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The Mana Party & the Money Party

Written By: - Date published: 12:13 pm, April 25th, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: act, Left - Tags: ,

Hone Harawira is set to launch his Mana Party next weekend, possibly triggering a by-election in Te Tai Tokerau at the same time.

As when Tariana Turia left Labour and set up the Maori Party, resigning and triggering a by-election establishes legitimacy for the new party (assuming the by-election is won). As with Turia’s by-election in 2003, I don’t think Labour would bother to waste resources standing a candidate against Harawira – they can write the by-election off as expensive grandstanding.

It will be very interesting to see the platform of the Mana Party. With Matt McCarten and Willie Jackson on board it may be less focused on Maori Nationalism and more about solid Leftwing values. That may earn it the support of many Pakeha and PI can support as well, despite Mana being overtly a Maori party, particularly if there are some Pakeha candidates.

I definitely don’t think this is something for the Greens and Labour to fear. Sure, they may lose a few votes to it (maybe mine) but mostly it will take votes away from the kupapa Maori Party and bring in more of the enrolled non-vote. One in five Kiwis don’t vote because they don’t feel there’s anyone to vote for that represents them – the Mana Party could appeal to many of them.

At the other end of the spectrum, Don Brash’s haphazard attempt to take over ACT may actually just be casus belli for him to establish a New Right Party.

As I was writing yesterday’s post, Brash was being interviewed on Q+A. Watching that video later, it seemed clear that Brash had put very little thought into actually getting the numbers to take over ACT. He needs 3 out of 5 MPs and 8 of the 12 board members. Of the MPs, he might get Douglas and Roy but he won’t get Boscawen and it looks like Calvert is with Hide.

Brash is used to being the unaccountable Governor of the Reserve Bank and then parachuted in to National’s leadership. He no doubt thought that the informal support of ACT Party President was all he needed to get the leadership. The (sorry) brashness with which he then started talking about it publicly and musing about where he would position ACT post-election when he isn’t even a member of the party stomped on a lot of ACT toes.

I think he probably genuinely believes that this is like a job interview: he makes his case and ACT will welcome him on board. Silly old man. You have to remember that, while Brash as a brand is backed by a lot of the hard right, as a man he is a hopeless and naive politician. 31 years after first competing in national politics, he still looks like a babe in the woods.

But if ACT refuses Brash’s advance, then it gives him and his backers room to write it off as a lost cause and set up their own New Right Party (the Money Party?). I don’t think Brash is consciously orchestrating it that way, but others may be.

If Brash offers his services to ACT, is rejected and sets up a new party, the money will flood into it.If you read Slater’s posts on rightwing party dynamics, you realise they’re not worried so much about votes and activists, those can be bought, what matters is to whom the few big Auckland money-men write their cheques.

Whatever party Brash leads will share a lot of characteristics with the American Tea Party: reactionary social and environmental policies, hard-right economics, and funding from shadowy businessmen.

Stepping back a bit, the rise of new parties, and New Zealand First’s resurgence, is on the back of public dissatisfaction with the status quo in the context of long-term economic decline. Economic distress breeds political extremism and innovation. That’s not necessarily a bad thing at all, unless the reactionaries win.

48 comments on “The Mana Party & the Money Party ”

  1. Draco T Bastard 1

    I don’t think Brash is consciously orchestrating it that way, but others may be.

    Key is a Yes man but Brash seems to be an outright puppet. His political nous is, as you say, non existent so it seems unlikely that he’s decided to conquer Act without being steered in that direction by his puppet masters.

  2. Carol 2

    I’m interested in the development of both these parties, especially the Mana one.  But I would probably wait to the election after this to see how they perform before committing a vote to them.  The Greens, I think, will still get my vote this time around.

    Are both these parties going to be very male dominated, or do they have some women involved in developing them?

    • Jenny 2.1
      Hi Carol. In answer to your question; It is probable that Annette Sykes widely respected Scholar, lawyer, activist, will be high up on the new Party’s list and deservedly so. 

      In my opinion, Annette Sykes will be great asset in our parliament and to our democracy.

