Turia on Te Tai Tokerau

Written By: - Date published: 10:37 am, June 22nd, 2011 - 25 comments
Categories: by-election, mana-party, maori party - Tags: , ,

With the high profile by-election going on in Te Tai Tokerau, comments yesterday by Tariana Turia attracted a lot of attention:

Te Tai Tokerau race ‘extraordinary’

Four days out from the Te Tai Tokerau by-election, Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia is steering voters away from her party. Ms Turia has said Maori Party candidate Solomon Tipene is lovely and kind, but doesn’t understand politics. …

Mr Edwards says Ms Turia’s decision to remove support from Mr Tipene is a strategic one, and will help the Maori Party “kill Hone Harawira’s chances of establishing his new Mana Party… she can see that the Labour Party winning is the best chance of doing that”.

Morgan Godfery at Maui Street reached the opposite conclusion:

You can’t help but feel for old Tipene. He was chucked in the deep end without a hope in hell of doing well. He appeared to receive little to no practical and political support from his colleagues. Now his own leader is publicly slagging him. Outrageous …

In my opinion these statements represent a casual endorsement of Hone Harawira. Whatever personal animosity lingers between the two, Tariana’s hate for the Labour Party and continued desire to extract utu clearly outweighs any ill-will she harbours for Hone Harawira.

Subtle political manoeuvring by Turia, or a simple stuff up?

Tariana Turia: I stuffed up

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says she “stuffed up” when she said her party’s Tai Tokerau candidate did not understand politics. Turia said she was “extremely distressed” by the impact her comments had had on Solomon Tipene and his support team. …

Turia today dismissed claims her comments were a ploy to keep Mana Party leader and former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira from getting elected.

I tend to go with the simpler explanation. Not a cunning plan, just an extraordinary blunder from Turia. I doubt that it will have much of an impact on the outcome, but certainly all political eyes will be on this fascinating by-election on Saturday.

25 comments on “Turia on Te Tai Tokerau”

  1. alex 1

    at least Turia is honest. Tipene is getting smashed by both rivals.

    • Deadly_NZ 1.1

      Bullshit. She’s nothing but a vindictive old biddy who is about to reap what she has sown. And it will serve her right.

  2. Stuff up I think.

    I am really warming to Solomon Tipene, and news that he considers himself the candidate in the General Election for the maori party is awesome.

  3. Colonial Viper 3

    The Mp have been half hearted about this race from the start. They are going to be smashed and are just trying to distance themselves from Tipene at this stage.

    • ianmac 3.1

      Or collapsing the MP vote in order to get Labour in but rid them of Hone as said above my Mr Edwards.

  4. The Voice of Reason 4

    I’m going with the stuff up theory, myself. Tariana has been honest about how she sees it, but she wasn’t at all mindful of the consequences to Tipene. I really don’t see the Maori party leadership as possessing the Machiavellian instincts needed to orchestrate a cat’s paw attack on Hone.
     
    And they don’t need to do it anyway, as Davis is going to win comfortably. I base this on two things; the number of older, wiser voters who would have voted for Hone, as they’ve done in the past when he was the Maori Partycandidate, but for their dissaproval of his aggressive, disrespectful style seen once he bacame an MP and, secondly, because of the Matt factor, which is a history of great ideas leading to heroic failures.
     
     
    My prediction for the Great Standard TTT Sweepstake is Labour 44%, the Independant candidate Hone Harawira, 38%, the Maori Party 15%.

    • I’m in

      Hone 65%
      Kelvin 30%
      Solomon 5%

    • No, VoR. Hone was far, far more aggressive and offensive as an activist than as a politician. Hone has, in my opinion, mellowed over the past few months. He still lacks good judgement, which is his biggest weakness, but he is control of himself and he is firm – but not stuck – in his beliefs, values and aspirations.

      Hone will take it by 5% at worst and 10% at best. I guess it all depends on turn out and whether or not Tipene can maintain the Maori Party vote at around 10%. I have made it clear that the Maori Party vote is more likely to favour Hone, yet Kelvin will still receive a considerable chunk, but not enough imo. Labour is pouring every resource they have into this byelection. However, most of those resources are concentrated in West Auckland at the expense of the North Shore and the rest of the electorate. On the other hand Hone’s people are swarming all over the electorate – including West Auckland. Obviously Labour’s decision to concentrate on WA is strategic, but when it comes at the expense of other centres you have to wonder whether Labour’s machine has the spread, man power and energy to really give Hone a go. I stand by the prediction I made when Kelvin first announced he would be standing – he will come a respectable second. Nothing more.

