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Ruling out Hone

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 15th, 2011 - 77 comments
Categories: election 2011, foreshore and seabed, labour, maori party, phil goff - Tags: ,

Hone Hariwira will win his electorate in 2011, and if at that time he is a member of the much touted new Left party then it may be that other MPs will follow him in to Parliament. Yesterday Phil Goff ruled out working with such a party:

Goff rules out working with Harawira party

Labour leader Phil Goff has ruled out working with Hone Harawira even if Mr Harawira heads a party of several MPs. …

Mr Harawira’s record meant he would not be a suitable coalition partner, Mr Goff said. “I don’t think Hone Harawira would be a reliable coalition partner. The second (reason) is extreme policies, some of which I have found personally offensive. I don’t think there is a basis for us working with Hone Harawira,” he said. “I am saying we would not entertain a coalition with him.” …

Mr Harawira had breached agreements with his party. “We’ll have a bottom line and that bottom line is not one that Hone Harawira reaches.”

While I think it is useful and honest to be clear about your preferences before an election, I think all of this ruling “out” of people or parties is just foolish posturing. I think it’s foolish when John Key (eventually) rules out Winston Peters, I think it’s foolish when Phil Goff rules out Hone Hariwira.

If an individual or party is elected to Parliament then they have a mandate to be there. Many of us may disagree with those mandates. Right wing nut jobs like to froth about the evil Winston Peters. I happen to think that perky little Rodney Hide and his stupid racist ACT party is far worse. But the voters get to decide. If they put you in Parliament then no one can question your right to participate in Government. Nor do I think for a moment that either Key or Goff would actually decline power if dealing with the “excluded” ones was the only way. They’d find an excuse in an instant.

So what of Goff’s reasons for ruling out Hone. First, that he can’t be trusted, that he broke his agreement with his party. Well – bollocks to that. Labour just spent 9 years in government with Jim Anderton, who broke his agreement with Labour long ago when he split off to form New Labour. And at the last election Labour didn’t rule out working with the Maori Party, co-leader Tariana Turia, who likewise shattered her agreement with Labour in the strongest possible terms. Hone can’t be ruled out on these grounds. In fact, I (and I’m sure many others) admire him for holding his principles higher than any agreement with the bunch of sell-outs that the Maori Party have become.

Goff’s second reason is that Hariwira holds views that are offensive. Presumably this refers to the “white mother fuckers” incident. I’m no fan of racism either, whether it is Hone Hariwira, Winston Peters, ACT, Iwi/Kiwi Nats, or any other kind. But rule out working with racists (especially via supposedly private and unguarded email), and I’m pretty sure that half of Parliament would be gone. Nor can National can’t attack Labour for being willing to work with such a firebrand, when they’ve been working with him themselves for months.

Instead of ruling anyone out, Labour should rise to the challenge. Instead of playing defensively, Goff should take the gamble, and back himself to be able to work with Hariwira. If, for example, a workable and enduring consensus on the foreshore and seabed could truly be reached, think what a worthy and historic contribution to New Zealand politics that would be…

All of my posts for March will finish with this note. While life goes on as usual outside Christchurch, let our thoughts be with those who are coping with the aftermath, with the sorrow of so many who were lost, and with the challenges ahead.

77 comments on “Ruling out Hone ”

  1. lprent 1

    I agree.

    Ruling out working with people and parties is something I expect from the political idiots of the right. They have to give their voters clear simple emotional guidance of predjudice and bigotry – hidden under some high sounding hypocrisy.

    I do not expect it in the parties of the left. They must work with what the electorate gives them. It means that some parties will be the last to consider for coalition and support agreements. But ruling people and parties out is simply stupid. It is also lazy.

    Might be time to vote for the greens. Daft as I find them, I think that they have more respect for the voters than this decision shows.

    • Lanthanide 1.1

      As sprout says at #13, more “me-tooism” from Goff, which is just what we didn’t need.

      However I do like VoR’s point at #5.2 that this opens up much more of a path for Labour to work with the MP, especially as the maori electorates once again give their party vote to Labour while electing whatever few MP candidates manage to get back in.

