Meka Whaitiri is moving to the Maori Party

Written By: - Date published: 10:15 am, May 3rd, 2023 - 138 comments
Categories: labour, Maori Issues, maori party, Maori seats - Tags:

Meka Whaitiri has quit Labour and confirmed that she will stand for the Maori Party in this year’s election.  She intends to stay on as an MP and sit with the Maori Party.

This is quite a coup by the Maori Party.

John Tamihere’s aide Joe Lose describes the background in this way:

While Meka Whaitiri will confirm that she has resigned from Labour and will stand for Te Pāti Māori at the next election, the ground work for the audacious coup for Te Pāti Māori dates back to 2018 when then Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern booted the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP out of Cabinet.

Whaitiri was dumped following allegations of bullying that were made by one of the MP’s staff members.

“While the facts are in dispute, the report says an incident occurred. Meka Whaitiri continues to contest details of the incident, but there are elements which are agreed,” Ardern said at the time.

That public demotion and outing opened the door for Te Pāti Māori to start talks with Whaitiri and others and the Herald understands the Ikaroa-Rāwhiti MP was almost persuaded to switch for the 2020 general election.

But Labour Māori strategist Willie Jackson managed to retain all the Māori MPs in the Labour tent, and eventually into another three years of government.

As mentioned she was previously the subject of an inquiry into an allegation that she had assaulted a staff member.  I thought her being stood down as a Cabinet Minister was appropriate and I am all for the ability for someone to redeem themselves as she had.

My sense is that over the past few years Labour relations with the Maori Party have improved significantly.  Time will tell how this affects this relationship.

In possibly related news it is rumoured that former Labour MP Louisa Wall will stand for the Maori Party in Manurewa.

Campaign debates will be interesting.  The parties of the right will be attempting to drum up resentment to co governance and the Maori Party will be insisting that it be respected on the basis of treaty obligations.

Hang in there, this election campaign just became a great deal more interesting.

Update:  There has been some conjecture that Whaitiri may have triggered section 55A of the Electoral Act and that her seat is now vacant.  No doubt highly paid lawyers are checking the terms of the letter now to see if it qualifies under Section 55B.  Labour has said that it will not invoke the Waka Jumping law.

138 comments on “Meka Whaitiri is moving to the Maori Party ”

  1. Cricklewood 1

    What chance the waka jumping legislation is enacted?

  2. Peter 2

    Meka Whaitiri is most likely a sort of 'forward scout.'

    She'll head over to the other side of House (today?) with the likelihood that her present cobbers will the joining her over that side later in the year.

    • James Simpson 2.1

      Willie and JT are as thick as thieves.

      Willie has had the rug pulled out from under him by Chippy of the TVNZ RNZ merger. Surely he will go to. He will have more leverage over with TMP in a coalition, than he does in Labour

  3. observer 3

    Headline coming soon: "List rankings row in TPM".

    Last time Debbie came in on the list. It would be funny if she won her electorate (probable) and Meka is ranked 3 or wins her seat. Nobody else would get a look-in.

  4. observer 4

    According to those better qualified than I am, Meka may now have accidentally resigned from Parliament …

    • Belladonna 4.1

      As far as I can see (and again, there are certainly others more qualified in constitutional law) – she's simply notified the Speaker that she's resigned from the Labour Party in Parliament. She remains the elected member for Ikaroa-Rawhiti. And may (or may not, I'm not sure on the exact wording) have notifed him that she wishes to be considered as a member of TPM.

      The Speaker, of course, needs to be officially notified, for things like parliamentary seating in the debating chamber, and ballots, etc.

      • mickysavage 4.1.1

        The terms of the letter will be all important but from what has been said about it the letter may comply.

        The relevant provisions state:

        55A Member of Parliament ceasing to be parliamentary member of political party

        (1) This section applies to every member of Parliament, except a member elected as an independent.

        (2) The seat of a member of Parliament to whom this section applies becomes vacant if the member of Parliament ceases to be a parliamentary member of the political party for which the member of Parliament was elected.

        (3) For the purposes of subsection (2), a member of Parliament ceases to be a parliamentary member of the political party for which the member of Parliament was elected only if—

        (a) the member of Parliament delivers to the Speaker a written notice that complies with section 55B; …

        And section 55B –

        A written notice under section 55A(3)(a) must—

        (a) be signed by the member of Parliament by whom it is given; and

        (b) be addressed to the Speaker; and

        (c) notify the Speaker that the member of Parliament—

        (i) has resigned from the parliamentary membership of the political party for which the member of Parliament was elected; or

        (ii) wishes to be recognised for parliamentary purposes as either an independent member of Parliament or a member of another political party.

        • Belladonna

          Seems that the Speaker is saying that because it was an email, it was therefore 'unsigned' so doesn't meet the criteria of being a 'letter'.

          I'd say, that's more than a bit shaky. But he gets to make the rulings.

          • joe90

            A dogs breakfast.

            Eddie Clark


            Oh boy. If this is in fact the case we are absolutely owed an explanation from both Whaitiri and the Speaker's office. Just wrote a column on government as a collective exercise in explanation/justification to citizens. Come on, Meka Whaitiri, front up and explain yourself.


            Golly gosh.


            reporting a source saying there might have been another letter that was somehow withdrawn — presumably one that might have uttered the magic words that would have created a vacancy.


            • observer

              I'll be furious if these rumours are accurate. Especially if Labour have somehow – inexplicably – tried to "save" Meka from herself. WTF?

              Hipkins being on the other side of the world doesn't help. He should be saying publicly that if National want to force a by-election then that's on them, because Labour will not bother putting up a candidate and National can explain the waste of time and money to the people trying to recover from the cyclone. The Nats would be fools to fall into that trap. Instead it looks like Labour are the fools, trying to dodge their own law.

              Get a spine, Labour.

            • Belladonna

              He's been given a grilling over the situation in Parliament. And looks as though he's dancing on the head of a pin to avoid the provisions of the waka jumping legislation.

              Rurawhe said he had not received any letter of resignation – signed or unsigned – but a message was sent by email.

              "I believe I followed the law to the letter, so when I tell this House I do not have a letter I actually mean it. What I have got is indication from the Honourable Meka Whaitiri that for Parliamentary purposes she has withdrawn her vote with the Labour Party," Rurawhe said.


              Opposition is (I believe) pushing for the email to be released.

              Pragmatically, it would probably be beneficial to Labour to expel Whaitiri – and notify the Speaker, thus turfing her out of the seat, and giving their own candidate a decent run-up to the election (a sitting MP has an enormous advantage).

              However, if they have one eye on working with TPM after the election, pissing them off, would be counter-productive. [BTW, that seems to only work one way TPM are entirely unworried about pissing off Labour]

              • observer

                Labour don't need to force the issue. The Speaker needs to explain (better than he has done so far) why Meka hasn't resigned.

                Above all, she needs to front. She is not explaining anything, and that feeds the suspicion that she cocked up her party hop, didn't understand the law.

                She sent a letter of resignation or she didn't. Either way we need to know.

        • lprent

          Seems extremely unshaky to me.

          You would be hard pushed in court to claim that a email is a letter or that merely writing and sending an email constitutes 'signing'.

          So in the absence of some other evidence, attempts to invoke the waka jumping legislation would just provide a complete waste of time and parlimentary resources in the courts.

          We are about 5- 6 months from the election. Let the votes sort it out.

