EXTENDED INTERVIEW: John Tamihere
Fri, 16 Nov 2012 10:09p.m.
By 3 News online staff
Former Labour MP John Tamihere says the party’s ‘ban’ on him being a member is bemusing and doesn’t make sense.
He applied for membership online last month, but today was told by the party’s gatekeepers that it hadn’t yet been approved. This means Mr Tamihere will not be able to attend Labour’s annual conference in Auckland this weekend.
Mr Tamihere has been told things would get "testy" if he turns up, but he says he’s being blocked by internal forces.
“There’s a group in there that need a wake-up call and I might be giving them their dose of salts,” he says.
“No one wants you back if you are deemed to be a threat so what you've got to do is water your threats down and kill them off - that's politics.”
Mr Tamihere is critical of the party’s current direction, saying it is too focussed on what he calls identity politics. He’s keen to make a come back.
“The party really needs to start talking about economic policy and jobs and housing but that debate seems to get lost over gender politics or sex-based politics,” says Mr Tamihere.
He left Parliament in 2005 after a Serious Fraud Office investigation and after losing his Tamaki-Makaurau seat.
Labour’s fixation on gay marriage has “crowded out” some very important discussions, he says, adding that the party needs to discuss ways to stop New Zealand being a “training incubator” for Australia.
Mr Tamihere says despite working for David Cunliffe for six years and praising his work ethic, he still backs Mr Shearer as Labour’s leader.
“If you want a fire brand, that’s not David Shearer. They knowingly chose a chap that everyone rates as a decent man. But a decent man needs to be supported by decent colleagues.
“One man doesn’t make a party but one man leading a very good team does,” he says.
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18/11/2012 1:18:17 p.m.
Tamihere has no sense of party loyalty or discipline. Why should Labour readmit someone? Would he even be reapplying if the Key administration hadn't cut off Whanau Ora funding to his Waipareira Trust?
17/11/2012 7:09:10 p.m.
One thing Labour can be counted on for currently is to be open minded and non bigoted. A labour party with John Tamahere in it would no longer have those qualities. I for one have already passed on to Labour that if John Tamahere gets anywhere near Labour power ranks ..would be the last time they would get my vote..and they always have in the past.
17/11/2012 12:53:25 p.m.
@TEDC: There is a large group of Anti-Labour nasties constantly spewing untruths and vile propaganda against Mr Shearer and the Labour Party. Tamihere is another 'wolf' pretending to be a 'well wisher'!
17/11/2012 11:08:34 a.m.
I fail to understand why Tamihere should want to join a party he dislikes so much. Do us a favour and join your mates in National or NZ 1st John.
17/11/2012 8:03:57 a.m.
Richard Mayson wrote:
I voted for the Labour Candidate Charles Chauvel, but am deeply disappointed, because he personifies the very thing that Tamihere is talking about."A fixation with gender and sex based politics".
Other somewhat right wing stances of Tamihere don't impress me, but that's the unfortunate Auckland material media thing.
But until labour reconnects with the vast majority of NZ'ers, who see and are concerned with issues beyond their mirror, Labour will remain in its tiny bedroom.
17/11/2012 12:03:33 a.m.
On the money JT, shame its going to take lots more years to clean labour of Helen Clarks rein of rainbow politics. JT's charisma is exactly whats needed to take on John Key at his own game David Shearer is to much of a pussy.
16/11/2012 11:20:58 p.m.
John, if you truly have the interests of the Labour party, you wouldn't be undermining Labour in the public as you are doing now and hijacking the party's conference publicity for your own publicity and agenda. Get rid of your ego and nastiness, mate.
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