Nats favour Turia, screw Sharples

Written By: - Date published: 10:42 am, March 19th, 2010 - 24 comments
Categories: maori party - Tags: , ,

We’ve been talking for a long time about how the Maori Party keeps getting screwed over by National and meekly accepting it. But maybe that’s too simple an analysis. Look at the instances where the Maori Party got shafted: seats on the supercity, 3 strikes, tertiary cuts, the Declaration on Indigenous Rights, national standards, RWC TV, ETS, foreshore and seabed (soon enough). But on the other hand, there’s carte blanche for Whanau Ora (whatever it is) that will be given a billion dollars and operated out of TPK, rather than MSD which has the necessary size and experience.

What’s the difference? Turia and Sharples.

It’s not so much the Maori Party but Sharples that keeps getting done over. It’s he who keeps getting the promises that are then broken or left out of the loop on portfolios for which he is associate minister (3 strikes, tertiary cuts). Turia, in contrast, gets what she wants because she’s playing National’s game.

Tariana Turia is in it for herself. She wants power and she wants to be able to go to sleep every night saying ‘screw you, Helen, I won’. Vehemently anti-Labour, she’s effectively a National loyalist and has sacrificed all her Left credentials in pursuit of her vendetta. Her one big idea Whanau Ora, is privatisation by stealth. No wonder the Nats love her.

Pita Sharples is a decent guy who has said time and again that the Maori Party’s principles are aligned with Labour and the Greens’, that the Maori Party is inherently a Leftwing party. Unfortunately, he’s a bit of an old duffer and a weakling. Turia and National walk over him time and again whenever he stands up for the Maori Party’s leftwing principles.

The divide goes deeper than the two leaders to the leftwing activists against the increasingly rightwing corporatised iwi leadership.

How long before the contradictions come to a head, and we can welcome the true Maori Party, the leftwing Maori Party, back into the fold?

24 comments on “Nats favour Turia, screw Sharples”

  1. max 1

    What the Maori Party is going through is classical of how post-Independence political parties can be corrupted by the power gained. Think of UMNO in Malaysia, and how the New Economic Policy (NEP) became all about feeding a Bumi-corporate elite, and not about addressing poverty and alienation among poorer Malays, who 40 years on remain in poverty while the elite have feed at the trough and wrecked the country.

    In the same way, Turia is now the instument for the Iwi-corporates, while ignoring the needs of those at the bottom

    This Umno-isation of the Maori Party may be the worst legacy that John Key leaves, as he has overtly encouraged it. . .

  2. I have some sympathy for this analysis. Ms Turia is feral when it comes to Labour and has her own clear agendas, which clearly clash with those of Messrs Sharples and Harawira. The latter two are conflicted by their gut orientation to many policy issues and the need to foster the alliance. That confllict is alien to Ms Turia.

  3. BLiP 3

    Turia has been bought off with the promise to fund the private provision of health, housing, education, social welfare and employment to Maori – she seems to actually believe that National Ltdâ„¢ are going to let “the natives” loose with all that lovely, yummy money and no doubt she sees her slimmed-down self as the future CEO of Ngati Whenua Inc. In short, her integrity has been colonised with a cheque book instead a treaty. So well has she been wooed, that she managed to squeeze the perception of an insult yesterday when Annette King dared to ask in the House whether Te Puni Kokiri was sufficiently resourced to properly manage the billion dollar Whanau Ora trojan horse.

    The Maori Party has been the biggest disappointment since National Ltdâ„¢ slinked into power.

  4. Don’t agree with much of that marty. Stick to the number crunching – those posts illuminate.

    “Tariana Turia is in it for herself. She wants power and she wants to be able to go to sleep every night saying ‘screw you, Helen, I won’. Vehemently anti-Labour, she’s effectively a National loyalist and has sacrificed all her Left credentials in pursuit of her vendetta.”

    What a load of made up rubbish that tells us more about your mindset. The only vendetta is from labour and a useless one that is too.

