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New Left Party?

Written By: - Date published: 11:20 am, November 7th, 2010 - 209 comments
Categories: election 2011, Left, political parties, rumour - Tags: , ,

The rumour mill has been buzzing since a couple of commentators here let slip that Matt McCarten was making a run in the Mana by-election. The word is that the campaign will be used to launch a new Left Party with McCarten, Hone Harawira, Sue Bradford and others.

I’m putting a lot of credence in the rumours, because they’ve come at us from different sources and I think the party has a viable business case.

Hone is clearly sick of the sell-out Maori Party leadership. The latest insult, taking him off the foreshore and seabed select committee, may well have been the last straw. Hone’s seat is safe, he got over twice the vote of his main rival, Labour’s Kelvin Davis (a rising star, btw), in Te Tai Tokerau last election. Maori Party MPs are elected on their personal mana more than party, and Hone would have no trouble seeing off whoever Tariana Turia puts up against him.

Matt’s campaign skills make it an exciting possibility. In the Mana debates, he has not only easily bested Kris Fa’afoi and Hekia Parata he has made them look like fakes parroting head office lines (I’d still vote Fa’afoi though, given we have no idea how close Parata is behind him). Matt knows he isn’t in with a shot of winning in Mana but he is using it as a platform to put the issues that would be central to his new party on to the national scene. He can argue forcefully and clearly for the working class without the baggage a major party brings with it.

And it is a foolish person who underestimates Sue Bradford. She has easily been the most successful backbench List MP in history. Along with passing other private members’ bills, she succeeded in getting nearly the whole Parliament to vote to outlaw the use of violence against children was an incredible feat that will have a subtle but significant impact on this country for decades.

With the Progressives winding up and no sign of an Alliance resurgence, there is a gap for a true Left party that emphasises economic/working class issues more than the Greens, who, lets face it, draw most of their support from well-heeled urban liberals. I don’t think there’s a risk of a new party knocking the Greens below 5%, their base is solid, but they may lose some who are dissatisfied with the Norman-ites’ style.

The difficulty for such a party will only be in the crowded political marketplace it is entering. If its core tenants will be a rejection of neoliberalism, privatisation, and sale of important assets to foreign interests then it will calling for the same things as the Greens, Labour, and New Zealand First. But with a safe seat, it doesn’t have to secure too many votes to have an impact in the next Parliament.

This party and NZF on the rise again will make a fascinating campaign: ACT and National defending the failed neoliberal project, four centre to Left parties rejecting it, and Turia and Dunne sniffing the wind.

PS. From the strongly rumoured to the purely speculative, what chance do you reckon of a reactionary party led by Paul Henry and Michael Laws having a crack at the carcass of ACT’s support and the hardright support National dog-whistles in opposition and tries to ignore in power?

209 comments on “New Left Party? ”

  1. Just what the left needs, a new party to divert attention from changing the government. Cue Monty Python

    • AndrewK 1.1

      “Just what the left needs, a new party to divert attention from changing the government. Cue Monty Python”

      This is typical of what is wrong with the Labour Party, “…changing the government…” is utterly meaningless if the social and economic policies are to remain fundamentally unchanged. This country needs an actual left wing presence to counter the psuedo-left lip service on offer from the moderate wing of the Labour/National coalition.

      When is Phill Goff going to come out in defense of the heroic actions of the Waihopai three?

      • AndrewK, what changes are you talking about specifically? Labour’s education, welfare, health and housing policies are all significantly preferable to National’s (I also think it’s economic policies are too). A third party that is built on entirely ideological and unelectable policies will be nothing more than a diversion.

        • mcflock

          labour places a different icing on the same shitcake.

        • Ari

          Being preferable is not enough. Parties have a duty to find things people want to vote for, not trying to sell us on voting against the other parties.

          A policy can’t be unelectable. A candidate or party could be.

  2. Tiger Mountain 2

    Whadda diversion. Such a party could only be an Alliance aping left social demcratic party with some nudge nudge marxist undertones. The Alliance still exists in skeletal form, depending on your bent why not help resuscitate that? Why not work within Labour to help enforce it’s move away from neo liberalism?

    The genuine alternative to existing parties is a true anti capitalist marxist party.

    Only one party with a marxist programme stood a full ticket at the last election-the NZ Workers Party, so there is one to support. The other beyond sect size marxist group is the SWO. Now for us non party aligned marxists, both of these are a milkshake of previously exisiting flavours and splits-NZCP plus various Maoist and Trotskyite groups. The WP is very explicit about it’s views on the class collaborationist basis of the Labour Party, SWO not so much.

    You just about talked yourself out of the idea anyway Eddie when you touched on the effect on the Greens. Starting a new party is a hell of a lot of work with the paper trail and membership formalities.

  3. Nick K 3

    They say the only thing constant is change. That applies in politics just as much as anywhere else. It will be fascinating to see what happens with this. I am hearing that Hone is seriously disaffected. The Maori Party may well break up. But Hone with a seat, and with the party with, say, 3% of the Left vote, will simply make the Left more fragmented and harder to form a coalition. If voters reject MMP, which they may well do, where will that leave this party?

    This is bad news for Phil Goff. New Zealand voters are pretty middle-ground and pragmatic. They don’t like extremists. I can see Key campaigning now on a vote for Goff being a vote for Bradford and Harawira as ministers. John Ansell would have a field day.

    • I just saw this post and there are 71 comments.

      My first impression is that if Hone gives the party the benefit of an electorate seat then what the hell, there will be hard left MPs in Parliament. This is not a bad thing although surprising given that Labour is moving left. I bet the planning occurred before Labour’s very successful conference that saw an economic shift away from the free market.

      So if ACT goes and this group gets 5 seats that is a good result. The electorate by electorate confusion will need to be assessed however.

  4. Pascal's bookie 4

    I don’t really know much about any of the existing marxist parties, which is their problem of course. What they seem to lack, ironically enough, is effective organisers.

    I don’t think this party, if real, will be explicitly marxist. Those three are all experienced and effective organisers with a track record of genuine grass roots work organising previously unorganised and therefore marginalised groups. There is a block of disaffected people out there that don’t vote, and never vote, partially because they rightly see that there is no one that will use their vote to fight for them. I suspect this party will be targeting them.

    If so; good.

    • Tiger Mountain 4.1

      PB, I am reasonably sure it won’t be marxist, but it would have to be explicitly somewhere on the political spectrum. Hone has done well organising people in the North that Dover ignored for years but surely he would not touch such a new party with a 40 foot pole. He would be more likely to wait on the MP to change or stand as an independent.

    • gingercrush 4.2

      I can just see non-voters totally vote for Harawira, Bradford and McCarten. What a joke. Do you really think the politically ambivalent have much in common with any of these candidates? A case could be made for Harawira since Maori electorates have appalling turnout rates. But Bardford and McCarten? Doubtful.

      • mickysavage 4.2.1

        Harawira would have a pretty reasonable chance of retaining his electorate seat. If so he would join a select club that includes Rodney Hide, Peter Dunne, Jim Anderton and (gasp) Winston Peters.

        • gingercrush

          Harawira would retain his seat. My point isn’t that its impossible but I can’t see them achieving 5% and I really can’t see a viable party in a Harawira-McCarten-Bradford arrangement. And having an electorate seat can mean your party lasts while they remain as an electorate MP but it doesn’t achieve any real long-term goals.

          Though the chances of Harawira leaving the Maori Party for some weird left-wing party with both McCarten and Bradford really stretches the imagination.

          • mickysavage

            It is not so weird. McCarten and Bradford and Joe Carolyn and John Minto and others have a great amount of credibility. If Hone signs up you will have a party with a number of leaders, not just one as in the case of the Progressives, United Future (wonderfully inappropriate name) or NZ first …

      • Pascal's bookie 4.2.2

        What do you mean by “politically ambivalent ” and what makes you think that all non-voters are “politically ambivalent “? If they are ambivalent because they don’t see anyone worth voting for, then grass roots organisation can turn that around. Organisation can make the disaffected, affected.

        Essentially you are making an argument similar to a ‘silent majority’ one, ie, that you know what the silent are really thinking, and surprise surprise, it’s just what you’d like them to be thinking.

        To do so, you changed my ‘dissaffected’ to your ‘ambivalent’. I appreciate that you probably don’t know there is a difference between what those words mean, but as I’ve said before, it’s not my fault you’re an idiot.

        I’m saying that these three people have decades of experience in organising groups that were silent before getting organised*. Do you dispute that, or are you saying that this experience is useless to a start up political party?

        *(Your critique here could have been made at any time of those previously silent groups BTW. Heh, like McCarten has anything in common with min wage retail and fast food workers. Or as if Bradford has anything in common with a sickness beneficiary. )

        • gingercrush

          You’re very clever PB but you’re also fucking stupid. No Bradford and McCarten cannot get 5% unless they take down the Greens. Just because both are spokespeople for low-income people and beneficiaries does not mean they will magically be able to attract such people to the voting booths. Likewise just because a message is targetted to those people does not mean they are able to magically attract votes. If that was the case the Greens would have done far better amongst such groups at the 1999, 2002, 2005 and 2008 election. They didn’t. Nor did the Alliance have a great record of attracting such support except for in Christchurch and that was primarily down to Anderton

          You also ignore the fact that a pairing of McCarten and Bradford is going to be more than the economy its going to go into areas that the Greens also exercise. That will be a distraction ensuring those low-income people the left actually know fuck all about won’t go out to vote. Especially among the provincial/rural people.

          And if you add Harawira to the mix you are setting that party up for a disaster. What a great way to ensure the low-income decide not to vote.

          A McCarten-Bradford pairing will attract primarily urban-liberal votes in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch and might get some of the provincial vote the Greens currently enjoy. I very much doubt the low income will be part of that equation.

          • Pascal's bookie

            All very interesting g, but I never said anything about 5 percent.

            I don’t know, nor do I claim to know, what sort of platform these guys might run on.

            Here is what I said:

            There is a block of disaffected people out there that don’t vote, and never vote, partially because they rightly see that there is no one that will use their vote to fight for them. I suspect this party will be targeting them.

            If so; good.


            I’m saying that these three people have decades of experience in organising groups that were silent before getting organised*. Do you dispute that, or are you saying that this experience is useless to a start up political party?

            *(Your critique here could have been made at any time of those previously silent groups BTW. Heh, like McCarten has anything in common with min wage retail and fast food workers. Or as if Bradford has anything in common with a sickness beneficiary.)

            I don’t think the greens are at all effective in targeting their message at disaffected groups. That almost goes without saying.

            Something to think about, seeing you like looking at the data, have a look at the don’t votes. Do you suspect there is some overlap there with the likes of those who Matt got organised with Unite? How about those Bradford helped organise before she ever thought about entering parliament. Think real carefully about who Hone can organise to get a national movement outside the mP structure, and what sort of message would appeal to them.

            Think also about how the economy might look in five years should nat win next year. Who do you think is going to bear the brunt of a second term nat govt? Think about how well the alliance did at their peak, when Labour was going through issues and the country was in recession.

            I’m not stupid enough to make predictions. Those are for idiots. All I’m saying is that these are specific people with specific histories of organising disaffected groups from the ground up.

            They have form.

            If this party is in the pipeline, (and that’s a big if), I’d say look at that past form and ask yourself if these individuals will really be making a play for urban liberals and greenies. Or will they be following their past form and success in speaking to and for those who haven’t got a voice in the institutional structures that currently exist.

            • Colonial Viper

              Turnout is the enemy of the Right. And they know it.

              • Hamish Gray

                What nonsense. Older voters are disporportionately represented in voter turnout and older voters tend to vote conservative. Note the Democrats over reliance on the youth vote in the States – they reverted to their usual turnout rates and the democrats lost… big.

                • Ari

                  Except that older voters don’t vary as much on turnout, so high turnout makes the discrepancy smaller, enfranchising more of the public and mitigating the advantage from being favoured by older voters- in short, turnout is the enemy of the right 😛

                  Also, it wasn’t just the youth vote that didn’t turn out for the democrats- they probably lost in all their key demographics, from racial minorities to women to queer voters, given how uninspiring their performance has been.

  5. Adele 5

    Teenaa koe,

    In my opinion, If Hone is to leave Te Pati Maaori it will not be to launch a ‘left’ party. His agenda is focussed on improving the political, social, economic, and cultural aspirations of Maaori, or more succintly, the achievement of tino rangatiratanga for Maaori. A left agenda does not necessarily confer such a policy for Maaori – the Labour Party under Helen Clarke a prime example of relegating Maaori issues to the mud-flats only.

    Sue Bradford’s work on behalf of beneficiaries is more memorial than her work on behalf of children. The perceptions of her amendment to the Crimes Act resonate anti-parent moreso than pro-children.

    Matt McCarten is an awesome bloke and would definitely personify a truely ‘left’ agenda that is pro worker rights, etc. The three living together in the one whare – I don’t think so.

  6. Hopefully a new party would have strong environmental and climate policies too. Labour has not climate targets, and is very vague on its environmental bottom lines. The greens would be able to work well with a new Alliance style party, and if the labour party really is turning left they would be able to as well.

    Labour under Goff is never going to beat National under Key, even most people in Labour admit that. Rogernomics and Neoliberalism is over. Welcome to a new era, if a New Left party pulls it off. The Maori Party will die if they continue to stay in bed with National and Act. They could turn left, and enter a coalition – if Labour welcomed them.

    If NZ First fails to get back in, and so does Act, and Peter Dunne looses his electorate to Charles Chauvel parliament could look very different…

    • Gotham 6.1

      If a new left party got off the ground, I would like it to focus on the social justice side of issues, and then the Greens are free to move back to their original roots – true environmental advocates. Certainly maintain a clear link with environment and social justice (particularly in climate change issues) but pass on some of the more purely social issues.

      The Greens have done well I think in boosting their economic credentials and campaigning on some high profile social justice issues, but in some ways I think it has really been at the loss of focusing on environmental standards which is why I have supported and voted Green in all elections I have been elegible to.