      On a side note Labour must be thrilled that Kelvin has managed to attract more positive publicity than the party has seen all year. Even if he does lose he is worthy of a promotion. I would like to see him elevated to education spokesperson.

  5. I’m with Marty.
    Hone by a country mile.

  6. Shazzadude 6

    I can only see Kelvin winning if the anti-Hone vote is strong. I believe it’s sizeable, but not strong enough to raise Labour’s voter turnout significantly higher than usual in Maori electorates. 50/30 respectively for Harawira and Davis IMO. 15% for Tipene, 3% for Herbert of the ALC.

  7. Irascible 7

    Davis 43%
    Harawira 35%
    Tipene 13%
    Others 9%

    on a low voter turn out … the bulk of the vote coming from the urban south of the electorate.

  8. Bearded Git 8

    Hone was great on 7 Days, Friday TV3.

    Hone 50%
    Davis 36%
    Tipene 12%
    Others 2%

  9. ron 9

    This WILL be interesting. VERY unscientific but my contacts on the Maori roll in Te Tai Tokerau all dislike Hone with a vengance. Just ordinary folk but don’t and have never liked his style. When I asked about their voting last time – those that voted MP said they voted MP depite their dislike for their local candidate and those who didn’t vote MP couldn’t bring themselves to vote for Hone despite supporting the MP.
    I wonder how deep that feeling is in the electorate.

    • North 9.1

      Toryana Torya aye……..the nasty lady. And not very respected either……..except in a formal sense.

  10. freedom 10

    Completely unscientific polling here but just yesterday I asked a couple of friends that i know are on the Maori roll if they would vote for the Maori Party, or if they knew anyone who was going to vote for the Maori Party?
     
    they knew not of one
     
    Their views are not relevant to the by-election as that is a different electorate, but they said very clearly that November will show the Maori Party just how badly they stuffed up aligning themselves with National.

  11. North 11

    Let’s match non-science with non-science shall we Ron………almost to a man/woman/youth my contacts in Tai Tokerau express loud and enthusiastic support for Hone Harawira and “Mana ! Mana ! Mana !”.

    There’s something of the sense of a “movement” abroad. It goes deeper and wider than the sense of a mere political party. And my personal observations in Tai Tokerau are that Maori Party supporters are very quiet, they skirt around the topic of the by-election, they even seem a little embarrassed.

    There are snobs in every walk Ron. Te Tai Tokerau is not so blessed as to have none.

    But there are also many, many enthusiastic, young, first time voters here. I know they’ve been enrolling in droves.

    I promise nothing but watch this combination………young (and many, many older for that matter), enthusiastic, enrolled………feeling the buzz of a social movement. Respecting things that Ph’Goff doesn’t even dream about. Principally, whanaungatanga.

    Mock if you will and issue hackneyed homilies about low turnout etc etc etc……..but just you wait and see.

    • Adele 11.1

      Teenaa koe, North

      I tautoko your comments. Even outside Te Tai Tokerau there is a sense of a “movement” stirring. Hone is the sharp end of a blade long in discontent. I live in the Waiariki rohe and non-mainstream Māori, are very much invigorated by the prospects of Hone receiving the mandate to be, well, Hone.

      • ianupnorth 11.1.1

        And Labour are putting forth a strong candidate for that Maori ward. I wonder how Te Uroroa Flavell is feeling seeing as he was one of those that led to Hone leaving?

  12. ianupnorth 12

    The Maori Party lost any credibility when they hopped into bed with Key; at least Hone made a stand for what he believes in.
     
    As for Tariana and Pita Sharples, as uninspirational a pair you would struggle to find.

    • Hanswurst 12.1

      I wouldn’t say that it was a case of Harawira “at least” making a stand for what he believes in. I would say that he is walking the talk. Of course, it remains to be seen how far he and his associates can go with it, but he has obviously already made some seriously hard decisions that he was prepared to back up with actions. If the Mana party can get itself together with some decent policies backed by candidates and activists working in a clear direction, it could be a serious longer-term force on the left. Being a movement advocating for Maori people but with clear positions and genuine activists in other areas would also have the further advantage of bringing Maori-related issues into clearer relationship to broader left-wing politics – worker’s rights, housing, education etc.. This would hopefully serve to force coalition partners and, ultimately, the entire electorate, to view political questions relating to Maori and Pacific peoples as an integral part of policy making in general, rather than just as a separate issue that can be used as a political football and that occasionally has a one-issue movement built up around it.

