No Mana, Māori Party

Written By: - Date published: 5:45 pm, March 10th, 2017 - 52 comments
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The Māori Party, who purport to be the party for all things Māori, has sunk to a new low this week and Māori voters should take notice.

Kingi Tuheitia came out and endorsed the new candidate for the Māori Party, Rahui Papa in the seat of Hauraki-Waikato – not such a big deal. But in the process he said, “If Nanaia [Mahuta] wants to stay in there, and if Nanaia doesn’t want to come off there, she’s with Labour, she’s not with the Kingitanga.”

While the current king is the one making these comments, they are being encouraged, or probably more accurately, he is being manipulated, by his advisor Tuku Morgan – the Māori Party president. As Winston Peters points out, “The King has been used by Morgan, a former NZ First MP, to get involved in domestic politics and he should remain neutral”.

Why does any of this matter?

Well, firstly it’s not kaupapa Māori, which is ironic given how the Māori Party recently lectured the public about what kaupapa Māori was. And while we might fight party to party, we do not turn on our own.

Nanaia Mahuta is the Labour MP for Hauraki-Waikato and daughter of the late Sir Robert Mahuta – the adopted older brother to the late and much loved Queen Dame Te Atairaangikahu. She could not be more connected to the Kingitanga movement. Just six months ago she received her moko kauae in honour of the Queen, and ten years of Tuheitia’s reign, becoming the first woman in Parliament to wear one.

That makes the King’s comment appalling. But more significantly, Tuku Morgan has put the King and the movement at risk. Tuheitia has naively made the 2017 election a vote on his continued legitimacy and tenure. If the Māori Party fail to win Hauraki-Waikato, it will be a clear signal for Tuheitia to stand down. While you could forgive the king for his naivety, unfortunately, this is politics, and he will wear the consequences. What cannot be so easily forgiven is how the Māori Party’s president has manipulated an important Māori movement and its leader, a movement that essentially is about uniting Māori, all for his own gain – and severely damaged its mana.

Whatever your view of Nanaia Mahuta, what cannot be denied is her love for the Kingitanga and the people of Tainui and her lifelong commitment to both, that’s true mana.

In the end, the Māori Party have made their biggest political blunder. The people of Tainui will not be so easily manipulated and will be feeling for Nanaia after Tuheitia’s comments. If anything, this will encourage Hauraki-Waikato voters to come out in support for Nanaia on 23 September, not just to vote against the Māori Party, but to send a clear message that it’s time for change in the Kingitanga, which many have been feeling for a long time.

52 comments on “No Mana, Māori Party”

  1. Ad 1

    Too easy to say the Maori King is being manipulated. He wears big boy pants.

    That Maori King should ditch the title and simply acknowledge he’s just another PR shill for just another corporation – the Tainui one.

    • I don’t think he’s interested in what a nobody like you thinks lol . You seem to have some bigotted attitudes imo.

      • Once was Tim now no longer 1.1.1

        you’re correct @ Marty.
        He’s not actually interested in what anybody thinks I’m sorry to say other than people who think he looks gorgeous in a pair of expensive boxer shorts with the label Clutch Cargo sewn in the waistband.
        Wasn’t way back then, and sure as shit and skid marks on a pair of cheap Jockey briefs, isn’t now.
        I’m breaking my own rules about posting here, so I’ll watch, but not necessarily respond to your ‘furthers’ that I’m usually in agreement with

        • marty mars 1.1.1.1

          I think you are getting your Māori mixed up Tim. Tuku and the undies is typical – many many people buy those fucken undies and worse but tuku got ridiculed for it. Maybe he was too stuffed shirt or didn’t act like Billy t about it and got scorn – what did he do? Took it and came back. That is pretty resilient. I could go on but I don’t actually like tuku or his politics except when they align with tino rangatiratanga.

          • Barfly 1.1.1.1.1

            If my memory is correct it wasn’t so much the 89 dollar undies as who Tuku got to pay for them

          • Richard McGrath 1.1.1.1.2

            Who here pays $89 for underpants, even allowing for inflation?

      • Ad 1.1.2

        The Maori King is funded directly by the Tainui tribe board Te Arataura.

        The tribe’s Board is chaired by Tuku Morgan.

        Mr Morgan has taken legal action against anyone who tries to expose who is being paid how much.

