Turia knows the Maori Party is toast

Written By: - Date published: 12:42 pm, August 9th, 2011 - 48 comments
Categories: accountability, maori party - Tags: , ,

The Mana Party exists because the Maori Party leadership comprehensively failed to represent the interests of its support base. The disconnect between the leadership and ordinary Maori is brutally highlighted in a weekend piece by Bevan Hurley:

Their constituents are struggling but Maori leaders are living the high life.

Maori Party leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples have racked up the highest ministerial expenses after Prime Minister John Key – despite not being in Cabinet. The two are the biggest domestic travel and accommodation spenders at a time of Government cutbacks and high unemployment. They have also run up big credit card bills, staying in elegant hotels overseas.

Figures released under the Official Information Act show they spent a combined $329,172 on chauffeured limos and self-drive cars in the last financial year, up about 20 per cent from the previous year.

Several senior ministers have spent more on international travel, including Key, Foreign Affairs Minister Murray McCully and Trade Minister Tim Groser. But Turia and Sharples have leapt into the top tier of ministerial spending on domestic flights.

Sharples spent even more on domestic air travel than the Prime Minister in the latest release of ministerial and Parliamentary expenses: $17,239 in the April-June quarter. …

An analysis of credit card spending shows Turia ran up a $4500 bill for herself and an assistant during a five-night stay in Moscow, one of the world’s most expensive cities. …

As well, Sharples blew the budget during a trip to Perth in May. He stayed at the $400-a-night Parmelia Hilton and hosted dinners for 26 leaders of the “main cultural groups” and the Perth branch of the Maori Woman’s Welfare League – at a cost of nearly $2000.

Even more extraordinary than bills themselves is Turia’s behaviour:

But after being questioned about her credit card expenses, Turia became hostile, saying she never used her ministerial credit card and it was her staff who spent money on it.

“You make me sick. All you are looking for is to get a story that shows ministers in a bad light. You have questioned me about the use of ministerial expenses. You were looking for a story and you’ve got one – I’m a big spender.”

Living the high life while the electorate is doing it hard is never a good look. This is another nail in the coffin. My guess is that Turia knows that her party is toast, and the strain is getting to her. The Maori Party could have been a huge factor in NZ politics for the foreseeable future, but they’ve blown it. What a wasted opportunity.

48 comments on “Turia knows the Maori Party is toast”

  1. Zeroque 1

    Agree that the spending and comments about it are bad for the Maori Party. But their bigger problem is the relationship they have with National that seems to have led to them abandoning the very things their constituents need them to be fighting for. It seems they’ve fallen to the middle like many others before them. I think they will be toast come November, and rightly so too.

    • Draco T Bastard 1.1

      But their bigger problem is the relationship they have with National that seems to have led to them abandoning the very things their constituents need them to be fighting for.

      It wasn’t their relationship with NAct that did that but the fact that they weren’t there for their electorate.

      • Drakula 1.1.1

        @Draco, you are right they wern’t there for the electorate but they didn’t have to throw their lot in with National, last election did they.

        I think zero has a point since they have been part of the Nat/ACT government they have been progressively alienated from their roots.

        That has been blatantly obvious!

        • KJT

          Their roots were always the greedy moneyocracy within Maori.

          Just like the first ACT Government in 1984 and National since.

          All greedy sellouts.

          I do not believe they represent Maori at all any more.

          Just a continued sellout of New Zealand to the wealthy few.

          Personally I do not like Hone, but he is much more representative of most Maori than Turia.

          We will see that proven this election when the Maori party becomes irrelevant.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.2

      Yep Noses to the trough, GRUNT GRUNT GRUNT

  2. Colonial Viper 2

    What is it with all these minor parties imploding. Where has the next generation of quality new principled leadership gone. Australia???

    The Mp deserve to be annhilated. Too proud to take the olive leaf from Mana and reconsider their philosophy. Too enured in a relationship of convenience and privilege with the right wing.

  3. Lanthanide 3

    I don’t really think that Turia and Sharples were out to rip-off the tax payer, any more than most of the previous credit card expenses were.

    But at the same time, it seems like they weren’t deliberately trying to reduce their spending. Which ministers should do in general, but particularly during times of economic hardship.

  4. vto 4

    I held high hopes for Tariana and Pita. They seem to be genuine people who work hard and achieve things for their constituents. Tariana has often garnered bad headlines but when given a chance to explain she makes good sense with no blustering or deception. It would be a shame to see them fall by the wayside – especially given that the likely replacement would be Mana, with their near certain fate of even earlier implosion should they get their hands on the baubles of office.

    NZ is well served by a strong and confident Maori populace. Disruption only disrupts that, which helps nobody.

    What a shame if you are right. Perhaps the politics of being in politics was not paid as much heed as it needed (whether rightly or wrongly). I would have thought anyone in Parliament needs to sharply manage their political situation.