      For Annette Sykes to be able to enter parliament is worth this Pakeha’s list vote.

      Unless someone can provide a convincing counter argument – 

      I think as many other Pakeha as possible should do the same.
      An indigenous response to neoliberalism – Annette Sykes

      • Carol 2.1.1

        Thanks, Jenny.  I’ll keep a watch on them.  I’ll still need to see how a party performs in an electoral cycle before committing a vote to it.
        I’m having trouble getting the anti-spam word to work today.  I type it in, but it doesn’t get recognised.  And now I can’t get rid of the bold.

        [lprent: fixed. Editor is next on the list now that the server load looks like it is solved. ]

  3. gobsmacked 3

    John Armstrong in the Herald gets very excited about having Brash AND Hide in Cabinet.


    Back on Planet Earth, this won’t happen. But if right-wingers want to keep divvying up the spoils before they’ve won, let them. See how the voters feel about that.

    I’m more convinced than ever that this ACT of insanity is not Key’s “cunning plan”. He ruled out Winston Peters, saying he was yesterday’s man. As opposed to Brash and Banks?

    This week is meant to be about Key the statesman, meeting the Queen and mingling with the mighty. But there will be headlines every day about Brash and Hide, until the ACT meeting this weekend. Then Key returns to NZ, and a barrage of questions. And he has to pretend he’s in charge.

    By Monday, he will be backing Hide or sacking him.

    • This week is meant to be about Key the statesman, meeting the Queen and mingling with the mighty. But there will be headlines every day about Brash and Hide, until the ACT meeting this weekend. Then Key returns to NZ, and a barrage of questions. And he has to pretend he’s in charge.” 

      Actually, he doesn’t have to pretend he’s in charge of ACT – as he has already done, he can talk about crossing bridges when he comes to them. Remember the position he adopted in relation to the MP ructions and the earlier ructions in ACT? ‘Nothing to do with me.’ He even tries that on – with success – in relation to his own party/ministers. 

      [There is, however, a question to be asked about how he feels about a National party member trying to become the leader of a supposedly distinct political party. He could be asked whether he thinks such a member should have his membership revoked? If not, why not? Although, he could even try the ‘nothing to do with me’ line in response to this question – ‘That’s for the party president/council to decide. Brash isn’t an MP.’]

      Also, being statesmanlike on the other side of the world is exactly the image he needs in order to distance himself from this pivotal moment on the right. (Don’t tell me the Royal Wedding won’t be given prominent coverage on news bulletins? Despite lack of interest amongst New Zealanders, since the wedding date was announced the media have given it wall-to-wall coverage.) He can wait and then make ‘pragmatic’ decisions in relation to the outcome. 

      Key is no centrist. (In fact, most members of the cabinet, I bet, currently prefer more right wing policies than they are currently publicly airing. Even Lockwood was talking about ‘dead fish [sic]’ they were swallowing and English was obviously happy to see the back of Kiwibank.) Ergo, a resurgent ACT is just the ticket. That way Key has his cake and eats it too: He remains popular with middle-New Zealand AND gets a good number of his preferred policies through. He shows those who matter (big money party funders) that he can deliver, while he also gets what he wants (‘that nice man Mr Key’).  

      Remember, he isn’t trying to convince people like you and me that he can be trusted to be a benign centrist. We’re lost causes. (BTW, I’m enjoying this speculation and very much respect your analysis. Frankly, I genuinely hope you are right and Key gets some of the mud from this bizarrely public, political machinating sticking to him – right over that smiley bit. I’d be prepared to eat humble pie for that!)

  4. Rich 4
    I wonder whether Key will flick another safe seat to the New Right Party to get them in as well? Most of the plum Auckland ones belong to ministers though, who might not take kindly to being bumped to the list.
    • Draco T Bastard 4.1

      Most of the plum Auckland ones belong to ministers though, who might not take kindly to being bumped to the list.

      I dunno, those safe seats down in the deep south come complete with an extra $40k/year in unaccountable housing expenses to cover the irritation of having to live in Wellington.