        Check out the Tainui annual reports and see if you can figure our where charitable distributions go. For instance.

        Check out what happens when anyone else dares to get a majority on that Board. Plenty of war stories if you Google them.

        Failing that, ask Lady Mahuta, widow of the guy who led the whole Treaty process.

        Follow the King’s money, it leads to the same source.

  2. While I think there’s a reasonable argument that the King should support independent Māori parties like the MP and Mana, there’s really no excuse for specifically calling out Nanaia, especially when Kelvin Davis is just as much of an obstacle. If he’s going to take sides on behalf of the independent Māori parties, he should do so in a way that respects people who disagree and think Labour has a prominent place in Māori politics.

    • Why should he do that? What tikanga is that following or in alignment with?

      • I was looking at things from a political realism angle, because of course, Māori give their Party Vote in overwhelming numbers to Labour, even with the presence of Māori-controlled parties like the MP and Mana, so regardless of what the Kingitanga movement says, Labour looks set to have a significant role in the immediate future of Māori politics, whether it is through the party vote or the electorate vote. (And nobody has worked out an economical model to poll key electorates, so we can’t say for sure what’s going to happen, all we know is that TTT could be closer than last time, and it’s legitimately possible it could go to Mana, even if Hone has lost some supporters due to the IMP fiasco)

        As a Pakeha I have a strict policy of leaving it to Māori to comment on what constitutes acceptable tikanga. It’s not my place to weigh in on that debate unless I’m specifically invited, (and why would I be?) and I support Māori making their own decisions about how their politics is conducted. If I have any point to make on that, it’ll be by repeating things others have said, and you can bet I’ll be very clear if I’m doing that. 🙂

        I simply think it’s a bit unreal or perhaps even wishful thinking to conclude that Labour isn’t going to be part of Māori politics even if they lose all the Māori electorates, given how much of the Party Vote they get from voters on the Māori rolls. Labour will continue running electorate candidates for those Māori electorates even if they lose all of them this election, because it helps their Party Vote, and because they’ve taken them back before after they’ve been swept away.

    • Ed 2.2

      I’m not sure what you mean by independent – the Maori Party has been very close to National for a number of years now, particularly on major issues; whereas Mana has been fairly distant from National, while sharing some concerns with other parties but not being aligned. Are the National and Labour parties not also relatively independent – especially when compared with Nationals support parties? And what is Kelvin Davis an obstacle to?

      • weka 2.2.1

        Independent in the sense of being kaupapa Māori parties, as opposed to being NZ parties with Māori MPs.

        “And what is Kelvin Davis an obstacle to?”

        The Mp getting a Māori electorate seat.

      • As Weka says, they’re “independent Māori parties” in the sense that they are parties of and for the Māori community first and foremost, rather than secondarily for Māori like NZF and Labour. There’s a distinction to be drawn there even though there’s clearly space for both in Māori politics.

        And if your goal is to strengthen that independent Māori presence in parliament, Kelvin Davis is obviously an obstacle to Mana/Hone’s re-election.

  3. Carolyn_nth 3

    It’s an interesting post. But this makes it look like it was written by a Māori (especially the last sentence), and not one of the usual TS authors:

    Well, firstly it’s not kaupapa Māori, which is ironic given how the Māori Party recently lectured the public about what kaupapa Māori was. And while we might fight party to party, we do not turn on our own.

  4. Nev 4

    Can’t have Maori taking about Maori

  5. Rightly or wrongly 5

    I’m not sure that Mahuta can cry too much about this endorsement and request neutrality.

    Every year the Labour leader and MPs traipse along to Ratana seeking an endorsement by the movement as a whole.

    It appears that the MP has done the same with the King.

    I suspect that telling any group of Maori that they shouldn’t be voting for someone is more than likely going to push them to vote for them.

    Its call unintended consequences

  6. Rightly or wrongly 6

    I’m not sure that Mahuta can cry too much about this endorsement and request neutrality.

    Every year the Labour leader and MPs traipse along to Ratana seeking an endorsement by the movement as a whole.

    It appears that the MP has done the same with the King.

    I suspect that telling any group of Maori that they shouldn’t be voting for someone is more than likely going to push them to vote for them.

    Its called unintended consequences

    • One Anonymous Bloke 6.1

      Akshully, when you say “suspect” you mean “project”, and you don’t even know it.

