Russel’s mana

Written By: - Date published: 7:35 am, May 4th, 2011 - 127 comments
Categories: greens, mana, mana-party - Tags:

Sprout has already written about Phil Goff’s blunder in ruling out the Mana Party. Now Russel Norman is jumping on the attack bandwagon:

Dr Norman said “there might be a few votes” for the new party, but “maybe not a lot”. “I mean, who wants to relive the battles of the 1980s and 1990s? We’re in 2011 for God’s sake. We need a progressive force that actually deals with where we are now, not tries to refight the 1980s and 1990s.

Here’s the thing Russel, we are refighting the 1980’s and the 1990’s. We’ve got a government comprised of a lot of the same people, with the same backers, running the same agendas and seeking the same outcomes.

I know you’re jockeying for position and you probably think you’re playing smart politics by trying to scare your voting base off Mana but I think that you (and Phil) should consider one of the meanings of Mana:

This is the recognition that people give for your deeds and actions. Just because a person is born from great lines does not necessarily mean that they will have great mana amongst the people. The mana a person is born with sets them off, but the way that they conduct themselves throughout life will either strengthen their own personal mana, and by that the mana of their tupuna, or weaken their own personal mana.

I think it’s time you asked yourself whether the way you’re conducting yourself has enhanced your own Mana or if it has made you look like just another self-interested politician.

Update: it seems the Dom Post quotes might have been a fit of pique. Russel has posted the following on his facebook page:

Sorry, I overly personalised my critique of the Mana Party in the DomPost. I was asked about whether they are a threat to the Green vote, which I don’t think they are. I was trying to make the point that there is an important political distinction between the old left and the greens but this came across as overly personal. My apologies. As I said on Backbenches last week, I wish them luck.

Good stuff. It takes a fair bit of decency to front up and apologise in politics and as a longtime Green supporter I’m bloody pleased. I doubt we’ll see any such fortitude from Goff.

127 comments on “Russel’s mana ”

  1. As a supporter of Kiwisaver Norman has to attack anything that threatens the current system, as no system = no Kiwisaver.

    • IrishBill 1.1

      I think it’s more about trying to stop any movement of votes from the Greens to Mana.I think this will backfire on Norman because the Greens brand is about integrity and inclusiveness and trying to shut Mana out of the parliamentary club runs right across that brand.

  2. The Voice of Reason 2

    Labour’s dismissal of Harawira was excellent politics from Goff, because he had nothing to lose and plenty to gain from it. Less sure that the Greens will make the same sort of ground from the centre that Labour will, but it will at least remind their potential voters on the left that a vote for Mana is a vote wasted.

    • Tiger Mountain 2.1

      Part of such an argument Voice just illustrates that Labour still has residual wishful thinking ‘first past the post’ holdouts in its ranks.

      As for the Greens, they are vote herding too. I want a left group I can vote for with minimum to no reservations, just as Actoids have their little niche. It is what mmp is all about.

      • The Voice of Reason 2.1.1

        I love MMP, TM, as do most folk in Labour. It helped deliver 9 years of Helen’s leadership and generally makes the political scene much more interesting. As the Canadian election shows, FPP distorts the will of the people, even when the result is in line with expectation.

    • IrishBill 2.2

      a vote for Mana is a vote wasted.

      Yeah apart form the fact Mana has a seat. They’re going to be in the house next year whether you like it or not and the realpolitik of that is that the parties on the left are going to have to deal with them.

      • Colonial Viper 2.2.1

        Mana is going to have as many MP’s in Parliament as ACT at the end of the year. And quite possibly one or two more.

        Because of Hone’s seat there are no wasted votes if you vote for Mana.

      • Inventory2 2.2.2

        @ Irish Bill; they’re only going to have a seat if Harawira wins Te Tai Tokerau. If it were a two-horse race between him and one other well-known local candidate (Kelvin Davis perhaps), I suggest that Harawira might have a struggle, and the Mana Party might end up without a seat.

        • Adele

          Teenaa koutou katoa

          Hone will win his seat, whether as an independent, or as head of a political party. For sure he is re-animating the disaffected, the disenchanted vote. If the party is intending to promote an indigenous ideal then it will attract a Green Maori vote. Indigeneity has whakapapa to the natural world.

      • The Voice of Reason 2.2.3

        Mana doesn’t have a seat, IB. At this point, as far as I know, they don’t even have the 500 members needed to stand as a party, let alone the thousands of votes they need to win an electorate seat and a list MP. As I2 points out in 2.2.2, winning the electorate either as an independant or as a party is not guaranteed. If the only party standing against Hone in the by-election is Labour, he could very well lose. He’s probably got a better chance in the general election, when the other parties stand, too, but at this point, nothing is set in stone.

        As I’ve pointed out elsewhere, Labour do not need Mana to form a minority government. If Mana have 2 MP’s, which is the most they are likely to get, they can only vote for a Labour led coalition or abstain. Either way, it’s not a problem for Goff. He is campaigning for votes from the centre, not the fringe left. And by rejecting Hone, he gets to look like the, ahem, voice of reason, rejecting the extremes of the left and the right.

        It’s different for the Greens, because they do rely on votes from people who may now vote Mana. That means it is harder for them to make the 5% threshold. So if the Greens end up with 4.95% and no MP’s and we end up with NACT for another 3 years, would you be OK with that?

        • Draco T Bastard

          And by rejecting Hone, he gets to look like the, ahem, voice of reason, rejecting the extremes of the left and the right.

          Reality has an radical left bias and so Goff doesn’t look like a “voice of reason” at all.

          And to be honest, I don’t think Mana will take many votes from the Greens anyway. I think they’ll get more from people who didn’t vote.

    • Jenny 2.3

      “Labour’s dismissal of Harawira was excellent politics from Goff, because he had nothing to lose and plenty to gain from it.”

      The Voice of Reason

      Labour’s dismissal of Mana was excellent politics?

      No loss, and plenty to gain?

      Nothing to Lose? Except maybe the chance to make up the numbers to keep National out?

      Sectarianism has always been the left’s Achilles heel, we have often been to busy fighting each other to combat the right. And the right slip right up the middle to take the prize every time.

      VOR apart from losing the Treasury Benches for another term, maybe you could tell me what you think the no loss and the plenty to gain is?

      In particular what is the “plenty to gain”?

      I would really like to know.

      And I am sure many others would too.

      • Pascal's bookie 2.3.1

        I won’t speak for VoR but I can see potential gains for Labour here. Bear with me a little, I promise I’ll get to the question of how Labour gains specifically by ruling out Hone, but it might take a while.

        – elections are decided by which potential blocks get the confidence of the house.

        In practice, that means that votes switching around within those blocks don’t matter, the only thing that matters is voters switching between those blocks.

        National won in 08 because a bunch of people that voted Labour in 05 switched to National.

        – Labour is now at pretty historic lows in the polls, and National at historic highs.

        That means National has to defend, it has to prevent swing voters from leaving to Labour.

        ACT/Brash have complicated this for them, in that Brash can potentially pull 3-8 percent from National, but as noted this doesn’t really matter in that those votes are staying within the block.

        What matters is how the swing voters will react to that shift.

        They will see ACT/Brash getting stronger, National getting weaker, and John being unable to rule out Brash as minister in any potential government. Ironically, the better Brash does at pulling votes from National, the more National’s numbers will drop, and the more worried swingers will get. The more Key tries to mollify them, the more pissed off his base will get and defect to ACT.

        Labour doesn’t face this dynamic as much as National does. They might lose a few votes to Mana, but not in the same range I think.

        By ruling out Mana, Labour becomes more appealing to any swinging voters that are getting angsty about the rise of ACT.

        Getting those votes to switch back from National to Labour is the only way that the left can win. To do that, Labour needs to appeal to them as being the ones that are not ‘beholden to extremists’.

