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Spat on the altar

Written By: - Date published: 7:52 pm, May 10th, 2011 - 19 comments
Categories: by-election, labour, mana, mana-party, Maori Issues - Tags: , , ,

It was good to hear Mike Williams as the voice of the left on Nine to Noon yesterday. It is high time that someone from the broad left had the mike, to coin a phrase. Mike “spat on the altar” and had a friendly go at his mate Matt McCarten’s strategy for a by-election in Te Tai Tokerau, a kind of joust of the gurus. He thinks Matt made a mistake there, and I agree.  Mike said he was glad he wasn’t part of the decision as to whether Labour’s Kelvin Davis should run, but I am sure he would agree with the decision that has now been made.

Kelvin is an outstanding candidate, and will give Hone the run of his life whether it’s in the by-election or the general election. Kelvin represents the future for Maoridom. Hone and the Maori Party represent the past.

Kelvin’s focus is on education, in his case based on real experience as a successful school principal. Education represents the future for Maori just as it did for my Irish clann relations. I’ve been back to see the Galway bog my family came from five generations ago. It’s a lot like Northland. Our family owes a lot to the Catholic schools.

Matt and Hone may yet back down on their plan for an early run. And we should not forget that it was a Labour government  that in 1985 passed the Treaty of Waitangi Amendment Act that made redress for grievance applicable back to 1840.

19 comments on “Spat on the altar ”

  1. Aye Mike

    It was refreshing to have Mike II on 9 to noon. For too long the left have got stuck into Labour, the right have got stuck into Labour and …

    Mike II is also a very perceptive commentator on political issues as well as a stunning campaign manager. I cannot think of any campaign manager in the history of the country who won 3 national campaigns in a row.

    Hone has made a major mistake. I hear that he does not yet have 500 members and has equivocated about the by election for various reasons. If he did not realise that his staff would lose their jobs then his lack of understanding is a major problem.

    The by election opens up the possibility/probability that Labour will win, thereby severely denting Mana’s chances.

    I am actually equivocal about Mana. A staunch left wing party would be a great addition to Parliament but Mana sucking 2% of the party vote and losing Te Tai Tokerau would be a disaster.

    BTW the TOWAA was passed in 1975 by the third Labour Government.

  2. Jenny 2


    Mike I am glad that you are welcoming this competition.

    What ever the result, this byelection is shaping up to be a fine political battle in the best traditions of our democratic system.

    I look forward to closely following the three candidates and their supporters, arguments over who should receive the mandate of the people of Tai Tokerau.

    That’s the sound of ideologies clashing.

    The final result of course, will be very educational for all concerned, I am sure.

    Make no mistake, whatever the outcome, this struggle in Tai Tokerau can’t but help shape the coming General Election. Depending on this electorate’s judgement of the three widely different options. Each of the contending Parties will gain knowledge, (if they care to heed it), on how to map their national campaigns in September.

    Good luck to all the candidates. May the best team win.

  3. Yeah Jenny this will be a good three way battle on the wasted ground of Northland which both Labour and National have turned into a third world backwater with is staple export of green hash. A new war in the North. Most Maori coming out of Northland to get credentialled like Davis probably keep going to Australia to get anywhere. MP has pinned its flag to the NACT flagpole and been cut down by Hone. I predict a sweeping majority for Hone, a poor 2nd class degree for Labour and a miserable 3rd world place for MP.

  4. Rodel 4

    It’s great to have a left leaning realist like Mike Williams instead of two extreme non realists simply trying to points score.
    If Radio NZ could now replace blitherer Hooton with his snide asides, desperate interruptions and voice raising as a substitute for reasoned argument, with a right leaning person who could debate rationally (and there are some), then the programme would be really worth listening to.

  5. Bigger issue: lot of Ngapuhi in Auckland – does that mean they will vote for or against Sharples.

    If Maori Party pisses off Te Tai Tokerau, UTU may happen in Tamaki Makaurau.

    How ready is Shane Jones…? He couldn’t win Te Tai Tokerau, can he win the super/eco city?
    Sharples and Turia are very all over the place in their recent media. Looks like Brash has thrown them off. Hooton is clueless too. I know Labour won’t win the North, but they have a change at Auckland. Afterall Len beat Banks, and become Mayor. Can Shane beat Sharples and continue the streak?

    The only mistake is that Labour has not got a clear campaign platform yet.
    Hone will stand up for workers rights. The maori party will stand for… uhm being at the table? and Labour will stand for… uhm some media? We know labour is anti privatisation… what are they pro? Environment? Free Trade? Workers right? Capitalism? Need to get some bottom lines.

    The by election is a place to test out ideas, the bigger elections are for putting those ideas to use.

    • Jenny 5.1

      “Bigger issue: lot of Ngapuhi in Auckland – does that mean they will vote for or against Sharples.”

      NZ not sor sale

      Vox pop, I know, but everyone who is Ngapuhi at my workplace says they will vote Mana.