    If labour were a left party maybe the maori left would think about going there – but they aren’t.

    • IrishBill 4.1

      If labour were a left party maybe the maori left would think about going there but they aren’t.

      So that’s why they had to go with national? Because Labour isn’t left enough. It all makes sense now.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        Do you think labour are left enough?

      • Bright Red 4.1.2

        And the majority of Maori voted party vote Labour in 2008 and expected the Moari Party to deal with Labour

        Name leftwing policies that Turia has advanced in her time as minister.

        • marty mars

          72 months or so ago the maori party formed. I imagine labour’s party vote from maori shrinking severely next election…

          labours public intention to “drive the maori party out of the house” engenders working together? Isn’t that the same as killing the whales to save them?

          • Bright Red

            aren’t all political parties in competition?

            effectively there are two options in the Maori seats – Labour and the Maori Party. Do you want Labour to concede and not try to win inthe Maori seats leaving the Maori Party as the only option? Doesn’t sound very democratic.

            • marty mars

              So you are disagreeing with marty when he says

              “and we can welcome the true Maori Party, the leftwing Maori Party, back into the fold”

              because there is no ‘fold’ just competition. Or the ‘fold’ is like the borg – assimilation – you know – resistance is futile.

    • Julie 4.2

      “She wants power and she wants to be able to go to sleep every night saying ‘screw you, Helen, I won’.”

      I thought that analysis was spot on, marty mars, so your comment seems odd to me. Turia feels a deep sense of grievance against Labour, in particular Helen Clark, going back a long time to how she was treated within the party. I don’t know the ins and outs of that, but it seems to me to still be motivating Turia now, even though Clark has gone and the Maori Party is well established. I was hopeful for a detente when I heard that Turia would be standing down as co-leader, but that turned out to not be true.

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Turia is just another of those Maori who are happier in National. She is just a Peters style politician, whos concern for ‘her people’ is never actually put into practice

    Wasnt it Tapsell who sold out and became speaker to keep Bolger in power.

  6. SPC 6

    If Sharples wasn’t also selling out to get whanau ora and F and S law change, there might be a conflict. Turia sticks to the non-negotiable issues, Sharples runs lead on aspirations – which National are likely to reject. So they don’t seem like total poodles with no independent position.

  7. tc 7

    I disagree in so far as it’s not the MP that are getting done over it’s maori in general (rich iwi aside)and the fact is these jokers can’t represent them because of the self serving Turia….I don’t rate sharples much either as his past is quite chequered but unlike Turei he hasn’t quite sold out yet so there’s hope.

    The MP are getting exactly what they want…limos/offices/trips and hone aside have all bowed down for a seat at the trough.

    There’s no hope for them being a true political force with Turia around just the maori division of the nats which I’d give till F&S raises it’s head again however the nat’s may just repeal it for a shot at another term and those easy 5 votes they rely on.

  8. Anne 8

    “Tariana Turia is in it for herself. She wants power and she wants to be able to go to sleep every night saying ‘screw you, Helen, I won’.”

    But she hasn’t won. Helen will go down in history as the internationally recognised stateswoman that she has become. Tariana will not be going anywhere because no-one will remember her.

  9. dave 9

    There’s only two ways the Maori Party can go in government – with Labour or with National – name one reason why the Maori Party should align with Labour, after Shane Jones has stated he`d like to drive the Maori Party out of the house, and Helen Clark called them last cab off the rank and their supporters haters and wreckers. The Maori Party wont align with Labour until Turia is gone, and a jolly good thing it is, too.

    • Bright Red 9.1

      Again, I don’t see what’s wrong with Shane Jones wanting Labour to win the Maori seats. It would drive the MP out of Parliament. But the alternative is for Labour to effectively concede the seats, making them ‘one-party’ seats just when Maori roll voters have real choice for the first time in generations. Not very democratic.

  10. tc 10

    Exactly dave, until the stapled one shuffles off they’ll remain a division of national and unable to align with labour.