      With another key environmental MP leaving (Kedgley), I am worried we are watering down our core environmental principles in favour of a ‘mainstream’ approach (just at a time when the ‘mainstream’ is turning green anyway…go figure…)

      When the Greens get too sucked into thinking about ‘compromise’ and ‘consensus’ we get things like the party voting in favour of the Earthquake Recovery Bill, and some MPs voting in favour of the Manukau Prostitution Bill. Yup – still pretty pissed off about that…

    • swordfish 6.2

      To get a better handle on the where the traditional Alliance support-bases are in Mana (and therefore the resevoirs of support Matt McCarten may well be tapping into over the next few weeks):

      Here’s the geography of the Alliance and Green Party-Vote in 1999 (after The Greens had split), and the geography of the Alliance, Green and Progressive Party-Vote in 2002 (after Anderton’s split). I use the 5 “sub-regions” that I devised for comments in ‘Mana Campaign Heating Up’ (October 26):

      (1) The East

      Suburb———————–1999 Election—————————2002 Election





      (2) The West



      • swordfish 6.2.1

        Suburb——————–1999 Election————————-2002 Election

        (3) Near-North






        (4) Far-North


        Pukerua Bay


        Raumati South

        Raumati Beach

        (5) The South


        Tawa (northern portion only)

        • swordfish

          The above statistics suggest, I think, that a considerable section of current Green voters in Mana are probably former (1999 post-Green split) Alliance voters (New Labour voters, if you will). Not necessarily a majority, mind. And obviously we need to factor in that a decade has passed – voters have died/turned 18/left the seat/arrived in the seat over the years, but I’d say a good proportion are former Alliance supporters.

          Right and so the 1999 Alliance vote % in order of strongest to weakest suburb:

          Paekakariki 13 (FN), Porirua East 11 (E), Pukerua Bay 11 (FN), Titahi Bay 11 (W), Ascot Park 10 (E), Paraparaumu 10 (FN), Elsdon 9 (W), Linden 8 (S), Tawa 8 (S), Raumati Beach 8 (FN), Raumati South 8 (FN), Cannons Creek 7 (E), Papakowhai 7 (NN), Plimmerton 6 (NN), Paremata 6 (NN), Whitby 5 (NN), Waitangirua 5 (E), Pauatahanui 3 (NN).

          And the 1999 Alliance vote (raw number) strong-to-weak suburb:

          Titahi Bay 314 (W), Raumati Beach 203 (FN), Whitby 161 (NN), Porirua East 159 (E), Linden 155 (S), Cannons Creek 137 (E), Ascot Park 128 (E), Paremata 120 (NN), Paekakariki 114 (FN), Raumati South 97 (FN), Plimmerton 87 (NN), Pukerua Bay 83 (FN), Papakowhai 78 (NN), Elsdon 75 (W), Waitangirua 43 (E), Paraparaumu 36 (FN), Pauatahanui 17 (NN), Tawa 13 (S).

          And so to bed…

  7. Do not forget that Matt McCarten is good friends with Hone.

    Come to this Auckland event if you want to discuss the direction New Zealand is going in:

    Speakers and workshops:

    Saturday 27 November · 08:00 – 23:30
    Te Wananga Aotearoa, 15 Canning Crescent, Mangere.
    Registration $20.
    Hosted by Unite

    8.30am: Registration, Tea/coffee

    9.00am: Welcome/Intros

    9.15am: “Confronting the economic crisis – what caused it and how it can be overcome”.

    The worldwide economic crisis over the past few years has seen a massive growth of unemployment and cutbacks in basic entitlements for working people. This session will discuss how this crisis came about and how we can fight its effects.

    Speakers: Jane Kelsey, professor of law at Auckland University and author of many books exposing the effects of neoliberal economic theory on NZ will focus on the international dimension of the crisis; Mike Treen, National Director of Unite Union will focus on the impact of the crisis on NZ and how working people can resist.

    11am: Activist Workshops

    This will be an opportunity for a number of workshops to be held on topics suggested by activists across the country. These include the following possible subjects (some confirmed, some possible) – Casualisation of labour, workers resistance in Europe (Joe Carolan – Unite Campaigns Organiser); Maori economic elites; Tax justice campaign (Vaughan Gunson, Socialist Worker); Migrant workers; Workers resistance in Australia (Jody Betzian AMWU organizer and Socialist Alliance activist; Climate Justice & Workers Rights (Gary Cranston, Climate Camp); The Right to Strike (Jared Phillips, Unite Waikato Organiser); Campaigns against poverty and beneficiary bashing

    12-1 Lunch

    1pm: Poverty and inequality – can it be ended?

    The growth of inequality and poverty in Aotearoa was the one unarguable effect of the neoliberal economic changes imposed over the last few decades. What happened here was mirrored around the globe. This reality barely changed under the last Labour led government and none of the major parties have a programme to seriously combat – let alone eliminate – the terrible social consequences of poverty and inequality. But can it be ended?

    Speakers: John Minto (Spokesperson for Global Peace and Justice Auckland and Unite Union organizer); second speaker to be announced.

    3pm: Activist Workshops

    This will be an opportunity for a number of workshops to be held on topics suggested by activists across the country. These include the following subjects (some confirmed, some possible) – Casualisation of labour, workers resistance in Europe (Joe Carolan – Unite Campaigns Organiser); Maori economic elites; Tax justice campaign (Vaughan Gunson, Socialist Worker); Migrant workers; Workers resistance in Australia (Jody Betzian AMWU organizer and Socialist Alliance activist; Climate Justice & Workers Rights (Gary Cranston, Climate Camp); The Right to Strike (Jared Phillips, Unite Waikato Organiser); Campaigns against poverty and beneficiary bashing.

    4pm – 6pm: “The Left and parliament – some lessons from the Alliance and Green Party experience”

    Matt McCarten (Unite General secretary, former Alliance Party president), Sue Bradford (community activist and former Green Party MP)

    7pm Drinks Dancing and Revolutionary Music!!!! @ Onehunga RSA

  8. gobsmacked 8

    If there’s any untapped energy for such a party (or coalition, or movement, whatever), it should be channelled into the campaign to keep MMP.

    There won’t be any room for any new party, and very little room even for the Greens, if the Right defeats MMP. All these dreams would die overnight.

    It would be all too typical of the left to try and win a skirmish with an ally, while the war is lost to the enemy (see countless examples from world history, e.g. UK, 1979-1997).

    Save MMP in the referendum next year. Otherwise this is just a computer fantasy game.

    • Colonial Viper 8.1

      As usual gobs, you are on the money. We need to keep MMP and we need to improve various aspects of it. In fact, the campaign to keep MMP needs to incorporate the message of incremental improvement. Otherwise voters are likely to ditch the baby with the bath water.

  9. ianmac 9

    Jeremy Rose had a longish interview with Matt McCarten:
    [audio src="http://podcast.radionz.co.nz/ideas/ideas-20101017-1110-Ideas_for_17_October_2010-048.mp3" /]

    Fascinating. I have been thinking that under MMP there is room for a distinct Leftish party, whilst leaving Labour the so-called Center Left ground. Add the Greens and include a significant body of Maori who support Labour, and you have an interesting scenario. And remember NZF.

    • felix 9.1

      I think you’ll find there are two dots before the mp3 extension in your filename instead of one.

      • ianmac 9.1.1

        Err. Thanks but I just copied it from the site. It works when I trial it?

        • AlbatrossNZ

          The links working for me.

        • felix

          Weirdly didn’t work the first time and in the source I noticed the extra dot – then after reloading the page the dot was gone and it worked fine. Gremlins most likely.

          Anyways very interesting interview, thanks.

  10. just saying 10

    Excellent news.

    One of the worst things about Labour’s (to date) kowtowing to the soft,well-to-do, Nat-but might swing-for-a better-offer voters, has been the lack of alternative arguments on all manner of neo-lib propaganda. The poor, and less powerful have been almost completely unrepresented in parliament and in the media, as it presents the “opposition” view. So much has already gone unheard. Hate campaigns and blatant victim-blaming of the disadvantaged have been largely unchallenged. Essential information has not been disseminated.

    The Green’s have done some excellent work in the past, but social justice was always a secondary concern, and the party has consciously moved away from it, presumably, in part, to concentrate on it’s “knitting”.

    Labour says it has changed. I hope it has. I haven’t seen or heard anything of this new discourse since the conference. Maybe it will need a left wing party to ‘keep it honest’.

    Anyway, I can’t wait to hear the voices of the left getting louder and prouder

    • Colonial Viper 10.1

      People in the Labour party need to keep the pressure on the hierarchy to do the right things to rebuild the ‘real economy’ and to ensure that workers get their fair share of the economic value they produce.

      And yes, the Left need to be voicing their point of view much more strongly and clearly. The Hobbit was really a lesson in how the message is not getting through to the people and all they are hearing is the well monied viewpoint.

  11. Could someone here who thinks there needs to be a new left party please explain what it is you think Labour’s not doing? So far, the only thing I’ve read in this thread is a lack of climate targets? I could’ve started with a less dismissive post, sorry, but I’m still wondering what the point is?

    • Colonial Viper 11.1

      Off the top of my head I’d like to see utility services, including basic banking, operated on a not for profit basis and separated out from profit oriented operations.

      I’d like to see institutional support for the formation of workers co-operatives, community building societies and the like.

      A cap on executive pay set at a multiple of the median full time wage (perhaps 30x or 40x). No one should make in two days what someone on the minimum wage earns in one year.

      A return to tertiary education at minimal cost to students.

      A firm statement that environmental and social capital, along with a fair distribution of financial capital, are crucial for any society to be healthy.

      A firm statement that while free markets for products and general services are very useful, they have limited or no use in many other areas (e.g. health, education).

      High levels of high wage employment being made a primary Government, Treasury and Reserve Bank goal.

      CGT, estate tax.

      Mind you Goff has already signalled some things being considered, like Govt not profiteering off the supply of electricity, CGT, and changing the RBA so Labour is on the ball with some elements.

      • Paul Williams 11.1.1

        Thanks for this Col Viper, there’s a few things in here I agree with, a few I don’t know enough about to comment.

        I certainly think there are limits to the functioning of markets, but I am of the view that well designed markets can deliver sustainable public good. I also think governments have to be engaged in utilities though I wonder about operating directly, and on a not-for-profit basis, a bank is sustainable? The profits of banks trouble me, not least of all since only recently many of them were in need of propping up, however isn’t there a risk that government offering free services would displace private operations (that may need better regulation?).

        I would like to see some more fundamental discussion of economic policy and priorities. I don’t however, see the benefit of starting up a new left party (and I’m not sure if you intend the list above to be the basis or reason for a new party)?

        • Colonial Viper

          No, I don’t think the list I wrote particularly justifies the starting of a brand new political party. Seems like an awkward way to go about it.

          though I wonder about operating directly, and on a not-for-profit basis, a bank is sustainable?

          This was the basis for a lot of so-called building societies and community banks, so it is definitely workable.

          but I am of the view that well designed markets can deliver sustainable public good.

          This is very hard to do as profit oriented players always find ways to slant the market in their favor and to engage in price gouging on behalf of their shareholders. You would need extremely effective regulation and oversight to overcome that behaviour.

          however isn’t there a risk that government offering free services would displace private operations

          Wait a sec, “not for profit” != “free”.

          The other thing that I will add to the list, and this is significantly Left wing, the Government should issue all currency itself ‘ex-nihlo’ (out of nothing). It should not allow commercial banks to create interest bearing debt based money out of nothing (which they currently do through ‘fractional reserve banking’).

          Further, the Govt should absolutely minimise what it needs to borrow to fund its operations, in favour of sufficient taxation.

          • Paul Williams

            Got some other things I need to be doing but just a quick reply, I completely agree that there needs to be much more and strict regulation of financial markets. The following is a link to an interview on ABC from a few years back on debt devices etc, you can read the transcript or podcast etc


            • Colonial Viper

              Cheers mate.

              The ABC link reminds me that our public broadcasting and news services need to be seriously shored up. Having Murdoch in charge of our media is not a good idea if we want a real democracy; we frequently see what a letdown the MSM is.

    • Green Tea 11.2

      “Could someone here who thinks there needs to be a new left party please explain what it is you think Labour’s not doing?”

      Pretty simple: in the 9 years of the last Labour government did we see REAL wages increase? Did we see housing become more affordable? Did the cost of power come down? Did we move closer to free education?

    • Could someone here who thinks there needs to be a new left party please explain what it is you think Labour’s not doing?

      – Engaging with and responding to people (and no, the heavily moderated goings-on at Red Alert don’t count, and the attempt at a policy wiki, while well intentioned, wasn’t moderated enough and when I last checked was a mess).

      – Pledging to commit itself to measures to ensure mid-term accountability (lowering the threshold for citizens initiated referenda and running them online; recall; recoverable proxy; Parliamentary reform and not just electoral reform, including an independent Commissioner for Parliamentary Standards and a host of other initiatives).

      – Admitting hubris got the better of it last time round so people feel able to potentially trust it again.

      – Selecting many truly outstanding candidates (given a chance to do so, it parachutes in a Goffice toady with no party or even political history or nous).

      – Articulating a vision for New Zealand shaped after genuine engagement with ordinary New Zealanders (hint: this would contain things not already on their agenda before the process began and, importantly, would result in the slaying of what are clearly, for some in the party, a few sacred cows).

      – And so on…

      In short, they survive by virtue of being slightly better representatives of the hopes and aspirations of slightly more NZers than do their opponents. And that’s no longer enough.

  12. They’d could do worse than get Efeso Collins on board to campaign among the Pasifikan electorate.

    He being, the Pasifikan broadcaster who lost his 531 PI radio job for vociferously highlighting the PEDA LTD debacle.

    • Jum 12.1

      Absolutely – a shocking endictment on New Zealand in allowing that to happen.

      It’s strange that the country-wide populace misled and hyped up by NAct complained about Labour wanting to reduce the control that money has on election campaigning yet there was hardly a whimper from any Kiwi when this ‘totally on to it’ man lost his job because he told the truth about budgeted financial backhanders by NAct to an unknown beneficiary with little form (one page of promises and platitudes I believe it was and without any real input from the Minister for Pasifika matters) for providing bang for buck for Pacifika.

      Just another little tear in the fabric of my respect for New Zealanders’ intelligence.

      We need Efeso Collins on a radio station that, at the very least, isn’t ‘redneck right’.

  13. Jum 13

    I will vote for a left-leaning party that recognises women’s rights with pay equity in legislation. Early Labour did not have a good record on this, even Clark’s government, with lots of research but no legislation; I don’t want a return to the blokey, chest thumping of the past.

    AmeriNAct already holds that portfolio, organising more unnecessary pay equity research over the next 10 years, stopping the previous Labour research which had reached a decision-making stage, refusing to pay WINZ women workers as much as WINZ men workers, deliberately increasing women’s unemployment but increasing male employment in casual work which reduces the unemployment figures, cunningly. I don’t know how people survive on those ‘flexible’ wages. (flexible – NAct speak for ‘accept or you don’t get the job’)

    It is about time men realised that women are not the enemy; rightwing government is.

    Sue Bradford has done some good work in the past. Should be interesting.

    • Colonial Viper 13.1

      given his Government’s policies, I think John Key polls way too high amongst female voters!

      • Jum 13.1.1

        Quite right Colonial Viper

        I’ll correct.

        ‘It is about time men and many women realised that women are not the enemy; rightwing government is.’