      Of course, that’s all contingent on Mana making the transition from a promising idea to a sustainable movement, which can’t be taken as given just yet.

    • North 12.2

      Ian, Adele, tena korua,

      As a Pakeha privileged to attend the Native Affairs debate in Kaikohe Monday last week I couldn’t help but notice……..on exiting the Northland College school hall after the debate……..a “limo”, albeit an aged Ford Fairlane, in close proximity to the door.

      Lanky Pakeha driver more or less draped over the engine compartment…….waiting……..waiting. “For whom ?” I wondered.

      I stand to be corrected but I suspect the limo and the waiting was for one or the other of the honourable fellows inside the hall.

      Take your pick……Pita Sharples…….Parekura Horomia…….Shane Jones I saw. All of them smiling hard out, the picture of affable, a la John Key. Not quite waving Thank Christ but I reckon Pita was pretty close to it. Excellent !

      And I thought to myself – “Yeah……that’s says it all…….so bloody flash…….and so bloody koretake !” All here to tell the people how much they care. And how wild card and how dangerous and how untrustworthy is Hone.

      So bloody flash while every December heaps of Maori kids walk out the doors of that hall and out the gates of that school for the last time. And where do they go ? Back into the grinding poverty from whence they came. Into the unemployment and the hopelessness which their whanaunga know so intimately. And many of them, sooner or later, into the dock of the Kaikohe District Court barely two kilometres away.

      And Kelvin talks earnestly about wanting “positive futures” for Maori and those kids. And Shane nods sagely. And Pita smiles wanly. And they all play the dirty, eurocentric, Beltway political game of trying to deny those kids the pono leadership and hope and awhi Hone offers. While they, like a bunch of carpetbaggers, get about being flash on the coat tails of their masters Goff and Key.

      How dare they ? How dare Kelvin and Shane allow Goff to paint their whanaunga Hone in the colours which that middle-class-honky-licking sniveller pompously paints him ? And Pita with his bullshit about being “on-the-inside”. Tragicaly heaps of those kids end up knowing all about the “inside” alright but it’s not quite like Pita’s. And he goes about being John Key’s shadow and being flash. You’ll note I haven’t even mentioned the Big Tau of the National Party. I don’t much enjoy vomiting.

      Thing is, the people see through those flash fullas. That’s why Hone and Mana are taking on the shape of a movement. That’s why Hone’s gonna win, surprisingly well. Because Hone’s a true leader, he’s pono, he’s trusted. They’re not.

      And if he doesn’t win, Maori and New Zealand are in real trouble

      • Jenny 12.2.1


        One of the things I hear from those political activists canvassing for votes in Te Tai Tokerau, door knocking etc, is that while they report finding a deep welling of respect for Mana and Hararwira – many of these same people admit to being unregistered to vote.

        In the unlikely event that Davis somehow wins this seat. I think this previously unengaged section of the population will feel cheated from having a voice that they feel speaks for them. For the first time in a long time, this feeling could become the galvanising motivation for this mostly ignored and powerless demographic to become interested in the political process to the benefit of our democracy.

        No wonder Harwira and Mana strike fear into the heart of the established political parties of all stripes.

  13. Bruce 13

    My call. A bigger turnout than usual for a by election in a Maori electorate.
    Davis 48%
    Harawira 40%
    Mana 8

    and the dope legalisation vote will be better than McCarten’s effort in Mana (800 wan’t it?) .

    I was delighted when Hone called a by election. At last Labour would get some public attention. Kelvin Davis is the best possible counterpoint to Harawira.
    There are a lot of voters in the coming general election wanting coherent policy for Maori advancement by a credible political figure. Just a gift to Kelvin and a gift to the Labour Party.
    Kelvin Davis has grabbed the ball and broken into the open. He knows what to do with a lucky break, and he is going for it. he looks like he wants the job.
    Harawira is looking bushed and out of his comfort zone. He would love it to be all over, preferably with a blaze of glory.
    Most people who vote are more than worried by Harawira. For a middle aged career politcian he shows very little discipline or common sense.
    Ngati Hine have to choose between Davis and Tipene, and most of them will feel comfortable voting Davis.

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