    • mickysavage 4.2

      Oops. Looks like he is right. Could be a spectacular own goal …

  5. RedLogix 5

    Well if the woke left can happily embrace a political party solely dedicated to explicitly promoting the elite interests of the brown skin colour – what possible objection to anyone forming similar parties for yellow, black or white?

    Or would that just be too absurd?

    • Anne 5.1

      "Or would that just be too absurd?"

      At this point in time yes. Who knows what might happen in the distant future.

      The brown skin coloured Maori are an indigenous race. As such they are entitled to be treated as a special case. All the more so given the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi saw them subsequently betrayed by the white skinned immigrants who denuded them of large swathes of their land and, in general terms, treated them poorly for many decades to come. It is a huge part of the reason why Maori make up the majority proportion (in relative terms) of poor people today. And we all know the effect poverty has had on subsequent generations.

      Whether you agree with their political ideology or not doesn't take away their right to have their own political party where they can stand up to the tyranny of the 'conquerors' and seek better terms and conditions for themselves.

      • RedLogix 5.1.1

        The brown skin coloured Maori are an indigenous race.

        As far as I can tell all humans are indigenous one way or another. We're all citizens of the planet, we all migrated out of Africa, we just arrived in different locations at different times.

        The word indigenous is not some magical talisman that elevates any single group of people above another. The concept has some utility when considering say, the extremely vulnerable state of previously uncontacted tribal groups in the Amazon, or a handful of very remote locations – but for all practical purposes in the modern world it really does not qualify anyone as a "special case".

        All the more so given the signing of the Treaty of Waitangi saw them subsequently betrayed by the white skinned immigrants who denuded them of large swathes of their land and, in general terms, treated them poorly for many decades to come.

        A copy book university derived interpretation of the Treaty that has been indoctrinated across middle class kiwis as a means of guilting us into compliance. As I have mentioned a few times, I had the chance to listen in the 80's to kaumatua speaking on their own marae, deep in rural settings, well away from any university, activist influences. This was not how they spoke of the Treaty.

        Rather they were very aware of the mass tribal wars and devasting genocides that preceded the arrival of the British. They were very conscious of how citizenship in the British Empire – the superpower of that century – was a remarkable deal that protected them from all manner of much worse things that could have befallen them. And while they were vividly conscious that the 19th century colonial govt failed all too often enough to live up to their ideals – they also recognised that Maori leadership themselves had plenty to answer for as well. There was both good and bad actions on both sides – and the best we could hope for was to be reconciled to the deeds of our ancestors.

        In other words they were realists, accepting that politics of any kind is never perfect, but that on balance the benefits of the Treaty and the arrival of the democratic nation state benefitted all. Listening to them, I sensed that all they really wanted was respect for who they were as a living part of New Zealand society, and the opportunity to prevent their language and culture from dying out. This always seemed eminently reasonable to me.

        What has always struck me as dangerously unreasonable is the more recent activist re-writing of our history, exploiting it to promote social division and a means to obtain first moral, and then political power on a purely racial basis. Nothing good will come of this.

        • AB

          The indigeneity of Maori (or 'prior indigeneity' if that makes you happier) can stand for any of these three things: nothing, everything, or something.

          You have gone for the 'nothing' option, which seems to me ahistorical and irresponsible. There will be a few Maori sovereignty activists who go for the 'everything' option – which is also amusingly ahistorical and practically useless. The correct answer is of course 'something' – and that 'something' is what we are still in the process of painfully working out in a way that makes no-one feel alienated. We will need every scrap of luck going to get it right, which makes extreme opinions so maddening.

          • tsmithfield

            Thanks for a reasoned response to RL, rather than frothing at the mouth, as the tendency for some would be.

            I believe categorising any group of people as disadvantaged on the basis of their ethnicity is in itself a racist thing to do. Because, it is making a generalised negative statement about a whole group of people on the basis of their race.

            That basically is what racism is, so far as I understand it. So, it implies that if someone is of a particular racial background, they must be poor and disadvantaged, whereas, someone from the "advantaged" group must be better off due to having come from that race.

            However, in reality we find that isn't true. There will usually be many successful people from the "disadvantaged" group who have been highly successful and resent being stigmatised in that way. And vice versa.

            This approach also leads to inequitable outcomes.

            I have always believed that the best approach is to target help on the basis of need. Then if particular races are more highly represented in the needy group, they will get most of the help. But, those from the "advantaged'' group who may be equally needy will also get what they need.

            • Descendant Of Smith

              It is a bit like seeing higher crime rates for Maori and thinking it is because they are Maori when it is more a factor of crime being something more young people do and they have a much younger population.

              In all OECD countries crime rates were highest when the mainly European baby boomers were young.

              I recall seeing the deeds of some of the youth institutions back in the 80's that clearly stated they were initially set up for the Irish Catholic kids who were getting in trouble. Yet another cycle of separation from culture that took several generations to pull back from..


            • pat

              May I ask your age tmsmithsfield?

            • Anne

              … rather than frothing at the mouth, as the tendency for some would be.

              If you regard my 5.1 as "frothing at the mouth" tsmithfield then you are badly mistaken. It is a valid contribution even if you and others don't want to accept it as such.

              I respect your contributions on this site, even if I disagree with some of them, because I know them to be thoughtful and honestly held. I expect the same courtesy in return.

              • tsmithfield

                I never thought yours was "frothing at the mouth". I thought you put forward your position in a polite and well thought manner.

                But comments where people use expletives without providing any justification for their view is more akin to frothing at the mouth IMO.

                I had more in mind the comment from Adam in that respect at 5.2.

                • adam

                  Them respond to me. Stop the bs politics or can't you handle the rough and tumble.

                  The act line of Māori seats and a Māori party is racist – is just bullshit I'd expect from them, but it seems so many liberals have the same shit running around their heads as well. Who would have thought.


                  • RedLogix

                    The logic of the now very conventional idea that Maori enjoy superior political and legal rights by virtue of having arrived first in New Zealand skates on some very thin ice indeed.

                    For example most European people in NZ can trace their family arrival here well before most Chinese or Indians. Your logic would suggest these people should be relegated to third class citizenship status. Maybe they should be reduced to guest workers and not even be allowed to vote.

                    Every cultural and racial group has been conqueror or displaced at some time in history. The movement of groups of peoples across the planet is an ancient and irreversible affair that in my view renders most claims of 'prior indigeneity' of cultural significance at best, a naked power grab at worst.

                    You can froth angrily at me all you want, but my views are despite the fact of my paternal lineage bestowing on me superior political rights if we tilt back toward Maori tribal governance.

                    Maybe I could demand 'co-governance' rights over The Standard and veto any content or comment I do not like devil.

                    • weka

                      The logic of the now very conventional idea that Maori enjoy superior political and legal rights by virtue of having arrived first in New Zealand skates on some very thin ice indeed.

                      what superior political and legal rights, specifically?

                      what co-governance proposals or models, specifically, give veto powers to individual Māori?

                    • adam

                      Get over yourself Redlogix, and do some reading. I asked you to do that before. Because your just showing your ignorance.

                      TMP don't support co-governance, they never have. The want the Treaty to be upheld. You know that corner stone of liberalism – a contract. A contract between Māori and the Crown – which the Crown shat on.

                      As for Co-governance it came from the national party or did you miss that one?

                      What is up this myth making tory shitfuckery – of Māori being undemocratic – your not the only one pushing that line – it's just more horseshit. You get no one gets more votes, more seats, more anything with Māori electorates. They work as one man/woman, one vote, same as any other electorate for a very long time. Everyone also gets the same amount of party votes – one.