        • mickysavage



          Go back to the third Labour Government and read what they did for pay parity. Then have a look at the 4th Labour Government and what they did for pay equity.

          This is one of those holy grails for the party that gets checked out on the second day after a new labour Government is elected. Then compare this to what the current lot do …

    • swordfish 13.2

      “I will vote for a left-leaning party that recognises women’s rights with pay equity in legislation. Early Labour did not have a good record on this…”

      Well, yeah, that’s the middle-class, ex-boarding school, Hippy-Generation version of 20c New Zealand history (the current orthodoxy). Back in the real world, Labour women were calling for Equal Pay at Labour Party conferences by the early 1920s. And the 1943-1960 campaign for Equal Pay and Opportunity in the Public Service was dominated by Labour women, with – I might add – the strong support of more than a few Labour men.

      As opposed to the Jock Phillips/Michael King/James Belich version of events, where Equal Pay/Pay Equity was supposedly dreamed-up by affluent young, ex-boarding school, Boomer women like Sue Kedgely in the late 60s/early 70s, in between yoga classes. It seems those older Labour women (and men) were just the wrong generation and the wrong class.

  14. For what it’s worth, here’s my analysis of Matt McCarten’s jump into the Mana by-election, including some speculation about the potential ‘New Left Party’:


    • Gotham 14.1

      I just found this! You were well ahead of the game, Bryce!

      But I don’t agree that the Greens would be the most hurt by McCarten’s campaign in Mana elecorate. Logie, though running a really great campagin and holding her own, is really there campaigning on increasing the Green Party’s profile in the area – at least this would have to be the strategy to keep in line with the Green’s policy of running for the party vote and not investing in candidate campaigns. Hopefully if Logie keeps up the good job she is already doing, then the Greens will get a good return at the next election.

      And to say “Logically, if the Green Party is any real sort of leftwing party, then the Mana branch will actually resolve the issue by pulling their candidate out of the race” is something I can’t disagree with more. I fail to see the logic in that at all…

      But I appreciate your analysis, otherwise.

      • Bryce Edwards 14.1.1

        Yes, Gotham, I possibly overstated the damage that McCarten would do to the Greens. But my main points were that if McCarten’s campaign picked up any real momentum, then Logie would be the first to have her votes collapsing into McCarten’s tally, and that the local Greens branch could be conflicted. It’s worth noting that the Mana Green branch has indeed struggled with “the McCarten dilemma”. The outcome has been that some senior Green activists have essentially switched sides to campaign for McCarten instead of Logie. And in terms of whether Logie should pull out or not, this is really based, again, on what leftwing-Greens should do in the event that it suddenly appeared that McCarten was the only left candidate that was likely to be able to beat Faafoi. If that did happen, then there would be a lot of pressure on Logie – essentially an appeal to her leftism – to essentially pull out of the campaign and endorse a leftwing vote for McCarten.

        • KlezmerRebDavid

          This is fantasy. None of the Mana Greens have ‘switched sides’. A few are helping Matt while continuing to work for Jan Logie. That will not be the case during the General Election. The Mana Greens team is very loyal. And they are smart enough to see that the attempt to form a ‘workers’ party is doomed to failure without a safe seat, and Hone will never leave the Maori Party.

          • Bryce Edwards

            KlezmerRedDavid – despite your intentions to rebut my claim that in Mana ‘some senior Green activists have essentially switched sides to campaign for McCarten’, you actually confirm this when you state that ‘A few are helping Matt’! Of course they are, and because of their personal sense of loyalty to Logie, they obvious haven’t entirely abandoned her, and are ‘campaigning for both’ – which, as I said, *essentially* means they’ve switched to McCarten’s campaign. So, no, this isn’t a ‘fantasy’ – just a ‘nightmare’ for the Green Party leadership. 😉

            But, you’re right, these activists haven’t actually resigned their Green Party memberships ready to join the New Left Party to campaign in 2011. Currently there’s a whole lot of leftwing ‘refugees’ in the Green Party that are there simply because they feel that “in lieu of a leftwing party, the Greens are the best thing on offer for activists”. But *if* a viable leftwing party does eventuate, then across the country there will be more than a handful of Green Party members and activists that will be faced with the dilemma of staying with an increasingly centrist and pragmatic party that they know in their hearts isn’t really their thing, or going with a more solidly, but fledgling, leftwing organisation that better represents their principles.

    • Francisco Hernandez 14.2

      With all due respect Bryce but didn’t that get debunked by Phil Quinn like 4 times?


      • swordfish 14.2.1

        I’ve been having a debate with Phil (on his site) about McCarten’s vote (and likely turnout in Mana) over the last few days (using my (one) other nom-de-plume, “Markus”). He thinks McCarten = 200-400 votes, I think = at least 1300, but probably more. I can see Matt making inroads not only into the Lab/Green vote but also NZ First and minor-parties. In fact, if he continues to run a dynamic campaign, he might also make inroads into the ‘soft’ non-vote (those who vote at General Elections but don’t bother at Local and By-Elections). I’d estimate there would be at least 8000 of the latter, about 4500-5000 of them non-Nacts. Even if McCarten takes just 20% of this 5000, that’s another 1000 votes on top of my 1300 estimate. But i’d still go for 1300-1800 as the most likely.

  15. swordfish 15

    Actually, I’d thought of this possibility (Matt McCarten and Hone Harawira forming a new Left Party) in the days before Hone’s Mofo outburst.

    Hone clearly has a safe seat (so, as you say, no need to top the 5% Party-Vote hurdle), Hone was obviously deeply unhappy with the idea of coalescing with the Nats right from the very start, and Matt has clearly had ideas about launching a new Left Party since the demise of the Alliance. I thought, at the time, that such a Party could possibly take as much as 3% of the Party-Vote – the younger, more radical, half of the Maori Party support-base + former New Labour voters (particularly the staunch ones still voting Alliance in 2002 after the big bust-up). So, Hone, Matt, Laila and perhaps one other MP.

    But then I felt Hone’s Mofo outburst would have put paid to that. And I’m not sure whether Matt goes along with the separatist agenda. I would have thought he’d be closer to the Dr Elizabeth Rata view – focussing on workers and beneficiaries (Maori and otherwise) ahead of culturalism and separatism.

  16. I think swordfish is right – there’s not much room in a leftwing party for Maori nationalists like Harawira. Certainly if Harawira had any leadership role that’d prevent a significant range of leftwingers from being involved. Too often people mistakenly think “radical=leftwing” and Harawira, Awatere-Huata, and many other Maori nationalists again and again prove that it’s possible to be loud, anti-Establishment, and radical without actually having much to do with socialism.

    • Jum 16.1

      The Maori radicals don’t have much of a leaning towards rights for women in today’s society either.

      Remember the Eye to Eye ‘episode’ when even Willie was astonished that the powerful activist Maori women in that debate accepted the view that a white man could sit at the front in the meeting house but Maori women could not. Then, verbally, these same women attacked white women who wanted to support Maori women to insist on equality in the meeting house. All astonishing stuff.

      Perhaps another reason why the Maori Party have such a good relationship with AmeriNAct.

      • nzfp 16.1.1

        The Maori radicals don’t have much of a leaning towards rights for women in today’s society either

        Wow Jum,

        You really don’t have a clue what you are talking about… Your ignorance about Tikanga Maori is astonishing.

        This comment is racist – primarily because you assume a context based on a world view which is irrelevant to Maori Tikanga.

        Your comment means you don’t understand the value of women in Maori society – especially as women are valued much higher then men and it is this reason that women are -where ever possible – not subjected to the influences of Tumatauenga, or of Mana and Tapu.

        • Jum

          A few comments nzfp:

          Stop with the ‘I am a racist if I disagree with you’ crap; I’ve always believed it was trotted out 70% of the time (yours included) to stop people having an opinion.

          Being racist is when on Willie’s show once a Maori party candidate stated that she would never watch NZ men play rugby, pause, unless it was the Maori rugby team. But that’s okay I guess if you are Maori…

          I suggest that you be careful about your statement saying women are valued much higher than men when the abuse statistics involving Maori are looked at. Maybe you might change that to ‘Marae women are more highly valued’, but that hasn’t been proved either because the society of NZ which endured the ‘behind closed doors’ philosophy still continues on Marae.

          Now that you’ve flung a few Maori words at me about how powerful the mana of someone is such as Dame Whina or the Tapu placed on foreshore and seabed anywhere Maori ‘damn well please’ soon, the fact still remains; why are men allowed to sit at the front in meetings (when the danger of attack from other tribes is well past) and women aren’t? Why aren’t intelligent Maori women allowed to speak on all Marae? Te Papa Marae protocol which bars women (50% of NZers) – ridiculous. Taxes of all New Zealanders keep that museum afloat.

          Ask Harawira who was spitting tacks to see another woman (Helen Clark) allowed to sit at the front – Hone’s mother wants equality on the Marae. Don’t you agree with that particular Maori woman?

          You say I assume a context based on a world view which is irrelevant to Maori Tikanga. Trouble is, nzfp, the more power Maori Tikanga gains in New Zealand the less individual choices women who don’t follow that thinking have.

          As for Tu-mata-uenga; that has to be the best reason for women to take more control in the way Maori interests are pursued. One Maori was trained from boyhold to become a warrior to lead his tribe in war, hence the warrior mentality today. Women are now the object of the warrior lust. New Zealand men in general have a poor attitude towards the right of women to have an equal say, never mind equal pay – I’m not just picking on Maori or even men.

          If Maori become the sovereign power in New Zealand, does that mean all women are valued higher than men. In Islam the same message is trotted out but I don’t see women treated with respect in the Islamic countries. Maori have also adopted Islam.

          The philosophy of both of these religions/ways of living is that women should not worry their pretty little heads about matters of state; just do as they are told. Women know to their cost what will happen if they don’t.

          • nzfp

            … Stop with the ‘I am a racist if I disagree with you’ crap …

            Yeah you are and I’ll damn well say it again!

            … when on Willie’s show once …

            IRRELEVANT we’re not talking about Willie Jackson, we’re talking about you and your comments! However if you want to create a straw man that’s your choice – but it’s still IRRELEVANT. Cut out the straw men and the rest of the false rhetoric and stick to the point!

            … be careful about your statement saying women are valued much higher than men …

            Be careful about what exactly – my knowledge of Tikanga Maori or your ignorance!

            … when the abuse statistics involving Maori are looked at …

            Which has nothing at all to do with Tikanga Maori as pertains to who does and doesn’t speak on a Marae, but it does continue to highlight your ignorance and your use of Straw Men arguments to side step the issue.

            Domestic abuse is a function of societal stress and poverty not Tikanga Maori and certainly not the context for the reasons that women don’t speak “on the Marae” – specifically the piece of ground in front of the Wharenui called the “Marae”.

            However if you would take the time to do a wee bit of research before throwing out straw men you might understand this and the reasons for it.

            The fact that you allude to “abuse statistics” in this context is also racist as you are attempting to associate Maori culture – Tikanga Maori – with domestic abuse – that is racist, especially as neither me nor any other man in my extended and extensive whanau (whanaunga) have ever commited those crimes!

            … the more power Maori Tikanga gains …

            What power? Maori don’t have power – the 1.7 Billion SCF bailout demonstrated that fact unequivocally! The Foreshore and Seabed debacle which legislated that race – specifically Maori ethnicity – Tikanga Maori – determines the right to – or in my case NOT to – contest private ownership in court made it damn clear who doesn’t have power in Aotearoa.

            … As for Tu-mata-uenga …

            Just what do you know of Tu? Marae protocol is a function of Tikanga Maori and not Pakeha culture, the protocol of the Marae is not Pakeha protocol – it is a subset of Tikanga Maori. Your Pakeha worldview is irrelevant because it is not Tikanga Maori.

            Now that you’ve proven you can use a search engine why don’t you look up the reasons why Women don’t speak on a Marae – in some Kawa. The reason is closer to why Pakeha men open doors for women.

            The reason for women not speaking on a Marae has everything to do with the importance and value of women in Maori society – they are too valuable to be exposed to Tu, the “Marae” – the little piece of ground in front of the Wharenui – is the domain of “Tu-mata-uenga”, the God of war, not Jesus or Rama or any other God or entitiy – but Tu – this is another aspect of Tikanga Maori and a part of Marae protocol. The Marae is the domain of Tu – period! If you engage in Marae protocol you are engaging in Tikanga Maori which means the little piece of dirt you see those men stand on belongs to Tu. Can I stress the point to you again Maori are not Pakeha – just like Navajo are not Germans – do you get it!

            The future of a Whanau, Hapu, Iwi is in the whakapapa of the women. An Iwi can continue without men but not without women – obviously. You can continue without male children but not without girls or women – without women your Whakapapa, your people are a dead end. Consequently women are far more important to the future well being and continued exisence of an Iwi – than men and must not be exposed to Tu – to any potential for harm. If Tu can’t or doesn’t see you… you can work the rest out yourself.

            This is part of Tikanga Maori, along with the rest of Marae protocol. If you enter a Marae you are entering Maori society not Pakeha society, remember Maori are not Pakeha. Therefore a Pakeha worldview is irrelevant and at worst will misread – as you have done – or misunderstand what is happening.

            The formalities of inter/intra tribal politics occur on the Paepae in front of the Marae – the domain of Tu. The real political discourse occurs in the Wharenui and throughout the Hui where women have equal say as any other member of society.

            … Ask Harawira …

            You should ask her yourself, you’re the ignorant one – and I mean the classical definition of the word – without knowlegde. If the media and Clarke had asked Harawira they may have correctly represented the context – but just like you – they chose to be racist and sexist and use it as another opportunity to bash Maori and Tikanga Maori.

            … In Islam the same message is trotted out …

            What’s Islam got to do with anything? Islam has nothing to do with Tikanga Maori and Marae protocol. This represents another straw man and a red herring – more logical fallacies and false rhetoric.

            However since you brought it up you are confusing Islam the religion of 1.6 Billion people, with the cultural practices of the multitudes of societies that adhere to Islam. Forced marriages and female/male genital mutilation – among other things – happen in non-Islamic societies too. Those things are not a function of the religion but the culture. However, attempting to blame the religion for the practices of the cultures that adhere to the religion is most definitely bigoted.

            Do I agree with them – not personally. Can I judge them, from my point of view maybe, but until I understand the context and reasons behind why they happen it would be useless to do so!

            • Jum

              Would your notes be a typical redneck reply to someone else’s opinion. I thought so. If you disagree you throw in bolds, capitals, ‘scream invectives’ at me as Adele accused and then try to bring in headings that I had not alluded to in my initial statement.

              I said nothing about Tikanga Maaori. (Also, according to Adele, you are spelling Maori wrong. It should be Maaori – get with the plan, man). Seems you’re not quite so clever as you thought you were… Ignorant even, just as you accused me of being.