  7. What a load of judgmental rubbish this post is – just peeved privilege boo hoo. Māori will decide – end of story. Patronising and insulting won’t work and is likely to harden attitudes – thick politics.

  8. Jum 8

    I’ve met Nanaia Mahuta; she has my utmost respect.

    Tuku Morgan – grandstander and risking the future of the Maori King and Kingitanga – how stupid can you get? There are enough forces out there trying to destroy the essence of Maori – respect for nature and its spirit. Morgan is all about the greed.

  9. greywarshark 9

    It would be funny if it wasn’t so sad. For decades Maori as a language, a culture, an entity and a part of civilisation was derided or denied. Then through their strong and determined efforts it has been recognised, given importance, become understood.
    Now pakeha have enough knowledge to try and take ownership of it and critique it.
    Maori might be making a mistake, but that’s their right. They won’t lose everything if they are wrong. They are trying to be as devious as pakeha, and planning round obstacles, and refusing to give up easily are part of their culture.

    What they have to contend with are the Maori elites who have chiselled themselves into prominent places like the USA heads at Mt Rushmore. Those are dead leaders aren’t they. NZ goes one better and can decorate the land with living monuments.

    Maori thinkers are aware of this. And what they do to change this trend will very likely be the making of NZ. I think there are wise, strong and committed people in Maori with vision who will regain any mana that has been lost. They will prevail and there aren’t many pakeha who can stand to be measured against them.

    • I like those comments even though I don’t agree 100% with them.

      For instance imo there are no Māori elite in the way that term is generally used – I believe it is a meme started by some who love dividing the oppressed. That doesn’t mean there aren’t rich or capitalist exploiter Māori or rwnj Māori – there are. That is the thing – Māori have all of the usual sub groupings of opinion or view that any population does. None of that diminishes their Māoriness imo.

  10. greywarshark 10

    marty mars
    Well I see Hekia Parata married to Sir Wira Gardener and I don’t see her making very good moves either for Maori or for all NZ. There are a few too many of those, and sure they are still Maori but don’t match up with Sir Peter Buck and others like him.
    And it matters because it’s not good having to defend Maori all of the time, and many Maori feeling diminished because the discrimination feeds in to all our souls and makes society less.

    I liked those good Maori stories that Radionz used to put over in the special Maori slot, but that has been abandoned in favour of bringing Maori topics to the main news. Which is good, but left to seek Maori news items, the presenters came up with stories about wonderful, interesting people. Positive stories, different to the political ones, and mean street news, and sports injury news we get so much of.

    There are many quiet achievers like te reo teacher I knew, think his name was John Rangihau. Strong resolute people like him and the guy I did an introductory course with John Nuku I think. So many but Maori at the bottom are not getting good role models or helpful policies from many of those I call the elite who are going after the baubles!

    • marty mars 10.1

      Problem is that ‘good’ is a term that is subjective and used by bigots (not saying you) to ‘other’ and further their own bigotted agendas. There are plenty of positive stories about and from Māori out there and they can be found. Every political view is within the Māori world – that is just the way people are.

  11. Tory 11

    I’m sure a cheque will “ease the grievance”

    [lprent: Probably better having a grievance rather than the congenital ‘stupid dickhead’ problem that you seem to have. I’d count this as an irrelevant firestarter (see the policy on flamewars). Please be warned about the short fuse that I take towards idiots with matches and nothing substantive to say. ]

    • red-blooded 11.1

      WTF? I wasn’t going to comment on this thread, but I feel I’ve got to challenge that snide little dig. Your sarcasm is misplaced and your comment is meaningless. (Whose grievance? Who’s making out the cheque? How does this link to the issue being discussed?) Any mention of Māori and someone’s ready with a racist taunt.

      Did it occur to you to actually contribute to the discussion, Tory? No? Not surprising, really, as you don’t seem to have anything meaningful to say.

      • greywarshark 11.1.1

        red-blooded
        I was just thinking that snide was the right word for that odious little RW Tory. Then I saw that you had supplied him with a lesson in joined up thought which he might profit from. But no doubt the only profit he is interested in is cheques, payments, credits etc. A strong helping of riposte with a snide dish.

  12. Pete 12

    Tuku Morgan seems to be trying to live the proverb about age bringing wisdom.

    In his case though, age has only given him more years and more delusions.

