- Date published:
8:42 am, January 24th, 2017 - 81 comments
Categories: election 2017, mana, mana-party, Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats - Tags: maori party, Maori seats, morgan godfery, ratana, ratana church
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.