              I went with my daughter’s kindergarten group years ago to a Marae. We observed the protocols as showed to us and then listened to singing. Just a little way away from us, thinking they weren’t overheard were two young wahine/women moaning that they wished we would go. I was a little disappointed that our attempts to share a cultural experience was just a sham and the people had little real interest in us being there.

              You might call it a straw man but it is part of my experience that underpins my view that Maaori are just people. But, really, your opinion is as irrelevant to me as mine is to you it eventuates.

              I admire your passion but am mildly amused at your attempts to make me feel bad because you say Maaori don’t have power. Nor do women in general. Empowerment for all women is more important to me than your silly straw men and Marae protocol.

              Willie Jackson’s show and the result of that debate is absolutely relevant to the divisions in Maaoridom and how little trickledown there is to urban Maaori that an elderly Maaori woman once told my mother were tribal rejects from their Marae. The people Mum lived with or helped and their genuine feelings towards her as a good neighbour have far more value than your fancy terms.

              The SCF bailout made me angry too. The theft of water resources and the sell off of assets belonging to all of us makes me angry.

              I did not use a search engine. I have books that give me a better view. Unless my book by The Reverend K T Harawira is not good enough for you…

              Also your deliberate mis-spelling of Helen Clark’s name does not encourage me to take anything else you say seriously.

              As you have offered, I would love to get Harawira’s take on that attack on Helen Clark. Give me her address and I will certainly ask her. Trouble is, will she accept my blunt replies? I have little love for religion or culture which always involves controlling what women do. You seem to be implying that she didn’t mind not being allowed to speak on Marae. Yet you say both men and women have equal speaking rights in some place on Marae. But are men listening when women speak at those places?

              Dame Whina was listened to.

              It is extremely naive of you to suggest that culture in Islam or any other religion does not end up controlling the purity of the initial belief. Once again people and power are involved, which always muddies the clarity.

              • “Unless my book by The Reverend K T Harawira is not good enough for you.”

                sorry to be a pain Jum but what book are you referencing – I’d like to have a look at it.

                • Jum

                  No problem, Marty Mars,

                  It is called Teach Yourself Maori by K. T. Harawira, published by Reeds of Wellington, First published 1950.

                  There was a Foreward by T. R. Buxton “The Reverend K T Harawira is already well known to many thousands of Maori people. After serving in the First World War as a combatant soldier, he returned to New Zealand and studied for ordination as a minister of the Church of England….
                  Teach Yourself Maori reflects his keen interest in all things Maori, particularly his enthusiasm for the preservation of the beautiful and expressive Maori language. It has been born of his experience over a period of years, as a teacher of the language… ‘

                  PS Have you sent a “This may be of use” link to Nzfp and Adele? Or are you just being selective?


                  • Thanks for that – and yes I was/am being selective

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Brilliant link Jum…a great primer for my own favourite classic


                    • Jum


                      It’s 177 pages. If I read that I won’t have time to blog…ahhh, is that the plan, lad?

                      Tough! I can do both. I’m Jum!

                      I’ve just been out to the studio where I have rather a lot of books…One of them is (drum roll) Straight and Crooked Thinking by Robert H Thouless, 1958 printing. That will be much easier to read. Books are so much more civilized, don’t you think. I collect books that I think may be of use to somebody. It appears this may be of use to me!

                      Actually, Colonial Viper, Marty Mars forwarded the Derailing link to me; he thought I needed it, but also admitted he and everyone else in the world probably needs it as well from time to time…

      • Adele 16.1.2

        To label Maaori as anti the rights of women is a total mis-reading of the Maaori worldview. If paakeha women want to support mana waahine, then stop labelling our culture and practices as sexist. Despite 170 years of living together, in the same small space, paakeha NZ continues to remain largely ignorant of things Maaori.

        Paakeha women are part of the hegemony and are as oppressive as their menfolk.

        • Jum

          Excellent: now we have the Adele version trotted out.

          I don’t care what Maori women wish to do or not do Adele. That is your decision. The problem I have is that you intend to visit it upon all New Zealand women if your men gain sovereignty (just the men of course) and it has been plainly obvious across the political divide and globally that women will attack anyone who takes away their right to be subservient to men. They seem to fear accepting the power along with the responsibility. Harawira knew about that.

          How about removing the right of Te Papa executives to stop all women being in the meeting house at certain times and I’ll stop being suspicious of Maori motives at least on that score. But you’ll have to ask the men if that’s all right first, Adele. I’m patient.

          What’s with the ‘Maaori’? Last I heard Maori was a white made up word. Are you trying to reinvent it?

          I certainly remember when women, all women, wanted to have a say in society during the 70s, and Maori women were amongst them. Then Maori women spat the dummy and separated out. That’s fine too. I’m sure any female New Zealanders have no problem at all with any women, Maori or otherwise, deciding on their own lives – but they always want to tell other New Zealand women how to live theirs.

          The Muslim woman who wrote to the Listener and said that ‘women should cover up their faces and would be better off’ was one of them.

          Adele, you’re already part of a group of people who will tell me whether I can go on a beach or not (tapu) and possibly (not proven yet) how much it will cost me to do so. (And I’m not even right wing…

          • Adele

            Teenaa koe, Jum,

            You go on about Maaori women telling all women in NZ what to do – yet, the most prominent voice we hear in the soundscape or Aotearoa NZ are the voices of paakeha women. A single email by one paakeha woman was enough to create the Te Papa storm. It took a hikoi from the Cape to Wellington en masse for Maaori to be seriously heard.

            Even that didn’t entirely work as the creme de la creme of paakeha womanhood in Helen Clarke was holidaying with Shrek.

            Also, Maaori is not a made up word as it did actually exist before the coming of paakeha.

            You scream invectives at not only Maaori but also Muslim women – women that don’t share your view of the world. Obviously only white women views matter – the only rights that you advocate for are your own.

            Your ignorance and hate is something I cannot debate with so I wish you well on the beach, in all your profanity.

            • Jum

              Don’t go Adele, we have not finished our debate. You tell me Maaori is not a made-up word. I read that Maori was a white made-up word. Please tell me if that is true.

              Also, does Paakeha have two ‘a’s in it? Why does your word ‘Maaori’ have a capital M and your word ‘paakeha’ does not? Please direct me to the literature that shows that. I am interested in learning.

              Why do you say one (small p) paakeha woman created the Te Papa storm (one news item which interested me and many other women who value equal rights) yet you comment on a hikoi which included men and women? Would a hikoi with just women have achieved any hearing. I’m interested to know.

              Helen Clark (and I’m sure you know, ‘Adel’ that Clark does not include the ‘e’) was working on behalf of all Maaori, not just women or men for the future of all New Zealanders, not just Maaori. When she stated the words ‘haters and wreckers’ she meant the people who aimed to destroy dialogue with Labour because they, being Turia and Co, intended to launch their own party, and were looking for an excuse, any excuse, for Turia already having learned Parliamentary protocol from Helen Clark was then able to turn against her. Politics is never pretty. Maori or Maaori or maaori or maori are just people, Adele.

              Only capitals ‘scream’ on blogs, Adele. I stated my opinion. You attacked my opinion and then tried to opt out after insulting me. Very poor. ‘invectives’ = vehement accusation or denunciation of a bitterly abusive or sarcastic kind… as per the Collins Dictionary – no, although maybe I’ll accept I was sarcastic but considering the post I had to deal with I’m not surprised I reacted that way.

              Now let’s look at your post:
              ‘invective’ – vehement yes, accusatory yes, bitter yes, abusive yes, sarcastic yes.
              Ignorant definitely in that you cannot tell from my posts that if you wish to follow your particular path I have no problem with that, but judging by your replied attack on me and your other posts, you believe your beliefs are better than mine – thus you belie your own rhetoric. Hate – I don’t hate you Adele. I don’t have the time. Profanity=contempt, irreverence, disrespect – no, Adele. What I do have is the attitude that you think you are better than me or any other person who believes that Maaori and Muslims are just people. Good people, bad people…just human beings like the rest of us.

                • Jum

                  I’ve printed it, thank you. I will file it and no doubt whenever I see a post by you or anyone else I could suggest you and they read it also, because, Marty Mars, no one person can ‘argue the moral high ground. I doubt there is one when applied to humans’.

                  I will also take on board what you have said. Please also understand that if people start attacking me I will reply in kind. Then it all gets out of hand. It will continue to happen because I am attacked for having an opinion by people who consider only they are right – like you e.g. Maybe I should do this favour for you, Marty Mars…

                  “This may be of use


                  • excellent you got my point exactly – we all do it and we can all learn not to do it.

                    • Jum

                      Yes I did get the ‘If I attack people’s opinions they will attack mine’ reverse comment. I thought these blogs were to iron out these differences.

                      So, the fact remains,

                      “Remember the Eye to Eye ‘episode’ when even Willie was astonished that the powerful activist Maori women in that debate accepted the view that a white man could sit at the front in the meeting house but Maori women could not. Then, verbally, these same women attacked white women who wanted to support Maori women to insist on equality in the meeting house. ”

                      Those women hated sitting at the back, behind a white man sitting at the front. Willie Jackson saw the looks on their faces. I saw their faces. Do they think that is still acceptable just because it has always been so. Were they being racist because he was white? Are only white people racist?

                      Without your rhetoric and derailing for dummies literature, please answer my questions. If no one answers my questions like why Maori is now Maaori, and whether Maori was a white word and instead (as Adele did) wrongly accuse me of only caring about what white women think or say how can I change my point of view if those answers are better than my current opinions? Otherwise I simply assume they have no answer.

                      Also, since you have admitted to being selective in picking on my faults and not Nzfp or Adele’s, then that suggests you will also be selective in your answering objectively. I hope that is not the case.

                    • all of that other stuff is just window dressing – I understand the dilemna to be – if maori activist women support tino rangatiratanga and within that world view women are discriminated against and seen as having lower status than men, when tino rangatiratanga is actualised women will be forced to subsume this role – and you don’t like that – does that sum up your point?

        • nzfp

          The New Zealand “Christian Womens Temperance Movement” – a Pakeha institution – of the 1880’s were responsible for the suppression of Ta Moko on Maori Women.

          Captcha:No – just say “NO” to cultural suppression.

          • Jum


            I’ll run your statement past my friend who belongs to National Council of Women (which has been struck off the Charitable funding list even though it gives support to all women in need. Seems, that because they dared to tell government, including all past governments if they were enacting bad legislation, that they were wrong in much of their policy making when it came to the well-being of families and women as the lynchpins).

            I’ll report back with her reply.

      • marty mars 16.1.3

        “The Maori radicals don’t have much of a leaning towards rights for women in today’s society either.”

        Ummmm a lot of maori radicals are women – and I think they are fully capable of determining what they want and as in the example you gave, that’s exactly what they did.

        • Jum

          Fine, as long as they don’t tell me under their sovereignty, which is what they have always worked towards, that I have to live under their inequalities.

          • M


            Culture and religion are all very fine but when it is used to hold any group of people down then I have a problem with it. Young nubile women forced to marry pouchy, wizened, old men in Utah spring to mind to fulfill the tenets of that particular form of Mormonism – yuk. Homosexuals described by God’s policeman in the Vatican, Ratzinger, as backyard mongrels is just vile given they are often very conflicted and suicidal.

            In the Muslim world a young girl is taught from an early age that her hymen is like a glass and if not broken by her husband she is no good and very likely on death row. Young women raped by male relatives, given that Shari’a law requires four male witnesses to secure a conviction, know their lives are going to end shortly because of the honour killing system. Women are often mutilated and have all their external genitalia crudely hacked off and then are sewn up ready for their husbands to open them on their wedding night – the opening method doesn’t bear thinking about – the fallout must be pretty disgusting though given that there must be a considerable amount of backed-up, putrid menstrual blood. Women are expected to be veiled in countries with oppressive heat, imagine the outrage if the same was expected of the male populace in the Muslim world.

            In the western world there never used to be universal suffrage, workers’ rights and women had to be wimpled or they faced charges of immodesty. Corsets and crinolines in Europe and the newly settled America were ways of controlling women by promoting acceptable manifestations of femininity and women remained in the fold and were taken care of as long as they played the game. The ‘don’t worry your pretty little head’ has been used to great effect in many cultures to diminish women’s standing and contribution. It has taken hundreds of years for these things to be seen for what they are, forms of prejudice. I don’t agree with the way Titewhai attacked Helen but I understand how someone who has worked so hard for her own people could probably stand the chafing no more and had to give voice to the utter frustration she felt, firstly as a human being and then as a woman who is Maori.

            Imagine the fantastic relationships men could have with women if they would just treat women as equals. A woman who is totally free to be herself is a wonderful sight to behold and any man who is secure enough in himself not to feel threatened will reap rewards beyond measure.

            The dystopian ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ is an excellent book which warns women should always be on their guard lest they be turned into nothing more than brood mares.

            • Colonial Viper

              A woman who is totally free to be herself is a wonderful sight to behold and any man who is secure enough in himself not to feel threatened will reap rewards beyond measure.

              Hmmm. And where are you going to find a man totally free to be himself, true to himself and self-secure to boot?

              I guess there must be a few thousand in the country.

              • M

                CV, don’t know exactly what you’re driving at but would it be the differences between the sexes?

                I realise there are some hardwired male and female characteristics and vive la difference – what I meant was if men can accept women as equals then surely both will be happier. As an example, I’m friends with a guy who is a real right winger and we have some really interesting debates on topics as diverse as fathers’ rights, the economy, politics and male/female ways of looking at things. Even if he vehemently disagrees with me, he doesn’t seem to feel the need to take the piss or put me down but does expect me to argue my point of view well and I expect the same of him. He’s not rude or abusive and we can agree to disagree and part friends until the next ‘debate’. He’s not hung up on proving himself as a straight male in society and he’s totally at ease with who he is. He has employed a refugee and he was so impressed with his work he said that if the guy had better legs, he’d marry him – hardly the utterance of an insecure male.

                I think my dad was a pretty secure male who wasn’t scared to speak out against injustice and treated his sons and daughters equally even before the catchphrase ‘girls can do anything’ caught on. I guess like every person on the planet we all have our achilles’ heel but why should one group of people be put/held down by another – maybe a bit utopian?

                Yes, I do know a males who are self-secure, true to themselves but also fallible, and have the desirable male qualities that most men feel they should have and that most women admire in men but again treat the women in their lives as real equals – they were snapped up years ago. Womankind can but hope from my small sample that this is a sign of hope for many more out there.

                • Colonial Viper

                  I think you are quite lucky; a numbre of my women friends – some in their 20’s through to some in their 40’s – seem to be having a pretty tough time finding great male partners as you have described above. And anyone decent that they do meet has typically long been taken off the market.

