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Where’s Hone?

Written By: - Date published: 3:08 pm, October 23rd, 2009 - 57 comments
Categories: maori party, rumour - Tags:

hone160Heard an interesting piece of gossip last night. Word has it Hone Harawira’s gone awol from the Maori Party.

Apparently he’s somewhere in Australia, buzz around the traps is he’s pissed off about the increasingly right-wing direction Tariana Turia is taking the Maori Party in and is thinking about quitting. The last straw was said to be the Rugby World Cup humiliation and the decision to back the privatisation of ACC.

Quitting wouldn’t be entirely out of the blue for Hone. His mum, Titewhai Harawira, is regularly on Radio Waatea criticising the government and the Maori Party’s role in it, though I’m not sure he’s quite at that point yet.

If he did go it would be a major blow for the Maori Party, not just in terms of its public image, but in the number of activists from the left of the party Hone would undoubtedly take with him.

57 comments on “Where’s Hone? ”

  1. picky 1

    I’m surprised he’s stayed as long as he has, frankly. I mean is this what he went into Parlaiment for? To vote for tax cuts for the rich and ACC privatisation?

    Btw “The last straw was said to be the Rugby World Cup humiliation and the decision to back the privatisation of ACC”. That’s more than one straw

  2. Tigger 2

    9 September 2008 from Harawira’s newsletter:

    “A man gets a bit sick of listening to the scare-mongering from Labour about the Maori Party doing deals with National, so here’s a little history lesson. After Election ‘05, we held 35 hui all round the country to ask our people who they thought we should hang out with. A few loopies said National, a whole bunch said Labour, but most of them told us to hang tough, be independent.

    And if there’s anything that’s characterised our last three years in Parliament, it’s our independence, it’s the fact that Maori people all over Aotearoa now know that at long last, they have a strong and independent Maori voice in the House.

    We bow to no-one, we cast our vote based on what’s good for Maori, and the only people who can tell us what to do are Maori. How many other MPs can say that? None folks. None at all.”

    • He must feel like shite today thinking that the Maori party top could actually resist the corruptive sleazy neo liberal, neo colonial PR manipulation. For all his smarts and integrity he doesn’t have the deviousness to understand how fucking trully evil our new masters reaal yare. Calling John Key a snake and have his mates crawl up the very same John Key’s back site must have been devastating.

      I really like the guy. I think he’s an original.

  3. So the guy’s a quitter huh?

    Doesn’t anyone have any honor these day?

    • snoozer 3.1

      “Doesn’t anyone have any honor these day[s]?”

      Hone might be wondering the same thing as he sees the party he helped build turn against its values for the sake of its leaders getting a little bit of power.

  4. Eddie 4

    I didn’t say he quit, I’ve just told you what I’ve heard from a reliable source. But in Hone’s case, quitting the Maori Party would be the honourable thing to do.

  5. r0b 5

    So John Key couldn’t stop the unprecedented exodus to Australia (gosh, you just don’t hear so much about that these days) reaching all the way up in to Government???

    More seriously, good luck to Hone wherever he is. And: If he did go … the number of activists from the left of the party Hone would undoubtedly take with him – Is it enough for the nucleus of a second Maori Party? Will we end up with left and right Maori parties as with Labour / Nat?

  6. Deus ex Machina 6

    Presumably while he’s in Australia no-longer able to do the job he was elected to do he will be sufficiently principled not to draw his taxpayer-funded salary?

    • snoozer 6.1

      should Key have stopped recieving his salary when he disappeared off to Florida and his last press release before going said ‘the PM will not be available for comment’?

      MPs don’t sign a contract and there’s no requirement for them to attend Parliament, so you can’t say he’s not meeting the terms of his employment. If voters don’t like an MP’s performance, that’s what elections are for.

      If this leads to Hone leaving the Maori Party and its poisonous deal with National, he will be doing exactly what he was elected to do.

  7. Ron 7

    That’ll be why I didn’t get a response to my email to asking him to stand up to the Tories

    captcha = principle

  8. Angry Punter 8

    The TÅ«manako Hai Tautoko Party:- Co-Leaders: Hone Harawira and Sue Bradford. And they have a political affinity that goes way back to the 1970s.

    Worth a thought. They are among the few MPs who genuinely try to stand up for workers’ rights.

  9. toad 9

    Point taken, Angry Punter. I do have to say the Greens do too, with or without Sue Bradford.

    But we do need to keep them honest, and that involves unionists and people who support workers’ rights getting involved with the Greens at a political level.