                      Strawman city with you at the moment.

                      The only person arguing for 'prior indigeneity' is you.

                      Look would you like some links to Māori media – because your on this truly odd waka at the moment. And whilst ignorance can be bliss, it makes other reach for assumptions and that just makes an ass of everyone.

                    • RedLogix

                      The want the Treaty to be upheld.

                      Well you may want to condense this down to a bland harmless sounding phrase, but lets explore in more detail exactly what TPM have in mind:


                      I strongly suggest reading this before going further. I believe any plain understanding of these policy statements unambiguously anticipates that Maori will have superior political rights over all other New Zealanders.

                      While this policy draws a parallel with the Scots and Welsh Parliaments, this comparison fails on the crucial aspect in that those bodies have a specific territorial integrity and universal suffrage for anyone living in them. Anyone living in Scotland for instance, can vote in the elections for that Parliament.

                      TPM policy is quite different – it openly lays claim to a governance over the whole of New Zealand and then excludes from its suffrage the 90% or so of the population who are not members of an iwi group.

                      And the idea that this Maori Parliament will be some kind of advisory body is fully repudiated; for instance:

                      • Establish a Parliamentary Commissioner for Te Tiriti o Waitangi that is jointly appointed by tangata whenua and the Crown to provide oversight of the Crown

                      An 'oversight' that is clearly anticipated to be binding on the New Zealand Parliament with no apparent limits and underlined by the use of the phrase "constitutional transformation" at least six times under the just the heading Matike Mai alone. I agree with you on this much – this is not 'co-governance' – this is a naked power grab for the whole on New Zealand on an absolutely racist basis.

                      Note in particular the policy to fully privatise the entire Conservation Estate into tribal hands. There is nothing unclear about this:

                      The Māori Party will return conservation land to whānau, hapū and iwi Māori.

                      I am impressed at the ideological twists of logic that in this instance decries mining on the Conservation Estate – under what would be tightly controlled conditions – while at the same time showing no apparent objection to handing the same land over to unelected, unaccountable privately held family corporations to use them for whatever purpose suits them now or any time in the future.

                      You state here that:

                      They work as one man/woman, one vote, same as any other electorate for a very long time. Everyone also gets the same amount of party votes – one.

                      Maybe you should read TPM policy a little more closely. In simple terms it requires the establishment of a Maori Parliament (without specifying how it is to be appointed) – that will have full sovereign oversight and binding powers over the existing New Zealand state. In anyone's language that is a superior political entity.

                      Then weirdly – and maybe someone can explain this to me – at the same time TPM demands the entrenchment of the existing Maori seats in the New Zealand Parliament:

                      1. Commit all Māori to the Māori electoral roll by 2023.
                      2. Entrench all Māori electorates.

                      Maybe I am missing something but does this mean Maori get to vote twice – once for the superior Maori Parliament and then again for the entrenched Maori seats in the subservient New Zealand Parliament?

                      Or is it intended that the superior Maori Parliament is going to be appointed by some unspecified means from tribal elites? And that 'one man, one vote' will have nothing to do with it?

                      And this is without any scrutiny of how this new Parliament will control anything they deem relating to Maori (which is potentially an open cheque book) while not saying anything about taxation and who will fund this.

                    • adam

                      Dude have you read the labour party manifesto before they were elected government back in 1920s?

                      A wee example "the socialisation of the means of production, distribution and exchange", including state ownership of major parts of the economy.

                      Also storm in a tea cup from you, as they are a party with how many % of the vote?

                      Do you think major constitutional change will happen with a handful of MP's. Seriously, come on.

                      Also what is wrong with pushing a major change, and offering a different point of view? Or should we all be beige liberals?

                      My charge stands, you acting like a typical troy relying on fear-mongering to push a point.

                  • tsmithfield

                    Them respond to me. Stop the bs politics or can't you handle the rough and tumble.

                    It looks like Red Logix has already done quite a good job at that. But, I do respond to polite, well thought out discussion, even if I don't agree with it.

                    But what you put down was a bit like stamping your feet and shouting. Hence my comment.

                    I don't see this as a political issue. But, one that is good to be able to discuss in a sane fashion without people going off their heads and screaming "racist" if they don't like the points put forward.

                    I think it is a good idea to have a close read of Red Logix posts and get a grasp of what he is saying, and the evidence he has put forward, then respond to that in a thoughtful way that shows you have considered the points he has made.

                    • adam

                      But what you put down was a bit like stamping your feet and shouting

                      Of course with some many in a liberal bubble they can't even see their own shitfucker – sometimes a person has to shout to cut through the bullshit people keep telling themselves.

                      Or creating mountains out of mole hills.

                      It's like we now live in a country where the only opinion that is valid is one which is beige. Or worse people are so dedicated to having a rational conversation, they will let nasty people lie their way to power. Whilst standing there and doing nothing whilst it happens.

                      If theTMP are a bit radical and focused on up lifting people of colour is offensive, then get over yourselves. It's not at your expense, unless you see the empowerment of others as a loss for you.

                  • RedLogix

                    First of all you tell me I am an ignorant bigot, then when I actually point to TPM policy and start discussing it, you start back-pedaling and minimising.

                    I guess the open question I have for you is if the outcome of this election means Labour need both the Greens and TMP as substantive support partners – and given both of these minor parties would align on this – would you support a coalition agreement that implemented this "constitutional transformation"?

                    • adam

                      Dude I didn't call you a bigot – just acting like a tory fearmonger – if that is your definition of a bigot – so be it. .

                      Yeah I did minimising because of their poll results, and like all radical political party platforms, it will soften over time. They just rebuilt the party and are throwing up ideas. Why are radical ideas not allowed to be part of the political debate?

                      There is not going to be a blanket "constitutional transformation" forced by a minor party on the country. MMP is a system which will stop it. However, would I welcome a discussion of a change on Constitution as part of a coalition deal – hell yes. Way beyond time.

                      Swapping one group of oligarchs for another group of oligarchs is not something I support – as I think they all dicks at the end of the day. Having a system which promotes Māori culture and enhances Māori self image is good for everyone. And at the end of the day TMP is going to get in any deal it makes with labour, it will not included wide spread constitution changes, not a snowballs chance in hell. Doesn't mean they shouldn't put them out for discussion. – I'd argue why not. Why not offer something radically different from this system and see where the chips land.

                • Anne

                  My apologies tsmithfield.

            • Shanreagh

              To a large extent I agree with thisTSmithfield though in the area where I worked for a time, health, there comes a time when people look at the indicators and say why? Why is this group, or large numbers, at the bottom of the housing, income, jobs, education and health indciators. Is there something else going on? If so what? How can this be addressed without stigmatising or judging on the basis of ethnicity?

              When we used to ponder about working in a field of limitless bad indicators the answer we came to, like the answer to the bad joke'how do you eat an elephant? – a little bit at a time! was what needed to happen. So we worked hard to meet our programmes knowing or hoping that others would be 'taking their bites' in terms of education etc.

              I have noticed some though seem to think that meeting the needs of the most needy, when these happen to be Maori, is giving Maori something that is not available to others and is therefore prejudice etc. Feeds into the 'Mowrees' this or 'Maaris' that. People judge by race etc and still seem to think that Maori are 'hive mind'.

              Need should be the determiner when we have scarce funds.

              Perhaps we need to explicitly reframe on the basis of need and cease putting in the ethnicity etc.