                  • M

                    CV, I’m in the same group as your female friends but as I’m PO aware would like to be with someone similarly aware with the same political leanings, and as I’m tall and ballsy definitely not for the faint hearted – I realise the pool wouldn’t exactly be overcrowded. A while back I thought I had a stalker but after asking a trusted friend her opinion figured out he was tongue-tied. She teased me and said he looked 30 which flummoxed me as I’m 46 and wondered what on earth we would ever talk about.

                    So yeah, for left leaning peakists it’s a dustbowl out there 🙂

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Re: a man 16 years younger than you, should I mention Demi Moore at this juncture?

                      Thankfully, I hear The Standard is bringing e-dating for lefties functionality online in time for Christmas*. Compatibility tests will help answer crucial questions like “Is s/he really the Marxist s/he claims to be online?”

                      *not really

            • Jum

              My obvious question for the New Left Party is what their attitude will be towards the equality of women. Sue Bradford is a good start.

              The Handmaid’s Tale: is that Margaret Atwood?

              Yes I do agree that Titewhai had every right to be insulted that another woman, not even from her own Marae could sit up the front, but to attack the woman and not the ritual or the system was totally unfair. All it did was give political fodder to both the rightwing parties and any men who hate women leaders.

        • Jum

          Interesting: there was no ‘reply’ to your post Marty Mars so I’ll answer it here.

          “marty mars …
          8 November 2010 at 12:38 pm

          all of that other stuff is just window dressing – I understand the dilemna to be – if maori activist women support tino rangatiratanga and within that world view women are discriminated against and seen as having lower status than men, when tino rangatiratanga is actualised women will be forced to subsume this role – and you don’t like that – does that sum up your point?”

          I personally don’t like that there could be an even more controlling focus on women.
          I personally would request the Te Papa Marae to have a verbal presentation on Maaori protocol on some Marae but not the enforcement of it such as refusing women who are menstruating unless they themselves follow that belief system and choose to stay out.

          Visitors have all sorts of different belief systems. Fine for a Marae to enforce that system of women sitting at the back, e.g., if it is not an official function where women are forced to attend in a public role but don’t follow that belief system. e.g. a corrections employee. Not fine for a publicly owned and financed building like the Te Papa Marae to prevent women the freedom to enter. Especially, given that some Marae in New Zealand Aotearoa… do have women speak that are great orators and provide another viewpoint.

          I did not say women had lower status; I said they were not given equal status i.e. talking in the same areas that attract all the tribe, not just some in their own area i.e. the freedom to speak where and when they needed to.

          And yes, there are many other belief systems in New Zealand that seek to control women’s rights and put them in little boxes.

          BTW I admire the activists that care enough about their beliefs to fight for them. (I checked the Derailing for Dummies list and don’t think I’ve said anything wrong with that statement. I already noticed that in asking for your help in answering my questions I attracted the No 1 statement “If you won’t educate me how can I learn”.)

          No further comment from me, on this subject, on this thread.

          • marty mars

            The reply bit was full – system issue – shows we have been commenting.

            I think you should update your source material. Maybe listen to some maori women they are probably more relevant than a 1950’s book, no matter how good it is. The sad thing is you had a chance to do that on this post.

    • Bill 16.2

      Ah, the wonders of culturally located patriarchies…white, pink, brown, pakaha, maori, asian….arguing the moral higher ground.

      Women (‘of man’)…is that a pertinent or ironic myth of root meaning?.. are done over here, there and everywhere.


      • Adele 16.2.1

        Teenaa koe, Bill

        How would you argue, outside of a cultural or other specific identity? Despite the rhetoric we are not all one people, or kiwis for that matter. Those that choose to not see difference place no value in diversity. It makes a mockery of the claim that NZ is a multicultural society.

        Women is an English word and has no equivalence in Te Reo. Waahine has an entirely different meaning, rooted strongly to Atua. Also our worldview is located in, for want of a better word, the ‘matriarch.’

        • Jum

          Ahh, Adele,

          I left a message for you. (Jum 7 November 2010 at 9:21 pm)

          Also, I’ve looked up my Teach Yourself Maori by The Reverend K.T. Harawira and ‘te wahine’, ‘nga wahine’ mean ‘the women’. Why do you say it does not mean ‘women’?

          I also do not agree that New Zealanders are ‘one people’. They are all just ‘people’.


          I do not need to argue the moral high ground. I doubt there is one when applied to humans.

  17. Well Francisco, Phil Quinn basically gave a counter-analysis presenting the case against Matt McCarten getting more than a few hundred votes in the by-election. He put up some good arguments (as I acknowledged) but this hardly means he’s correct – we’ll have to wait and see. But more importantly, Paul Quinn was only making predictions about the electoral success of McCarten’s campaign, whereas my post dealt with how a new leftwing party may eventuate out of McCarten’s campaign, which is why I posted it here in a discussion about that very issue.

  18. What the hell is Mat McCarten up to?. All a new Left Wing party would do is split the left vote completly. The Tories would win hands down. Mat should take the advice of H.G,Wells when as the Labour candidate for Lewisham SE.London . He was challenged by a member of the audience that if he was a Socialist what was he doing in the Labour Party?
    H.G.Wells classical reply was “that Labour is not a Socialist Party ,but, was the only party Socialists could belong to.Labour has not said it is a Socialist Party for many years. It is in fact a Social Democratic Party that does have some Socialists ideas . If we dont want to scare the voting public thats as good as it gets . We Socialist just have too accept this fact
    We still have achieved many Socialist victories over the years .

    • Draco T Bastard 18.1

      All a new Left Wing party would do is split the left vote completly. The Tories would win hands down.

      Not necessarily – under MMP if most people party voted left we would still end up with a left leaning government. Your argument would have more validity under FPP.

      It’s entirely possible that a new party that caters more to the left could actually get more voters voting. The problem is that it needs to get its message out and that is where most of the political parties fail. They just don’t have the resources to do so which is the main reason why I think political parties should have government funding.

      • gingercrush 18.1.1

        They do get government funding and the Greens do rather well in donations and yet their results remain somewhat unspectacular.

    • Colonial Viper 18.2

      If we dont want to scare the voting public thats as good as it gets .

      Well I think the NZ public would be onboard with the idea of co-ops, building societies and pulling the pin on asset bubbles so thats a good start.

      A bit more education on why free markets can be extremely unhelpful, and emphasising the importance for respecting and valuing labour (as opposed to capital) and suddenly concepts from democratic socialism may not seem that scary.

  19. If Hone Hawawira took inspiration from Indigenous socialists in South America, and that was part of the outlook of the new party then perhaps people like Annette Sykes would be interested in it, and it could be both pro indigenous and pro socialist.

    Hone was the maori party strategist for a time, and Matt is a strategist, so if they worked together and the Green Party supported them, I could see a left of the greens spot for them in Parliament.

    • Adele 19.1

      Hone need only be pro-indigenous as an indigenous worldview is pro-people by inclination. Matt and Hone were instrumental in forming the Maaori Party, and that relationship may work again. While a green agenda is also an indigenous agenda, there are subtle but important ideological differences that may be problematic for the Green Party to contend with.

    • Bill 19.2

      “If Hone Hawawira took inspiration from Indigenous socialists in South America…”

      Indigenous politics are not socialist! The dominant expression of socialism (male dominated and white) here and elsewhere was (and to an extent remains) incredibly authoritarian and narrow in focus.

      Why do you think the main strands of the authoritarian left…for decades the dominant expression of any non-mainstream left… (Trots, Leninists, Moaists, Stalinists etc, etc, etc) ) were never comfortably accommodated by Maori….or women…or anyone outside the parameters of their ‘correct’ thought processes?

  20. Herodotus 20

    All the comments regarding the crowding of the left, majke one assumption that Labour was/is a left wing party. Review their ecomonic management of the economy, housing policy (PPE’s), immigration (That topic that one one wants to approach) lack of real taxation policy (exclude the increase of top tax rate to 39% BUT then allowing so many loop holes that the real rich evaded paying the increase or which Cullen,Clarke and co were aware of atthe time).
    Labour have become a centrist party(sometimes venturing to the right of centre when they get elected), they distanced themselves from the left in the mid 70’s remember Kirk and Rowling. Now we have representing the plebs, Chardonnay socialists. Perhaps a real left party will knock some sense into Lab (espectilly if they could capture some of the Maori/Pacifica vote that taken for grantage by Lab)

    • gingercrush 20.1

      That whole piece ignores the fact that Pasifika people already reject the Green party. Go see how the Greens perform in South Auckland, its downright awful. Fact is the left-wing working class are the least likely to change their vote from Labour to another party. Its the liberal middle and elite class (the chardonnay socialists) people that would be most likely to change their vote. Likewise Maori have proved stubborn to change their party vote away from Labour and therefore a party that has Maori members in it may attract Maori electorate votes its likely most of Maori will continue to give that party vote to Labour.

      The whole idea of a left-wing party that advocates left-wing policies that should appeal to Urban and Provincial working class voters is bullshit. It never happened when the Alliance existed. Most of the fury of the rogernomics era came not from the working-class it came from the Union movement and the liberal voter. A new left-wing party cannot and will not get support from the working class, Pasifika nor Maori it will be from those chardonnary socialists so many of the radicial left-wing despise.

      • felix 20.1.1

        “Most of the fury of the rogernomics era came not from the working-class it came from the Union movement…”

        Sometimes you really brighten my day gc.

        • gingercrush

          Yeah kinda stupid of me. My point is that despite what rogernomics did to the Labour Party its not like low-income urban New Zealander suddenly switched their vote over to the Alliance, New Zealand First or any other party. And that any switch to a new party is highly likely to come from the urban liberals or provincial left-wing (though with Bradford in the party I don’t think so) than the urban working class people.

          • felix

            That’s probably a fair point.

            I wouldn’t discount the fact that all three of the names being talked about already lead fairly big networks of working people – it’s not like they’ve just invented a new brand and are looking for a market to appeal to.

            Whether that translates into votes though – as you point out – will be the interesting bit.

      • pollywog 20.1.2

        A new left-wing party cannot and will not get support from the working class, Pasifika nor Maori it will be from those chardonnary socialists so many of the radicial left-wing despise.

        i beg to differ. it can and would get support from Pasifika/Maori and the non-working class, first time voting students in particular

        thats who it should be targetting, the invisible and long suffering underclass and the young voters. the great unwashed and disaffected youth who will rally behind a strong personality with a memorable catchcry and a solid marketing campaign that relates to their socially networked aesthetic.

        if this party were to straighten up and fly left though, i still reckon Hone/Matt should be working to poach a high profile Pasifikan Labourite from the ranks…like Kelvin Davis, Shane Jones, Parekura Horomia or Carmel Sepuloni. Let the Greens have the white urban liberals, the wannabe marxists and the chardonnay socialists.

        A new left party should campaign on a platform of shared Pasifikan values that are slowly forging a uniquely Aotearoan identity and cunningly simple but stunningly attractive flagship idea for addressing youth education and unemployment, particularly Pasifikan descendents.

        as it happens i have a few ideas on that 🙂

        • prism

          Ting – your thinking has the ring of likelihood pollywog.

          • swordfish

            I don’t know. Despite the advent of the Pacific Party, and Jones and Tuigamala campaigning excitedly for the Nats at the last General Election, the Pasifika vote (especially in Porirua, but also to some extent in South Auckland), remained resolutely Labour.

            Students, though, were definitely strong on the Alliance 1996-2002. Aro Valley – the student/alternative lifestyle/old hippy/punk stronghold in Wellington – had an enormous Alliance vote 1996/1999.

            While the Alliance tended to do relatively poorly (or, in some cases, around average) in Pasifika areas, it often did quite well in Pakeha/Maori working-class suburbs (though always well behind Labour).

        • gingercrush

          Both Maori and Pasifika require organisation and Labour had that resource in 2005 and even then they tended to turnout less than other New Zealanders. And I’ve always wondered whether that higher turnout could be attributed to Don Brash as National leader or whether Labour actually just had particularly good organisation.

          For the Pasifika community you would really need to link in with the Churches and that I imagine would require many of the Church to turn away from Labour who they have normally supported. That would be a huge task. Shane Jones for some reason has chosen not to stand in Maori electorates and wouldn’t join such a party. I’m not sure Davis is that well supported. As for Sepuloni. Its my understanding she grew up in New Plymouth and isn’t actually that connected with the Pasifika community.

          I do note that the New Zealand Pacific Party under Taito Philip Field was able to attract 10% of the vote in Mangere. So an MP currently in one of the South Auckland electorates could do reasonably well.

          The real problem is would pasifika/Maori and the likes of Bradford/McCarten be compatible? Or would there simply be too many competing interests that you’ll run into the same problems Alliance use to have.

          • pollywog

            i would think the commonalities amongst the demographics they champion – poor, disaffected, fucked over by the man – would overcome any competing interests.

            …and as long as they put a coherent united front together targetting their support bases with a solid campaign that focussed on issues and values, they could, on the back of Hone keeping his electoral seat and targetting 3-4% of the party vote get at least another 4 MP’s into the big house.

            and i don’t think any new left party should target Pasifikan churches but rather the youth who no longer feel the church provides for their ‘spiritual’ needs.

            • gingercrush

              I’m not sure campaigning is a problem. Its the organisation required to meet these people at their homes or social functions and get them out to vote on election day and that is going to be difficult.

              • felix

                The weakness of Sue, Matt and Hone is their organisational abilities? Turn it up mate.

                • gingercrush

                  Its one thing to have organisational skills in getting people to join a union etc. Its a whole different matter when its getting people out to vote. And Matt as a former party president did show those skills but not in the likes of South Auckland etc.

                  I’m not disputing these people’s political skills etc. but its one thing getting urban liberals out to vote its a whole different matter getting pasifika and Maori to vote and even in Harawira’s electorate the turnout was barely above 50%.

                  • felix

                    None of those 3 represent urban liberals mate.

                    • gingercrush

                      Doesn’t matter. They’re still likely to get most of their votes especially Bradford and McCarten from urban liberals. Just because they represent low income workers and Maori does not mean they’ll get those people voting.

  21. burt 21

    I hope the rumors are true. Would be good to have a real workers rights party in parliament again.

  22. The green party has a pasifika greens group, so I don’t think you are correct gingercrush.

    For the greens to attract more pafika voters they would need to have high ranked pacific people running as candidates. South Auckland has been a labour stronghold for some time, re the greens – it is where Sue Bradford lives now. I expect South Auckland will remain a labour stronghold for sometime, but people will loose faith in Labour if they do not come up with policies to reduce inequality in their communities.