      I think really what Goff should have said is something more like “Hone has made is clear he is standing up for Maori only. Labour does not stand up for one specific race, we stand for all working class and middle class New Zealanders. Labour would sooner work with The Maori Party who despite being somewhat waylaid by the National Party in this current government, clearly have their intentions in the right place”.

      Rather than ruling him out and looking like a mini-Key (while also essentially confirming that yes, Labour will work with Winston because they didn’t rule him out too), a firm statement as the above would have had the same impact while also making him much more principled than Key.

    • higherstandard 1.2

      How about we set up our own political party ” Curmudgeons NZ”

      • Pascal's bookie 1.2.1

        Been done. NZFirst.

        • lprent

          Yeah, look at how that turned out.

          I prefer being that young bastard to turned into being an old bastard inside a party trying to kick them out of the 20th century.

  2. graham 2

    [Sorry Graham, you got yourself a well deserved ban here. Go spread your poison somewhere else. — r0b]

  3. Luva 3

    I think it is good thing that Key and Goff have ruled out working with winston and hone respectivley. They are both poisonous to governments and in my mind create uncertainty going forward.

    Winston killed the last two governments he was in. Shipley would have lost anyway but Clark had a shot of winning in 08 had the stench of winston not been hovering over her.

    By ruling these racist mavericks out we have some degree of certainty that we won’t have proud bigots in government.

    • lprent 3.1

      High sounding hypocrisy!

      • higherstandard 3.1.1

        Pretty much all we have in parliament is proud bigots one way or another.

    • ianmac 3.2

      Winston refused to sign off the sale of Wellington Airport, another National proposed Asset Sale. This caused the fall of the Shipley Government. Today we might applaud the opposition to Asset Sales? So who else did Winston cause to fall? (Not a supporter of NZF by the way.)

      • Lanthanide 3.2.1

        I wonder if it would be in Winston’s interests to remind everyone that that is what the main issue was. Maybe he shouldn’t bring it up, but if National ever said “look what happened in 1999” he could clarify his position – he was opposed to asset sales then, and he’s opposed to asset sales now.

  4. ron 4

    I too think some of Goff’s criticisms are a bit rich. I wonder, though, if Goff isn’t being too stupid politically. I don’t think that any “Left “party with Harawira in it is going to do very well. Hone will get a seat but traditional Left voters won’t vote for him, I don’t think. He’s stained by racism, stupidity and sleeping with Tories. Also the difference between Hone and Peters is that it’s unlikely that Hone will go ionto any sort of agreement with national whereas Peters will go whichever way the wind blows.

    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      I don’t think that any “Left “party with Harawira in it is going to do very well.

      Well, it won’t now that he’s decided that it must be a racist party.

      • marty mars 4.1.1

        why is it racist? Have you not seen the statistics around maori health, employment, income, life expectancy and so on – are you so keen to develop the hive-mind that you cannot see the inequality and injustice for tangata whenua? Why don’t you open your eyes draco and open your heart to the suffering and oppression.

        • just saying

          You go Marty.

          Had a big argument with a friend yesterday about Hone’s “racism”. Wish I’d found words like these.

        • grumpy

          inequality – yes
          racist – yes
          injustice – no

        • Draco T Bastard

          I’ve seen them but splitting them apart from the same things happening to pakeha isn’t going to help. What it will do instead is produce division and resentment within our community.

          • Rosy

            True enough, it really bothers me that pakeha NZ keeps looking to blame their Maori kin instead of the system that creates division.

            But Maori need to have strategies to improve the lot at a faster rate just to keep the gap between the haves and have-nots the same. The clearest example of this is Maori unemployment increasing at a faster rate during a recession – last hired, first laid-off it seems. And in health for e.g. perceptions of institutional racism may be a barrier to healthcare for Maori on top of the socio-ec things that all low income people have to deal with. So the same strategies need to be tailored for different experience.

            If Hone can rark things up a bit politically (not in the wider society) then it’s better to have him on board. Being polite with the ‘closing the gaps’ policy didn’t do Labour much good – we ended up with the Orewa speech.