              But sooner or later thinkers will want some joined up thinking as to why and what can we do to address whatever it is that is the cause of a race falling so far.

              Recently the means to addressing this was through the Crown explicitly honouring the Treaty and also removing obstacles or providing access to roles of power/influence eg Maori wards.

              Do we need to get back to reframing on the basis of need only?

              • RedLogix

                You have exquisitely exposed the always fatal flaw in the 'identity and intersectionality' game. Because while it an intellectually convenient shortcut to categorise people into groups and measure the statistical means and averages – this obliterates the people themselves in all their fabulous diversity.

                Because if you are going actually change anything meaningfully, you have to change the life of people – and all people are different. Any measure you offer that is not universally available for all people to choose as fits their lives, their circumstance and their capacity will always turn out to be useless and ultimately unloved.

              • Ad

                If you "went back to" reframing on the basis of need only, you would get close to the same result.

                That's because Maori are at the lowest and worst end of our per capital statistics in: incarceration and long sentences, personal injury, many chronic diseases, innoculations, lifespan, smoking, gang affiliation, interpersonal violence, long term unemployment, illiteracy, low qualifications, homelessness, wealth accumulation, truancy, mental illness, hunger, and class mobility.

                Nothing wrong with naming an ethnicity as having especially difficult problems, so long as one commits to doing something about it even if that's just voting in the people who will do it for you.

                • Shanreagh

                  That's because Maori are at the lowest and worst end of our per capital statistics in: incarceration and long sentences, personal injury, many chronic diseases, innoculations, lifespan, smoking, gang affiliation, interpersonal violence, long term unemployment, illiteracy, low qualifications, homelessness, wealth accumulation, truancy, mental illness, hunger, and class mobility.

                  Yes I had worked that out, the need for me was to see if reframing on need might avoid the anti Maori element, that seem to have chosen to regard anything given to Maori as something akin to preferential treatment.

                  Because if you are going actually change anything meaningfully, you have to change the life of people – and all people are different. Any measure you offer that is not universally available for all people to choose as fits their lives, their circumstance and their capacity will always turn out to be useless and ultimately unloved.

                  I agree Redlogix about the diversity. I also believe that there is a limited pot in which to dip to improve the lot of people. So while we might like to give to all and have a choice centred on the people themselves with limited funds we may have to draw in lines.

                  So need. So you self refer on the basis of need, not because you meet a lot of other 'things'. So not if you are Maori, or have a community services card, female or whatever.

                  Or to turn it around so things like a rates rebate can be given if you have a CSC, I mean how many times do you have to prove you are hard-up and to how many govt/local body agencies?

                  I quite like the concept of Working for Families where there is a programme that is then added to if you have more than one child etc.

                • Incognito

                  The simplistic paradigm is that when needs are similar the solutions are similar too aka one size fits all.

          • RedLogix

            That is not too bad a way of framing it. I guess my point is that 'prior indigeneity' is not necessarily a card that trumps all other considerations.

            • tsmithfield

              I guess we are saying similar things.

              Having been involved with Crossroads Youth with a Future Trust which deals with youth in one of the poorest communities in Christchurch, it has got me thinking about why it is that such a high percentage of Maori people live in that area.

              So, I think that there is definitely historical context to explain this.

              But, there are also Pakeha people who live in the same area who also are poor and disadvantaged for various reasons.

              So, I think we need to focus on raising the boat as a whole, rather than just particular segments of it, as seems to be the approach these days.

              • Shanreagh

                Yes agree with this……meet on the basis of need first.

                • tsmithfield

                  Some good thoughts, and great that we can be having this sort of discussion without people getting their hackles up, even if we all don't agree in every respect.

                  The other thing I have thought is if we are effectively telling groups of people that they are victims to factors outside their control, then we sort of take their power away, and leave them believing they are unable to change their situation.

                  So, I think there needs to be a balance with this. I know that in Crossroads we aim to help youth find the power and skills to change their situations rather than just accepting them as their lot in life.

                  • Perhaps "We' have become comfortable with being the "helpers" and need to be willing to "pass the power" more often. Which in "our" world means the kaupapa and the putea. Perhaps the Maori Party are challenging some of our sacred cows? Our Rules and Budgets?

        • Stuart Munro

          Yes, I'm inclined to agree. Contemporary Treaty talk seems to owe more to judicial obiter than to anything plausible in the context of the time of signing. Alleging that sovereignty was not traded in the act of becoming British subjects would have strained the credulity of the British subjects that managed the process.

          The process for attaining sovereignty under the agreement was through the parliamentary process to which all NZ nominally have access – carving out a privileged spot is at odds with the democratic principles to which we expect our parliament to adhere to and to protect.

    • adam 5.2

      Redlogix, what sort of ill informed BS are you trying to spread. Go read their policy and take the time to listen to what TMP are actually trying to promote you ignorant fuck.

      It's not some elitist shitfucker you keep banging on about.

      You normally enter a debate with some level of understanding – not this paranoid, act party lies and BS. It's neither logical nor anything apart from half baked emotionally rantings. Take a step back mate, and calm the fuck down.

    • Ngungukai 5.3

      ACT have beeen propping up National for years with there Dirty Little Deals in Epsom, not a lot of difference.

      • RedLogix 5.3.1

        I am honestly not sure what you mean by this.

        The question I would ask is – do you think ACT a a 'one skin colour only' party like TMP? That would be the pertinent comparison in the context of my original comment.

  6. Alan 6

    Life just got a whole lot more difficult for the left, presenting a unified, electable front now looks like an exercise in herding cats.

    • observer 6.1

      It hasn't changed at all. For TPM, Labour are the opponents to beat. Every electorate contest is Labour v TPM. To win the seats they have to fight each other, hard.

      After the election everything changes. That's why Winston Peters and Jim Bolger could hurl abuse at each other in 1996 and then become PM/Deputy PM, that's why Winston could take his "bauble" in 2005, and why National, the Iwi/Kiwi/Orewa party, could make Sharples and Turia Ministers, etc, etc. In the end there are only numbers, and somebody gets to 61. Nobody chooses opposition – ever.

      The chances of TPM supporting National are slim, and of supporting ACT … zero.

  7. Sanctuary 7

    There seems to be a growing list of rather petulant Maori politicians who react to demotion or thwarted ambitions by donning the raiments of wounded victimhood and then gracelessly shitting on their colleagues.

  8. Ad 8

    Hey Nash all is forgiven. Too soon?

  9. Ad 9

    Hipkins ditched the big pro-Maori policies so what did he expect?

    You want to be a pure centrist, you pay the political price.

  10. observer 10

    I feel sorry for the Speaker, who has been dropped in it by Meka Whaitiri. He has been trying to explain to the House that (paraphrase) she has not yet done what she says she has.

    And now she won't do it (i.e. resign properly, with a letter to the Speaker) because she has belatedly realized what the law would then oblige her to do (quit Parliament).

    It's farcical, and for once you can't blame opposition MPs for pointing that out.

    • pat 10.1

      While not entirely disagreeing with the sentiment surely the speakers role is to accurately interpret parliaments rules…not effect a less disruptive outcome?

      • observer 10.1.1

        It depends what the Speaker has actually done. If he's received no letter, that's fine. He doesn't need to do anything, because Meka hasn't resigned.

        If OTOH there was a letter, then he's in trouble.

  11. Herodotus 11

    What did Sharma do to be expelled from the Labour party ??