    • gingercrush 22.1

      Your comment is stupid. So much of the left are plain ignorant as to who actually votes for them and why. And just because the Greens have a pasifika group doesn’t mean pasifika people actually vote for them. I’d also argue that putting up pasifika people would not necessarily translate to votes.

      One only has to look at the electorates above the national Pasifika population to see the Greens tend to do poorly. National population is 6.9%

      Electorate – Percentage Pacific Population – Pecentage Party Vote Greens

      Auckland Central – 7.6 – 15
      Botany – 13 – 2.39
      Hutt South – 10.3 – 7.69
      Mana – 20.8 – 8.38
      Mangere – 58.8 – 1.75
      Manukau East – 44.2 – 1.79
      Manurewa – 31.9 – 1.95
      Maungakiekie – 19 – 5.48
      Mt. Albert – 15.4 – 11
      Mt. Roskill – 14.6 – 4.28
      New Lynn – 12.3 – 7.63
      Papakura – 11.6 – 2.97
      Rimutaka – 8.1 – 5.93
      Rongotai – 8 – 16.97
      Tamaki – 9.4 – 5.29
      Te Atatu – 18 – 4
      Waitakere – 17.4 – 6.47

      • Gotham 22.1.1

        I agree that the Greens don’t perform well in pasifika areas, but I wouldn’t say that this is a ‘rejection’ of the Greens or their principles. I have been involved in environmental campaigns with NGOs where we have had to talk about how we can reach our message into pasifika communities because it is a gap in outreach that is commonly acknowledged across the board (in green politics and NGO campaigns). A lot of work has to be done to build bridges with the pasifika community, but I would argue that environmental issues like climate change, over-fishing and whaling are pertinant to the pasifika community because they are more aware than most about the effects on their families and communities back home in the islands.

        I agree that just having a pasifika group, or standing a pasifika candidate isn’t going to suddenly endear the Greens into the community, it is far more complex than that. But I do believe that with more direct strategising and engaging with community leaders and others the Greens, and green NGOs can make a real headroad into gaining support from pasifika.

      • Colonial Viper 22.1.2

        Thanks for the effort gc.

        Would like to know what the correlation coeficient is between % pasifika and % vote.

        Also we the numbers need to be crunched over ALL electorates.

        • Herodotus

          Should there ever be a challange from another party for the Pacifica vote, Labour would be severely damaged into almost being a 3rd party. Labour owe so much of there sucess to undying support form Maori and the Pacifica, and yet all the energy is spent on the white collar Jafa vote being brought. The brown vote could be seen as being treated with some contempt.
          The Maori vote has been tarnished, but with MMP they loss a few electorates but still get the large chunk of party votes so min damage. Yet a Matt party that is built on more than just personnalities e.g. Jim A and Winny P. Could challenge this monopoly on the Pacifica vote. At least with such a challange the Brown vote would be represented from a party that cares.

          • Zaphod Beeblebrox

            So true. Why does Goff always go after the white working class shooter who drives Holdens and Fords? Probably because he feels he has the PI vote not matter what.

        • gingercrush

          Only people within the National Party and Labour party would have those numbers and even then I doubt their accuracy. And why would you need the numbers over all electorates. Most other electorates pasifika represent less than 3% of the population. The data would prove rather useless.

  23. deemac 23

    you’d think the example of the Alliance would be enough, but no, some people are determined to repeat history as farce!

  24. Lanthanide 24

    I haven’t read most of the comments here.

    But with Anderton having lost the mayoralty in Chch and probably looking to retire (or at least step back a bit) from politics, wouldn’t it be feasible for him to shut down the Progressives and join the New Alliance as deputy-leader and thereby guarantee the Wigram electorate? They wouldn’t need Hone then.

    captcha: complicates

    • Colonial Viper 24.1

      Anderton working in concert with others he couldn’t work with before? Well, nothing is impossible I guess.

    • Jum 24.2

      Captcha: music

      Hope Anderton remembers his intention to bring in cheaper dental care. That was music to my ears. A man with sensible ideas. As opposed to Dunne the Nun of One that espouses commonsense which simply doesn’t gel in this political climate. Speaking of gel; can he use that tiara to tie down his hair. It’s breeding…

  25. Shaun 25

    Laws + Henry – not a chance. Henry can’t stand Laws + Henry has been saying in circles that he doesn’t want anything in the public limelight for a long time. Maybe Laws + Peters?

  26. he has not only easily bested Kris Fa’afoi and Hekia Parata he has made them look like fakes parroting head office lines (I’d still vote Fa’afoi though, given we have no idea how close Parata is behind him)

    Gahhhhh!! Even if you’re right and McCarten has no hope of winning…
    1. Parata is already in Parliament. Even if she is the devil incarnate, nothing you can do in Mana will keep her out.
    2. Only a vote for McCarten (or another candidate aside from Fa’afoi or Parata) will do anything to change Parliament, even if it’s only adding an independent voice. Or another Greens one. Choosing Tweedle Trough or Tweedle Trougher won’t.
    3. Voting for McCarten sends a clear message to the Goffice that a hollow glove puppet and his pat phrases aren’t going to cut it… and just might influence them to re-think their candidate selections.
    4. If everyone keeps casting “lesser of two evils” votes then nothing will change. Ever. Because the two evils will remain just that.

  27. I can’t see Hone moving and i am not sure if it would be the best platform for him anyway. It’s about tino rangatiratanga first, second and third.

    I’d like Sue and Matt to set up a left party and I’d support it.

  28. Mana campaign report:

    In the working class streets of Porirua, hundreds of workers and residents are already backing the demands raised by Matt McCarten’s campaign for tax justice, full employment and a living wage.

    Dino, a member for MUNZ living in Calliope Crescent, has been on the picket lines in Napier in 2007 defending jobs and conditions. “There’s no excuse for unemployment in this country- there’s heaps of work that needs doing round here- look at the state of disrepair of some of the state houses. None of the major parties have any solutions for the blight of unemployment- that’s why Matt’s demand for 3000 jobs in Mana is electric. I’m definitely thinking of switching from Labour on this one”.

    Jennie from Castor Crescent is a young Maori woman who has finished a course in childcare, but can’t find any work. “There’s a lot of young working mothers here stretched trying to manage jobs and family at the same time. If there were crèches and childcare here in the community, not only would it be a big help for these mums, but it would create hundreds of jobs for childcare workers like me. It’s impossible to survive on benefits- I’m voting for Matt.”

    Grandfather Sonny invited campaigners into his home to sit down with his sons. “I’ve supported the unions all my life. But the rot started in Labour with that Roger Douglas. Lange and his mob brought in GST first- I’ve never forgotten that. It’s good to now see a union man like Matt saying we should get rid of it completely. That will help working people buy more food for their kids.”

    Lucas from Waihora Crescent is sick of low pay in New Zealand. “I’m already voting for Matt, bro. Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour is a great idea- people need enough to live on, otherwise everyone is going to end up moving to Australia. It’s great to see a staunch candidate sticking up for us at last.”

    Caroline and her partner are currently living in a garage in Champion Street. They’re on the waiting list for a state house. Meanwhile, there are over 30 empty houses in Cannon’s Creek counted by door knockers. Without families living in these houses, they are broken into, the windows are smashed, the copper fittings in the plumbing are ripped out and the walls kicked in. Activists are going to house Caroline’s family in one house, and set up a community crèche in another, and local unemployed electricians and carpenters are going to repair the damage. The People’s House will create an example of what full employment serving the community in Mana could look like.

    There’s a real battle on in Mana over the next two weeks. A big vote for Matt will be a message to the big parties that working class people will no longer accept low pay, unfair taxes, poverty and homelessness. Now’s the time for all activists, union members and socialists to come and help us. http://www.matt4mana.com

  29. Marty Mars – with Hone and the grassroots of the maori party.. a lot probably depends on what the maori party leadership does aii? If they go into another coalition with National and Act I am sure the maori party will never recover..

  30. Frank Macskasy 30

    “From the strongly rumoured to the purely speculative, what chance do you reckon of a reactionary party led by Paul Henry and Michael Laws having a crack at the carcass of ACT’s support and the hardright support National dog-whistles in opposition and tries to ignore in power?”

    I say bring it on. Paul Henry and Michael Laws would be to ACT what Sarah Palin would be to the Republicans… a few more nails in their coffins.

  31. Frank Macskasy 31

    As for a new left-wing Party…

    Tiger Mountain (7 November 2010 at 12:28 pm post) has a very good point when s/he sez that it is extremely expensive and mind-numbingly hard work to set up. As someone who lent a hand on occassion to the Alliance, I can say that the 90/10 rule will apply: 10% of the Party members will do the hard yards whilst the remaining 90% either do nothing or criticise the 10% that they ain’t doing it right…

    My fear is that a new Left party will split the Green vote, thereby denying both from achieving the 5% threshold.

  32. a new left party could win an electorate or two, leaving the green party their party vote. The greens should be aiming on improving their party vote anyway – 10% should be their minimum goal if they want to have real influence in parliament.

    • Colonial Viper 32.1

      If the Australian Greens are anything to go by, NZ Greens should aim even higher. And because of MMP, a vote for Greens in NZ actually always counts for something, not like in Oz.

  33. Jeremy Harris 33

    Harawira is more likely to be an independent in his seat methinks…

    MMP must be defended, this has slipped under the radar a bit so far…

    • M 33.1

      Absolutely, NACT will be out in force to get FPP through and if the last election is any indication many voters will fall for the con.

      I remember Shirtcliffe arguing on TV to keep FPP when MMP was to be voted on, uggghhhh!

      • Jeremy Harris 33.1.1

        I know a Nat Party person who are working on the MMP campaign…

        I don’t think it’s fair to paint conservatives as anti-democratic – just some, there are plenty of Marxists on the left still…

        • Colonial Viper

          Marx was spot on with a bunch of stuff, and his ideas spawned later suggestions that businesses should become far more *democratic* and in fact, be owned and controlled by the people who worked within them. So the future of a 100 person business should not be decided just by two or three people, but by everyone whose livelihoods are at stake in the business. That’s about as democratic as you can get.

          The ideas of Marx sparked the creation of many social democratic (and democratic socialist) movements around the world. So IMO Marx and democratic values can work extremely well side by side.

          Now if you are somehow conflating how the USSR/Lenin ran things with Karl Marx (which is how I read your ‘anti-democratic’ implication), I would have to say that you haven’t really understood what Marx had to say. From my understanding, he was not anti-democracy per se, he was pro-labour; his main issue was that democracies are too often a ‘democracy just for the rich’ within which the many has much less say and much less influence. And with that point I would say that he was once again spot on. Even in NZ politics the voice of a wealthy mogul carries far more weight than the voice of the ordinary worker that he chooses to contract on. Thats not particularly democratic.

          captcha: screen

          • Jeremy Harris

            I have no problem with Co-ops, I think they have the ability to be more profitable than “regular” businesses because more members have a greater amount of skin in the game but the members must have a say equal to the amount of money they have put into the business…

            • Colonial Viper

              but the members must have a say equal to the amount of money they have put into the business…

              In other words, those who provide the most capital should have the most say, and if someone provides all the capital, they should have all the say – even if there are 100 or 1000 or 10,000 other people working in the organisation.

              You should note (just in case you believe in democracy as a core value), the above system is definitely not a democracy. I believe that it is called capitalism.

              • Jeremy Harris

                I believe in democracy politically but economically what you suggest is equality of outcome, communism (essentially) and institutional moral hazard, it’s leads to economic failure…

                • Colonial Viper

                  communism (essentially)

                  Its nothing like communism, essentially or not. There will still be a daily hierarchy of operations, people who do different jobs will be paid more or less, but *everyone gets a say in all the big decisions made*. Thats DEMOCRACY.

                  it’s leads to economic failure…

                  No it doesn’t. Fonterra says so.

                  institutional moral hazard

                  Why would giving each worker a say in major firm decisions lead to institutional moral hazard?

                  Jeremy, if you truly believe in democracy why would you not believe in giving each person an equal say at critical times of decision making?

                • Colonial Viper

                  I’ve replied Jeremy, its just sitting in moderation for some reason.

                  And by the way, giving each person a say does not necessarily result in equality of outcome. Workers are free to promote the best people from within their ranks to more senior positions, to set varying pay scales as they see fit, to award each another bonuses if they are widely seen to be deserved etc.

                • Jeremy Harris

                  Democracy is the ability to elect one’s leaders, property – and the right to it – is an individual right, the fact we are in the number of the few humans who have ever existed that led, long comfortable lives depends on it…

                  What you propose gives control of capital within a business to those it doesn’t belong to, when it is someone else’s money you have less invested in the quality of the decision because while you may lose your job, the fellow worker/investor loses his job and his savings (or part thereof)… I don’t believe that is moral…

                  • Descendant Of Smith

                    Firstly democracy is more than the ability to elect ones leaders.
                    Democracy is about having leaders who look after the interests of all the people, including minority groups.

                    It doesn’t give leaders carte blanche to simply follow the rule of the majority and simply those who may have voted for them – their decision making has to take into account everyone. That’s why there are processes that restrict the power of the elected and aspects such as select committees where new laws can be robustly considered. It is why public submissions need to be called for and so on.

                    This government, more than any I’ve seen for a long time have overwritten those responsibilities.

                    Secondly property rights are not just individual and never have been. There has always been common land and public usage and there have always been rules and restrictions on what you can do with your property. There are many examples of successful businesses where workers have had a say, including through unions.

                    Just because someone has financial clout doesn’t mean they know what they are doing or know how to run a business. It’s oft said that the first generation creates the business, the second builds it and the third loses it.

                    Thirdly investment in a business is not just financial, time effort, ideas, attitude, enthusiasm all make a successful business. To simplify it down to one aspect is nonsensical. If you don’t think many workers have as much invested in a business succeeding then you are deluded. Most businesses would have little chance of succeeding without that investment by workers.

                    On the other hand many shareholders, who have financially invested in a business, are not really interested in the business at all – certainly not in it’s long term success. Many are simply interested in short term capital gain and dividend payouts. Their money is much more transferable than workers labour and they are quick to pull money out when they are unhappy – – often destroying a business in the process.

                    My father-in-law always loved it when his opposition listed on the share-market. He knew it wouldn’t be long til they were out of the picture, taken over by some other entity or asset stripped for quick gain.

                    It’s always intrigued me how shareholders let businesses get away with the most audacious behaviour and pay rates and bonuses, and corporate box type expenditure, and waste of money by the people owning / running the businesses they invest in.

                    I know people who make a living off this waste of expenditure which adds nothing to the profitability or efficiency or productivity of companies. They are laughing all the way to the bank.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      On the other hand many shareholders, who have financially invested in a business, are not really interested in the business at all – certainly not in it’s long term success. Many are simply interested in short term capital gain and dividend payouts. Their money is much more transferable than workers labour and they are quick to pull money out when they are unhappy – – often destroying a business in the process.