          • marty mars

            they are already spit apart and the resentment and division is already there – for maori. Open your eyes.

  5. higherstandard 5

    I believe it’s a sensible move by Goff, if Labour want to have any chance of getting over the line they’ll need the MPs from the Maori seats it’s a simple numbers game.

    • lprent 5.1

      The only electorate having two parties from maori parties will make much of a difference in is Hones one, and I don’t think it will make much of a difference there.

      The electorate votes largely run on iwi, hapu, and whanau grounds. I suspect that even if Hone fields candidates in the other electorates, they will have very little chance unless he gets very lucky about who puts up their hand. Several of those electorates are going to go back to a Labour candidate – but that is because the candidates from the Maori party has been unimpressive, and so has their party. Others will stay with the Maori party because their candidate is impressive.

      The critical vote for Labour is the party vote from those electorates, which largely goes to Labour already – Maori voters are very canny tactical voters. I think that neither Maori party will make much of an impression on that vote. It is more likely that the party vote will swing more to labour in absolute numbers.

    • The Voice of Reason 5.2

      Good point, HS. While I wouldn’t like to see Labour in coalition with the Maori Party, the rejection of Harawira certainly makes it an option if needed. It’s quite clever politics from Goff, minimising the number of party votes wasted on Harawira First and at the same time offering an olive branch, and a chance to move to the left, to the Maori Party.

      My guess is that Labour will win back one or two of the Maori seats, leaving the 2 or 3 Maori party MP’s without a mandate to continue propping up Key and with a clear steer from voters to back Labour. Eliminating Harawira from the equation not only makes that more likely, but sends a signal to the wider voter base that the next Labour led government is not going to pander to extremists.

      Excellent work from Goff and bad news for Key.

      • Pete 5.2.1

        I think it’s good to see Goff show some gumption on this and indicate a standard. Harawira would be a liability in any coalition. I guess it’s to late now but Goff should also have shown similar standards were expected by ruling out Winston.

        We desperately need a better standard of MP in our parliament, both Key and Goff are showing leadership on this by setting some minimum standards at least.

        Voters have a right to to know of the definite coalition options in advance of the election.

  6. Tiger Mountain 6

    Hone is doing an equivalent of the newly divorced thing, hitting the night spots, doing the rounds seeking reinforcement and almost anyone will do, when really he should be sitting safely at home for a bit reflecting on the deeper reasons for his new single status.

    In other words getting re elected in Te Tai Tokerau as an independent, letting the dust settle before immediately planning a new organisation or party, one that if chucked together at warp speed will satisfy neither maori nationalists or left social democrats. Hone potentially has a viable political future but if he spawns a ‘Mauri Pacific’ type travesty it will be hasta la bye bye for Mr Harawira.

    The Labour leader will be applauded by a certain sector for ruling Hone out, but you should rarely say ‘never’ under MMP voting.

  7. vto 7

    Key and Goff have turned the election into a farce through this.

    I thought they were meant to listen to the people.

    The people will completely ignore Key and Goff’s arrogant standpoints and vote the way they want anyway.

  8. patriot_nz 8

    I was really happy to hear Phil rule out working with Hone. Hone is a self acknowledged racist and all he wants to do is advance the cause of Maori separatism. I am puzzled by the people here who regard Hone as the great hope of the left. Hone would kill any chances Labour would have of running a successful government- the cost of his support would be more than Labour can afford to pay. I can already hear the howls of outrage from middle NZ if NZ goes any further down the separatist path. And I could see the frighteners being put on the public before the election- vote Labour and get Hone- the right would have a field day. Nah- Phil did the right thing here.

    • lprent 8.1

      I don’t see Hone as being a great hope for anything. I find him a bit of a dipshit.

      I do think that politicians ignoring and over-riding what the electorate provides for them to work with is arrogant and ignorant. As voters we provide the votes to elect representatives. If some of those representatives are fools, then that merely represents the voters.