        If Hone ends up with the balance of power, all deals are off. If Hone holds the balance of power, there is a left wing majority in parliament. And if he doesn’t, then ruling him out won’t have mattered.

        If Labour explicitly rules Hone in, and is seen to be doing him favours, then Labour loses it’s strongest weapons in the fight with National for the swing voters.

        • IrishBill

          That’s clearly the plan but by ruling Hone and Mana out based on not sharing his principles Goff also risks alienating a lot of Labour’s leftwing base with who are also a large chunk of the people who will be doing the legwork over the next seven months.

          • Pascal's bookie

            There is that.

            One can only hope that it isn’t the whole plan. That they do in fact have policy that can appeal to the base in such a way that ‘not sharing his principles’ gets translated in the base to ‘different style’.

  3. Carol 3

    I think Norman is just lacking in mana… not enough for a party leader. Someone like Gareth Hughes, on the other hand…… ?

    • Gotham 3.1

      In my opinion, Gareth Hughes is the best bet to become co-leader of the Greens – he has a lot of support across the country from Party members and is seen as a hard working, intellegent and dedicated Green MP. But, he is still a few years away from being really ready to take over from Norman.

      I think Norman was speaking on his own in this instance – I think there will be some choice words from his fellow MPs let alone the bollocking he is likely to get from Green members.

      While there may be some truth to his statements, exactly how it is phrased and how he communicated it is very un-Green.

      The LAST thing the Greens need, is to get into a slugging match with Mana. Can we focus on the real enemy here????

  4. Jono 4

    eh, if we’re thinking in terms of self-interest I think this is a good move from Norman – if he wants the Greens to get 10% then tying himself to a “Hone Harawira, Sue Bradford, John Minto, Annette Sykes kind of party” (his words) would be a terrible move.

    Remember that most Green voters, and the voters they’re looking to pick up aren’t Hone’s target audience, they’re liberal, middle class whites & students in urban areas, not the poor, disenfranchised Maori (& a few Pakeha) Hone’s going for.

    • Jenny 4.1

      Is this public attack on the Mana Party by Russel Norman an attempt to earn the favour of the Labour Party?

      If so, it might pay for Russel to recall the past sectarian behaviour of Labour towards the Greens. To keep the Greens out of parliament Labour did deals with conservatives like Winston Peters and Peter Dunne to keep the Greens out.

      Even now Labour Party conservatives are hoping for a rebirth of the New Zealand First Party as a conservative counter to the Greens.

      It seems crazy for the Greens to dismiss the Mana Party as an ally when they agree on so many issues.

      Removal of GST off food

      Protection of the marine environment from deep sea oil drilling and mining.

      The implementation of a Financial Transactions Tax.

      That they agree on so much, it seems crazy that they should be fighting each other when the benefits of working together are greater.

      For starters;

      If the Mana Party make a good showing in the General Elections this would change the whole weighting of parliament to the left and the Labour Party would be forced to take the Greens seriously rather than seek a more conservative coalition partner.

      Not only this but because they have so much policy in common, Mana MPs would be more likely to vote in support of Green supported policies in parliament.

      On the electoral front as Jono has pointed out Mana and the Greens have different target audiences which means that they don’t compete directly for votes, therefore an understanding between the Greens and the Mana Party could increase both their electoral chances.

      For instance if the agreement between the Maori Party and the Mana Party not to stand against each other is still in place for the General Elections, Mana supporters on the Maori role, finding they are unable to vote for a Mana candidate of their choice, may be convinced to vote for the Green candidate as default position.

      In this case there may be a real possibility of the Green candidate winning a Maori Seat. particularly if a high quality candidate is picked who would not alienate Mana supporters.

      This sort of pointless sectarian stupidity displayed by Norman is almost always destructive, and I am sure that for these two parties on the left to be publicly tearing each other down is not what the supporters of both movements want to see.

      I am glad to see that Russel has somewhat withdrawn his attack as being too personal. I think he needs to go further and admit that his whole attack was miscalculated.

  5. disgraceful.
    i would have expected better from Norman.

    • Jono 5.1

      I think criticism of the Greens should be saved for when their manifesto comes out & if/when it reflects any sort of shift towards the right (which I highly, highly doubt it would) – until then I don’t mind if they play the political game but still hold radical policies.

      • KJT 5.1.1

        Nothing radical about Green policies.

        Radical are the return to failed policies like asset sales, tax reduction, wage reduction, de-regulation, dumbing down education and globalisation.

        Environmental, social and economic sustainability are essential if our society is to function long term.

        It is just that the dialogue has shifted so far to the right that even Muldoon or Holyoak’s policies would be considered radical left wing.

        Very disappointing statement from Russel if true.
        Mind you I have been unsure of our MP’s since they voted for CERA.

        The Greens should not be positioning more towards the right wing.

        Greens are supposed to be a party of environmental and social sustainability. I.E. Much more in common with the stated aims of Mana than NACT or NACT lite. (Labour).

        To many progressive politicians seem to have bought into “Labour lost because they were not centrist enough”.
        Ignoring the fact that what is now considered the economic centre would have been considered right wing extremist even by past National party politicians.

        For a start they lost, because their voters were annoyed that instead of looking after ordinary Kiwis they still followed the corporate Neo-Liberal line.

        The Neo-Liberals seem to be winning the propaganda war, with politicians, as well as with citizens, even Green ones!

        The war against Neo-Liberalism started in the 80″s for NZ and we need to keep fighting it.

        When we fought against asset sales in the 80’s we did not think we would still have to be opposing the same stupidity in 2011.

        “There is class warfare and my side are winning” Warren Buffet.

        • Deadly_NZ

          There could be one positive from all the other parties voting to support CERA. The opportunity in November to say to Brownlee and the rest of the Nacts “We gave you the power to do the job”. “And you fucked it up.”

    • glad to see that retraction from Norman

  6. Blighty 6

    It’s disappointing to see this comment from Norman in a purist sense but if you look at the politics, the Greens see themselves picking up soft, liberals who voted National last time but are scared of Brash. Distancing themselves from a socialist party (even tacitly telling his socialist-leaning voters that Mana is more the party for them) makes political sense.

    As long as we don’t have the Greens becoming ‘blue-green’, I think this is all fine.

    • Might it also be that Norman is worried about the Mana Party taking some of the hard-left vote; the support of the likes of Minto, Bradford and McCarten for the Mana Party must be discomforting for the Greens.

  7. Craig Glen Eden 7

    Personally I dont like Norman, but I have to say when you are talking or giving a definition of Mana and trying to say Norman has no Mana but what wait for it, Hone has Mana ooooh please.

    If I used the words Black Mother Fuckers and said no child of mine should hang out with or date a brown person how much Mana would I have? Yeah exactly none I would be called a racist and rightly so. Hone might be well meaning but as for Mana, give me a break.

    • Tiger Mountain 7.1

      For the last time,
      • Hone used the mo’fo term in reply to to an email which used it.
      • He does prefer his kids to have Maori partners, but would not, and could not enforce this he says. Many parents I know have all sorts of preferences for their children.

      Obviously neither of the above episodes make for good publicity and he has suffered the reaction accordingly.

      Hone is essentialy a maori nationalist, not a racist, operating in a post colonial situation with a good degree of left wing understanding that he chose to submerge until recently.

      • vto 7.1.1

        Exactly. And that is why it is sometimes ok to be a rabid racist. Though it does depend on the colour of your skin as to how well you can get away with it.

      • Craig Glen Eden 7.1.2

        So a White Nationalist is not racist and if they use the term Black Mother f……s but use it in a private email thats ok?

        Bullshit TM.

        “but would not, and could not enforce this he says. Many parents I know have all sorts of preferences for their children”.

        He would not because he cant, Dahh if he could would he?

        As for “Parental preferences for their kids” how lame.