    "In a statement, Labour Party president Claire Szabó said the council "took this decision because it found Gaurav Sharma had brought the party into disrepute", a breach of the party's constitution." and yet Meka Whaitiri's actions do not bring the party into disrepute ???

    Funny how when you have a target on your back (Sharma) the mechanisms of the party are placed into total action !! Yes this is farcical

    How on reflection Sharma was poorly treated compared to another 🤫

    • observer 11.1

      What did Sharma do to be expelled from the Labour party ??

      Went to war. Have you forgotten his Facebook rants already? Weeks of them.

      No party would have put up with that. By contrast, Whaitiri's disloyalty began and ended the same day. She's already gone, before any kind of process could begin. If she was still claiming to be a Labour MP, she'd be kicked out.

      They aren't chalk and cheese, they're plutonium and cheese.

  12. Belladonna 12

    This statement by Ngarewa-Packer should send a chill down the spines of any potential coalition partners.

    Apparently it's part of their 'revolutionary thinking' to disregard the political conventions (like notifying your party leader, that you intend to defect). Which begs the question of how they can be trusted in any other area?

    Whaitiri’s shock move was kept secret and Prime Minister Chris Hipkins only learned about after he touched down in London today.

    And it is unclear if any of her Labour colleagues knew about her plans either, with those arriving to Parliament today saying they only learned about it in media reports and had not been able to reach Whaitiri either.

    Ngarewa-Packer said Whaitiri “returning to her whakapapa” was a “turning point for the party”.

    “We are a movement that doesn’t accept incremental change. We must be revolutionary in our thinking, deliberately unconventional. So damn uncomfortable that you just want to run for the hills, because that’s what’s required for us.

    “We must never ever settle for less be taken for granted compromise and continued to be shackled from being our true selves.

    “Welcoming Meka back to her whakapapa to our movement, as Māori, it’s also an important part of growing the lifeline to our movement.”

    • adam 12.1

      The inability to actually handle a bit of politics is just more than a bit funny.

      Anything which is not newspeak is just too hard… poor wee things.

      • Belladonna 12.1.1

        So, are you advocating that TPM are perfectly correct to ignore political conventions (like informing your party leader that you're about to defect)?

        • Patricia Bremner

          Of course all those back stabbing National Party members kept their "leaders informed" didn't they? lol along with putting false narratives in the news on a regular basis and worse, and where were your cries of "sack them" ?

          In a democracy with MMP there will be a Party and a Person vote. I think the Maori Party have that sussed.

          • Belladonna

            I can't think of a single National MP (let alone a Minister) who left their party, without informing their leader.

            No doubt you can give a list of the ones you have in mind.

            If you'll look back at my original point, it was that the statements of Ngarewa-Packer, would make any other party doubt whether their word given today, would bind them tomorrow.

            TBH – I don’t care much whether she stays in Parliament or goes.
            Although, I do think she was profoundly politically unaware of the provisions of the Waka jumping legislation that she voted for.

            I do care about the tap-dance the Speaker appears to be doing to keep her there (and placate the Labour Maori caucus and TPM).

            And, I do care, about the stability of any future left coalition which might include TPM.

  13. People are making huge assumptions here, including Meka. They are assuming voters will follow her because she has held the seat since 2013 (thanks to strong Labour campaign and support). If she were really honest, she would never have stood for Labour in the first place and joined Tariana Turia. Ikaroa Rawhiti is a huge seat, and there is a strong Labour vote in most parts. She is no Parekura Horomia who had his own struggles with Labour but stood firm and was a respected voice. TBH it is the hand of John Tamihere that worries me the most. He is the conservatives’ conservative. He has done good work at Waipareira, but he is well known for his anti-unionism and big headedness. On the rumours about Louisa and Nanaia. Nothing would surprise me about Louisa. Some MPs seem to think they are bigger than the collective interests of the people they serve.

    • RedLogix 13.1

      I can well appreciate the real sense of betrayal here – how many times have we seen Maori with political ambition rise to public prominence solely due to their affiliation with Labour – only to have them turn on the party and cause huge damage.

      As a long time contributor here I have a favour to ask – and it is not a trick question. Up above in this thread I have attempted a look at some core TPM policy:

      At first glance it appears to endorse the idea that the iwi tribal leaders are the true 'owners' of the whole of New Zealand – and the Crown is merely a 'custodial' tenant as it were. It openly calls for a separate race based Maori Parliament that will have ultimate 'ownership' governance over the rest of the nation – in all aspects.

      But I will concede I find this policy statement confusing, vague on important details, and contradictory in places. As someone much closer to the political scene than I am, I would much appreciate your thoughts on this policy and how this might play out if a Labour govt is formed in coalition with this party.

      If nothing else The Greens seem very likely to enthusiastically support it – leaving a minority Labour party with not a lot of room to negotiate.

      • SPC 13.1.1

        Ardern ruled out a Maori parliament as an outcome of He Puapua (a work in response to National signing the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples).

        I suspect we will be fast followers of Elbows work to form a consultative body (Aborigine in Oz), this essentially is what Sunak does as head of government in the UK when consulting the indigenous people leader there (Charles Mountbatten Windsor and hearing his advice in response).

        It’s not about power over our democracy, it’s about the manatanga of the indigenous people. It’s no more rule over us than having a Crown GG as head of state.

        I suspect one day we will formerly change the title of head of state to something like Karauna Rangatira or maybe Crown Rangatira. But it would be a group of iwi leaders who would form the Indigenous Peoples Council who would he consulted by the PM. The other person would perform the job of head of state and sign the laws, as now.

        • SPC

          It’s no more rule over us than having a Crown GG as head of state.GG act as/for Crown head of state

        • RedLogix

          It’s no more rule over us than having a Crown GG as head of state.

          The TPM policy under discussion here starts by stating:

          We distil the three clauses of a constitutional document that is the foundation of this country’s nationhood. Te Tiriti reaffirmed our precolonial mana motuhake rights:

          • The first article of the covenant awarded total custodianship of Aotearoa to the Crown. It did not award ownership.
          • The second article put beyond all doubt the assertion of Rangatiratanga – the right of Māori to have total control and governance of all their own domains.
          • The third article asserted that Māori would be treated equally with all non-Māori.

          It is not obvious to me how to precisely interpret this, but to my reading there is a clear idea that Maori (presumably the iwi leaders who signed the Treaty) are the owners of New Zealand – in its full entirety – while the Crown is a subservient custodian. Those seem to be the two key and operative words. The nearest parallel I can think of is a landlord tenant relationship.

          Then it states:

          • Demand a Māori Parliament

          an entity that can only be understood as far more constitutionally significant than a Governor General that has long been relegated to a figure-head role. Reading the rest of the context on this page I am reasonably certain that ‘figurehead’ is not what TPM have in mind.

          What I am reading is a manifesto that radically demands the entire nation will be privatised into the ownership of a small number of race based, family owned corporations. And I find it kind of weird the left is so in love with this claim.

          • SPC

            I gave my assessment of what will result. Based on what Ardern has said and how Oz is moving ahead.

            As for TPM, they state that Crown custodianship was not suppose to impact on Maori rangitiratanga over their own domains. Which was true, but with the loss of their lands came loss of self-governance and assimilation. Recent iwi settlements have not and will not change that, so Maori have sought other things – from Te-Puni-Kokiris, Kohanga Reo, their own media, Whana Ora and now Maori health etc.