      For politicians to decide to explicitly ignore that trait by the electorate is just arrogant and foolish. They get to work with what we choose to give them. Sure there are going to be better or worse alternatives. But sorting those choices out is what we pay politicians to do.

      But having to rerun an election because some politicians decide they don’t like our choices (which is what excluding people from government ultimately means) is completely daft. If it ever happened, then I suspect that the voters will simply destroy the party that caused it by explicit exclusions. I know that is what I would do.

      • Pete 8.1.1

        As voters we provide the votes to elect representatives.

        Yes, but as voters we don’t get to say what combination of representatives will form a government.

        If Harawira wins his electorate that in no way dictates that the whole country should accept or even consider him as a part of ruling a coalition. I suspect if the country had a “Hone in coalition” vote it would be quite clear what the preference would be, Goff is simply saying what most people would probably choose anyway.

        • lprent

          He might be “the last cab off the rank” for Labour*, as Winston Peters would be for National. But to go to have another election because politicians are being political idiots will reap its own rewards from voters. That is implicit in what both Key and Goff are saying.

          * Actually I suspect that Act would be for Labour

  9. I agree that dealing with Hone should not be ruled out but gee he does make it difficult. He had the chance to form a left wing collective but instead chose to go with Maori Party II and fight a civil war for the Maori electorates.

    Labour has to keep the option of agreement with the Maori Party open. Having Hone trying to form a party in this particular form would make any agreement with him a poison pill as far as MP1 is concerned.

    Having said that I agree with lprent that the likely beneficiary is the Labour Party. Suddenly there are four MP seats in play whereas beforehand there were only two.

    • Pete 9.1

      I think the main beneficiary of parties setting standards will be the voters. Any crappy old coalition that a party can cobble together is simply not good enough. I’d much rather see a minority government than an “anything as long as it gets the votes” arrangement.

      • gobsmacked 9.1.1

        But they are setting very selective standards.

        Key won’t “rule out” ACT. In fact, he will try and make sure his own party’s candidate loses, in Hide’s electorate.

        It’s all just posturing for maximum advantage. OK, that’s election year politics. But it’s not remotely based on “standards”, and nobody should be fooled by it.

  10. Ed 10

    One of the significant differences between Labour and National is that Labour have shown in the past that they can work with other parties. They can work collaboratively with people who they have little in common generally, by finding those areas where their interests are in common. They can share the limelight sufficiently with a small party to give them their ‘day in the sun’ – no-one, including small parties, need fear working with Labour where they have a common understanding.

    Contrast that with National who seem to almost deliberately set out to undermine smaller parties – they will willingly share the baubles of office (that is after all what they see government as being for), but will cynically cover only the letter of party agreements rather than the spirit (Foreshore and seabed being the outstanding example); they will share power by cynically sacrificing a small party to deliver unpopular decisions (Hide in Auckland), and try to subsume the small party by adopting their populist slogans (most now will not remember that ACT really meant it when they said they supported education – with ACT now being more extremist to try and show they are not just National in disguise)

    Labour has previously proudly embraced diversity and the problems of seeking agreement from a wide range of people, some who hold strong views on a small area of policy. They throw that out at their severe peril. Hone may never do more than represent his electorate – and may not satisfy them for long in comparison with an alternative; Labour has the best chance of persuading that electorate that working with people is better than working against them.

    • Rosy 10.1

      ^ Well said Ed

    • Pete 10.2

      If Labour are so wonderful at always working with other parties (they haven’t been) why don’t they work with National more? Should they consider National as a potential coalition partner too?

      There is a fundamental problem with Hone being a part of government – and maybe a fundamental problem with our system. One thing he has been is a staunch supporter of what he sees as the needs and wants of his electorate. He’s a strong electorate MP. But I have no confidence in him stepping up a level and putting the best for the country at the top of his priorities.

      Hone isn’t alone in that situation – many other MPs don’t put the country as their first priority either, but unlike Hone it’s not an electorate that is their focus, it’s their party and the quest for power. That’s often to the detriment of the country, more of a problem than Hone who at least promotes those who elected him.