                      Also worth noting that at this point in time, a huge number of shares are held and traded by institutions using the funds of those who put in twenty bucks a week to a unit trust or the like. The ‘owners’ of the shares, whose capital is at risk, in all likelihood don’t know what shares they have invested in. The decisions are made by corporate bureaucrats who are incentivised to maximise quarterly profits,, have only a tiny percentage of the capital they are playing with as a personal risk, and know they won’t be in charge of it within 2-3 years.

                      The nice little models are based in myths of shareholders. The sharemarket has been well and truly captured by bureaucrats, to an extent that makes any western state in the 70’s look like doubleplusgood governance.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Jeremy, where is it that you pick up these oversimplified ideas of democracy and property rights?

                    What you propose gives control of capital within a business to those it doesn’t belong to, when it is someone else’s money you have less invested in the quality of the decision because while you may lose your job, the fellow worker/investor loses his job and his savings (or part thereof)… I don’t believe that is moral…,

                    That’s why in a co-operative all involved are part owners, but they still all have equal say because the voice of each person is important not the voice of the capital

                  • Jeremy Harris

                    They are simple concepts CV…

                    We have (or should have) constitutionally protected rights that democracy cannot breach and utilise democracy for electing our leaders…

                    The length of the US constitution shows how simple these concepts really can be if we let them…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Good oh. Private property rights?

                      The US constitution says that no man can be deprived of his property without due process, and that should the state really want someone’s property when they don’t want to sell, then the state should pay a fair value for it. Or something like that.

                      That doesn’t square with much in the way of individual property rights. Afterall, if you don’t want to sell your property, then no price is fair, especially not one based on some register held and maintained by, you know who.

                      If I am right, then the US constitution quite explicitly states that the notion of individual property rights does not trump the notion of societal property rights.

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      Your talking about the principal of eminent domain…

                      The US constitution isn’t perfect, for one thing it isn’t nearly impenitrable enough but it’s existence is still a miracle of reason…

                    • Colonial Viper

                      What PB said. Listen to him Jeremy.

                    • Descendant Of Smith

                      The US constitution also mires the US at a fixed point in time with a set of ideals that are at times useful and at times not in a modern context.

                      In much the same way that the 10 Commandments can do the same for Christianity.

                      Given we can’t foretell the future I’m not sure that having things so rigid is as useful or necessary as you might think. It also seems clear to me that the US is far from representative of it’s population and that money talks.

                      You might find it interesting that in order to prevent the hijacking of Athenian democracy, some public offices were randomly allocated to citizens, in order to inhibit the effects of plutocracy.

                      Aristotle described the law courts in Athens which were selected by lot as democratic and described elections as oligarchic.

                      The voting process and democracy are not necessarily the same thing.

                      PS It’s principle.

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      Your talking about the principal of eminent domain

                      In part yes. The other bit is about confiscating the property of criminals or what have you.

                      But just saying “the principal of eminent domain” doesn’t subtract from the fact of what it means. ie, that the founders were aware that private property rights exist only to the extent that they are granted by society. They are, like all property rights, socially constructed.

                      Like you, I think it is a wonderful document, one of my favorites, for all it’s flaws. I wouldn’t call it a miracle though.

                      Curious though, as to why you think it should be more impenetrable? Or even what you mean by that.

                      I think one of it’s great strengths, along with it’s recognition that rights are socially constructed, is that contains within it the mechanisms for changing it.

                      Without such a mechanism, a constitution seeks to bind it’s followers for all time in spite of what they wish from their government. The lack of such a mechanism would leave citizens who no longer like specific points of the constitution with only the natural rights outlined in the declaration of independence as an option.

                      Having lived through such a conflict, I think giving their republic the means to be shaped by the desires of it’s citizens was foremost in the founders minds. They were both happy and humble enough to not suppose that they knew what the future citizens might desire of their government.

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      @PB, in context of the discussion, i.e. a person’s property rights in a co-op, I believe a person’s individual property rights should not be abridged by democracy…

                      What we are now talking about is government taking a person’s property for say, an armed forces base in time of war, that is a very different proposition…

                      I think it is good that there is a function in the US constitution for amendments, the BoR being a perfect example… By impenetrable I’m talking about better protection from (or challenges of) unconstitutional laws such as the Patriot Act passed without amendment…

                    • Pascal's bookie

                      in context of the discussion, i.e. a person’s property rights in a co-op, I believe a person’s individual property rights should not be abridged by democracy…

                      fair enough, but because property rights are constructed by societies then what it seems you are saying is that your version of ‘what property rights should be’ should be enforced even if society disagrees.

                      What we are now talking about is government taking a person’s property for say, an armed forces base in time of war, that is a very different proposition

                      The constitution is quite a bit broader than that…

                      Amendment 5 – Trial and Punishment, Compensation for Takings. Ratified 12/15/1791.

                      No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offense to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation.

                      ‘for public use’. That seems to give the courts and the legislature a lot of room.

                      I agree with your last para to a very large degree, (and thanks for the clarification), but only wonder if the fault is not so much with the constitution, but rather with an ornery supreme court. But the SC is the one that gets the final say, as someone must, so I’m not sure what a constitution can do to prevent orneryness 😉

                    • Jeremy Harris

                      Well that’s why I mentioned the eminent domain, and have followed the debate in the US at the moment, when private property is being taken and given to corporations because their new store is “in the public interest” I think all can agree something is wrong…

                      I do strongly believe that no citizen or corporation should have the right to take another citizen’s property without their consent, compensation shouldn’t enter the equation as the Rockefeller Centre shows the US used to believe this… If “society” disagrees with that, I do believe “society” to be wrong…

          • prism

            Didn’t Marx separate himself from the fledgling political movement built on versions of his theory by saying “I am not a Marxist”?

    • Shazzadude 33.2

      It’s a bit of a waste to be an independent in an MMP system. Why not bring a friend or two in?

  34. KlezmerRebDavid 34

    KlezmerRebDavid This is utter rubbish. Matt is seriously ill and Hone Harawira will never leave the Maori Party. Any ‘workers’ political party will never make 5%, and besides the Greens are already in Parliament pushing all the workers rights and wages issues of low income people. Lets not split and waste the left vote.

    • felix 34.1

      Matt is seriously ill …
      Maybe not as ill as you think if his recent statements are anything to go by.

      … Hone Harawira will never leave the Maori Party.
      Because… what? Oh because you haven’t got your head around the idea yet.

      Any ‘workers’ political party will never make 5%…
      Of course, because there are so few workers in the country, and we’re too stupid to vote for people who might actually represent us.

      … and besides the Greens are already in Parliament pushing all the workers rights and wages issues of low income people.
      When was the last time you saw the Greens pushing hard for workers’ rights? Like hard enough that working people might notice. Oh that’s right, when Sue Bradford was doing it.

      • Jeremy Harris 34.1.1

        I hope Matt gets better, although I disagree with everything with almost every policy he believes, debate of ideas is what freedom is all about…

        Are you implying the diagnosis may not be as bad as first thought..?

        • felix

          It’s not something I’d like to idly speculate on for obvious reasons, but in the interview he gave on radio nz which was posted here by a commenter yesterday, he said exactly that.

  35. Scott 35

    Bill wrote:

    ‘The dominant expression of socialism (male dominated and white) here and elsewhere was (and to an extent remains) incredibly authoritarian and narrow in focus.’

    What exactly was this ‘dominant expression’, though? Socialist ideas and movements have never been monolithic. Karl Marx, who presumably counts as one of the more important socialist thinkers, produced some decidedly Eurocentric texts – the Communist Manifesto, for instance, with its paean to colonialism and allusions to the supposedly progressive nature of the Opium Wars – earlier in his career, but later ‘went native’ after studying the Iroquois Federation, the Russian peasant commune and similar subjects, including the orgnisation of Maori society. Read the 1882 preface to the Manifesto or Marx’s famous letters to Vera Zasulich and you’ll find him qualifying many of his earlier views about the ‘peripheries of capitalism’.

    At the same time as Marx was enriching his thinking through a study of various colonised peoples, the leading Brit anti-colonialist Belfort Bax was polemicising against his fellow socialist Henry Hyndman, who thought that the working class deserved to take over the Empire when it booted out the British bourgeoisie.

    Fast forward through the history of socialism in the twentieth century and you’ll find a similar diversity of views.

    Here in New Zealand, the Communist Party was preoccupied, in the 1930s, with the question of how to relate to Maori. There were long debates in its theoretical journal about whether a Maori state was a good idea, or whether Maori were no different from other workers, and so on.
    The great Kiwi poet and commie RAK Mason led a group of Pakeha builders to the Ngati Whatua village at Orakei Bay, put up palisades around it using their concrete mixers and materials off their building sites, and prepared to defend the place against the ‘socialist’ government of Peter Fraser, which wanted to level it:

    This was, as far as I know, the first modern land occupation in New Zealand – and it was initiated by an alliance of communists and Maori. There are scores of other, later examples of solidarity between socialists and Maori which could be cited here, as well as cases of misunderstanding on both sides.

    If Hone Harawira wants to stop propping up a government which is shafting Maori was well as Pakeha workers and make an alliance with the left, then there’s a long tradition for him and for his allies on the Pakeha left to draw on.

    Inspiration, and possibly even some theoretical tools, might also come from the recent history of South America, where there has been a confluence vetween the radical left and indigenous movements. Venezuela’s socialist government is arguably leading the world in the addressing the legacy of colonialism, and in Bolivia there have been interesting experiments with a concept that the Chilean socialist and indigenous peoples’ activist Jose Aylwin calls ‘pluri-nationalism within a single state’. I blogged about some of these developments at:

    Bill’s talk of an ‘indigenous politics’ is even more simplistic than his talk of a ‘dominant expression’ of socialism. The notions that all indigenous people think the same, and that indigenous cultures are non-contradictory and never change, are two of the more comical legacies of nineteenth century European thought, and should be thrown into the dustbin of history. There is no one Maori perspective on any issue, as we saw during the recent debate about tikanga at Te Papa (see, for instance, the comments about a the Kai Tahu response to the controversy which Keri Hulme made under this thread):

    • Bill 35.1

      Missed this reply Scott since it’s been posted miles away from the comment it refers to.

      Just quickly. I didn’t criticise Marx or any body else. Didn’t even mention Marx. I criticised (and am critical) of socialism that embraces hierarchy in it’s organisational and or activist structures because it leads directly to authoritarianism. The schools or sects that do this are easily identifiable insofar as they usually associate with some dead messianic or prophetic ‘leader’. They have structural commonalities (referred to above) that result in the defect of authoritarian impulses coming to the fore which in turn leads to various factions orbiting various ideas on a theme that they then attribute to one of the names in the extended but dead family of left leaning dictators. And they have been the face of socialism most familiar to most people over the decades.

      As you say, “There were long debates in its theoretical journal about whether a Maori state was a good idea, or whether Maori were no different from other workers, and so on.” …which is just a reiteration of what I said vis a vis the difficulty the authoritarian left had (and have) in accommodating Maori….

      And what’s with the shit accusing me of holding some simplistic version of indigenous polity? Was it me who claimed Hone Hawawira should take “inspiration from Indigenous socialists in South America’?

      Nope. That doozy came from your fellow traveller ‘Social Justice’.

      It’s the authoritarian left that’s simplistic Scott. It’s the authoritarian left that demands a single perspective; that never changes and that cannot accommodate contradictions (hence the numerous schisms, splits and resultant factions). It’s the authoritarian left that seeks to reduce all else, such that all else will fit beneath one or other of it’s banners (eg Indigenous socialists).

      Finally, two things Scott. If you reply to this, how about you use the reply function provided? Secondly, in future, please respond to what I actually say or contend and not the end result of your taking of my words and processing them through various filters, mangles and mincers. ‘Cause that result, if the comment above is anything to go by, is a construction, a fiction much too far removed from what I’ve said and much too contaminated by your own internal dialogues for me to be bothered with too often.

    • pollywog 35.2

      Keri Hulme is spiteful old bitch whose opinion i rate as highly as dogshit on my shoe and whose stance represents a bitter and twisted passing generation than a concerted Ngaitahu perspective…IMHO

    • Adele 35.3

      Taangata Whenua is an embracing term that infers a multitude of indigenous points of views identified by hapuu foremost – the core body politic of Te Ao Taangata Whenua.

      Te Ao Taangata Whenua is an indigenous worldview located in Aotearoa, and while there is no singular perspective on any matter within Te Ao Taangata Whenua, or even on the worldview itself – there is general agreement as to the detrimental impact that colonisation has had on hapuu.

      The alienation from whenua, the untethering from Atua, and the de-construction of the whare-taangata, has had a deleterious effect on whaanau – the core constituency of hapuu.

      Tino rangatiratanga is self-determination for hapuu – where ultimate authority resides. Tino rangatiratanga confers autonomous development for hapuu – bounded by maunga, awa, whenua and whaanaungatanga only. And, from an indigenous perspective, tino rangatiratanga is the antidote to a colonising dis-ease.

      Taangata Whenua has a tradition, mai raanoo, of forming alliances with others to further both interests. Te Tiriti o Waitangi is a manifestation of that very ethic – an attempt to establish binding relationships between opposing worldviews. Te Tiriti gives expression to tino rangatiratanga and advocating for its entrenchment into legislation ought to inform any attempt at alliance forming, post-neoliberalism.

  36. Carol 36

    I just caught the end of an item on RNZ midday news, in which Matt McCarten says his standing at Mana is not a dry run for a new political party, and that he does not want to be distracted by an abstract idea.


    Former Green Party MP Sue Bradford says there is room in New Zealand politics for a new left-wing party.

    There has been speculation a new party could be formed involving Ms Bradford and the Unite Union general secretary Matt McCarten….

    Mr McCarten says he has always believed there is a need for a strong left-wing voice in Parliament, but there have been no talks and his campaign for Mana is not a dry run for a new political party.

    Mr McCarten says he will not allow himself to be distracted by an abstract idea.

  37. Of course we shouldn’t be surprised that McCarten is playing his cards close to his chest. But more than that, the idea of a New Left Party is clearly still “up in the air” and dependent on a whole number of issues (including how the Mana campaign goes in terms of building any interest in leftwing vision amongst activists etc).

    Bradford is now essentially estranged from the Green Party. And it’s interesting to see her being so forthcoming about her belief in the need for a New Left Party. This is the salient quote, I think, from the Radio NZ interview:

    ‘Ms Bradford says a new voice to the left of Labour is important because, despite recent signals, the party is returning to its socialist roots it needs to move away from right-wing economic policies.’