  13. Antoine 13

    Have said it before

    If this is what Maori politics is about, I’m glad I’m not Maori

    Who would want to be dickering over mana, kaupapa, moko and Kingitanga (and “greedy brown Toms” in the charming words of the Standard’s Anne)

    When they could be talking about climate change, housing, roading, health and education like the rest of us?

    A.

    • simbit 13.1

      If this is what democracy is all about, I’m glad I’m not a democrat…El Prezidente Trump.

      • greywarshark 13.1.1

        Who would want to be dickering over mana, kaupapa, moko and Kingitanga (and “greedy brown Toms” in the charming words of the Standard’s Anne)
        When they could be talking about climate change, housing, roading, health and education like the rest of us?

        I like your irony Antoine. You should though put /sarc at end so we get when you are having a poke at the common themes that take us away from the core ones.

        And still you left out ‘jobs for living wages’, which is at the heart of all those concerns you list. Without those we are helpless vessels bobbing in the tide of cold-blooded capitalism constantly diminished as capable, self-managing persons and dependent on declining residual charitable and generous memes from the 1970s.

    • Siobhan 13.2

      ‘the rest of us’??…does the ‘rest of us’ not include any Maori that you can think of???, you should get out more.

      • Antoine 13.2.1

        It was a casual way of saying “non Maori people”.

        And this line always sounds terrible, but Some of my best friends are Maori

        A.

    • Chris 13.3

      Why do you add your initial at the end of each post?

  14. JanM 14

    I think the quality of this post would have been vastly improved if the author’s identity was known. I often think opinions are worth a lot less if it is not known who is speaking and what their knowledge base is, especially on a subject this sensitive.
    To take my point to a ridiculous extreme, John Key could write a post on the subject of feminism and not identify himself.

  15. Michael 15

    Labour’s chickens have come home to roost. It has taken Maori support for granted for far too long while acting in ways detrimental to the welfare of many Maori. In the Tainui seat it provided a placeholder with an over-developed sense of entitlement, based on hereditary lineage, and an under-developed work ethic. Evidently, King Tuheitia and his advisers conclude that the interests of their iwi are better served by someone else. FWICS, that’s a perfectly reasonable judgement.

    • Chris 15.1

      Precisely. Little seems to want to punish the Mp for “propping up the nats”, which of course the Mp did do. But it’s unbelievably ignorant and naive and short-sighted and just plainly dumb to believe the Mp did this because they support the neo-lib agenda. The irony is that that agenda is at the heart of what Labour lives and breathes every day. Little should be courting the Mp, not slagging them off simply because the Mp made an error in terms of strategy. Labour needs all the coalition partners they can muster.

    • Noah 15.2

      I suspect Labour learned their lesson after losing seats to the Maori Party in 2005. Given their dismal 2014 result where the only bright ray of light were Maori seats success I really doubt they’re taking them for granted anymore. Paternalism OTOH, is still strikingly fertile within the party IMO.

  16. D'Esterre 16

    Politics is politics, Maori or not. This looks to me like a political stoush.

    I well remember when Tuku Morgan came to parliament in 1996, and what followed. He stood again in Te Tai Hauāuru in 1999, but lost to Nanaia Mahuta.

    His manoeuvring over the last few years, to get himself where he is now, looks to me like a long game being played by a man bent on revenge. In particular, against Mahuta.

    I heard an interview with Mahuta in the last couple of days; her response was that Morgan has had his days in parliament. Which could be glossed as: he’s trying to relive those days, as an eminence grise, through somebody else, because he knows he himself is unelectable.

    It looks as if the king is being manipulated by Morgan. Most unfortunate…

    • weka 16.1

      “It looks as if the king is being manipulated by Morgan.”

      How so? I know little all about that side of the politics, but that comment makes it look like the King is clueless and has no politics of his own. Is that what you mean?

  17. Noah 17

    A practical problem possibly arising out of this is Tuku Morgan’s influence overshadowing Rahui Papa’s campaign to win the seat. Whether true or not, the perception is Tuku has manipulated the situation with the Kingitanga to favour the Maori Party. Worse, that manipulation is expressed through less than savoury remarks made about Nanaia by her whanaunga, King Tuheitia. It’s that narrative that’s doing the rounds and unless Tuku and the Maori Party can counter iteffectively, it’ll likely gather pace, take on a life of its own and hound Rahui Papa right up to election day.

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