    • James 10.3

      Huh, I just replaced the words ‘National’ with ‘Labour’ and vice versa, and that entire post still (almost) made sense:

      “One of the significant differences between National and Labour is that National have shown in the past that they can work with other parties.” (ACT, NZ First, Maori Party, United Future, Greens [MoU]).

      “They can work collaboratively with people who they have little in common generally, by finding those areas where their interests are in common.” (Mainly Maori Party, but Greens on home heating as well).

      “They can share the limelight sufficiently with a small party to give them their ‘day in the sun’ – no-one, including small parties, need fear working with National where they have a common understanding.” (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/politics/91850/maori-party-praises-govt039s-housing-initiative ; http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/political/67242/key-praises-work-of-maori-party-co-leaders)

      “Contrast that with Labour who seem to almost deliberately set out to undermine smaller parties – they will willingly share the baubles of office (that is after all what they see government as being for), but will cynically cover only the letter of party agreements rather than the spirit (http://www.unitedfuture.org.nz/john-armstrong-nz-herald/); they will share power by cynically sacrificing a small party to deliver unpopular decisions (Greens over anti-smacking), and try to subsume the small party by adopting their populist slogans (http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/PA0810/S00285.htm)”

      “National has previously proudly embraced diversity and the problems of seeking agreement from a wide range of people, some who hold strong views on a small area of policy.” (http://liberation.typepad.com/liberation/2010/01/levine-and-roberts-on-the-2008-nz-general-election.html Parliamentary diversity facts ; http://www.nzherald.co.nz/politics/news/article.cfm?c_id=280&objectid=10528143)

      “They throw that out at their severe peril. Hone may never do more than represent his electorate – and may not satisfy them for long in comparison with an alternative; National has the best chance of persuading that electorate that working with people is better than working against them.” (http://www.national.org.nz/files/agreements/National-Maori_Party_agreement.pdf – almost got there).

      • lprent 10.3.1

        I was wondering if anyone would do that rather obvious rejoinder.

        Large parties by their very nature have to be widely inclusive to the point that of their factions are in direct conflict with others. The trick is to provide sufficient room inside the party to resolve these conflicts inside the party. Labour has done this pretty well from the mid 90’s, and National has sort of managed it since 2006. But both parties have the institutional memory of doing the trick since the 30’s and before.

        With the exception of the one MP parties and the Greens, the smaller parties have singularly failed to achieve this since MMP because their problems are far more personal. Their blood always spills in an unedifying way in the public arena. The disjunction between what their politicians and their activists and their supporters each want is always more fraught simply because they are all people that want nearly immediate change and each wants their change to take priority.

        It all gets subsumed while not in government. But the personal faction fighting all comes to the fore when put into a position of achieving goals. It happened with NZF in 1996-1999, Alliance 1999-2002, a slightly different but similar issue with NZF in 2005-2008, Maori party 2008-2011, and Act 2008-2011

        That is why you and Ed can write something so similar about the two major parties and minor parties.

        I don’t think that any of the three major political parties (at present the greens show all of the signs of being a stable party long term) attempt to tear the smaller parties apart when they get them into government. That just happens because of the nature of the smaller parties.

        The question I’d like answered is if the greens can actually survive being in government? They have survived partial access to it for a number of parliamentary terms now.

        • James

          It’s basically the price you sometimes pay for representation in government – while smaller parties can be the tail wagging the dog, more often than not they’re the ones being wagged.

          As far as the Greens go, they really don’t need to be in Government. If they play a calm, collected and sensible role in advocating environmental policies in the public forum, the public will catch on. If anything the Greens have under-achieved, when you consider that the environmental movement is not one that many people are overly critical of.

          You do have to feel for the Greens some times, no matter how loony their members are – they have been treated like shit by Labour (to the extent Labour advocated an active campaign of not voting party vote Greens) and National over the past 12 years, and for no real good reason.

  11. goff can make his pronouncements – they mean very little, as Hone says – goff will be on the phone very quickly if he can use Hone or his party to get to power – goff needs to grow up, stop his hypocrisy – pull on the long pants and act like a experienced politician.