  5. gobsmacked 5

    So, who are we backing in the big fight? It’s David Farrar versus Matthew Hooten.


    I think the Standard should support DPF. His travel photos are very nice.

  6. Looks like those of the dead ideology are squabbling again. The year that Key wants privatisation to begin, Hide and Brash are stuck in a knifefight and Simon Power the SOE minister decides on a quick exit. All is not well in the Bank of Key.
    Carol you can bet any (old, right and white) party will be male dominated. Hide, Brash, Garret and such are the definition of old boys and old money.
    Key, the banker might have to do some ‘you are fired’ interventions as his henchmen/staff are misbehaving. I sense rival factions in National are not on the best of talking terms, as things are getting messy.

  7. Of Course were Brash to cut the deepest, the maori party would not want to be in a Brash, Key colonial government. Brash may be acting up, but the act is not going well, nor can it end well.

  8. RichWhite&Fey 8

    Stay tuned ..

  9. Anne 9

    @ RichWhite & Fey

    …and MyersGibbsHeatley..

    ACT is about to rise from the dead. It took those Rich White Men $2million to set ACT up in 1995.  Add another $2million (at least) in 2011, and Bob’s your uncle. Yeah… add Bob Jones in as well?

  10. bad act 10

    Would prob take $2 billion to raise Act from the dead

    • Anne 10.1

      Remember, it wouldn’t be the first time Bob Jones has attempted (with success) to manipulate the outcome of an election. Think 1984.

      Anyone know what Bob Jones is worth these days?

    • Blue 10.2

      How much will the Unions have to shell out to raise Labour from the dead? ALthough given that industrial action is the LOWEST for years and significantly Lower than during Labours last term, one wonders what else they have to do with the money fleeced from their members?

      • Carol 10.2.1

        Not all the work the unions do involves industrial action, which is the tactic of last resort.

        • Blue
          Sure it is Carol, you keep telling yourself that.  Those figures have been used for decades by the left to show the country is either happy, or unhappy.  Hence the popularity of the current Government would indicate the former.  You really can’t have it both ways dear.  how many jobs has any union “created”?  I know they’ve lost a few through intransigence and a silly commitment to an 1930’s dock workers doctrine that is out of place in the modern world.
          • Carol

            Nice try, Blue. I know my union has been very busy in negotiations, with some useful successes, and have been gaining membership.
            PS:  Linking the unions to Labour in a very strong way is not my interest.  I don’t vote Labour.

            • Blue
              Carol, you don’t have to “link the unions” to Labour, they are one and the same, with the same goal.  Mediocrity, allied to an inherent self belief that the voters know not what they do, if they don’t vote Labour.  Which is somewhat patronising.  Have a look at how much the unions give to Labour every year (without asking their members if they agree) and I’ll believe the pink and hysterical moaning from people of the left about businesses backing National. There is no difference.  All are interest groups that back who they want in power on the basis of what they can get. My voting choices come down to what is best for my family and the values we have, i.e. with hard work and ambition you can be anything you want to be.  Labour fails that test because I’m straight, male, married, a father, white, university educated, middle income, come from a working class family who encouraged eduction as the path to prosperity and I’m not obese. I’m about as far away from the Labour demographic as you can get.  Which is, I guess, why they don’t care about us at all.
              • KJT

                Pity your education missed on spelling and maths.

                I am all of these and the reason I do not vote Labour is they are too like National.

                If you had paid attention to maths you would know that right wing Neo-Liberal Governments are detrimental to the  hard working middle class, as well as almost everyone else..

              • lprent

                You may not be obese, but evidentially you are a bit of an ignorant idiot…. And before you ask, I’ve never been in a union, I have always worked in the private sector as either a manger or a programmer, and I don’t suffer fools gladly – I try to educate them (as unkindly as is possible).

                you don’t have to “link the unions” to Labour, they are one and the same, with the same goal.

                The unions have to affiliate to Labour before their members can vote inside Labour. Many unions are not affiliated. The frequent complaint by the unions who are unaffliated is that Labour does not represent their interests fully.

                Should we count that one as you merely being a blowhard with limited knowledge?