        So what if the Maori is white?Or has red hair and freakles as do many of my rels who are of Maori decen are still white mother fuckers?

        “Obviously neither of the above episodes make for good publicity and he has suffered the reaction accordingly”.
        So are we now expected to feel sorry for him because he has been called on his poor racist behavior?

        And finally I don’t care if they claim to be left wing and stand under a Maori flag or right wing standing under a confederate flag if they are racist they dont belong in NZ politics. Racisms is racisms no matter what you care to try and hide it behind!

        • higherstandard

          “So what if the Maori is white?Or has red hair and freakles as do many of my rels who are of Maori decen are still white mother fuckers?”

          Gingas…. eeeeek !!

        • Tiger Mountain

          You’re looking down the wrong end of the telescope on this one Craig, check out A. Kensington comment below. Until the statistics show inequality among races in New Zealand has disappeared I will make the argument relating to post colonialism. We should be somewhat thankful that the parliamentary road is being pursued here with all its difficulties, rather than the car bomb. Simplistic views like yours cut no ice with me.

          • Craig Glen Eden

            My relatives are descendants of Parihaka and I have never heard any of them even in a drunken state refer to whites as white mother fuckers. Would they have reason to, history says yes as much as anyone. But they don’t because they are not racists!They except me and my offspring as their own.

            Im not sure if thats to simple for you TM, you can make up all the bullshit you like in justification but it dosn’t change one thing.

            When you have some time sit down and talk to some Japanese kids, Chinese kids, Korean kids I suspect like me you will find it disturbingly revealing, they all have very good reasons for disliking the other race it dosn’t make it right and it dosn’t mean its not racist.How many generations need to be fueled with hate emotion before forgiveness is allowed to be extended to the people who have wronged another group.

            Bully’s have reason to bully, what ever the reason bullying is not right and neither is racism.

            • Colonial Viper

              A lot of groups and individuals have defined their own self-identity on a dislike of “the other” or of “outsiders”.

              Take that away and what will these groups have left?

            • Adele

              Teenaa koe, Craig

              I hate it when, to prove a point, a ‘Maori relative’ is pulled from a hat – who happens to think Hone is a dick. Well, I am chernobyl white, and I say yes, Hone has a point. Aotearoa is littered with white mother fuckers.

              A large part of the commentary to this site is absolutely devoted to re-litigating and re-living their mother fucking ways. So really, there should be no issue with his words.

              The issue actually lies with the person who leaked the email into the public domain. Brownie points he obviously neither needs or wants.

              • Craig Glen Eden

                I hate it when racists make excuses for racism by claiming that past wrongs make their racism legitimate. Not once have I said Hone is a Dick so don’t try and put words in my posts Adele stick to the issues if you can.

                I also hate it when to discredit some ones personal experience a idiot try’s to make out its not relevant due to race.

                The point about my relatives history is they were killed for land, Im white but that does not stop them from treating me like family. All my nephews are brown on both my side and my wife’s side of the family, my son cried when he was told he had no known Maori heritage.

                I could have used other examples of active forgiveness through out history but chose my relatives example because its real from the same country in the same period the oppressors are the same forces that Hone has issues with.

                Hone has no point or issue that cant be raised without using racist slurs.

                Due to my current role and position of responsibility and trust I meet with Hones direct family members on a regular basis I am not able to disclose how for professional reasons. They are lovely people and I know they don’t think Im a white mother fucker despite my skin colour or European heritage.

                Finally Adele if you are going to use Maori language please don’t use it disingenuously.

                • Adele

                  Teenaa koe, Craig

                  You do not get to tell me how to use my language – they abolished that act some time ago. Besides, if I am being disingenuous I tend to use the English language – it’s ideal for the task.

                  I could say that to quote the people of Parihaka is dis-ingenuous to this discussion. I am aware of Te Whiti o Rongomai a spiritual leader strongly attached to Parihaka and his passive resistance to colonial dis-possession. They continue to fight completely in the context of this revered tuupuna. Maaori resistance takes many forms and each is valid and has a place.

                  And Hone is not from Parihaka, nor am I.

                  You do think Hone is a dick but are in denial of your thoughts. To prove otherwise post a picture of yourself wearing the T-Shirt “Hone rocks my world!”

                  • Craig Glen Eden

                    So now you know what I think (have you been building any space ships in your lounge Adele) ?
                    I have never said you are from Parihaka or that Hone was, you seemed confused Adele.

        • felix

          Maybe you need to go and read what he actually said rather than remembering the scandals and shock-horror headlines.

          As I recall it was along the lines of “I’d be uncomfortable with…” rather than your “no child of mine should…”

          Which is a prejudice, yep. But it’s nothing like what you’re painting it as.

          • vto

            felix and Tiger, this is where I seriously struggle with the left (and the right) with their attempts to twist arguments around to suit their politics, rather than take an objective approach and see where the politics lies after.

            While having no beef with those trying to right the sufferings of various peoples throughout history, the beef becomes smelly when looked at like this… Imagine John Key saying he preferred his children to marry a white person. Or, to make the example a little easier, Don Brash. Or Rodney Hide. Or Lockwood Smith. I suspect the arguments would get tossed out and they would be deemed confirmed racists. And I fail to see how ancestry beefs affect such a sentiment. Though we could of course decipher the ancestries of Key, Brash, Hide to see if there are any old beefs from days past to justify that sentiment. Which of course there would be, as near every race has past beefs with others.

            Not swayed.

            • felix

              I have no doubt at all that John Key, Rodney Hide, and Don Brash would prefer that. That’s kinda the point.

              But also, look at what Craig thinks Hone said compared with what he actually said.

              We need to be talking about the same thing before we can even try to make sense of each other’s points of view, is mostly what I’m saying really.

              • Alwyn

                They aren’t now but both Don Brash and Rodney Hide were married to Chinese women.
                Hardly the behaviour of white supremacists that you appear to be trying to paint them as.

                • felix

                  I didn’t try to paint them as white supremacists though. I tried to paint them as normal people with normal prejudices.

                  Do try to keep up.

                  • Alwyn

                    True. I am being unfair in suggesting that you personally were classing them as white suprecacists.
                    When reading through a whole string of comments it is easy to credit the wrong person with particular statements.
                    However you do say that you are in no doubt that Brash and Hide would prefer that their children marry white people.
                    If their own marriages don’t make you doubt the certainty of your views what hope is there of making you at least consider the possibility that they might really not care?

                    • felix

                      They might not for all I know so I shouldn’t have said I had no doubt. I suppose what I meant to say was that it wouldn’t surprise or greatly bother me if they did.

                      It doesn’t seem controversial to me that people might prefer – at least at some level, whether consciously voiced or not – for their children to pair up with others from their own culture.

                    • higherstandard

                      As long as none of mine bring home a daywalker I’m fine with their choice.

                      Oh and no dutch………. I fucking hate the dutch !

                      [lprent: I fucking *HATE* people trying to rev up flame wars. I could remove the problem so so easily…. ]

                    • higherstandard

                      Speak to Michael Caine.


    • David 7.2

      Your wrong to assume Hone was referring to all Pakeha. He was talking about those in power, those who for example make the parliamentary rules, pointing out that these are the same people and the same institution which oversaw the dispossession of Maori. No doubt his behavior at the time was also reflecting his profound disillusionment with the coalition with National.

      As for his comments about being uncomfortable about his children going out with Pakeha, I don’t agree with this and I know many Many Mana party supporters don’t either.

      But for a lot of Maori atavists of Hone’s generation there was a real fear that Maori would disappear as a people. Encouraging this was once government policy. Choosing a Maori partner was a positive political act of resistance against this and and affirmation of love for things Maori.

      I think that approach is well out of date, and it wouldn’t surprise me if he’s reconsidered his views, not because of the media uproar but because friends and whanau have challenged him on it.