            Indigenous rights claims will add another layer to this, but I do not see it as that difficult to resolve.

            • RedLogix

              As for TPM, they state that Crown custodianship was not suppose to impact on Maori rangitiratanga over their own domains.

              Again I point to this statement from TPM policy:

              Hapū were the primary political unit in precolonial te ao Māori. The Māori Party upholds hapūtanga and recognise that it was the rangatira of hapū that signed Te Tiriti, and so we would ensure that the Crown negotiates with whānau and hapū and recognises their mana whenua.

              It is not clear how this reconciles with the idea of a Maori Parliament. If Haputanga is the primary political authority, then exactly where does a Parliament fit?

              But that minor quibble aside – if there are 13 major iwis – how many recognised hapu are there? And if each hapu retains full ownership and control over its domain, including all state, conservation, local council and potentially private land as this policy clearly anticipates – then exactly what is left over for the other 90% of the population with the wrong skin colour?

              And you think this would "not be difficult to resolve".

              And while Ardern could afford to say one thing while sitting on an absolute majority – it is not at all clear what a minority Labour party might have to concede in order to retain the govt benches.

              • SPC

                So what if TPM is pandering to "hapu" as the rightful negotiating parties rather than iwi (as part of some campaign strategy)? Most of the settlements have already been completed and if hapu/iwi cannot agree on a joint case before the WT they get placed at the bottom of those yet to be resolved.

                And wtf has any of that got to do with a Maori Parliament/MP anyhow?

                Not even NACT are going to seriously claim that a MP would result from a L-G-TMP coalition – if Labour said it will not happen – it's dancing cossacks territory, the turf of VFF/DemocracyNZ/Groundswell and One New Zealand Counterspin.

                • tsmithfield

                  Most of the settlements have already been completed

                  Except, the MP wants to do away with full and final settlements. Have a look at point 8 of the summary of their objectives in the document RL linked to.

                  Abolish “full and final” settlements and the “large natural groupings” approach to recognising mana whenua groups.

                  • RedLogix

                    Well done for actually reading it. Not a lot of people do it seems.

                  • SPC

                    By what process? Not anything existing.

                    In the end this is either about existing iwi settlements, and access to control of the money paid out. Or about delivery of public services at the local level.

                    And thus representative politics – voters and a party that wants votes.

              • Belladonna

                "if there are 13 major iwis – how many recognised hapu are there? And if each hapu retains full ownership and control over its domain, including all state, conservation, local council and potentially private land as this policy clearly anticipates "

                Not to mention that individual hapu and iwi hold totally irreconcilable views over the ownership of the various domains.

                Sounds to me like a recipe for a new iteration of the tribal 'musket' wars of the early 19th century.

                • SPC

                  Don't take him seriously on this – neither iwi nor hapu have continuing control and governance of their domains (TPM iteration of what the Tiriti said is not a statement of current or future circumstance).

                  This is about delivery of services to Maori (nationally, regionally and locally) and issues of partnership with our governance (right down to hapu level) and access to iwi funds.

                  • RedLogix

                    I am confused – are you saying you support TPM policy or are we not to take it seriously?

                    Or have you not had the chance to read it yet?

                  • RedLogix

                    From the fourth para of the TPM policy reference:

                    The Māori Party has announced a policy platform that is intergenerational and will never be retreated from. The only way this nation can work is where Māori assert their right to self-management, self-determination, and self-governance over all their domains.


                    Does that read like a 'negotiating position'? In my experience, when someone repeatedly tells you they are coming for you, it is foolish to ignore them.

                    Odd really. So many on the left telling us for ages how wonderful everything Maori is, yet the moment their actual policy is put under scrutiny – when the rank toxicity of it is exposed – suddenly it’s not to be taken seriously, or hand-waved off as a ‘negotiating position’.

                    • SPC

                      Why do you see a Maori nationalist party as coming for you/us – non Maori those of a western civilisation?

                      They are an indigenous people who will not stop reminding us that the Tiriti was not honoured. It's no more threatening than market led order libertarians/Christian heritage dominionists/Groundswell/Counterspin seeking to be involved in coalition government.

      • Sabine 13.1.2

        Maybe that is the problem when a party promotes people on grounds of diversity rather then allegiance.

    • RedLogix 13.2

      I should add – that I understand if this is a question you cannot fully answer.

    • Sabine 13.3

      Some MPs seem to think they are bigger than the collective interests of the people they serve.

      Maybe that is the issue, they don't serve the collective interests of the people. This person here is the supposed MP to look after the cylcone hit areas, are they going to keep the portfolio as Labour seems to be running our of Persons in Parliament? I mean there is Nashy no longer there and now this person.

      Sad for the East Coast / Hawkse Bay, they no longer have their representatives left, other then Kiri Allen. I am sure all the citizens that voted for these clowns rejoice in their good fortune and hope for the very best, because all they can do is keep faith that this government actually has at least one person in parliament that got there on behalf of the people, for the people.

      As for TPM, that is now a fully owned subsidiary of Labour. Rawhiti, ex labour. Tamihere, ex Labour. And this new person now, Ex labour. Oh well, i wish them good luck, they will need it.

      • SPC 13.3.1

        TPM was formed by an ex Labour MP (Turia). NZF by an ex National MP. New Labour by an ex Labour MP. And all those Labour MP’s forming ACT.

        Labour never owned Turia's party, she formed a coalition with National. Anything they got from that became bi-partisan/permanent.

        As for TPM, that is now a fully owned subsidiary of Labour

        Yeah na.

        Labour’s Maori MP’s have the same agency as Shane Jones did in going to NZF or all those National MP’s who have gone to ACT over the years.

        • Ngungukai

          As you say a lot of bed hopping going on like Shane Jones to NZF, all the NZF people who jumped to National in 1993, that really pissed Winnie off.

      • "Running out of persons in Parliament" Look up MMP and Labour has 65 elected and list members . -1 = 64 – 1 = 63 ……… 61 needed to govern ok?

    • newsense 13.4

      Exactly. Look back at Tamihere’s record and who his mates were in his recent Mayoral attempts.

      I’m not an insider on Maori politics, but it feels like an action that doesn’t honour Parekura’s legacy.

      It could be time to rule out a coalition with Te Pati Maori.

      We’re looking at someone who screwed up one assignment, got demoted, but still given some important work to do and chose instead to quit, rather than show humility and hard work. That’s how it appears.

      If Maori politicians want to effect larger change such as cogovernance, they have to be straight up and say directly to central and rural NZ that everyone should be at the table from the start, rather than in the courts or protests later. You won’t win over everyone, but surely there’s some point to that argument and you’d get some traction. Save time and energy and get on to doing the things that need doing.

      The only way for TPM to achieve most of its aims would be to dismantle most of the NZ state and constitution as it is. That’s a valid legal and moral position, but an enormously difficult political position. Revolutionaries make for poor parliamentary politics.

      • Ngungukai 13.4.1

        Problem is the Maori's have been ripped off by the State here in NZ and they have had enough. There are still a few Maori's out there who feel aggreived by the theft of their lands by the State and they see TPM as the best alternative to right these wrongs. The problem in NZ is successive Governments look after imports (immigrant's) better than our own people.

  14. Thinker 14

    On the original topic, unless this is a one-off it creates problems if mainstream parties have to honour the treaty by an appropriate combination of Ngati Tiriti and Maori Ministers if TPM is going to poach the latter after they've cut their teeth with Labour. I hope this isn't the start of a trend.