                Have a look at how much the unions give to Labour every year (without asking their members if they agree)

                1. Not that much, at least compared to the published money that poured into the accounts of both National and Act over the last few decades. I have no idea of exactly what the difference is, but it is at least one order of magnitude larger.

                2. Again, the unions that do are ‘affiliated’. It required a vote by the union membership to become affiliated. It is also pretty easy to get a vote called to become unaffiliated. It happens regularly in many unions and is usually lost.

                Conclusion – you were asleep when you did NZ history or you’re an immigrant who hasn’t bothered to learn much about this country.

                ….because I’m straight, male, married, a father, white, university educated, middle income, come from a working class family who encouraged eduction as the path to prosperity and I’m not obese.I’m about as far away from the Labour demographic as you can get.

                Nope. That is one of the largest demographics that do support Labour, but usually when they become adults. The same demographic under 40 tend to be as ignorant as you evidentially are and often hold many of the same opinions. Older people in the same demographic are some of the better supporters of Labour and have been over the 20 years I’ve been looking at the demographics.

                In my opinion, like you, this is because younger males are not known for thinking deeply about issues. In particular the support that has been given to them by society, family and friends. For some biological reason they prefer to think that they did most of it on their own rather than understanding that they were given the opportunity to do it. As they get more mature and start having to provide the leg up to others, they begin to understand how much they were helped themselves.

                Perhaps you should go and learn something about the actual Labour party and the unions rather than spending your time asserting that you are an idiot (as you have done in the past).

                Now I seem to remember that you are currently banned probably for flame trolling…. Ummm.. nope that was true blue…

                • The Voice of Reason

                  My theory is that Blue is actually in a coma and he is dreaming that its Xmas 1978 and he is waiting on Picton Wharf for a strike bound ferry. Any minute now Rob Muldoon is going to enter the dream dressed as a Pierrot and magic him back to the present day. Blue will then awake from the dream, discover that modern life is rubbish and hit himself on the head repeatedly until the coma returns.

                  • Blue

                    Come on now, lprent, you’re getting hysterical.  My view is that your wrong, I certainly haven’t called you an “idiot” for believing what your first year sociology lecturer that you took a shine to, told you when you had acne.  If your opinion was shared by the majority, then surely you and your kind would be governing and Hone would be Prime Minister? Well, wouldn’t it?  Democracy seems to be an ok system for you (but only if you win).  Cue the ritual tears and abuse (wrapped in concern for others that never materialises in action).

                    • lprent

                      ….for believing what your first year sociology lecturer that you took a shine to…

                      As I was pointing out earlier – you’re ignorant – you make unwarranted assumptions – and you appear to be too stupid to learn.

                      First degree was in science, second was an MBA. I haven’t done sociology at university although I have read some at various stages over the decades.

                      With the number of stupid fuckup assumptions that you’ve exhibited thus far – please explain why anyone should value your opinion apart from your kids? At present I can’t see that you have any real value except as an example of the pitfalls of unwarranted arrogance.

                    • Colonial Viper

                      Cue the ritual tears and abuse (wrapped in concern for others that never materialises in action).

                      You’re a born to rule rich prick. Or a servant of such, which makes you even more stupid.
                      You don’t think your crew stepping on the necks of poor NZ’ers doesn’t count as “abuse”? Fucking hypocrite.
                      Tell you what, Labour is putting the minimum wage up to $15/hr, making the first $5000 earned tax free, taking 15% off all fruits and vegetables all the while telling foreign millionaires/billionaires to keep their sweaty palms of our strategic energy assets.
                      What are you going to do in comparison, asshole?

          • KJT

            Enjoy your limited hours working day, Saturdays, public holidays and weekends off, owning your own house, cheap or free education, libraries and lunch breaks all of which you would not have without those 30’s style dockers and other unions and trades associations.

            • Blue
              Enjoy your computer, television, car, microwave, refrigerator, freezer, I assume house (although from your prose it is likely you are in a State House).  None of these were the result of a socialist intervention, all are the result of private enterprise, hard work, innovation and ambition. These characteristics are anathema to the “hand out” mentality of the left.
              • KJT

                All from the efforts of working people and entrepreneurs.
                The right are the keenest on hand outs.