  8. Southernrata 8

    That’s not an attack, it’s an opinion. And it’s been beaten up by a journalist in a “let’s him and you fight” sort of way. You can look at the headline and the lack of content in the piece to see that.

  9. Bingo 9

    Russel Norman is absolutely right: we are living in a different world – a world in which the price of oil continues to rise relentlessly, and climate change brings increasingly frequent weather disasters (like yesterday’s in Albany). Meanwhile the old war of the 1980s and 1990s between haves and have-nots still goes on, and the gap between rich and poor continues to widen.

    The purpose of the Mana Party is to address the second of these, namely the problem of inequality, and it would be great if they could mobilise all the financially disadvantaged people who have never before turned out to vote because they don’t see the point. The message of Mana is simple – a better deal for the poor, and make the rich pay their share. They have a huge constituency of current non-voters who won’t vote Green because Green is seen as middle-class. They are people with major worries about how to pay the rent and put food on the table, and little free time for politics.

    The Greens also want to address the the increasing gap between rich and poor, but they are at least equally concerned by the modern problems of peak oil and climate change. Theirs is a much broader and comprehensive vision, but too complicated for the people who should be voting for Mana.

    Russel is not saying that the Greens won’t work with the Mana party. Greens have worked with every other party in Parliament, towards achieving whatever goals they have in common. What Russel means is that the Greens do not expect to lose a lot of votes to the Mana Party, rather than that he would not work with them.

  10. You’re living in a country in which the indigenous people have been the subject of: ethnic cleansing; land confiscations; a sustained military onslaught throughout most of the 19th century spilling over into sporadic attacks in the 20th and 21st centuries, the latest being the paramilitary style assault on Tuhoe; insidious cultural imperialism (something contemporary NZ culture is on the receiving end of now from the US)

    It is a list that can go on and on if we consider the full impact on the first nation people of colonisation at the point of a gun. Hone Harawira isn’t racist, he is responding to a violent system that has had devastating consequences for his own people with reserved dignity. The mainstream media, with its penchant for celebrating ‘white’ militarism while disparaging ‘brown’ resistance, screaming blue murder when Hone Harawira over steps a line in the sand they themselves have drawn, is not evidence of Harawira racism.

    Russell Norman might keep this in mind next time he is tempted to ‘kick’ Hone Harawira for Green party poll ratings.

    • higherstandard 10.1

      Andrew was there any ethnic cleansing before Te Whitey arrived ?

      • Ethnic cleansing would probably best be described as the methodical displacement of one distinctive ethnic group by another. Before Europeans turned up this country was occupied by Maori, this is not the case now as Maori have been almost completely displaced.

        No one could deny that Maori fought some vicious wars before the advent of European colonisation, this couldn’t be described as ethnic cleansing or even large scale killings if we consider the sort of blood thirsty campaigns that wracked Europe and the Middle East throughout the last 500 or so years.

        Te Rauparaha’s assault on the Maori living on the Chatham Islands was vicious, but it could hardly be compared, on scale, to something like the European genocide of the indigenous people living in Tasmania. The indigenous populations in most ‘discovered’ countries were regarded as little more than impediments to the usurping of those lands by Europeans. Te Rauparaha power was the manifestation of the consequences of the beginnings of European colonisation, without the advent of European colonial influence the Chatham Island killings would not have occurred.,_No._2,_1892/The_occupation_of_the_Chatham_Islands_by_the_Maoris_in_1835%3A_Part_1_-_the_Migration_of_Ngatiawa_to_Port_Nicholson,_by_A._Shand/p1

    • vto 10.2

      Andrew, can you please clrify what you are talking about? Sounds to me like the Chatham Islands which has the best example of ethnic cleansing, land confiscation and military operations that these fair lands have seen. Ever.

      • Bill 10.2.1

        So all peoples behave like bastards which means it’s okay for peoples to behave like bastards? Especially if it’s ‘us’? ‘Cause ‘we’ had God and the project of civilisation on our side? Which means ‘we’ were benevolent, though unfortunately yet understandably misguided bastards? Kind of superior bastards then, ’cause ‘we’ can dress it all up and excuse it with altruistic sounding tosh.

        And if that doesn’t do it then, hey. Dance to the ‘they did it too’ tune. FFS vto and HS. Convincing.

        • vto

          straight back at ya bill

          • Bill

            vto. If one facet of a broadly similar expression of cultural mores visits shit on another facet of that same culture, then inexcusable as that is, the culture itself survives and continues to evolve or develop.

            But when one culture seeks to exterminate any ongoing expression that another culture may have (language, religion, social relations etc), then we are looking at things on a completely different level.

            • vto

              Bill, I seem to recall similar arguments about the summary execution of Rubbish Bin Laden over recent days.

              It is exactly this inconsistency of argument which is disconcerting and puts people like me off political parties or allegiance.

              • Bill

                I don’t know about any arguments surrounding Bin Laden’s death, ’cause I didn’t read them.

                And I don’t see where the inconsistencies are in my comments. Care to illuminate?

                • vto

                  Many on the left took the argument that bin Laden’s summary execution by the USA was a breach of international law and that the counter-argument (yours) that the law did not apply because of different circumstances was not valid. The left tended to hold that the law must still apply notwithstanding the particular circumstances. The USA was “looking at things on a completely different level” to use your words.

                  Yet the left here take the view that the particular circumstances surrounding colonisation effects on Maori in NZ excuse Harawira’s racism and the ‘law’ does not apply.

                  The law does apply. The law does not apply. Inconsistent.

                  (a couple of assumptions in there but hopefully you get my point)

                  • Bill

                    What you on about ‘law’?

                    Cultural genocide is cultural genocide. Tribal massacres are tribal massacres. And the two have intergenerational dynamics, but of a vastly different magnitude. And I haven’t excused either act.

                    In both instances, justification for the act will be offered by the instigating party. I don’t buy the justifications.

                    I don’t see where ‘the law’ comes into generating or underpinning any justification; even if something is legal, it doesn’t follow that it’s justifiable. And I don’t see how Bin Laden or any arguments surrounding his death bear on any comments I’ve made here. He was a single person. Not a tribe or a culture.

                    • IrishBill

                      I love this “they did it too” line of argument. The French and the English murdered each other for centuries. Surely according to your outlooks that now means it’s morally acceptable to exterminate both races and attack anyone who complains about it as racists?

      • Carol 10.2.2

        Um, I think that idea about Maori wiping out the MoriOri on the Chathams has been shown up to be a myth.

        Evidence now shows that the MoriOri were a Maori tribe and weren’t decimated until after the arrival of Europeans., and as a result of European influence., driving a wedge between the Chatam and mainlaind Maori iwi.{DC857EB5-2849-43AE-8F86-B804058D0899}

        • vto

          hmmmm, will keep eyes peeled for the next re-writing of history by the next victors.

        • KJT

          Go and say that in the Chathams. Especially to anyone named Solomon.

          • vto

            I think you miss my point. But nonetheless, why do you say that? Do you think they might chop my head off or something?

            It does amuse me how any speak of bad deeds by Maori are argued away, or deemed minor in comparison to x or y event elsewhere, or simply excused because of the actions of fellow manwoman arriving a bit later in the land of the long white cloud. It’s like the Maori are saints (includes own ancestry btw) in this land today.

            It is like no ill word will be suffered. It is like being in some old white gentleman’s club with rules and parameters out of which nobody must step.

            It is like suggesting that Ngai Tahu are not the tru people of Te Tai Poutini. Which is true. But just don’t dare say it within certain circles lest you are cast out.

            It is like now I will probably be deemed more of a typical white trash racist following this for merely daring to speak about things Maori. How dare I.

            rant rant

            • Puddleglum

              Vto, I see your point but it misses the most important point. You’re arguing from the ‘view from nowhere’ – i.e., some point of detached principle. That’s fine and has its uses (legal systems today often see it as an ultimate virtue). But it also has its limitations.