      As far as what Labour is for, everyone knows that what Labour are for, is the Foreshore and Seabed Legislation. Often described by Maori commentators as the biggest confiscation of modern times and universally unpopular with Maori. This will be a big hurdle for Kelvin Davis to get over.

      I look forward to seeing what his stance is on this issue.

      I imagine that if he publicly toes the Party line on this one, he is guaranteed to go down in flames. At least the Maori Party oppose this legislation, if only in words. To openly defend it could be the death knell of Kelvin’s campaign.

    • PeteG 5.2

      Hone will stand up for workers rights.

      I’m not convinced he is passionate about that, seems more like allies of convenience.

      He really needs backup to organise, plan, and take care of the details, he seems to have jumped into the by-election idea without thinking enough about it.

      It will be particularly interesting if the Maori Party end up not contesting, and it is Harawira v Davis. That would give a good indication of the thinking of TTT voters.

  6. Hone represent the future of tino rangatinotanga and maybe a new left: indigenous ecosocialism. The rangatahi of Te Tai Tokerau represent the future of Maori, perhaps Kelvin can assist in guiding them.

    Te Tai Tokerau needs more maori business, and in likeliness a new and more capable Mayor. It is likely that Northland will continue to be split between its National MPs and Hone representing Te Tai Tokerau. When was the last time Labour made a serious splash in the North?

    Do not forget that Winston Peters is from the North too. It may be that Northland has no time or Labour, and many years of hard work are ahead should they wish to gain some mana in Te Tai Tokerau. Do not forget the Hikoi against the seabed and foreshore, and Shane standing against Ngapuhi and tino rangatiratanga. The other factor is that The Northland National MP retires shortly. Just how blue pakeha Northland is, will be tested as well.

  7. As a rural region, Northland needs more maori farmers, and to make a niche for itself. Eco tourism, kiwi centres, reforestation, more ecotourism (Bay of Islands) maybe centered around a marine reserve and education centre, and music promotion and development. The Far North is not like the Deep South, with its intensive dairy and National Parks and Scottish Roots. The North is Ngapuhi Country, home to the largest Iwi in Aotearoa.

    Te Tai Tokerau, needs something, in Hone it has that: a champion.

  8. Adele 8

    Teenaa koutou katoa

    I am enjoying the commentary here, so far. Most of it, very astute. It gives me assurance that there are Paakehaa that will vote with Mana. In terms of the actual words of Mike Williams, he should not use as a ‘saving grace’ a Labour government amending an Act.

    From a Māori perspective, we should not have needed legislation to embed our status as tāngata whenua. It was guaranteed by a Treaty. Both Labour and National have largely sought to continue a legacy of extinguishing its relevancy, now into the 21st century. Goff is such an anaphylatic pill.

    Whether you like it or not, the Treaty is like a marriage contract of the old sort. For better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, through sickness and in wellness. We certainly do not want to get rid of you – we just want you to be a better partner.

  9. Bored 9

    Nice lines from Mike, he had credibility because he had been there and done that, hands on in electoral sense. By comparison Hooton sounded like a booky at the races touting for a horse.

    • felix 9.1

      Which he pretty much is.

      Much as I like Sue’s politics, on the show she never seemed interested in calling Matt on his spin and I found that disappointing.

      Good to have Mike back.

  10. Mark 10

    I am a Far North swinging National/Labour voter (so not particullarly ideological) but I desperately want Kelvin to win the TTT seat! I appreciate that Harawira has his strong support but his positive contribution to Parliament has been negligible and his negative contribution immense. There is now a real sinister undercurrent to what’s going on up here and Harawira has given some of his constituents free reign to be blatantly nasty and racist (I’ve seen it). Overall, his influence has been overwhelmingly negative. Kelvin is positive.

  11. prism 11

    Matt has good left thinking and is well worn in the ways of politics – hearing informed opinion about and against his moves is useful. He must question himself after the performance by the Harawira family which must be well known to him and us. Moving political discussion into this type of Ultimate cage-fighting arena is not going to advance Maori or pakehaa to mutually useful power, policy and resource sharing.

  12. Bill 12

    Jeez. So in touch. Labour should do a poll Te Tai Tokerau to get a feel of what’s going on? And the bye election was a bad call because some funding won’t be forthcoming? It’s not the case that money always wins elections. Sometimes it’s simply a case that people are ready to throw their lot in with something different. And people already know the difference that the Mana Party represents. Advertising (cue a lot of negative electioneering by Labour and the Mp) won’t change that…except that negative campaigning in such a situation pisses people off and bolsters the support for a change.

  13. randal 13

    yes it was good listening to someone with the gumption to put the manque hooton in his place. Hootin is sort of like the glen beck on nz politics. he wants money and he will do anything to get it including tory arselicking to the max with no regard for the facts or reality except pleasing his masters.

    • Rodel 13.1

      Randal …..”Hootin is sort of like the glenn beck on NZ politics..” …… Brilliant……wish I’d said that!

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