              • Colonial Viper

                These characteristics are anathema to the “hand out” mentality of the left.

                Sorry mate you must have been sleeping last few months, National are the kings of corporate handouts and handouts to farmers.
                Which means you are either ignorant or a fucking hypocrite. So which is it.
                I can happily entertain the idea that you are both.

                • Blue

                  Once your type resorts to profanity to make a point. Sad really. Farmers are the reason this country for decades had a standard of living the envy of most of the world. You seem to have forgotten that. The corporate “handouts” you seem to upset about were all for the benefit of ordinary New Zealanders, whose life savings and homes and possessions were at risk of loss. Why would you deny them protection? If so, why? It seems a callous stand from the left who claim to watching out for the ordinary working New Zealander. As you wish, but its hardly the kind of policy that wins hearts and minds. You really are a cold hearted bunch.

                  lprent, wonderful set of degrees you claim to have, of course we all know this is a fabrication, a bit like left wing economic policy. The company I run values my opinion quite highly and the Doctorate I hold. Have a good day laddie

                  • joe90

                    A doctorate in what, making shit up?,

                    • The Voice of Reason

                      Nah, more likely history, given that Blue so obviously lives in the past.

                  • Carol

                    Blue, you and the Don are in good company then! Don being a known liar and spinner.

                  • Colonial Viper

                    Once your type resorts to profanity to make a point. Sad really.

                    You find my language offensive? Well I find you and your elitist paternalism offensive. Frak off.

                    Farmers are the reason this country for decades had a standard of living the envy of most of the world.

                    Yeah until the rest of the world started making iPhones, 1kg of which is worth the same as a tonne of milk powder. Get with the programme mate its the 21st century not the 1950’s, if you aren’t going to be part of the solution to add more to our economy other than just more and more water sucking farming (and ag/hort is still needed and crucial for our economy) you are part of the problem.

                    The corporate “handouts” you seem to upset about were all for the benefit of ordinary New Zealanders, whose life savings and homes and possessions were at risk of loss. Why would you deny them protection? If so, why?

                    I’m sorry which ordinary NZ’ers did the $43M loan to media works protect?

                    I’m sorry which millionaire foreigners who invested in SCF are you counting as “ordinary NZ’ers” to protect?

                    I’m sorry, which directors and senior managers of AMI are now going to get the book thrown at them for taking profits when times were good and under protecting ordinary NZ\’ers (the clients they made promises to?)?

                    I’m sorry, throwing $6M to repair the Christchurch football pitch which the moneyed corporate owners were too skint to insure themselves, which ordinary NZ’ers were protected there?

                    Shall I continue with the list of this Government’s corporate welfare (which you seem to love defending even as actual ordinary NZ’ers go hungry and cold this winter).

                    I’ll tell you what should have happened with SCF, all “ordinary NZ investors” should have got their first $250K back dollar for dollar, than 20c on the dollar thereafter.

                    That would have protected the ma and pa investor and burned the millionaire players who pitched in their money at the last minute.

                    The company I run values my opinion quite highly and the Doctorate I hold. Have a good day laddie

                    *PUKE* Have a good life asshole

                    • Colonial Viper

                      So you can use foul language all you like to get your point across, but it just shows an intellectual vacuousness and an emotional immaturity that you can’t debate without losing your self control and getting hysterical.

                      Get over yourself Mr Doctorate School Principal, your condescending paternalism reminds me too much of the attitude of the Born to Rule Elitist blue bloods.

                      You have like minds, a sense of entitlement that is completely undeserved and unwarranted.

                      LOL the Born to Rule speaks loud and clear.

                      Ever tried running a country without labour to cook your meals, clean your suits, repair your vehicle, watch over you and your children while you sleep?


                      PS so did you know that 1kg of iPhones is worth the same as a tonne of milk powder? And that farming generates far fewer jobs at far lower wages per $1M of capital invested than say, electronics design and manufacturing?