    Mind you, Hone should take no pleasure in this as it will do him no good either imo. Why they don’t get together and sort their shit out I do not know – it just reflects badly on all involved.

  5. ron 5

    I agree that they probably aren’t “deliberately” out to rip-off the tax payer.
    They both however seem to operate in a strange world where only they exist. A world in which they are entitled to act as they please. They just don’t see the problem.

    Turia is pulling $millions out of community funding and sending her DIA workers off to work on handpicked projects because…well…Tariana says so.

    I saw her speak at the Victory Village Forum recently. She was surprised when she saw that the tenets of “family centred/community led development” seemed to be so close to her Whana ora philosphy. Community led development is a model that has been around for at least 30 years. It is the premise on which a great deal of the community work in this country is based. Turia waltzes in, says “notning’s working”, invents Whanau Ora and then seems surprised when workers say “Um, we’ve been doing that for 30 years and btw where’s the funding we had last year. Oh – you’ve given it directly to your mates”.

    She’s a bully and an egomaniac. Unfortunately it turns out Sharples is no better. I hope they and their party expire without trace. It’s a shame. There was so much promise. Good Riddance.

    • vto 5.1

      Oh. Well it sounds like you have a view from the inside ron, compared to my view from the outside.

      • Craig Glen Eden 5.1.1

        Rons right Tariana is a bully and she is devious/duplicit with it. I don’t believe her intentions were good when setting up this party and to top it off she is full of self importance. Maori are worse off after having her pissing inside the tent it will be good riddance imo.

        • Bored

          The good old PC (politically correct) stance prevented this being said, and you will probably get a pasting for saying it. To a large degree it pretty much sums it up for me. Turia has let her people down badly simply because of an ongoing scrap with Helen that came to a head with the Seabed and Foreshore….and look at the current cock up she has been party to with Nact. Maori have it hard enough without a dismal failure like Turiana at the trough.

        • Ianupnorth

          Agree with Craig and Ron – there is an incredible amount of evidence as to what works in health and social care, the only lot other than National (who disbelieve it from an ideological stance) who don’t get it are the Maori party, who hang on to the

          By Maori for Maori

          line – problem with this is that there are a real lack of Maori to actually do the services, and indeed many Maori just want the services, not the baggage that comes with it.

    • Vicky32 5.2

      She’s a bully and an egomaniac.

      Your remarks bear out what I was told by a relative of hers who I used to work with in 2008… 🙁

  6. tc 6

    Ron nails it. Whanau Ora always had that troughing feel to it and the nats have cheerily guided them subtely toward political oblivion……smile n wave bye bye. deal with the devil etc etc

  7. Tiger Mountain 7

    The essential truth that identity politics (in this case parliamentary politics) will flounder in a class society has been bought to wider attention via the Māori Party shenanigans during this ShonKey administration. For that Tari and Pita can be thanked but for little else.

    Whanau Ora is about the privatisation of social service provision and involves patronage and the creation of dependent organisations that need to suck up to the MP.

  8. Ianupnorth 8

    Said it before, they lost any credibility when they hopped into partnership with Key

    • freedom 8.1


      The sooner the minor parties realise it is up to them to educate the major parties about MMP and the natural intent of Parliamentary Democracy, the better our chances are of achieving it.

      I believe the first step is to end de-facto FPP Governments.

  9. Lindsey 9

    But the media are not chasing Tariana through the hallways of Parliament picking every dime like they did with Chris Carter.

    • Anne 9.1

      Nor are they howling from the roof tops over Turia’s and Sharples’ extravagant travel expenses like they did with former Labour ministers – and Labour’s expenses were a mere pittance in comparison.

      And lets not forget at the same time the media largely ignored the higher level of expenses clocked up by current National ministers. Instead, they concentrated on a bunch of flowers and a handful of rented videos.

  10. peter 10

    Well there is always Tuku Morgans antics to examine as well… He is one that just can’t seem to help himself.

  11. I find it hard to see the impact that Sharples and Turia have made in Parliament. Both have been around Maori politics for decades and they have not delivered where it really counts, (improving living standards for those who are struggling the most).

  12. Adele 12

    I don’t really think that Turia and Sharples were out to rip-off the tax payer, any more than most of the previous credit card expenses were.

    I agree. I can also attest to the amount of domestic travel they are required to undertake as Ministers a M

  13. Sookie 13

    This does not surprise me in the least. Oddly, Turia is my most hated politician, I find her more loathsome than the useless Peter Dunne and any Nat-ACT suit. I will dance around my lounge in glee on election night with a cigarette in hand if she gets her bitter, bossy, corrupt old ass slung out of parliament.