    As such moving forward/compromise (you know the things effective political parties do) not on the agenda currently and Jones line plays to their current position with a self serving co-leader interested in feathering a nest she hopes to fly to.

    I’ve faith the MP can become effective but not with it’s inagural leaders and I do find it typical of the msm that when Labour suggest the MP’s position’s not great for maori it’s maori bashing and not politics…..maturity will take sometime for the likes of Willie Jackson and crew.

  11. PK 11

    ***Her one big idea Whanau Ora, is privatisation by stealth. No wonder the Nats love her.***

    I don’t see why they should, it will simply expand public sector expenses and make them less efficient. It will also make it difficult/impossible to implement any kind of work readiness policy for DHB recipients. National supporters should be appalled.

  12. Anne 12

    @ Julie
    It is my understanding that Helen was instrumental in getting Tariana elected as a Labour MP in the first place. We only have Tariana’s word that she was treated badly. I suspect the fallout had more to do with the fact that Tariana likes to have her own way come hell or high water. The evidence suggests she was not prepared to be a team player and under those circumstances it was inevitable there would be a parting of the ways. I think it is to Helen’s credit that she has stayed quiet on what really happened. It wouldn’t surprise me if it happens again one day.

    • I would have to agree in hindsight, Tari was certainly not a good pick for Labour. Especially with all the seats wide open for any Labour-Ratana candidate to take.

      Ideally, party and philosophical/ideological loyalty should be of paramount importance when choosing candidates, but of course, this is not always the case. Certainly, the Labour Party has learnt many harsh lessons in this regard, which should hopefully point them back toward the former method of selection.

  13. B 13

    Perhaps the Maori Party don’t want to be welcomed into the ‘fold’! Yes most Maori voters vote Labour but the Maori Party has its own very strong ideas about having systems in place that are for Maori – these ideas in some sense fit with the Neo-Liberal ideology of National. With privatisation comes choice – not the one size fits all that comes with public systems which are often based on assumptions of white middle class nuclear families. Its coming a bit strong to say Turia is driven by a ‘vendetta’ – she has always been in favour of services run by Maori for Maori and obviously thinks it is pragmatic to go with the party which will get her the results she wants for her people. Whether this is going to benefit Maori in the long term is doubtful given Nationals other policies but its not about power or vendettas for Turia its what she believes is best for Maori.

  14. Descendant Of Smith 14

    I don’t think you can question her commitment to approving things for Maori. She has a strong track record on doing this since the 80’s at least. The Maccess / Access / PEP schemes she was involved with in the 80’s were positive examples of what could be done at a practical level to help individuals, many of whom came from court referrals. The marae that some of the schemes were on Whangaehu and Te Ao Hou in particular had much improved infrastructure as a result. The building of gardens for instance taught not only skills but enabled the marae to be less dependent on needing koha and food from the poor and the unemployed when tangi eventuated. I’m not sure whether those gardens have been maintained over time but at the time they made a big difference.

    They were very practical solutions to meeting community needs. Not all solutions in our society need to be about building cannon fodder for the workforce – same as not all education should be about employment skills.

    Most solutions proffered by governments do seem to focus on community and prosperity based purely on wealth and employment. It should be no surprise at all that people marginalised by that approach see a different problem and different solutions. It should also be no surprise that given her experience of running schemes herself that see sees the opportunity to not only do things different but to take some funding away from traditional government departments and put this in the hands of local groups.

    She does have some extremist views at times and I’m never quite convinced whether she genuinely wants that or whether she is simply pushing boundaries at the edges. Either way there’s value in this country in doing that.

    We’re far too compliant in many respects about challenging the norms that are often portrayed as gospel and Tariana and the Maori party certainly allow a different voice to be heard. I don’t always agree with what they say but it’s very important they are there.

    The difficulty with assessing Whanau Ora in any way shape or form is that no-one knows what it even is. Until then the jury is out.

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