  38. Scott 38

    I’m not sure you know as much about socialism and the history of the left as you might think, Bill. At the very least, you make some rather contentious generalisations. You say that hierarchy (any hierarchy, at all?) leads to authoritarianism, and say that authoritarian socialists can be distinguished by the fact that they set up leaders as idols, and by the fact that they can’t take progressive positions on issues relating to indigenous peoples. But life is a bit more complicated than those generalisations would suggest. I offered you the example of the Communist Party of the ’30s and ’40s, which was self-confessedly Stalinist, and which indeed almost worshipped Stalin, and which nevertheless provided vital support to Ngati Whatua in a land dispute and forged a long-term alliance with Princess Te Puea.

    Hugo Chavez certainly seems to have plenty of time for hierarchy, even if he’s not the dictator that the Western media often makes him out to be, but his government has forged an alliance with the indigenous nations of Venezuela that has brought palpably positive effects.

    Within virtually every strand of socialism, there are examples of a variety of opinions on, and actions toward, indigenous political movements. You can certainly find Stalinist groups with a very Eurocentric attitude to the subject, but you can equally find anti-Stalinist socialists anarchists making the same mistake (I debated some of them a while back:

    You claim that the fact that the Communist Party had lots of arguments about Maori issues in its journal back in the ’30s proves they were anti-Maori. I’m not a supporter of many of the ideas of the Communist Party of that era – I don’t share their fondness for Stalin, for example – but to me the fact that they were trying to think about their attitude to New Zealand history and Maori issues is a mark in their favour. What’s wrong with debating how the left should interpret and act on concepts like tino rangatiratanga? Do you think that questions relating to Maori and Maori-Pakahe relations have simple, eternal answers, and don’t need debating? It seems to me you could benefit from a little debate and a little more open mindedness yourself.

    • Bill 38.1

      “You claim that the fact that the Communist Party had lots of arguments about Maori issues in its journal back in the ’30s proves they were anti-Maori.”

      “…and by the fact that they can’t take progressive positions on issues relating to indigenous peoples.”

      Read again.

      “…please respond to what I actually say or contend and not the end result of your taking of my words and processing them through various filters, mangles and mincers. ‘Cause that result,(…) is (…) a fiction much too far removed from what I’ve said and much too contaminated by your own internal dialogues for me to be bothered with(…).

      And yes, Scott. Hierarchies are inherently authoritarian….which means there’s no sensible question pertaining to whether ‘some’ or ‘all’ are or aren’t.

      edit. And see that ‘Reply’ logo on the bottom left of this comment? If you use that, then comments run in order, ie the response to this comment will be placed directly below this comment rather than on the bottom of all previous comments.

  39. Scott 39

    I’m afraid I find it pretty hard to understand anything that you’re saying, Bill. You accuse the ‘authoritarian left’ of being ‘simplistic’, but now say that all hierarchy is ‘authoritarian’, which strikes me as one of the silliest and most simplistic statements I’ve ever heard. Apart from perhaps the odd anarchist group, every sizeable left-wing organisation in the world has some sort of hierarchy. It’s impossible to run a large orgnisation without divisions of labour and responsibility. The important thing is those who have special roles or leadership positions are under democratic control. Do you think every trade union in New Zealand is part of the ‘authoritarian left’?

    I’d be interested to know how any of these strange generalisations of yours actually relate to real-life political situations involving indigenous groups and socialists. I’ve mentioned the 1943 action at Okahu Bay as an example of socialists and Maori working together and the alliances today between the socialist government in Venezuela and indigenous groups. Do you have anything against this sort of collaboration between the ‘authoritarian left’ and indigenous groups?

    • Colonial Viper 39.1

      Use the reply key on the bottom of a comment if you are replying to that comment.

    • Bill 39.2


      Just because ‘everybody’ uses hierarchical structures (to para phrase you), that has no impact whatsoever on the accuracy or otherwise of my observation that hierarchies are inherently authoritarian.

      Meanwhile, if you believe in the necessity of a vertical division of labour and responsibility (as implied by your bald assertion that “It’s impossible to run a large orgnisation without divisions of labour and responsibility.”) then how do you ever envisage any worthwhile vision of socialism being realised? As far as I can see, you’re all washed up and defeated before you’ve begun because you believe in a need for empowered elites and disempowered masses (ie the division of labour and responsibility).

      As for keeping those in ‘special roles’ or leadership positions under democratic control, do you not understand that democratic centralism (assuming that is your preferred mechanism for delivering democratic control) merely concentrates information and power in the hands of those with ‘special roles’ or in leadership positions?

      • Colonial Viper 39.2.1

        You need authoritarian hierarchical structures in some situations as they lend an organisation quite different handling characteristics. There won’t always be time to break out the campfire and sing “Kumbaya” on every minor issue.

        The key is however that for all strategic and operational matters where there is time and opportunity, flatter more inclusive decision making structures are smarter, more thorough, and generate more buy in.

        • Bill


          I could point out that exclusive dictatorial decision making has its place. And it does.

          But that has nothing to do with whether hierarchies are inherently authoritarian.

          But to digress for a moment since you bring the matter up, I agree that democracy is not about long drawn out processes seeking consensus (“There won’t always be time to break out the campfire and sing “Kumbaya” on every minor issue.”).

          And anyway, some forms of consensus decision making can tend towards delivering bad decisions and minority rule. And majority rule can deliver bad decisions and disempower very sizeable minorities (eg 49%). But different forms and levels of consensus and majority decision making can be created to deliver optimum results in any given situation.

          If democracy is about empowerment and finding the best process under any given situation to deliver that, then democracy needs to located in fluid or plastic environments. And hierarchies are expressions of crystallised environments.

          • Colonial Viper

            It would be possible to have hierarchical organisational structures established and dis-established as required (by larger group decision, not necessarily a consensus). Project by project or task by task. Such a system should be adaptive enough to meet the needs of “fluid” and “plastic” environments.

            But that has nothing to do with whether hierarchies are inherently authoritarian.

            Well I imagine that they are inherently authoritarian, since that is the point, *however* leadership styles within hierarchies can vary widely and even though the top position may have 100% discretionary decision making power, plenty of bottom up input can still occur. Even in a hierarchical set up, any decent leader will know that robust leadership legitimacy needs to come from much more than just holding the office at the top.

  40. Scott 40

    I agree with what Viper says. I’m not aware of there ever being a mass movement of the left, or of any other political persuasion for that matter, which didn’t include all sorts of ‘vertical’ structures. And is there one sizeable Maori organisation without vertical structures?

    Even the anarchist-led revolution in Catalonia in the ’30s involved organisations and institutions with all sorts of vertical features. The ‘Red’ Federation of Labour that existed in New Zealand before World War One included layers of leadership.

    It seems to me, than, that Bill’s demanding something that has never existed and is in fact impossible, and then indiscriminately finding fault with what really has existed and does exist. Maybe he can explain how a mass organisation like a trade union could operate without delegates, organisers, and leaders.

    Again though, I don’t see what this has to do with the question of socialists and indigenous politics. Maybe Bill will explain that one too.

    • Bill 40.1

      Scott, your replies are starting to sound troll like from here.

      Your main ‘argument’ seems to consist of endlessly asserting that ‘everyone does it this way and it’s always been done this way, so there is no other way’. (eg everyone says the world is flat, everyone has always said the world is flat, so there is no other shape the world can be)

      It’s tedious. (And so is your refusal or inability to click on the reply icon at the foot of the comment you wish to reply to before typing your response.)

      Non-hierarchical structures have existed and do exist. Do they thrive in an environment inimical to their existence? No. But they persist.

      Does that satisfy your question as to whether they exist in the huge form you demand? Is the lack of size proof of “..something that has never existed and is in fact impossible..” ? Just wondering.

      And since you now differentiate between socialists and indigenous politics, it seems we agree on that point…that they are distinct, no?

      Meanwhile, do I take your silence on the matters of democratic centralism and the inherent authoritarianism of hierarchies as an indication that you have nothing to contribute on that front?

      And before you go setting up a wee brigade of straw men and distractions etc, can I ask that you read my request one more time that you “…please respond to what I actually say or contend and not the end result of your taking of my words and processing them through various filters, mangles and mincers. ‘Cause that result,(…) is (…) a fiction much too far removed from what I’ve said and much too contaminated by your own internal dialogues for me to be bothered with(…)”


      • Scott 40.1.1

        No, Bill, I have nothing much to contribute to some discussion about how all hierarchy is bad, and how the left should come up with some completely non-hierarchical form of organising which as far as I can see has never existed outside the internet. I don’t object to such discussions, any more than I object to discussions about whether Lee Harvey Oswald killed JFK or not – I just don’t see the point. Nor, so far as I can tell, do many other people.

        What I do object to is people lying about history. You claimed that ‘the dominant expression of socialism’, which you identified with ‘authoritarian socialism’, has in the past been hostile to indigenous peoples like Maori. This statement is nonsense, as I pointed out. Even the most obviously ‘authoritarian’ strand of the socialist movement, Stalinism, has a history which involves plenty of examples of solidarity with indigenous peoples like Maori, as well as examples of the opposite. As I noted, the Communist Party of New Zealand played a key role in the first modern land occupation in this country, and built a long-term alliance with the major Maori nationalist leader of the 1930s and ’40s, Princess Te Puea, working with her in various projects and getting her to speak at major political events like May Day rallies. The lesson is that the history of the left is a bit more complex than your generalisations, and that leftists can be wrong about some things and right about others. But instead of actually having a discussion about the real history of socialism and indigenous politics here, and of events like the occupation at Okahu Bay and the relationship between the King Movement and communists, you waffle on about ‘authority’ and ‘liquid’ versus and ‘crystallised’ forms of organisation and other things which seem to have no relevance to your original, obviously false claim about socialism and indigenous peoples. I hope you’ll take the trouble to learn something about history before you make any more wild claims about it.

        • Bill


          I said hierarchies are inherently authoritarian. I also said that dictatorial decision making processes have a place in the scheme of things. Now, where did I say that “all hierarchy is bad” again?

          On non-hierarchical forms of organising…first they weren’t on a grand enough scale to show up on your radar of what is possible. Now it seems that simply because you have no experience of such things, that any and all expressions of such organisation must exist only on the internet and as such are still not really in the realm of what is possible. I can assure you Scott, that reasonably substantive non-hierarchical organisations exist in the corporeal world. Anyway. Moving on.

          “You claimed that ‘the dominant expression of socialism’, which you identified with ‘authoritarian socialism’, has in the past been hostile to indigenous peoples like Maori.”

          (sigh) Where exactly is it that I said that the authoritarian left has been hostile to indigenous peoples like Maori or any words to that effect? What I said is that the authoritarian left was “never comfortably accommodated by Maori….or women…or anyone outside the parameters of their (the authoritarian left’s) ‘correct’ thought processes.”

          Seems to me that since my actual words haven’t fitted with any arguments you wanted to make or accusations you wanted to level, you’ve allowed yourself to indulge in a quite considerable degree of fuck-knuckled dishonesty through out this exchange.

          But nice to see you got the hang of that reply button at last.

          • Scott

            ‘What I said is that the authoritarian left was “never comfortably accommodated by Maori.”

            Which is, as I pointed out, a wild and rather silly generalisation which nobody familiar with the history of socialism in this country could make. Te Puea didn’t have much trouble ‘accomodating’ with the Communist Party. Nor did Ngati Whatua when their village was threatened with demolition in 1943. Nor did Eva Rickard when she fought for the return of land at Whaingaroa in the ’70s. Nor did the Australian Aboriginals who built the land rights movement over there with the local Communist Party, along with a sprinkling of liberal intellectuals like Henry Reynolds. People can be mistaken about their analysis of the Soviet Union, or their views on party organisation, and still get far more important questions, like the question of stolen indigenous land, right.

            Of course there are negative stories involving socialists of all currents and indigenous peoples, but there are a huge number of positive stories from our history which your generalisation denies. The irony is that if you can’t appreciate the role that parts of the Leninist left – Trotskyists as well as Stalinists and Maoists – played in campaigns against anti-Maori racism, then you can’t really understand the story of Maori resistance to colonialism and neo-colonialism in its full context. Certainly, Michael King didn’t hesitate to give considerable coverage to the Communist Party when he wrote his path-breaking account of Te Puea’s life back in the ’70s. Here’s a quote from King’s biography which describes the reaction of the Ngati Whatua people to the Communist-organised work bee which helped stop the demolition of their village in ’43:

            ‘Orakei inhabitants shed tears when Wally Ashton, secretary of the Trades Council, presented them with a visitors’ book for the marae. Te Puea, for her part, thanked all the Pakeha workers. ‘For what you have done for our people who needed it most, I do not know how to say often enough, ‘God bless you’, she said.’

            I included that quote in the piece I wrote on the ’43 occupation for the paper of the National Distribution Union a couple of years ago. Wally Ashton was an ‘authoritarian leftist’, but that doesn’t seem to have bothered the people he acted in solidarity with. Maybe they had something more important on their minds than the question of ‘liquid’ versus ‘crystallised’ methods of organisation, and the other arcane and rather sectarian matters which seem to preoccupy you?

            • Bill

              Go on then, since you are unable to appreciate (or admit?) the crucial role that organisational structures play in determining outcomes, I’ll buy in to your silly fucking game for a moment.

              We know that ‘anybody’ can work with ‘anybody’…

              But have Maori significantly swelled the ranks of any non-mainstream ( ie, non- Social Democratic and revolutionary) organisation of the authoritarian left over a meaningful span of time by joining them in such numbers that Maori were over represented or even merely ‘fairly’ represented in that organisation when compared with their representation in the general population?

  41. Tiger Mountain 41

    Well thats a lot of bytes expended, and at least half of the comments in this thread tend to support the point I made back at comment #2.

    • Tiger Mountain – your #2 comment actually had a lot of separate points, all of which are very worthy of discussion. If I read your comment correctly, you had the following reservations about the prospect of a McCarten/Bradford leftwing party:

      1) It’s a diversion from fighting the right.
      2) It’d be just a re-run of the Alliance.
      3) Why not just have a genuinely Marxist party?
      4) Starting a new left party is not really viable in today’s climate.
      5) It will take votes off other progressive parties such as the Greens.

      Is this correct?

      I’d be very keen to see you elaborate on any of these points if you are so inclined, because this is an important issue. And I’m currently writing an extensive blog post looking at the pros and cons of launching the New Left Party (but the finished product might be some time off). So I’d be interested in other people’s opinions.

  42. Tiger Mountain 42

    Yes Bryce that is a fair summary. Happy to participate on your blog about this in more detail.
    While Matt’s and Sue’s and my own politics go on regardless of parliamentary electoral cycles, my quick comment was really in the context of an election next year.

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