    Going back to AB's "nothing, everything or something" options, I agree we have moved on and necessarily moved on from the extremes. We, in our generation have done our best to make amends for what was done generations ago by people who can no longer be held to account and now we're exploring what should have been explored back then, which is a partnership approach.

    Years ago, I was made to stand up and apologise for what my ancestors did to Maori. I expressed abhorrence at this because I wasn't born here and I said that making me apologise because of my white skin was as racist asking all Maori to apologise for cannibalising my ancestors (who were never here in the first place). I'm glad weve moved on from there.

    In Victorian times, senior Church members tended to belong to the elite class. One son would join politics, one the military, another the Church. The common thread? Control and exploitation of the majority.

    Far from apologising for what my ancestors did, my ancestors were tenant farmers and getting exploited my the same people in different ways. By far, the majority of immigrants to NZ weren't land stealers, they were trying to get away from a similar exploitative system, in my opinion.

    Which doesn't make things right today.

    But it should make our present task a shared one. Some of NZ ancestors got ripped off by a small elite of wealthy land grabbers. Some others got ripped off buying land that shouldn't have been sold to them. There will be descendants of the ripperoffers in NZ today, many of whom probably wouldn't do what their genuine ancestors did.

    We are where we are and I hope that the "something" that AB talks about is the shared approach to working out what's fair for all of us.

  15. Tiger Mountain 15

    The dust will settle eventually on this as certainly as it does on all political upheavals. These columns have seen intense debate on the likes of Jami-Lee Ross, Mr Sharma, and now Meka Whaitiri–all with their own particular context.

    Random notes…
    –Labour Caucus refuses to move on from monetarism and a neo liberal state which is forever going to conflict with members trying to serve the working class.
    –Meka apparently did not have the guts to tell her leader, what party needs people that really do not want to be there.
    –Ikaroa Rāwhiti is so strongly Labour that Ms Whaitiri remaining in Parliament is not guaranteed, it returned Labour during the Foreshore & Seabed stoush. Also Labour does not “own” the Māori seats as NZF and TPM have proved, a respectful deal might be done–heh, yeah right.
    –Turnout is king, older Māori will likely vote Labour, will the younger group vote in sufficient numbers? The electorate is large and has an important urban component with the Hutt etc. just as Tai Tokerau does with West Auckland.

    Ultimately there is a changing demographic and more Labour and ex Labour people will move to TPM is a likely prediction.

    • Thinker 15.1

      Random notes…
      –Labour Caucus refuses… – I've never seen this put into one succinct sentence before, but it so hits the point.
      –Meka apparently did not have the guts to tell her leader… – Are you wondering the same as me? Was it a coincidence that despite people apparently knowing what was about to happen, the official announcement was made while the PM was in mid-flight. All other political motivations aside, that would not align me to Meka as representing me in parliament, if so. It also hints against those who suggest it was a deal done between Labour and TPM.
      –Turnout is king, older Māori will likely vote Labour… I wondered something similar when I read some of the TPM policies that other correspondents have been saying earlier. If true, they don't seem designed to endear themselves to mainstream NZ. Maybe the grand plan is to keep getting over the 5% threshold but being a single-policy, extreme-view party.

      Which comes back to your Labour-should-lose-neoliberal point. Because, if Labour and National are both Neoliberals – (non-identical twins), each election will be close from a Labour vs National perspective and that will leave many opportunities for "5% Kingmakers", which is not how MMP should work best, IMHO.

      • observer 15.1.1

        "It also hints against those who suggest it was a deal done between Labour and TPM."

        Is anybody seriously suggesting that? Then there should be Oscars awarded to Labour MPs. Nobody is that good an actor.

        Labour were blindsided, only the most deranged conspiracy theorist would pretend otherwise.

        • Belladonna

          And, can only have been done by TPM (probably Tamihere) with malice aforethought. He wanted the headlines, and the speculation. If it damages Labour (their main competitor in the Maori seats) – then that's all good news as far as he's concerned.

          Worrying about relationship building post-election is someone else's problem.

          • SPC

            Except WJ said that TPM did not lure her away, she went to them.

            • Belladonna

              Talking about the actions after Whaitiri told TPM that she wanted to join them.
              Tamahere even said 'I'll be answering the constitutional questions'

              Asked by reporters if it meant she would automatically give up her seat, Whaitiri initially said "no", but Te Pāti Māori president John Tamihere interrupted her, saying "no, no I'll answer the constitutional issues".


              Choosing not to inform Hipkins, or Sepuloni or even Willie Jackson – prior to the carefully orchestrated leaks to media, can only be a deliberate strategy.

    • DS 15.2

      If you think any of this has anything to do with neoliberalism, you are outright kidding yourself. This is just an ambitious mediocrity seeking greener pastures.

      We've all had a good laugh at National's candidate selections, but between this and Sharma, it's a sign that Labour's candidates are sometimes problematic too. The people I feel sorry for are the volunteers who spent time and energy trying to get this woman elected.

      • Tiger Mountain 15.2.1

        Meka personally might have little idea of the NZ neo liberal Parliamentary consensus between the major parties, which sees the Reserve Bank Act, State Sector Act and so on roll over after each election.

        But, nonetheless the Labour Caucus’ embedded neo Blairism as it could be called is an absolute barrier to delivering some rather obvious major reforms. Labour has delivered hundreds of small reforms like restoring funding to NGOs that the Natzos wiped, and great increases to Minimum Wage etc. but they have vacillated on the real biggies.

    • Ngungukai 15.3

      Winston NZF won all the Maori seats in the first MMP Election, securing 43% of the Maori Party vote, getting a total of 17 MP's, then a lot of NZF MP's waka jumped off to National, including some of the Maori MP's, which obviously pissed Winnie off big time, so ever since then, Winnie has had the pricker with Maori's, to the point he wants to abolish the Maori Seats.

      Unfortunately that is not in the best interest's of Maoridom, so NZF has been lumped in with National & ACT, which is sad as NZF has some good policy, however I can't see Winnie & Shane Jones getting 5% and Shane Jones will definitely not win Northland IMHO.

  16. Herodotus 16

    We are told by some that there has been a parting of ways with the Labour Party and then others saying the opposite “Unless Labour writes to him to say she has resigned from the party, as far as the Speaker is concerned, she is still a Labour MP who wants to vote independently of the party.” In that case why has not proceedings commenced to kick Whaitiri out ??
    We know that some are more equal than others – but then by lack of actions the Labour leadership are scared of something and rocking the boat. Where is the president to clear things up is or is Whaitiri still a member ???

    Continue reading at | Politik

    • RedLogix 16.1

      Reading that article brings into question the integrity of the Speaker. It is as plain as day that Whaitiri has left the Labour Party, is no longer whipped by them, and fully intends to act in all practical respects as a member of another party.

      Then there is the contradiction that Whaitiri clearly stated she 'notified' the Speaker of this – yet he is pretending that she hasn't by invoking a specious technicality.

      What has happened here is an open and shut case for invoking the Electoral Integrity Act – yet for some very unclear reason no-one seems willing to rock the boat.

      A few months ago Winston Peters said that ‘something big’ was going to happen soon, with a clear hint around the Maori caucus. This may well be the start of it.

      • Belladonna 16.1.1

        And brings very unfortunate speculation about how much Rurawhe as Speaker has been captured by the Labour Maori caucus – who very clearly don't want to 'punish' Whaitiri for joining TPM.

        As you point out, it is very much bringing the integrity and independence of the Speaker into question.

