Ratana – LIVE

Written By: - Date published: 3:05 pm, January 24th, 2016 - 46 comments
Categories: Andrew Little, john key, labour, Maori Issues, Maori seats, same old national - Tags: , , ,

Te Reo Putake live blogs the visit of politicians to Rātana paa during the celebration of the life of founder Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana:


It’s a glorious day in the Whanganui region. Around 28 degrees, blue skies, a gentle breeze. We’ve been welcomed onto the marae and the introductory speeches and waiata are leading into more direct messages to the politicians. PM Key has just been emphatically told he must delay signing the TPPA until full consultation has been held with all Kiwis. This demand was greeted with huge applause. There are protesters here, but they have been entirely in concert with the day; calm and dignified. A big, big police presence, but it is the maori wardens who are keeping the peace.

The Maori party have also been getting a coded roasting in the welcomes. There has been repeated reference to the month long alignment of the planets, the hint apparently being that the MP need to find a new alignment.

Andrew Little also gets a burst; that’s over his ill though out beauty pageant remark. Though Andrew was also greeted with “you are us, we are you”. The ties still bind.

But the main criticism is aimed at the PM. It’ll be interesting to see how he responds.

More as it happens.


Andrew Little: Andrew Little starts with an explanation of his ‘beauty contest’ remark. He dosn’t resile from it. He says their are differences between the parties. He points out that workers from Ratana who work at AFFCO, Imlay, just down the road, are being denied the right of union representation. What sort of government would do that, what sort of leader? he asks. John Key! someone shouts from the big tent.

Little runs through the links between Labour and the Ratana church; an 80 year old alliance. He compares that alliance with the way national are treating maori. He says “we can do a lot better.”

Little finishes by saying that Labour best represents the hopes and aspirations of maori and all kiwis.


James Shaw: The Greens leader says he is pleased but nervous to be here. He speaks quietly, but wisely doesn’t self promote. His speech focusses on the harm being done to kiwis, as far as I can tell … he really speaks quietly. The other green MP’s, and some from Labour join Shaw for a waiata.


Winston Peters: Pleanty of jokes from the old stager; ‘since I’ve been coming here, Labour have had 8 leaders, National about the same, the maori party four. NZ First have had …. one!’ Winston finishes a flourishing speech in which he puts the boot into all the other parties, by going all Obama on us: “Can I get an amen? Can I get an amen for the Ratana church?” Yes, yes he can! Brilliant!


Te Uraroa Flavell next, speaking only in te reo apparently. He is given a rough ride at the start (loud murmurings from one of the big tents) and ends to no real applause. The little I picked up seem to be a challenge to Ratana (perhaps he was feeling the loss of the local seat to maori? Or was stung by the criticism that the MP were saying one thing on the TPPA, but still supporting the government that is bringing it in?).


John Key: “TW Ratana was ashpirational for maori. He was a smart man, his followers are smart people.” So smart they don’t vote National, John. ‘It was my government, with the Maori party, that lifted maori up, with better education, more employment’.

On the TPPA: All such negotiations are in confidence, treaty settlements are confidential. Not a single part of the TPP cuts across the treaty of Waitangi.

On Imlay: No sweat, the workers should be Ok. Americans love our lamb chops, that’ll make the difference. We grow the level playing field and we all profit. Helen Clark wants the TPP, labour don’t believe their own words. We will have to pay to get out of the TPP. Nobody owes us a living. Iwi around the country will be stopped from selling their good overseas if there isn’t a TPP.

“We have to make our way in the world”.

“Education, there was a report out today about the elimination of jobs. I can take you to Scott Tech in Dunedin and show you an automated freezing works”. I think that was a threat to the Imlay workers of some kind.

‘Let me conclude by saying I’m going to be back, don’t let anyone tell you about our young people going off track … they’re full of hope and ashpiration. The truth is, we need the world. We can say No to the world’s consumers, but we’re not going to. In the end, this is about NZ. An incredible future, mumble, mumble, with disappointing results.’


Ok, that’s it for now. I’ll try and clarify some of the speeches in an hour or so, particularly the Maori Party situation. I did get the feeling that the message to them was clear; quit this government. Some quick points; Little got the best reception, but he did get chided for being disrespectful. Key rambled and delivered a speech that could have been recycled from a breakfast fundraiser at the Parnell Rotary club. In summary, all he said was that the TPP is all Labour’s fault and the opposition to signing it is thoughtless and will hurt maori most. I think he’s going to cop some serious grief at Waitangi.


UPDATE: The media reaction: Jenna Lynch at TV3 notes that the message to Key was blunt; don’t sign, consult. The accompanying video, however, is mostly sycophantic rubbish. Claire Trevett at the Herald counts the boos. Govt taken to task say Radio NZ. TVOne have the most comprehensive and detailed account and are the only ones to have spotted the pressure being put on the Maori party. They also have a great shot of Key stroking his thigh like it was a big meaty ponytail (@ around 1.45 in the vid).

One final thought. I think we are seeing the last days of the Maori party as a coalition option for National. The message today was clear, that party needs a new alignment if it wants to stay credible.



46 comments on “Ratana – LIVE”

  1. One Anonymous Bloke 1

    “Beauty pageant remark…”? What did I miss? Everything, probably 🙂

  2. Tautuhi 2

    Hopefully they won’t put him in one of the boil up pots?