  12. just saying 12

    Like just about everything Goff does, this is just more dog-whistle for the bigot-vote. Goff’s strategy continues to be: go all out for the middle and throw the poor, vulnerable and unpopular under the bus. NACT has set the agenda and the politics of hate and fear prevail. Yay. Doesn’t Goff make you feel proud to be left?

    How droll -Labour ruling-in potential coalition partners to their right right, and ruling those to their left out, you know, after the ‘moving back to our roots’ conference. Lucky the Greens have got rid of Sue and taken on that snazzy uber-middle class aussie. Much more acceptable.

    If Labour gets back in I hope the twenty odd percent of voters that Labour is betraying the most do get with the pitchforks.

    • Rosy 12.1

      Yep, he’s burning off the liberals. But until now hasn’t been able to engage with the conservative blue-collar. This might do it.

  13. the sprout 13

    Another dazzling display of visionless me-tooism from Goff.

  14. gobsmacked 14

    What does “ruling out” really mean?

    Goff can’t stop Hone from voting for a Labour-led gov’t on confidence and supply. Same goes for Key and Winston. There’s no way Labour/National will be able (or willing) to prevent Hone/Winston supporting them, if they so wish. And so the Lab/Nats can “voluntarily” make concessions to their “unwanted” supporters.

    So if it means anything, it means no ministerial portfolios. But there are plenty of ways around that, as in 2005, when Winston was …. not in the government, but was in the government.

    So this “ruling out” is all just posturing, really.

    • Lanthanide 14.1

      But, if you don’t have a formal supply agreement, you can’t rely on those votes. Simple as that. Because the party whose votes you are relying on can, at the last second, vote “no confidence” and crash your government over any little pet project that they want. It’s the ultimate of the tail wagging the dog.

      Getting a formal supply agreement is therefore mandatory. The smaller party will then say “we won’t give you formal supply unless you do X and Y for us”.

      So it’s more than just no ministerial portfolios.

      Now, in a government/parliament where the major party had say 30 seats and relied on another 31 seats from parties that each held 1-3 seats each, then yes, you could probably get away with not having formal supply agreements with all of them, and you would work with all of the smaller parties as required to get your agenda through. In such an environment up-front decisions would really be pointless because the whole political landscape would be very very fluid. But we’re very unlikely to be faced with such an outcome after the next election.

      • gobsmacked 14.1.1

        But, if you don’t have a formal supply agreement, you can’t rely on those votes.

        Fair point, but I guess Goff’s rationale is: Hone could tear up such an agreement any time. Similarly, NZ First had a detailed formal agreement with National after 1996, but that didn’t stop Winston walking out (or Shipley sacking him).

        Presumably Goff believes that the Greens would be Hone’s conduit to the government, formal or informal, and any “no confidence” issue would be well flagged in advance.

        It’s not an ideal arrangement, but nothing could tie Hone down, not even a Ministerial job he could quit.

        Incidentally, in every term since MMP began there have been party-hopping or defections or expulsions, changing the party numbers in Parliament. So it’s all pretty fluid over three years, whatever deals are done at the outset.

  15. the sprout 15

    agreed. somehow i doubt Goff will ‘rule out’ forming a government if it swings on the inclusion of Harawira’s seats. indeed, how many Labour supporters would be happy for Goff to hand the reigns back to Key if Goff could form a government with Harawira but chose not to because he’d already ‘ruled it out’.

    yet more vacuous posturing masquerading as a plan.

    Turia and Sharples are the ones most deserving of censure, yet somehow they aren’t ruled out. is that because they’re nice tame maori that don’t upset the blue collar bigot vote Goff is angling for? Harawira has stood up against bullshit leaders of a bullshit party, and spoken the concerns of the people he represents – in short, he’s told the emperor he has no clothes. on second thoughts i can understand why Goff might find that so threatening.

    it’s weak leaders that can’t tolerate challenge and dissent.

    • Ron 15.1

      “…Harawira has stood up against bullshit leaders of a bullshit party…”
      Finally. THEN he entered an agreement with them.

