forever gone !

    And any other vestige of international globalization for that matter.

    • billmurray 12.1

      WILD KATIPO,
      IMO you have hit the nail on the head in your reference to the neo liberals in the Labour party,
      The Maori party is enjoying their time with National and they care little about the accusation of sell-out, they and Tuku Morgan, who is the power behind the Maori King, are both astute enough to know that Labour is controlled by the neo liberal factions and they see little difference in policies between Labour / National. To them both parties are neo liberal policy driven. To them Labour is a National Lite party so why go for Lite when you can get full strength elsewhere.

      Labour has completely failed to show the Maori party and the wider electorate “real points of difference” between themselves and National.
      The Green party, particularly with James Shaw in co-leadership, want to be on government benches, with their feet under the caucus table. Shaw is not a hard left ideologue
      After 2 years, with a new leader, Labour are not making traction and seem to be fiddling while ‘Rome is burning’
      IMO unless Labour get markedly better results than in 2014 then the Maori party will be joined by the Greens with the Maori party policy adoption “feet under the table” as their mantle .

      • Nick 12.1.1

        Well, your guess is as good as everyone else’s Bill…. And that is not saying much.

        • billmurray 12.1.1.1

          Nick,
          well we will probably have to wait until the election, but surely you can agree that Labour need to do better than they are doing now and if 2017 is not markedly better for them, they are finished.
          There are no real ‘point of difference’s’.
          No real election issues firing the people

      • Leftie 12.1.2

        Lol @ BillM.

  13. millsy 13

    What has Labour done for Maori?

    State housing
    Uemployment benefits
    Free secondary education
    Free health care (absent in any iwi run health provider)
    40 hour week
    4 weeks paid leave
    5 days sick leave
    DPB
    Family Benefit
    Housing Corp Mortgages
    Maori Affairs housing loans
    Rural electrification
    Running water
    Sewerage schemes
    A standard of living equal to that of their Pakeha brethren.

    What has the Maori Party done?

    Privatisation
    Austerity

    ??

    • Jenny Kirk 13.1

      +100% Millsy.

      and by the way, why all this bashing of Labour from supposedly left-leaning posters?

      Haven’t you realised yet that Labour is not the enemy. The rightwing Nats with their sycophantic hangers on – Maori Party which now includes Mana – are the spoilers of our country.

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