  3. Magisterium 3

    Who gives a toss what a bunch of religious nutters think? Oh, sorry, I forgot – when the Exclusive Brethren try to influence domestic politics that’s bad, but when it’s done at Ratana pa, that’s OK.

    • When it’s done at Ratana Paa its out in the open and large sums of money do not change hands. The Brethren tried to buy an election and they didn’t give a toss about what laws they broke to do it. You’re an idiot.

    • One Anonymous Bloke 3.2

      I don’t think you’re going to get much traction with your piss-weak attack, because the problem for Brash and the National Party was all the lies they told on the subject.

      Or did you mean why would anyone at Ratana pa give a shit what a pony-tail worshipping neo-liberal mouthpiece thinks?

  4. weka 4

    thanks for the insight into what’s happening there TRP.

  5. Good stuff trp – can’t wait to read your next report and awesome idea to liveishblog thanks

    • Cheers, marty. I was really chuffed to be asked to attend. I checked that it would be ok to sneak out of the guests tent and blog the speeches; didn’t want to break protocol. But all cool, and like every other time I’ve been here, the welcome was amazing. I love this part of Aotearoa!

  6. Disgusting from John Key about Imlay. It won’t have gone unheard from locals. Says it all really.

  7. thechangeling 7

    It’s too hot to be there today TRP. Hope they’re putting on a decent feed for you later on!

  8. Draco T Bastard 8

    Did this happen there?

    Key wearing the Lockwood flag on his lapel…

  9. millsy 9

    The iwi elites will benefit from TPPA, but ordinary Maori will be socked with higher rents, higher power and gas bill, higher prescription charges, higher medical bills, water charges, higher bank fees and and insurance premium, and higher prices overall.

    And dismantling of envriomental restrictions will make them sicker and sicker.

  10. Jenny Kirk 10

    Thanks for putting this up, Te Reo Putake. Useful to know what actually was going on, rather than the awful fawning on TV and in MSM over the fact Shon Key has announced he’ll stand again.

    Can anyone remember if there was this amount of fawning when Helen Clark said something similar – going for a fourth term ? That’s a bit off-post – sorry TRP !

    I look forward to the rest of your report on the Ratana visit.

  11. sabine 12

    Thanks for your life blog. Much appreciated.

  12. Macro 13

    Yes much appreciate your work here TPR – and let the people know that we are interested in what they have have to say.
    I have the feeling that should (as they undoubtedly will) the Nats sign the TPPA there is the opportunity for The Maori Party to say – “enough is enough” – and withdraw from coalition They have already given strong condemnation of this deal, and it would appear, from independent expert analysis, to completely override The Treaty in many aspects – despite some weasel words in Chapter 29. Certainly it ignores indigenous rights, in complete disregard for the UN convention, and in this matter alone indigenous people world wide must stand together. That is something completely foreign to Key and his cohorts.

    • Rosemary McDonald 13.1

      ” there is the opportunity for The Maori Party to say – “enough is enough” – and withdraw from coalition.”

      You think? Because they’re doing ok as far as securing funding for Maori initiatives.

      “There are some among our people who question the value of having a separate Maori Party, and one that is aligned with the National Party.

      Here are five answers to both concerns:

      Since entering into confidence and supply agreements with the Government (because they are the Government not because they are the National Party), we have been able to secure funding for a number of initiatives to benefit Maori and others in many areas including Whanau Ora, education, health, housing, Maori economic development, and many more, as follows:

      Budget 2013 $1088.6 million
      Budget 2012 $484.4 million
      Budget 2011 $213.5 million
      Budget 2010 $286.6 million
      Budget 2009 $120.3 million”


      • ropata 13.1.1

        One hopes the money is actually getting to the people in need rather than administrators and consultants and unaccountable NGOs.

      • Macro 13.1.2

        Yes – I’m well aware of the funding issue. There is the question that needs to be asked however – just where that funding is in fact coming from? There is every reason to suggest that it is just monies from previous budgets re-labelled as Whanau Ora. The fact is that under National social justice spending has not increased in real terms.

  13. Neil 14

    The Maori party lost all their credibility when they sold their soul to the devil (Key), Hopefully the Maori party are finally seeing Key & the national party truly stand for. Key & the national party used the Maori party to stay in power & have no real interest in doing anything of benefit for Maori.

  14. One Anonymous Bloke 15

    TVOne have the most comprehensive and detailed account.

    They’ll be defunded and ratfucked if they keep that up.

  15. Macro 16

    One very import thing that occurred over the weekend and unfortunately wasn’t reported here – or elsewhere – but will feature as a private members bill in March this year was the announcement by James Shaw of the petition in support of the Bill.

    The Public Works (Prohibition of Compulsory Acquisition of Māori Land) Amendment Bill was drawn as Catherine Delahunty’s Members’ Bill from the ballot in December, and will be in front of the House in March.
    “The Green Party is asking all Members of Parliament to support this Bill so that we can see justice for Māori and honouring of the Treaty of Waitangi.
    “The work of Rātana was about honouring the Treaty of Waitangi, and we now have an opportunity to continue that work by putting in place legal protection for whenua Māori,” Mr Shaw said.

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