      People have been calling for Hone to put his money where his mouth is since the Tories got their teeth into the neck of the Maori Tory party. Hone has only now decided he should walk. I don’t have much faith in him.

      • the sprout 15.1.1

        and now that he has “put his money where his mouth is” you “don’t have much faith”. how odd.

        i’m not necessarily defending every aspect of Harawira’s behaviour, some of it i think was stupid.
        my criticism is directed at the posturing vacuousness of Goff ruling-out working with him. that’s really stupid.

  16. uke 16

    Hone: “[Phil Goff] should be lined up against a wall and shot” (2009)
    Phil: “I saw the army out in the street. I thought, okay, court mar­tial, fir­ing squad [for looters]” (2011)

    These guys at least agree on methods.

    • Mac1 16.1

      Goff’s remark was made in a humorous though ‘black’ sense, I believe.

      Was Hone’s? If not, no comparison.

      • uke 16.1.1

        Yeah, maybe, but this imagery of extreme violence seems to roll off the tongues of various NZ politicos ever so easily these days (e.g. also with this ACT conference joke & Collins’ comment about looters the other day). Maybe it’s the influence of US television. Or perhaps the stuff that gets bandied about on the blogs.

    • wtl 16.2

      “Hone: “[Phil Goff] should be lined up against a wall and shot” (2009)”

      Everyone here seems to be ignoring this comment. Sure, all the analysis might suggest that its a dumb idea ruling out Hone, but the reality is the Hone said this. I would be pretty hard not to take this personally and it will be a factor in Goff’s decision-making, possibly quite a large one.

      • felix 16.2.1

        but the reality is the Hone said this

        Not really. You’re forgetting the “if” and the “then”.

        Put it in context and what you’ve said is as accurate as me saying that you think you’re a major factor in Goff’s decision making.

        But the reality is that you said this:

        I […] will be a factor in Goff’s decision-making, possibly quite a large one.

  17. Sylvia 17

    So disappointed by this announcement. The old Maori party have shown themselves to be easily bought off by the powerful and not a party of left wing principle, Hone’s party will apparently be a left wing, Maori party, which ought to have been, at least a potential ally for Labour. Fuck it, next thing we’ll be saying that Peter Dunne is a more reliable partner.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      Er, Dunne is a more reliable partner. He’s been a minister in most of the recent governments and as long as he gets his salary, car and kudos, he doesn’t cause much grief. Hone, on the other hand, is a flake.

      Can I gently remind you that the Maori Party started as left wing and swiftly ran to the right? And the Hone party is only left wing as much as he wants it to be and so far, he doesn’t seem to want it to be left wing at all. Any Party votes that are syphoned off to Hone will reduce the possibility of a progressive government being formed, so Goff’s rejection is tactically smart as well as politically sound. He reassures middle NZ voters and at the same time leaves the door ajar for the Maori party and Winston Peters to talk with him post election.

      • Ed 17.1.1

        I quite agree with the flake tag – Hone would never be a reliable partner, but if given substantial latitude to vote against government on other than confidence and supply, can at least provide one vote. His demands may well be unreasonable, but better to rule out an cooperation on those grounds than on previous (stupid) statements.

        I believe his electorate would be better with a Labour MP, but that may prove difficult in the short term

  18. ak 18

    Blood is a lot thicker than water. Especially the congealed blood of generations.

    Both Hone and the MP are acutely aware that unless they hold the political balance they hold nothing, and Maori are back to kicking-boy status.

    Achieving that balance is all: a battle of blank cheques from NACT and LAB the prize. Hone will be back in Tari’s bed like a shot on Nov 26 if the numbers gel.

    The lesson of pumping NACT just a whisker too far in 2008 (via Hone’s Sewerblog-quote EFA speech, joining in Winniebash, etc) has been learned.

    Now the play is Raising Phil: act one unfolds. Two delightful villians, a complex plot and a canny, experienced cast could just carry it. Even with a miscast lead.

  19. Bill 19

    Does Goff know something or fear something about the likelyhood of a genuine leftist party robbing the ‘nowhere else to go’ vote from Labour? Is that why he’s bandying the wasted vote rhetoric? In an attempt to pre-empt any formation of a genuinely left party?