                      Get with the programme my man

                  • lprent

                    ..wonderful set of degrees you claim to have..

                    Just look them up you hopeless pillock. Here I’ll help your pathetically helpless arse…

                    Lynn Prentice. BSc Waikato 1991 (completed 1981). MBA Otago 1990 (completed 1988). I’m kind of slack about picking the damn things up because I don’t attend graduations. Had a burst of energy in 1990 and asked for them.

                    Once your type resorts to profanity to make a point.

                    I was wondering how long it’d take for you to get to that point. Your type routinely use this particular line to try to shut down discussion. Mostly because you’re being described as being ignorant.

                    … and the Doctorate I hold.

                    I’d point out that so far you haven’t actually impressed anyone. As far as I can see no-one even thinks that you have any brains. So far you look like a blowhard with about as much understanding of the things you’re talking about as a ACToid – in other words you’re ACTing pig ignorant and showing a complete inability to listen or learn.

                    • Blue

                      Hilarious, even when trying to make a point you can’t help yourself. Ignorance has very little to do with opinion, emotion sometimes does as you clearly show, but opinion is based on something quite different. Just because someone disagrees with you having weighed the facts and taken a side, it does not indicate ignorance, it indicates choice. Once again, anathema to the left. So you can use foul language all you like to get your point across, but it just shows an intellectual vacuousness and an emotional immaturity that you can’t debate without losing your self control and getting hysterical. I don’t want to shut down debate at all, and I’m not interested in impressing anyone, particularly on this site as most posters are thoroughly unimpressive and don’t warrant the effort. Also I’m used to dealing with adults who show a measure of self control and listen in a mature fashion, something you are clearly unable to do. If another person doesn’t agree with you, it doesn’t make their opinion any less valid than yours just different. Hone is welcome to your vote. You have like minds, a sense of entitlement that is completely undeserved and unwarranted. People like yourself drain the country of any ambition. Tragic.

                    • wtl

                      LOL, Blue YOU are hilarious. You come and shout some slogans about unions being bad and socialists never achieving anything, offering no real facts or evidence to back your statements up. Others challenge you about it and you complain that those opposing you are just being hysterical and insulting, while at the same time insulting them by saying they are just too stupid to be worth debating with since “it is beneath you”. I’m sure you don’t see anything wrong with your behaviour, but others will make up their own minds 🙂

              • joe90

                Your and you’re are different too and Zoltan Lajos Bay was a state employee .

  11. The Voice of Reason 11

    It occurs to me that Brash’s request to talk to the board is actually part of a business strategy; the declaration of a hostile takeover. The shareholders are being presented with the choice of an offer at below market value now or bankruptcy in November.

  12. ak 12

    Or:  Focus groups say Brash/Orewa One (ii) will do better than the Chimp, Epsom fatcats will do as they’re told, and what rich boys want, rich boys get.

    Interesting bit is what Rodders holds over the kid and whether he’ll use it.  I’d say he’d take the money.

  13. (Posted this on Kiwiblog – thought it might be useful here as well?)
    Wonder if Don Brash attended any of the ANZAC services yesterday?
    Hope not – the hypocrisy of so doing would arguably make thinking, decent Kiwis nauseous?
    Corporate ‘DEMOCRACY’ Don Brash style, according to the ‘Golden Rule’?
    ‘Those who have the gold – make the rules’?
    Just a bit short on the concept (errr…….. basic human/democratic right actually)
    ‘The will of the people is the basis of the authority of government..”
    [Universal Declaration of Human Rights, Article 21 s (3)]
    If this is how Don Brash works in order to get into power – how would he operate if he WAS in a position of power?
    EEEK! cried a number of the good (former?) National voters of Epsom?
    Of course masterfully-packaged (current) corporate raider ‘shonky’ John Key would work with ‘the Don’:
    “Prime Minister John Key says Don Brash is a political extremist but is not ruling out working with him – either as ACT leader or under the banner of a new party. ”
    Remind me how Nicky Hager was wrong again with ‘The Hollow Men’?
    Penny Bright

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