    I’ve long lost faith in Labour to deliver to working people, and the Greens are the best bet – short of Angry Punter’s idea that Sue and Hone can set up a real pro-worker party and get above the threshold to get into Parliament, which I think is a pipe dream.

    As far as I know, although Sue has resigned as an MP, they are both still committed to supporting their respective parties.

    • The Voice of Reason 9.1

      Quite right, Toad. I too have lost faith in Labour to deliver to working people. After all, in nine years of government all they gave us was a fair employment relations system, 4 weeks annual leave, extended paid parental leave, Working For Families and full employment.

      And don’t get me started on the Romans. Bloody Romans, what have they ever given us, eh? Eh?

      • felix 9.1.1

        Well obviously full employment, full employment goes without saying.

        But apart from a fair employment relations system, 4 weeks annual leave, extended paid parental leave, Working For Families and full employment, what have Labour ever done for us?

        Oh there are the subsidised GP visits of course. But what else?

        • Zaphod Beeblebrox

          Kiwibank (does Jim Anderton count?) and Kiwisaver and saving Air NZ have helped a few people as well. Not much compared to a cycleway, but there you go.

          • mickysavage

            Do not forget the Cullen fund.

            Superannuation for workers in 30 years time. But what else did Labour do?

            And do not mention the contribution to local art and culture!

            • logie97

              An independent foreign policy that we could all be proud of and a leader that had an understanding of world politics. But what else did Labour do?

            • r0b

              All right… all right… but apart from full employment and cheaper doctors and superannuation and Kiwisaver and working for families and lower national debt and 4 weeks annual leave and annual increases to the minimum wage and sane foreign policy … what have Labour done for us?

            • felix


        • roger nome

          Felix, Don’t you mean fairer employment relations system? 80% of paid workers were still on individual employment agreements – meaning that real wage growth from 1999-2007 was close to nil for around 30% of paid employment positions (i.e. job positions with an over abundance over labour supply).

        • Swampy

          Are you saying those achievements aren’t enough?

      • Noko 9.1.2

        ‘It’s a good start’.

        But then you look at the lack of social justice coming from their side, and the increasing legislation aimed at taking away our civil rights. Labour passed the Terrorism Suppression Bill, and presided over the so-called ‘Anti-Terror’ raids, and they had very little to say about it. I’m saying this as a Lefty, by the way.

    • Toad

      “I’ve long lost faith in Labour to deliver to working people, and the Greens are the best bet”

      I am sorry Toad. A few months ago I would have thought about this carefully but then Sue Bradford got shafted. I would then have considered the Maori Party but Hone Harawira has gone walkabout apparently disillusioned with what has been happening.

      The Greens this year have been disappointing and believe me some of my best friends are greens.

      Their decision to run hard in the Mt Albert was extraordinary, all that it could have resulted in was the election of a National MP to a safe Labour seat. Thanks to the quality of the various campaigns this did not happen.

      Then the Greens signed up a MOU with the most reactive least environmentally sensitive Government we have seen for a while. Even the 1990 National Government was arguably not as bad.

      And the Greens are giving the Nats a certain amount of cover. Not so much now, Jeanette is doing a fine job and Sue is still staunch. But Russell is very quiet and still running the “curse on both of your camps” line.

      The ETS stuff is appalling and Labour has been staunch on it.

      The attacks on ACC and Education are horendous and Labour has been manning the barricades. I think the Greens are there too.

      You guys should agree to forgo the cheap shots so that we do not respond and target the real enemy.

      • roger nome 9.2.1


        You read the industrial/employment relations policy of both Labour and the Greens, then you tell me that the Greens aren’t more pro-worker. It’s pretty clear to me.

    • George.com 9.3

      Labour has delivered a number of things to working people to curb the neo-liberal excesses of douglas & richardson era and delivered a number of key planks to retool the economy in a different direction. However the party is still wedded to what is neo-liberal economic management. They didn’t break out of that paradigm and other parties, such as the Alliance, were unable to. That is my biggest criticism of Labour. We need a new economic model, Labour at present is unable to contemplate that. The Greens are actually more able to so I think. The interesting observation is how Goff and co will react to calls for a new economic paradigm. This will take some sustained work. If Labour pulls through then that to me will show a marked shift from the neo-liberal accord that Labour fiddled with but never repudiated. The system needs changing. Which parties are prepared to start that conversation.

      • roger nome 9.3.1

        Russel Norman is pretty left, as is Met –

        Labour needs a big clean out of old dead wood at the top before it can hope to meaningfully roll back the right wing excesses of the 80s and 90s.