              In the behavioural sciences it’s well known that the very same behaviour can arise via very different causal pathways. Also, the same behaviour can be a very different ‘move’ in a different ‘game’. We can shout at someone, for example, but we can do so for any number of reasons (or via any number of causal pathways) – some being the opposite of others (e.g., abuse vs. righteous anger; expression of a dominating personality vs. expression of impotence). Also, that shout can peform a different ‘move’ in social action (e.g., it can be a threat as a means to domination or a plea to be pitied).

              If I said ‘All shouting should be condemned because all shouting is identical’ I might have some legalistic justification for that (i.e., there might be a law that says ‘Thou shalt not shout’ – with no further clarification). But, obviously, it misses a hell of a lot of both the meaning of the shout and, therefore, what we might call its ‘moral justification’ or ‘moral content’.

              For the record, I don’t like abusive comments that are racially phrased. But I can’t accept that all abusive comments that are racially phrased are equal.

              That would be to ignore what I know about the sources and contexts of behaviour. When a boss insults an employee, for example, it achieves quite different ends from when an employee insults a boss. Both might, of course, feel ‘hurt’ but I don’t think this discussion is about hurting individuals’ feelings – or is it? I assume it’s about what social action is accomplished (or social psychological action, if the comment was in a ‘private’ email).

        • Sam

          Carol. It really is irrelevant what one calls the moriori, or indeed what their DNA structure is. What is sooth (and most certainly what VTO was pointing out) Was that the Moriori (a peaceful society, i might add) was all but wiped out by warring mainland iwi.

          TBH, i find the whole debate reasonably fatuitous, as Maori and european have existed together for longer than what we now recognise as Iwi did during pre colonial times.

          What white liberal guilt absolutely fails to recognise is that the classic iwi societal structure wasn’t formed until around 1600. In 1769, Cook sailed in to Poverty Bay. So, using a simplistic viewpoint Iwi only existed in a cocooned state for 169 years.

          I am completely aware of all the counter arguments to this and all the other factors, but that dosent stop me from looking at the whole situation with somewhat of a cocked eyebrow.

  11. Bill 11

    So first of all the Greens dump their social agenda. Then they look to give it a kicking. Hmm.

  12. gobsmacked 12

    Maybe Russel Norman is no fool. He’s smart enough to work out what’s happening.

    Here’s Hone in the Herald today, talking about the by-election:

    “As long as I can be returned to the House as the leader of Mana, I’d be more than happy with that.”

    That’s important. Hone does not want to stand as an independent, for obvious reasons – Mana will need the publicity and the funding and – above all – the mandate for a new party.

    So the by-election will be delayed until the Mana Party is registered. That gives Key (with Labour’s support) the chance of cancelling the by-election altogether. The general election date could be brought forward, even by a week.

    Basically Hone has been doing what Hone does – talk first, details later. Unfortunately the details matter. The Mana Party may sound all very good in theory, but if they don’t get their act together, they … er, look like ACT.

    Russel Norman and Phil Goff are NOT just dismissing a viable “left” party. They’re dismissing something that doesn’t exist yet, led by an attention-seeking amateur. Hone Harawira doesn’t do the hard yards, and he’s just not cut out to lead a party.

    He’d be better off cancelling the by-election, staying in Parliament and spending six months knuckling down and learning political skills from Matt McCarten. Unfortunately, he’s too arrogant to do this, so the Mana Party is probably stuffed.

    • felix 12.1

      Dr Norman said “there might be a few votes” for the new party, but “maybe not a lot”. “I mean, who wants to relive the battles of the 1980s and 1990s?

      Not sure how much clearer you need it, gs.

    • George D 12.2

      Russel Norman and Phil Goff are NOT just dismissing a viable “left” party. They’re dismissing something that doesn’t exist yet, led by an attention-seeking amateur. Hone Harawira doesn’t do the hard yards, and he’s just not cut out to lead a party.

      Yes, they are.

  13. George D 13

    “I mean, who wants to relive the battles of the 1980s and 1990s? We’re in 2011 for God’s sake. We need a progressive force that actually deals with where we are now, not tries to refight the 1980s and 1990s.

    Russel Norman has never understood. We ARE fighting the battles of the 80s and 90s, because we never won (Labour declared a truce in 1999 with some weak labour laws and a commitment not to interfere much with the ‘free market’).

    And now, we’re being dragged wholesale onto the battlefield. Norman might not want to fight, but the body of the middle and lower classes is being attacked in extreme ways.

    What an ideologically blinded idiot. “Green economics”is good, but a solar panel on every roof doesn’t solve everything.

    • felix 13.1

      Right on George D. WTF is wrong with him?

      I’ve been impressed with Met’s speeches on social justice issues and the legacy of neo-liberalism lately. She almost had me renewing my lapsed membership.

      Now Russel is essentially saying that everything Metiria has been talking so passionately about is irrelevant. He’s whispering to the polite, moderate, middle-class greens and saying “don’t worry about all that class and poverty stuff, we don’t take it seriously anyway.”

      Well fuck that Russel. I’ve never liked you and your approach. In large part your leadership is the reason I let my membership lapse but I had hoped to be inspired to rejoin. Now that I have an alternative I won’t need to vote Green again while you’re co-leader, and I won’t be helping with the campaign.

      • Rich 13.1.1

        Yep, and he clearly illustrates why we need the Mana Party.

        We have eight political parties that want to manage capitalism. Now we have a new party that wants to replace it – that’s the difference.

        • Colonial Viper


          As I am sure you know, it’s not as simple as “replacing” capitalism. It’s a case of using the existing and very powerful tools and structures of capitalism to begin transforming the economy to another approach.

          One way would be to put the power of capital into the hands of every day worker-owners: grass roots democratic socialism, while providing unyielding competition to degrade the market position of major organisational powers of capitalism, including the banks.

          The more power and the more influence that ordinary people have over the economy the better. Jobs and activities which are valuable in themselves societally but which do not build financial capital have to be properly rewarded (e.g. care giving, parenting and personal support jobs).

          At some stage then a cultural revolution needs to happen where every day people get the idea that capital is a tool to be used to serve people, not the other way around.

          In a post-capitalist world, capital and money still exist, but the society is not structured around maximising them.

          • Draco T Bastard

            It’s a case of using the existing and very powerful tools and structures of capitalism to begin transforming the economy to another approach.

            I’d say that it was a case of using new knowledge to modify the existing institutions and structures to transform the political-economy.

          • Rich

            I wouldn’t disagree with any of that, but I think that’s a lot closer to Mana than the Greens.

            The Greens seem to be fixated around trivial, incremental changes – and considering a “victory” to be a bad policy made slightly better.

            I lost patience with them (as a lapsed member) over CERA and Wellington Council’s roading policy.

          • David

            There’s many ways that movements, partys and even governments not constrained by a commitment to neoliberalism could try to start building alternatives to capitalism. And of course we’ll have to with the existing tools, even if in the process we create new tools as well.

            But the “existing and very powerful tools and structures of capitalism” are also used ruthlessly by the defenders of capitalism to smash or co-opt any potential challenge before it get very far at all. The media assault on Te Mana is one very mild example, so is the US Embassy’s “friendly chats” with the Greens.

            As Marx suggested, revolutionaries can’t simply expect to construct socialist using the machinery of capitalism.

      • Jim Nald 13.1.2

        I’ve expressed reservations about Russel before ..

        I’m yet to be persuaded about his ability and judgment.

      • Sunny 13.1.3

        Exactly my position too!

    • TightyRighty 13.2

      What an ideologically blinded idiot

      Love the out right contradiction in that last sentence. in fact the whole comment smacks of tin foil hat idiocy.