    I hear there are ongoing discussions as to whether a new party would be primarily Maori or if it would be representative of the broader left.

    I’d hope the latter with no particular prominance given to any facet of the left. And I’m guessing that such a prospect would cause the Goff’s of this world to shiyt their pants and start squealing on about how Labour would defend us from such a party excercising their powers in the parliamentary setting…’cause you know, we’re too dumb to choose the proper representatives (ie, safe, predicatable and in favour of all or most of those business agendas that aren’t in our interests).

    • The Voice of Reason 19.1

      Hone First will start as a left wing version of the Maori Party according to Sue Bradford. But then, the Maori party started out left wing (well, it did in Matt McCarten’s head). Then, given the chance to shaft the party most kiwi workers and maori support, lurched to the right. And Hone happily went with them.


      • marty mars 19.1.1

        How did the maori party shaft labour – seriously i can’t remember.

        Your use of ‘Hone First’ is a good one.

        I think labour is scared of Hone and they want him gone, just like they want the maori party gone – for different reasons though.

        Do labour even give a flying feijoa about maori anymore? has goff got up and defended maori against the henious comment at the ACT conference regarding shooting the natives? I hope so but i can’t find it. I spose he might not want to upset a potential coalition partner. I will apologise if he has 🙂

        • The Voice of Reason

          Good point! A quick search hasn’t bought up anything like a press release, but I imagine it would have come up in Parliament today. I’d bloody hope so, anyway.

          Re: the shafting. I probably could have worded that better. How about:

          ‘Then, given the chance to shaft most kiwi workers and maori themselves, lurched to the right.’

        • lprent

          has goff got up and defended maori against the henious comment at the ACT conference regarding shooting the natives?

          Maori have one party and one nascent party to do that for them. I can’t find a press release from either of them? Of course one of them is already a coalition party with Act. Perhaps that is affecting their silence.

          Basically in the world of party politics, you seldom find parties drawing attention to other parties conferences for any reason. There are a number of reasons for that which are pretty obvious once you start thinking it through.

          • marty mars

            yes maori will defend themselves – why expect anything different. Truth is if goff doesn’t denounce it they probably agree with it at least tacitly. It is bloody disgusting, gutless and racist.

            • lprent

              As I said. Have a look at the number of comments that politicians make about other parties conferences……

              • It may be true lynn but it doesn’t make it right.

                By the way how are the stents going – I had a mate who got a couple and took on a new lease on life – extra energy, and into it. Hope it’s all going well for you.

                captcha – medical

                • lprent

                  Off topic… But it is going really well.

                  Feeling much more alive except when I walk more than about 1km at a time. I used to walk from the bus about 1.5km’s each morning and 2km in the evening to get to the bus.

                  After a km, I get a bit light headed and have to start slowing down. Apparently this is expected and related to the drugs that are causing the heart not to overwork. I currently have quite low blood pressure after a lifetime of quite high blood pressure as well. I was told to stop pushing quite so hard and let everything bed down.

                  Been taking taxi’s since the bus isn’t available and I wasn’t meant to drive. Now I’m allowed to drive so doing that rather than the bus until this all settles down. So in the meantime I concentrating on weaning myself off of the mint nicotine lozenges onto mints, and walking 0.5 km each way to get lunch.

                  But yeah, I feel great except when I get bloody flu bugs like this last weekend.

  20. Sylvia 20

    Yes I suppose Peter Dunne is reliable, but only in the same way that my arse can be relied on to look enormous. Not a good thing!!

  21. prism 21

    Hone has a hereditary problem – he was born into the Harawira’s who seem to have have had some virus that makes them beat up more than a pavlova maker. As my gran commented about such people, from a Brit comedian. ‘They’ve been vaccinated with a gramophone needle’.

  22. nadis 22

    “It is arrogant to say who is going to be in Government and who is not. You have to let the people decide.”

    Even though flip/flop is quite an apt description for John Key, its going to be a barrel of laughs if Phil Goff trots that line out during the election.

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