      • Swampy 9.3.2

        Voters don’t want the failed old left policies. That is why Labour has been steadily moving away from them for decades, And you can read that from the distance Labour has similarly been putting between itself and the union movement. Sure they are still affiliates but now just one of a range rather than the powerhouse.

  10. snoozer:

    So why doesnt he fight the good fight, instead of being a gutless wimp?

    • Roger 10.1

      He is, its Turia and Sharples who aren’t fighting the good fight and being gutless wimps playing house with the Nats. What have the Maori party got in return for all of the anti-Maori bills and decisions that they have supported?

  11. Zaphod Beeblebrox 11

    The Seabed and Foreshore Act repeal is the only thing holding them together. If Key screws them on that, they won’t have any achievements to talk about. The interesting thing about this bill is that they haven’t said what they will replace it with. i’m sure there will be court challenges if it gets repealed and who knows how ACT and the redneck wing of the Nats will act then. It will be interesting to see what Tau and georgina would have to say in that situation as well.

    • Hi Toad

      How about you reply to the “what did the Romans [Labour] ever do for us” comments above?

      They are quite amusing and refreshingly nostalgic …

      • Out of bed 12.1.1

        my really long reply disappeared, a bit like Hone
        can’t be arsed typing it again
        short version The Greens are OK they haven’t changed don’t worry

      • Piggy 12.1.2

        the irony of such an unapologetic labour party hack calling themselves ‘mickysavage’… please go ahead and try and tell us how the current labour party and its leadership is in any way related to one of the only good Labour governments we’ve had.

  12. Out of bed 13


    “I’ve long lost faith in Labour to deliver to working people, and the Greens are the best bet’
    look at the Greens Voting record over the past 9 years compared to any other Party The Greens are demonstrably the best bet
    I am sorry Toad. A few months ago I would have thought about this carefully but then Sue Bradford got shafted. I would then have considered the Maori Party but Hone Harawira has gone walkabout apparently disillusioned with what has been happening.
    Sue Bradford did not get shafted
    The Greens this year have been disappointing and believe me some of my best friends are greens(. me too )
    The Greens have not been that different from other years its still the same team
    Their decision to run hard in the Mt Albert was extraordinary, all that it could have resulted in was the election of a National MP to a safe Labour seat. Thanks to the quality of the various campaigns this did not happen.
    I thought is was wrong but probably for different reasons to you

    Then the Greens signed up a MOU with the most reactive least environmentally sensitive Government we have seen for a while. Even the 1990 National Government was arguably not as bad.
    The MOU is just party policy to work closely with shared interest policies
    such as the Home inbsulation scheme ( jeanette has done most of the work)
    It has made the scheme better then if it had just been left to Brownlee

    And the Greens are giving the Nats a certain amount of cover. Not so much now, Jeanette is doing a fine job and Sue is still staunch. But Russell is very quiet and still running the “curse on both of your camps’ line.
    Russel has been very quiet ? Mt Albert ?? No more quiet then usual just not reported

    The ETS stuff is appalling and Labour has been staunch on it.
    We, the Greens have attacked it more then anyone

    The attacks on ACC and Education are horendous and Labour has been manning the barricades.
    I think the Greens are there too.
    <the Greens couldn't be more proud supporters of the ACC scheme

    You guys should agree to forgo the cheap shots so that we do not respond and target the real enemy.
    I don’t think there are too many people in the Greens who wouldn’t recognise the real enemy

  13. Jim McDonald 14

    Poor Hone. I quite like the chap. His heart is in the right place and I respect that his mouth won’t hold back what he thinks. He shows that at least he is who is he, take it or leave it. His natural political home is the Left and I would like to think that is the case with most, if not all, of the Maori Party MPs.

    Who are they really trying to fool in going with Nats? It is self-evidently doubtful that even they themselves can truly believe in their heart of hearts about the unnatural coalition with Nats & ACT. Has not the recent Rugby World Cup shambles clearly confirmed this? The deep prejudice and racial attitudes of their so-called coalition partners have only become more revealing and repulsive. Hone, tell us what’s up with Tari?

    I recall and sympathise with Tari the challenging moments of yesteryears that included leaving Premier House in the back of the PM’s car. She must come to terms with the baggage of the past and – with compassion and forgiveness for the individuals involved, her people (as she likes to say in the media) and most importantly herself – let go.