      We ARE fighting the battles of the 80s and 90s, because we never won (Labour declared a truce in 1999 with some weak labour laws and a commitment not to interfere much with the ‘free market’). -do you know what they call it when you don’t win? losing. do you know what they call losing and refusing to accept it and get on with life? sore losing. do you know why you lost? probably not, that’s why you can never win.

      • Puddleglum 13.2.1

        -do you know what they call it when you don’t win?

        Yes, they call it the time before the full-time whistle blows. Or they call it ‘battles’ as opposed to ‘wars’.

        do you know what they call losing and refusing to accept it and get on with life?

        Yes, it’s called having a conscience and being concerned about the suffering of others which continues while ‘life goes on’.

        do you know why you lost?

        Yes, those particular battles were lost partly because those with power and influence managed to hijack a party, then another party, to counteract the wishes of the public as expressed in elections (i.e., 1984 and 1990); an FPP system then distorted the public’s preferences in 1993 and a de facto betrayal by NZF betrayed them again in 1996.

        By that time another generation had arisen whose memory of the betrayals was either non-existent or heavily revisionist in spirit. They imbibed individualistic, atomistic values that would not serve them well (but were omnipresent in the ‘reformed’ economic and increasingly mediated social world) and now we have increased psychological malaise, particularly amongst youth – a trend we share with many countries, especially those that pursued similar economic policies and social values.

        That’s the situation – more or less.

  14. George D 14

    Oh yes, and rather than blame themselves for their inability to connect with middle New Zealand – by talking about the things that actually matter to them (jobs, money, housing prices, schools, hospitals, doctors, and the price of milk) – this will give the Greens another excuse to blame others.

    • KJT 14.1

      The Greens have been talking about those things. The media would rather publish endless rubbish about weddings of celebrities or personality politics crap though.

      • George D 14.1.1

        In the past the Greens have dropped the ball during elections. Considering that most of the population don’t pay more than the barest attention to politics outside them, these are where you need to convince people that you care about the things that matter them in the present, not talking about a green future decades hence.

        I know. It’s hard.

  15. gobsmacked 15

    Update from Hone Harawira:

    So he has not resigned yet, and it may be some time before he does. If he does.

    • Rich 15.1

      You can read it like that.

      I’d see it as him working in a measured and reasonable fashion and including his supporters in Te Tai Tokerau in his decision and dates. He’s got nearly three weeks before the six month deadline. (Which itself only applies if Labour want to vote with National to cancel an election).

  16. deemac 16

    still cannot believe the credence folk are giving to Hone’s joke party. Given his track record – and the egos involved – it is the last thing the left needs now. Effective political activity isn’t about what makes you feel good, it’s about what gets results. Hone could have scuppered the new seabed act if he’d played clever on the select committee but was more interested in grandstanding – says it all really.

    • Colonial Viper 16.1

      If the Left had been doing it’s job, how is it that Hone’s party even has room to start, let alone breathe, and with cadres of strong Left advocates supporting it to boot?

  17. deemac 17

    oh, and the defending of his sub-racist comments is pathetic. They were not as bad as white racism – so what? Not the crime of the century, sure, but equally not suitable behaviour if you actually want to build a new left party rather than a hommage to your ego.

    • Colonial Viper 17.1

      Race is an issue in NZ. No pretending that its not. Brash gets it, Key gets it, Hone gets it, a hell of a lot of ordinary kiwis get it, and in 2008 Iwi/Kiwi won it for National.

      Hone made racist comments? So what. I don’t think he is racist per se though definitely race aware.

      And if he does right by the working classes and the underclasses and fulfills the commitments he has made to social justice and income equality, he can call ME a white mofo for all I care and I will buy him a beer and tell him good fraking job mate keep it up, don’t let those bastards tear you down.

      PS and I’ll tell you another problem with the frickin Left these days, its solidarity with each other as long as you subscribe to my sense of values. Otherwise I will feel free to look down my nose on you for being prejudiced and small minded. Trotter wrote about this very recently, and voters don’t like it one bit.

      The underclasses and working classes are experiencing socioeconomic collapse and Labour still only has 32% support, Greens hovering around 8% seriously something is wrong with those numbers, especially when you consider that HALF of all working NZ’ers have an income of $39K p.a. or less, and many still DON’T vote Left even though they are the ones being shafted by the Right at every turn.

  18. Rich 18

    consider one of the meanings of Mana:

    It’s basically the same concept as hit points, right?

    In fact, the Mana party should rename themselves the Mana/Hit Points party, thus inclusivising the Maori and Geek subgroups. Also, their initials would be MHP, which would be way easier for those who need to make abbreviated lists of party names.

  19. johnm 19

    Hone is a very down to Earth sincere Politician who thinks and acts on the unglamourous issue of inequality and Maori’s special status as the first people. He’s a breath of fresh air who doesn’t live in the ivory tower of Mr Niceness and flash suits and playing the Parliamentary game. New Zealand needs to break out from the tyranny of the almost but not quite two headed one party state of right wing Labour and centrist National. It’s the Ivory Tower Parliamentary game saying they won’t work with him, it shows to me that NZ’s politicians in the main are not interested in the inequality issue.

    • Draco T Bastard 19.1

      Being first here doesn’t give anyone any extra status or make them “special” in any way, shape or form.

  20. Colonial Viper 20

    Why be surprised that living on $150K p.a. or more makes the class “fights” of the 1980’s and 1990’s which so many people are having painful deja vu of right now, a distant memory for our leaders.

    I even see wikileaks has fingered a deliberate US strategy to try and ‘soften’ the ‘radicalism’ of the Greens

    Bottom line: the Greens are plenty hesistant in their role as a party for the working class and under classes, and there will be more than one National party hack working on a long term plan to propose a blue-green approach to politics in the future.

    • Anthony 20.1

      You can look at their 2008 advertising to see who they are marketing to (or who they want to target).

      It was the same selling and branding you would use for a ‘lifestyle’ product. The way advertisers try to make you feel good for buying a fridge or a car.

      • Colonial Viper 20.1.1

        Their material for 2011 is very much the same. Reminds me of something from The Body Shop or some other big corporate. Very nice, very slick, very well put together, with good appeal to the $50K-$100K p.a. aspirational crowd.

  21. My advice to rus is that if he is not part of the solution he is part of the problem – look at the green numbers – pathetic really when you look at the state of everything and why haven’t voters connected with the Greens – rus’s leadership has to be the big one. What are they going to do this election? More of the same? More 5-8% or so worth? The greens should be worried, not about Mana, but their own constituents and support. And if norman can’t see the value in working with the Mana Party then he should piss off and get out the way.

  22. randal 22

    the greens are still labouring under the delusion that they are the intellectual cadre of a mass based movement when in fact they are a gang of used up trotskyites who still want to take over the world and create one party to rule it.
    this idee fixee will keep them in the same place for ever while Hone who has no pretensions to intellectual superiority gets on with making the most he can for the people who need it.

  23. sodapaper 23

    The Greens need not worry about Mana – as they have been busy moving towards the centre – as a bourgeois boutique organic free range soft and fuzzy capitalist party.

  24. Greens should be trying to win and electorate and build the strength of their party, not getting mouth to allies. Silly boy – Russel.

  25. Santi 25

    Be careful Rus or the Greens could go the way of the moa and become extinct.

  26. DJ 26

    I had to do a double-take. That wasn’t a very smart thing for Russel to be saying, especially because they’ve been acting like they’re fighting the 1980’s and 1990’s. The Greens could lose their votes to mana and not get enough to reach 5%. Hone on the other hand may not reach 5% but might get Te Tai Tokureau so he would still get in. Where before the Greens didn’t have much to fear from far-left parties like the Alliance or RAM party, because their profile wasn’t high enough, they do now. Hone has media focus and is very good at engaging with people.