        • RedLogix

          And considering the precise timing of this with the PM out of the country and inside six months prior to the election, it invites speculation this is a classic internal plot that has been carefully planned – with the Speaker in on the scam.

          • observer

            If you ignore all the evidence, any "speculation" is possible.

            I can only assume you've missed every news report, every interview, showing beyond any wild imagination that Labour had no idea this would happen.

            As said above, for that "secret plot" fantasy to have any credibility you would have to believe that they are all brilliant actors. No exceptions, not one.

            • RedLogix

              I did not specify who might have known. I agree that it is entirely reasonable that most of the Labour Party did not know – but reading the tea-leaves suggests a group of people did know and organise this in advance.

              I'll leave it as an exercise of your imagination as to who they might be.

              • SPC

                The actual lack of planning is obvious.

                WJ said she went to TPM.

                This was clearly all quite recent and so dis-organised that no one had sorted out for her the appropriate method (to realise her goal to stay in parliament and no longer party vote Labour) without triggering waka jumping legislation or any vote in parliament to avoid the holding a by-election.

                The Speaker's role merely to smooth the path for parliamentary business in a way that parties can accept.

                • RedLogix

                  It's plain as day the Electoral Integrity Act applies to this exact instance. The loop-hole the Speaker has concocted could be exploited by anyone to subvert its intent – which renders the law a farce. Basically everyone here is conspiring with the Speaker to evade a law they passed, but which they now find inconvenient.

                  Nah – Labour are running scared of both TPM and their own Maori caucus and will do anything to appease them.

                  • SPC

                    All parties accept it because it does not subvert the current governing arrangement and it avoids wasting time on a vote to prevent a by-election.

                    You are the one scared of the influence of the Labour Maori caucus and TPM both.

                    Labour simply understands that TPM was not poaching and might be partners post 2023.

                    • RedLogix

                      All parties accept it because it does not subvert the current governing arrangement

                      The Electoral Integrity Act does not specify this as a nullifying condition. Nor does it require intent such as 'poaching'. Nah – this government is conspiring to ignore its own law simply because it is inconvenient.

                      This is where the politics of race and in-group nepotism lead us.

                      You are the one scared of the influence of the Labour Maori caucus and TPM both.

                      Well yes why should I not object to it – when we look at TMP policy it is quickly apparent it is so radically toxic even you cannot bring yourself to defend it.

                    • SPC

                      I don't see any need for anyone but those of TPM to defend their policy.

                      I am sure they find defending it to Maori voters easy enough. Such is MMP politics.

                      The fact is they (House Speaker) can determine no technical breach.

                      And there is no harm.

                      And the matter of poaching in this case refers to the inter-party relations, not the legislation.

                    • RedLogix

                      I have been around here quite long enough to see the evasive game you are playing. Plenty of punters have tried it on.

                      As it stands anyone can subvert this law by playing the same card – 'I'm not resigning, just withdrawing my proxy vote' and if the Speaker is stupid enough to swallow this rat – then nothing happens and everyone pretends the law has not been broken.

                  • Hunter Thompson II

                    Looking at the bigger picture, the Meka Whaitiri business is just another bend in the long road leading to the Maori Party's objective – the implementation of He Puapua.

          • Drowsy M. Kram

            Pity poor dumb Pakeha – those plotting Maari scammers have conned us again! Is there no end to their devious political plans?

            Such fun to read the tea-leaves and speculate. What does Winston think?

            Meka Whaitiri's defection 'small-fry' compared to losing Jacinda Ardern – Kelvin Davis [4 May 2023]
            NZ First leader Winston Peters (not currently an MP) said Whatiri was "trampling" on the democratic process, specifically the waka-jumping law that was meant to prevent MPs from defecting from parties they were elected to represent, and getting to stay in Parliament.

            Or ACT / Seymour?

            'Ultimately a distraction': ACT on Meka Whaitiri defection
            [3 May 2023]
            He said Whaitiri – who is due to speak at 10am today on her defection – should be, in his opinion, "ashamed" she was "busy playing politics when she should be doing her job and helping these people get on with their lives".

            While Labour is focused on themselves, almost every aspect of New Zealand society continues to decline. It’s time to get the country out of the ditch.

            Can't wait for Seymour/Luxon's 'plans' "to get the country out of the ditch." Meanwhile, I'm content with my relatively good health, wealth and choices.

            Luxon: Highly unlikely National would work with Te Pāti Māori
            [3 May 2023]

            John Key on possible coalition partners… [2008]

          • Patricia Bremner

            “With the Speaker in on the scam”….Red Logix, That is a scurrilous accusation against the Speaker without merit or proof offered.imo You might believe that but it does not make it any more likely!!

            • RedLogix

              From all accounts I accept Adrian Rurawhe has been an excellent Speaker; which makes what has happened here all the more out of character than you might expect.

  17. Stephen D 17

    The language troubles me. Words have meanings, and over time some words evolve to carry more weight. The word, emancipation is one. Does the TPM really equate being a member of the Labour caucus to slavery.

    Tim Watkins puts it better.

    ”In the midst of this, she and Te Pati Maori have talked about Whaitiri’s switch as an act of emancipation. That she was “shackled” in Labour. That is deeply loaded and insulting language. It suggests she felt pushed out rather than personally pulled to her new party by its tikanga.

    Thinking about a minister earning at least $250,000 a year with the power and resources that role provides as a form of slavery will to some seem rather perverse, especially to those in her electorate who are suffering more directly as slaves to a global cost of living crisis, climate change and more.”

    • Mac1 17.1

      That is a very good article and one that should be read by all political candidates. There are responsibilities to the public, one's party, one electorate workers, and to one's self.

      Responsibilities to be respectful, and part of that is to be clear,

      The very important part of Watkins' message, though, is that politics is the art of the possible and one cannot achieve all that one wants and being in a political party necessarily means that.

      Further, it does point to the challenge that prospective candidates face in confronting themselves as to their motivation, personal ambition and what it means to them to be an MP.

      The challenge then extends to the electorate and party organisation to select wisely, and recruit from a wide base of possible candidates.

      Finally, language does matter. Using language deceitfully, with over-exaggeration, is wrong. Essentially, it is a lie.

  18. Alan 18

    Excruciating watching the speaker right now

    • observer 18.1

      Excruciating for Luxon? Yes, it is.

      Summary, for those who've missed it:

      Luxon (this morning): Speaker should release the communications between an MP and the Speaker.

      Speaker (in House): Members don't really want that do they?

      Brownlee (in House): No, we certainly don't, that has always been confidential, according to a long-standing convention.

      Unlike Luxon, Brownlee understands how Parliament works. His leader has – yet again – opened his mouth before engaging brain.

      • Tiger Mountain 18.1.1

        Baldrick strikes again–if there is any justice in this world the Natzos will keep him on till the October General Election!

  19. georgecom 19

    some speculation that the waka jump was due to her rising as far as she could and going no further and thinking the MP provided better opportunities. if that turns out to be the case my thinking is as follows. should labour be in a position to form a government after september and needs the support of the MP, offer the 2 leaders portfolios. if they insist that Whaitari gets something, offer her a minor role outide cabinet. change of party, no better off. if the MP refuses a deal like that suggest they go and seek another 'Mana enhancing deal" with National.

    • Ngungukai 19.1

      Smart move by Meka she saw no future with Labour, she will be more effective in TMP, from what I can gather she is very well respected by her people in her Electorate.

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