    The price of securing whatever deals with Nats over the Seabed & Foreshore Bill is becoming too costly for the issues and people that really matter. How can the Maori Party continue to stomach the sham over Maori seats on the Auckland Super City? How can the Maori Party be complicit in ACC privatisation by propping the numbers to let the bill go to select committee? John Key, with his gambling instincts, hedged his bets by embracing the Maori Party with his left arm, when he already had ACT in his right. By using each arm tactically, he advances his own agenda through the House. That leaves the Maori Party being used as a convenient instrument to further the ends and interests not of their own but of others.

    Hone, Tari, Pita et al should really take a deep breath now and ask themselves some hard questions. In the early days of their coalition relationship with Nats, I thought that was a sweet and satisfying way to punish Labour and to deliver some sharp messages. The time has come for the Maori Party to reassess.

    • Swampy 14.1

      If the Maori Party is too left they will lose support from a broader spectrum of Maori such as the Ngai Tahus of this world who want to see devolution of government services to iwi. Quite a lot of Maori leadership aren’t afraid to attack the welfare system either.

      There is only so far the Maori party can go to milk their historical alignment with Labour through the Ratana Church, The Labour Party of today is not what it was in the 1930s for sure.

      National has called in Act to support privatisation but it may just be a political tactic to get some support from the other support parties to agree to the current measures, Key is no fool.

      • George D 14.1.1

        Thing is, devolution doesn’t have to be done on right wing models. That’s what annoys me about Labour’s framing of the Maori Party’s ambition.

        Maori self-determination at a practical level, with such things as Maori-run healthcare and social services can be accommodated quite easily within a left-socialist framework, but currently only the right are taking the Maori Party seriously, so you’re seeing Turia moving that direction. It threatens to split the coalition that is the Maori Party, particularly if they are required to do things that are harmful to Maori interests to get there.

  14. sundaymorning 15

    Does a ‘dripweed’ move, against the tide, I doubt it.
    Does it try? No, it is a ‘dripweed’ for petes sake, with no hope, and going “nowhere”.

  15. Roberto Smithsky 16

    Labour systematically exploited the Maori constituency over several decades and then arrogantly did the same when the MP had the temerity to go it alone.

    Hone obviously needs to reconcile his personal feelings with the responsibility he owes those who voted him into parliament.

    Labour shouldn’t be hounding a man who may be seeking some counsel from friends and family at what seems to be a crossroads in his life.

    I for one hope Hone finds what he is looking for.

    • Craig Glen Eden 16.1

      I find it interesting that many think Tariana set up the Maori Party on principle.

      Surely you can now see she has no principles. She established this party on the tired old line that she was standing up for her people ( truth is she was bitter with Helen). Well tell me what has she done for HER people except sell them down the road and progressed the Tory agenda.

      Tariana never fitted in Labour because she is not a centre left polititcian, she does not believe in workers rights or social justice, she thinks she is some Maori Queen. In reality she is a Maori Tory and her actions prove it. She mumbles about all sorts of issues and Never stands up for social justice, and her excuse is always well actually social justice example (Acc or what ever the issue) is not good for my people.
      As for this Green Party with the we are more left than Labour on paper shit, I say so what! What have the Greens done for the worker and down trodden? ADESnd thats why Bradford has left because she knows she can do more for workers and the down trodden out side of the Greens in Parliament.

      • Swampy 16.1.1

        No it is political reality, Maori are not all centre left. You have simply got Labour milking support from those Maori who are of course, but the spell of Labour guaranteeing a win in all the Maori seats is well and truly broken.

        When you go into coalition, which is supposed to be one of the great things about MMP for all those people who support it, this is a reality. Just as it is a reality that in truth the major parties are coalitions in themselves.

  16. Sorry to burst your bubble. Harawira is in Europe leading the NZ delegation to a meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union. Due back next week (I think)


    Nice effort at a generating a conspiracy theory though.

    • The Voice of Reason 17.1

      Nope, that’s where he’s supposed to be geographically, according to an article written a fortnight ago. The post’s question is a political one: is Hone’s heart still in the Maori party?

      Lots of interesting language in the linked article, by the way. Did the Northern Advocate really publish this as written?

  17. Adolf Fiinkensein 18

    Ho ho ho. Much as I suspected. What a bunch of dicks.

  18. CuriO 19

    Read the old article ‘The rising Maori middle class’ in either the Metro or the listener from this year, I apologise I can’t remember with more precision. It outlines a host of social, demographic and economic reasons why the Maori party is the way it is, why this is a good thing, and why this is good for Maori.

    • The Voice of Reason 19.1

      Care to either provide a link or at least tell us what the host of reasons are?
      Bit lame other wise. Especially since the evidence so far is that the Maori Party is anything but good for Maori.

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