  27. Carol 27

    Hopefully the Greens & Mana in parliament would work together a lot. But with an election coming up, they need to establish some differentiation between them, and hopefully each will pull in a lsightly differnt section of voters.

    I think the Greens have been a bit weak over the last year, but I think they still support social justice issues, rights for low paid workers & the unemployed etc.

    I’m not that keen on Norman, and don’t think he’s a great leader. I think Turei is very impressive though.

    The Mana Party has a great general policy platform, but they still have to show that they can put it into practice. harawira himself has said he is more an activist than a leader, so I am just waiting to see how he will go leading a political party.

    But I see no point in the Greens & Mana attacking each other in a substantial way.

    • “The Mana Party has a great general policy platform, but they still have to show that they can put it into practice. harawira himself has said he is more an activist than a leader, so I am just waiting to see how he will go leading a political party.”

      Yeah it’s a shame Harawira isn’t able to perform well as a politician ie. he comes across volatile & intolerant of different groups.

      Unfortunately Russels move has fully isolated Mana and so a vote for them is wasted imo. Unless you want to support 1 or 2 noisy mps in parliament that no one else in the house will take seriously.

      • Colonial Viper 27.1.1

        Unfortunately Russels move has fully isolated Mana and so a vote for them is wasted imo.

        Wow, Russel Norman snaps his fingers, and instantly Hone Harawira is “fully isolated”!

        It’s actually a wonder that the Maori Party didn’t go to Russel Norman before now, for Dr Norman’s awesome help, it would have been so easy to “fully isolate” Harawira, just like that!

        Or, you’re spouting drivel.

        • As opposed to partially isolated. Labour & National already ruled out a working relationship with Mana, and if the Greens don’t want to work with a party they see as backwards and counter-productive then Mana seem to be fully isolated.

          • Colonial Viper

            its only a bit of pre-election posturing mate, nothing to be taken seriously. Exactly like “National will not be raising GST” was a crock.

            • Campbell Larsen

              Posturing or not, politicians making declarations of intent that they never intend to honor as part of electioneering is not OK, see my reply to earlier threat about reasons for voter disengagement….

              • Campbell Larsen

                Thread sorry, not threat!

              • Colonial Viper

                Well, if I was being cynical, the pollies intended to honour them *at the time* and then *circumstances changed* and in order to be *pragmatic* they do the *exact opposite* of what they originally said! 😎

  28. OURNZ 28

    The Financial Transaction Tax touted by the Mana Party was originally adapted by Kelvyn Alp for the party DDP in 2004 for the 2005 General Elections. (And he has proof of this) He has carried that policy into the OURNZ Party (going through formal registration).

    Kelvyn approached Hone Harawira via Hone’s relations seeking to unite minor parties with similar aims. Hone asked for 1) the OURNZ Party policies (available at to see if there were areas of agreement and 2) Mike Tamaki to call him. This was done and contact ceased.

    His application of the Transaction Tax is inappropriate and will raise prices.

    The original policy: Taxation rates are too high, meaning that companies are at a disadvantage when competing for foreign investment, business on the world stage and for real growth.

    The solution is a 1% Transaction Tax on all outgoing financial transactions. The tax will replace ALL other taxes including many “hidden” taxes. Software programmed into RBNZ’s electronic clearing system will state daily transactions of the banking system, meaning implementation will be simple. Calculated on total transacted amount per annum, a tax of 1% will provide the Government with sufficient operating revenue.

    Some think it would negatively affect the economy. This is a false notion and it will have a beneficial effect on the economy through being able to tax money that is now untaxed. This solution will bring prosperity, increases in employment and less dependence on the State.

    Money was intended to distribute goods and services at an agreed value. Money was never meant to be a commodity. The solution is not to tax the real wealth of this country (labour, resources, business etc), but rather to tax how wealth is distributed. With no income tax, nor GST to pay, everybody will effectively have a pay rise.

    So, the only Party that understands the application of the policy properly is OURNZ Party and we shall be campaigning on this and other policies this year. Join us on the OURNZ Group discussion page on Facebook!

  29. Gotham 29

    Russel just offered an apology of sorts:

    “Sorry, I overly personalised my critique of the Mana Party in the DomPost. I was asked about whether they are a threat to the Green vote, which I don’t think they are. I was trying to make the point that there is an important political distinction between the old left and the greens but this came across as overly personal. My apologies. As I said on Backbenches last week, I wish them luck.”

    • Colonial Viper 29.1

      Weasel words.

    • IrishBill 29.2

      I’m pleased to see this. You should never underestimate how hard an apology can be in politics and the fact Norman has done so unprompted is certainly to his credit.

      • Colonial Viper 29.2.1

        Doesn’t it seem likely that someone prompted him?

        Or maybe he reads The Standard 🙂

  30. He got some grief on facebook – ppl made it clear what they felt about the greens and their allies, the mana party. Good on him for backing down and saying the thing too many politicians don’t: I’m Sorry

  31. Kerry 31

    I think it says more about a person/party who would support someone who considered Osama Bin Ladens career in murder as the sort of thing to be proud of…..thank god Goff didnt go all silly like you guys and fall all over hone!

    hone im afraid will be a party of one!

  32. worth a read @ pundit:

    I have no inclination to celebrate the death of Osama bin Laden. However despicble his deeds and beliefs, he was a mother’s son and the rule of law matters.