    • Vicky32 13.1

      Seconded Sookie! 🙂

      • dad4justice 13.1.1

        Third that.Lets be frank as a worldy man I can assure you, most same people detest parasitic politicians in any shape or form. Their use by date is soon to arrive! Turia can go back on the dole. What a sick country run by scum of the earth low lifes.Key or Goff are no better!!

        • Colonial Viper

          Screw you for suggesting that Key is anywhere as good or as credible as Goff.

        • mik e

          D4j it seems the best solution for your malaise is to leave this country as soon as possible hurry !IF your that depressed maybe see a doctor soon as possible.Otherwise take first solution this is a democracy ! I would rather have this lot than saddam mugabe bainimarama etc .Get over it you could always join the destiny church if you feel that bad.

          • dad4justice


            • dad4justice

              Oh right so I can’t reveal [deleted] identity. FFS this is soooooooooooooooo cowardly.

              [Outing people, in any form, has always been against long-standing site policy…RL]

              • So outing a coward is not Standard policy( just like kiwisog) ? Anybody with a backbone here?
                I am only asking for 10 seconds with the jerk in a boxing ring.

                [It is a very plain, uncomplicated policy and one that has to be applied even-handedly. Even you realise that surely….RL]

                • millsy

                  why not out yourself, Father?

                  • milly jerk my name is on my link unlike a [deleted…RL] who spends his bored life hounding me. I am no coward unlike most, if not, all bloggers.

                    • FFS delete this delete that and I thought that limp dick society they call kiwiblog was bad. FFS I am going to the pub to talk with REAL PEOPLE.

                      [How long do you want this piece of rope d4j? When you talk in a pub you are welcome to say anything you please, but when commenting here there are some rules. It’s not difficult…RL]

                    • vto

                      hmm, I wonder if you’re up to it in real life …

  14. Drakula 14

    I don’t know about the name of ‘Mana Party’ correct me if I am wrong but doesn’t mana mean importance in the tribal society?

    I have nothing against that name BUT!

    Couldn’t they re-name it ‘The Real Maori Party’?

    • Colonial Viper 14.1

      They could, if they wanted to give up their appearance of being a left wing party for the underclass (regardless of race). However their webpage doesn’t seem to indicate that they want to broaden out to be a true multicultural left wing party.

  15. peterlepaysan 15

    Small parties struggle.

    Parties like te MP have huge geographic and cultural spread.

    They are bound to have big travel and accommodation expenses.

    Your post is a cheap redneck shot.

    Have a look at McCully’s expenses. What has he achieved? SFA.

    Have a look at Key’s expenses. What has he achieved? SFA.

    No I am not a MP supporter and would be very surprised if I ever was one.

    I will support their right to exist and will defend them against red neck attacks like this by Anthony Robbins.

    No doubt Lprent will attack me for being a troll.


    Will this site ever grow up?

    • lprent 15.1

      Nope. Comment was rational, and actually readable. Keep it up so I don’t have to waste my time on you.

    • Policy Parrot 15.2

      TBPH – ‘We’ [Many of the Standard’s left-wing bloggers and commenters] aren’t happy with Key’s or McCully’s expenses either, and agree with your frank assessment of their achievements.

      But to not apply the same scrutiny to Maori Party leaders does a disservice to Maori voters and democracy in general.

    • KJT 15.3

      Don’t like them either.

  16. Georgy 16

    The comments about Turia and Sharple’s expenses is short sighted and unhelpful. As Ministers and MP’s of very large electorates they are going to have bigger expenses. However, once the Maori Party went with National, they were doomed. The backroom dealing to get a few advances for the people Sharples and Turia represent will not be enough for survival. Hone new that from the beginning. This is another example where perception is going to be greater than substance and people will desert. Mana party are unlikely to survive very long either – the disparate membership under the guise of left wing politics will not be enough to keep it all together. Maori v pakeha, and personality politics will eventually put paid to all that lot and they too will implode. Although Hone does have grit….

  17. Rodel 17

    The party vote among Maori at the last election was 50.11% (69,172 votes) for Labour, and only 7.45% (or 10,279) for National…… and surprisingly only 28,89% for the actual Maori party (39,883 votes).
    50% of Maori wanted Labour and 7% wanted National, yet the Maori party went with National.
    The issue is not so much their domestic expenses-they have large electorates, but in their perceived need for power and influence they overlooked the expressed preferences of their constituents.

  18. randal 18

    they couldnt stick to their knitting and they tried to adress the problems of the world instead of looking after their own people. recipe for disaster indeed.

  19. Pete 19

    To be fair, I would expect those in Maori seats to have some higher costs because the area of the constituencies are huge. Te Tai Hauāuru, Turia’s seat covers about a third of the North Island (there are seats on the general roll in the South Island like Waitaki, West Coast-Tasman and Clutha-Southland that cover similarly large geographical areas, though – would be interesting to see a comparison with those). But Pita Sharples’ seat of Tāmaki Makaurau is tiny, there’s not much excuse there.

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