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  • Northland open for business as critical works to repair SH1 Brynderwyn Hills begin
    The Government is encouraging New Zealanders to support, visit, and explore Northland, as the closure and detour of SH1 at the Bryderwyn Hills begins, and critical repair work by the NZ Transport Agency (NZTA) gets underway, Transport Minister Simeon Brown says. “Many regions across the country suffered extensive and devastating ...
    2 days ago
  • Government backs police to crackdown on gangs
    The coalition Government is restoring law and order by providing police new tools to crack down on criminal gangs, says Justice Minister Paul Goldsmith and Police Minister Mark Mitchell.  “Over the last five years gangs have recruited more than 3000 members, a 51 per cent increase. At the same time, ...
    3 days ago
  • Northland’s new Kāeo Bridge officially open
    Transport Minister Simeon Brown has welcomed the official opening of the new State Highway 10 (SH10) Kāeo Bridge, which will improve safety and traffic flow for people heading to and from the Far North. “This is an important piece of infrastructure for the Northland region that will help members of ...
    4 days ago
  • Government grants $6.6 million to clean up old landfill sites
    The Government has granted $6.6 million to clean up four historic New Zealand landfill and dump sites vulnerable to extreme weather events and coastal erosion. At the BlueGreens Forum in Paihia today Environment Minister Penny Simmonds said that the Contaminated Sites Remediation Fund grants will go towards fixing former landfills ...
    4 days ago
  • Dry weather triggers extra support for farmers and growers across the top of the South Island
    The coalition Government is providing support for farmers and growers as dry conditions worsen across the top of the South Island. “Conditions on the ground across the Marlborough, Tasman, and Nelson districts are now extremely dry and likely to get worse in the coming months,” Agriculture Minister Todd McClay said. ...
    5 days ago
  • Trade Minister heads to Abu Dhabi for key WTO negotiations
    Trade Minister Todd McClay travels to Abu Dhabi in the United Arab Emirates for the 13th Ministerial Conference of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) today, to take up his role as Vice Chair of the negotiations. The Ministerial Conference is the highest decision-making body within the WTO and meets every ...
    5 days ago
  • Appointment round for King’s Counsel announced
    Attorney-General Judith Collins today announced an appointment round for King’s Counsel will take place in 2024. Appointments of King’s Counsel are made by the Governor-General on the recommendation of the Attorney-General and with the concurrence of the Chief Justice. The Governor-General retains the discretion to appoint King’s Counsel in recognition ...
    5 days ago
  • Retiring Chief of Navy thanked for his service
    Defence Minister Judith Collins has thanked the Chief of Navy, Rear Admiral David Proctor, for his service as he retires from the Royal New Zealand Navy after 37 years. Rear Admiral Proctor will retire on 16 May to take up an employment opportunity in Australia.  “I would like to thank ...
    5 days ago
  • Indonesian Vice President to visit New Zealand
    Indonesia’s Vice President Ma’ruf Amin will visit New Zealand next week, the first here by an Indonesian leader since 2018, Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters has announced. “New Zealand and Indonesia have a strong partnership,” Mr Peters says.  “The Vice President’s visit is an opportunity to discuss how we can strengthen ...
    5 days ago
  • Government boost to fight against caulerpa
    The battle to contain the fast-spreading exotic caulerpa seaweed has today received a $5 million boost to accelerate the development of removal techniques, says Biosecurity Minister Andrew Hoggard.  “The time is now to really lean in and build on the work of Biosecurity New Zealand, mana whenua, communities and local ...
    5 days ago
  • Minister attending Australian data, digital meeting
    Minister for Digitising Government Judith Collins is in Sydney to attend the first Data and Digital Ministers’ Meeting of 2024.  “This is a great opportunity to connect with our Australian counterparts and identify how we can work together on digital transformation,” Ms Collins says.   “Both our nations are looking into ...
    6 days ago
  • Appointments to Antarctica New Zealand Board
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters has appointed Leon Grice and Heather Simpson to serve on the Antarctica New Zealand board.  “Since taking office, the Coalition Government has become concerned about the direction of the Scott Base Redevelopment Project,” Mr Peters says.  “It is vital that Antarctica New Zealand has the right ...
    6 days ago
  • Strengthening the Single Economic Market
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis has met with Australian Treasurer Jim Chalmers to discuss the opportunities to lower business costs and increase the ease with which businesses and people can operate across the Tasman.     “I have met with Treasurer Chalmers and shared our new Government’s ambitious economic goals, our plans ...
    6 days ago
  • Government to address business payment practices
    The Government will repeal the Business Payment Practices Act 2023, Small Business and Manufacturing Minister Andrew Bayly announced today. “There is a major problem with large market players imposing long payment terms and routinely paying invoices late. “However, the Business Payment Practices Act is not an effective solution and would ...
    6 days ago
  • Greater focus on work will reduce child poverty
    Worsening child poverty rates support the Coalition Government’s focus on reducing the cost of living and getting people into work, Child Poverty Reduction Minister Louise Upston says. Figures released by Stats NZ today show child poverty rates have increased, with the rising cost of living, driven by inflation, making it ...
    6 days ago
  • NZ announces new support for Ukraine
    Foreign Minister Winston Peters and Defence Minister Judith Collins have marked two years since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine by announcing further support and sanctions, and extending our military assistance. “Russia launched its illegal, full-scale invasion of Ukraine, in blatant violation of international law, including the UN Charter,” Mr Peters says. ...
    6 days ago
  • Finalists of Ahuwhenua Trophy announced
    Māori Development Minister Tama Potaka announced the two finalists for this year’s Ahuwhenua Trophy at Parliament yesterday.  “I am pleased to see such a high calibre of Māori dairy farms featured as finalists this year,” Mr Potaka says. The finalists for 2024 are: Wairarapa Moana ki Pouakani Whakatōhea Māori Trust ...
    6 days ago
  • Finance Minister to meet Australian Treasurer
    Finance Minister Nicola Willis will travel to Australia today to meet her Australian counterpart, Treasurer Jim Chalmers.    “New Zealand and Australia have an incredibly strong trade and investment relationship. The Closer Economic Relations and Single Economic Market are powerful engines for growth on both sides of the Tasman.     “I will ...
    6 days ago
  • PM shocked and saddened at death of Efeso Collins
    “I am truly shocked and saddened at the news of Efeso Collins’ sudden death,” Prime Minister Christopher Luxon says. “Efeso was a good man, always friendly and kind, and a true champion and advocate for his Samoan and South Auckland communities. “Our thoughts and deepest sympathies go to his family, ...
    1 week ago
  • Greater support for social workers
    The Coalition Government is enhancing the professionalism of the social work sector and supporting the vulnerable people who rely on them, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says.  The Social Workers Registration Legislation Amendment Bill passed its third reading in Parliament today. It amends the Social Workers Registration Legislation ...
    1 week ago
  • Government delivers greater freedom and choice for sick New Zealanders
    The coalition government is delivering on its commitment to making principled decisions by getting rid of red tape that doesn’t make sense and allowing sick New Zealanders greater freedom and choice to purchase effective cold and flu medicines. A bill amending the Misuse of Drugs Act 1975 is being introduced, and changes to the Medicines ...
    1 week ago
  • Government begins reset of welfare system
    The Coalition Government is taking early action to curb the surge in welfare dependency that occurred under the previous government by setting out its expectations around employment and the use of benefit sanctions, Social Development and Employment Minister Louise Upston says. In 2017, 60,588 sanctions were applied to beneficiaries who ...
    1 week ago
  • State of the Nation
    Ka nui te mihi kia koutou. Kia ora, good morning, talofa, malo e lelei, bula vinaka, da jia hao, namaste, sat sri akal, assalamu alaikum. Thank you for coming to my first State of the Nation as Prime Minister. Thank you for coming to a speech where I don’t just ...
    1 week ago
  • West Coast tourism attractions officially open
    Regional Development Minister Shane Jones will attend the official opening of two highly anticipated tourism projects on the West Coast today – Pike29 Memorial Track, dedicated to the memory of the Pike River miners, and Pounamu Pathway. “The Pike29 Memorial Track is a way to remember and honour the men ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Independent ferry service advisory group in place
    Appointments to the Ministerial Advisory Group tasked with providing independent advice and assurance on the future of KiwiRail’s inter-island ferry service have been made, State Owned Enterprises Minister Paul Goldsmith says. “It’s important for New Zealand that KiwiRail is focused on ensuring safe, resilient, and reliable ferry services over the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Joint statement from the Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada, and New Zealand
    The Prime Ministers of Australia, Canada and New Zealand today issued the following statement on reports of Israel’s planned military operation in Rafah. We are gravely concerned by indications that Israel is planning a ground offensive into Rafah.   A military operation into Rafah would be catastrophic. About 1.5 million Palestinians ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Govt will deliver on expanded breast screening
    The coalition Government has made the first steps in delivering on its promise to  extend free breast screening to women aged 70-74, Health Minister Shane Reti says. “As part of the 100 day plan, the Government has now met with officials and discussed what is needed in order for the ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government announces woolshed roadshows in support of sheep farmers
    The Government celebrates National Lamb Day (15 February 24) and congratulates sheep farmers on the high-quality products they continue to produce. Agriculture Minister McClay hosted bipartisan celebrations of National Lamb Day with industry representatives at Parliament this week to mark the anniversary of the first frozen lamb exports that left ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Speech: Address to the NZ Economics Forum
    It’s great to be back at the New Zealand Economics Forum. I would like to acknowledge everyone here today for your expertise and contribution, especially the Pro Vice-Chancellor, Head of the Waikato Management School, economists, students and experts alike. A year has passed since I was last before you, and ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Government tackling high construction costs
    The Government is focused on reducing sky-high construction costs to make it more affordable to build a home, Building and Construction Minister Chris Penk says.  Stats NZ data shows the cost of building a house has increased by 41 per cent since 2019, making housing even more unaffordable for Kiwi ...
    2 weeks ago
  • Labour’s Three Waters legislation repealed
    The Coalition Government’s legislative plan to address longstanding issues with local water infrastructure and service delivery took an important step today, with the repeal of Labour’s divisive and unpopular Three Waters legislation, Local Government Minister Simeon Brown says. “Repealing this legislation is a necessary first step in implementing our Local ...
    2 weeks ago

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