By Patrick Gower
This is the formal complaint about Hone Harawira, made by his colleague Te Ururoa Flavell - and leaked to 3 News today.
It shows the ructions are all but past the point of no return - the four Maori Party MPs simply do not trust Harawira.
Flavell submitted the complaint after Harawira's column in the Sunday Star-Times - "Crunch time for Maori Grumbles".
But it is actually a much broader complaint than just about the article.
It shows how the other Maori Party MP's have:
- "Lost trust and confidence" in Harawira
- believe Harawira acts "unethically and without integrity".
And that Harawira:
- "Deliberately undermines" the Maori Party, fellow MPs Flavell and Rahui Katene and leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples.
And in, Te Reo, warns that Harawira's divisive tactics will tear the party apart.
- "The Totara that is split, will simply be consumed by the fire".
Ratahi 17th Kohitatea 2011
Te Tumuaki o te Paati Maori
Kei te tu tonu ko nga poroporaki ki te hunga kua ngaro i te tirohanga kanohi. Waiho ratou kia moe, ko ta tatou, he tangi, he aue, he haku. Ki a koe e te Mana Korero mo te Paati Maori tena koe, tena tatou.
Ko te huarahi Whakatika.
Kei roto i te whäinga matua o te Paati Maori te korero e whai ake nei.
11. Resolution of difference
11.1 All financial members agree to work together to support the Constitution of the Party and to treat each other with respect and are expected to act ethically and with integrity in their party work. Differences that may arise from time to time shall be resolved at the earliest opportunity by those involved.
11.2 Disciplinary action may be brought against a member who:
· refuses to comply with the Party Constitution;
· improperly deals with any party funds;
· in any other way wilfully brings the party or its members into public disrepute.
E hiahia ana au ki te whai haere i tenei ara na runga i te ähuatanga o nga korero i puta i te nüpepa (Sunday Star Times 16.1.11). Ko täku nawe, he take ki tëtahi o matou, ara ki a Hone Harawira, Mema o Te Tai Tokerau. Ehara i te mea kua puta te take ki a Hone na taua korero i te nupepa anake, engari he tauira tera o te kore noho tahi a Hone, o te kore whai i te whäinga Matua o te Paati Maori, o te kore whai i te Kawa o nga mema Paremata o te Paati Maori, me kii, he kupu taawai, he kupu whakaiti i te Paati Maori whanui, i o mätou kaiärahi, tae mai ki a au. Ki täku titiro, mënä ka titiro whanui, ko nga korero i puta i a ia, he korero era mo mätou ake, kaua mo te ao, he korero hei wananga hei whiriwhiri ma te Paati Maori tonu. Na tona whakairi i nga take ki te motu, he mea whakaiti i a mätou nga mema, me te kore paku whai whakaaro mo mätou, te tikanga ona hoa haere. I te tau kua hipa, i ngana nei mätou ki te whakatau i ona nawe engari auare ake! Te taea, a kua tae mai ki tenei wa!
Kei te pütake o te nawe, ko ta Hone kore whai i nga korero o 11.1 me te 11.2 no reira, e huri atu ana ki te Kaunihera Matua o te Paati Maori ki te whai i te huarahi whakatau take. Tena koe, tena tatou.
I ask that the National Council of the Maori Party initiate the Resolution of Differences clauses of the Constitution of the Maori Party, those differences being between myself and Hone Harawira. It is my belief that Hone has breached sections 11 of the Constitution as set out above (in particular the parts which have been highlighted). With the recent publication of the Sunday Star Times article on Sunday 16th Jan 2011 (Crunch time for Maori grumbles), I believe that has not treated me, our colleagues and the Party as a whole with respect, nor acted ethically or with integrity in his work.
Not for the first time, I believe that Hone continues to breach not only the constitution but also the Kawa document which all of caucus subscribed to last year and that he has wilfully brought the Party and our Members into disrepute through his actions. The Kawa document was written to respond to his issues last year and in this case as with others, it has been disregarded totally (attached as appendix).
The article of the 16th Jan 2011 is an example of and catalyst for this complaint. I have attached other recent examples of similar nature from last year to support my claim.
Since the same time last year when there was a public falling out of Hone with the rest of the team, I believe we have worked very hard to bridge the gaps between us right through to a two day wananga held at Okataina in August 2010. These recent events and statements however clearly show that Hone wishes to continue to not comply with agreed positions, with the constitution and to act unethically and without integrity in his statements about myself as a member of our caucus, about the leadership of the Party and the Party itself. This complaint is based on these matters.
So what are the issues?
Firstly, while it is totally acceptable that we as a caucus have different views about various matters within the Party or caucus, it is appropriate that these issues are discussed internally. From my perspective it is unethical that these matters directed at colleagues and complaints/challenges targeting the leadership of the party be put into the public arena through the media.
Second, some of his statements are factually wrong and/or misleading to a point of reflecting badly on myself as a member, my colleagues, the leadership of the Party and the Maori Party movement as a whole. I note the following statements with a comment of reflection on each point.
1. "And because leaders do most of the talking for the party (and control what the rest of their MPs say as well) our public statements over the last couple of years have been rather muted, to say the least".
I take offence at this statement for a few reasons. Hone has freely issued press releases and articles without any sanctions, or agreed to statements made, if about him. This has been the case since he instigated articles in the Northland Age and Northern Advocate. Any caution has not been listened to anyway. Any statement about leadership control of his statements are false.
As a team I believe we have been extremely proactive in presenting our position on all issues and there is ample evidence to refute this claim. This statement reflects poorly on the staff, the members and leadership.
2. "Whether our views have been duly influenced by our coalition obligations or not, the fact is that our public positions on some issues have changed a lot since we were in opposition".
Positions for most political parties change in light of new circumstances. The inference in the context of this statement is that we simply change our position to suit. This is misleading.
3. "they don't need any analysis to know that their partys going off track in 2011"
The statement brings the Party into disrepute. It is a personal statement and deliberately undermines the Party and caucus and me in my work.
4. "no matter where I go …. I am told that the Maori Party is coming off the rails usually accompanied with a comment that I should keep speaking out because none of my mates are.
This may be the case for Hone but as a public announcement, this statement is simply to support his claim in point 3 above. I myself have had many come to me to say that the Party is on the right track and that Hone should be sanctioned. These are matters that should be dealt with internally for they do reflect on me as a caucus member and that is out of line.
5. Speak out strongly against National’s anti social initiatives. No more polite press releases that say nothing.
Where appropriate, our team has always spoken out against statements from all Parties about issues that affect our people even if the statements have put us at odds with our coalition agreement.
I find it difficult to understand how Hone can make such a statement when he sees all press releases and can have input just as much as I can but chooses not to.
6. Oppose National's Marine and Coastal…..It does not reflect the hopes and dreams of either the Maori people or the Maori Party…. If we support this Bill, were effectively saying that our coalition with National is more important than our commitment to Maori-surely not?"
This statement is made by one of our members who actually shaped the Bill, contributed to the discussions, heard the debate, saw the briefing papers and had direct access to the Minister. When I questioned him myself about why he was against it, he raised issues which I suggested he should take to the Minister. He decided he would not, in fact he stated that he had no intention of seeking any answers. He went on to issue a statement about the short comings of the Bill some of the points of which were incorrect. And to be quite frank, this Bill is our Bill - there is no question in my mind that unless we had negotiated as we did in our coalition agreement, that National would never have considered there to be any need to repeal the 2004 Act and develop an alternative legislative framework.
7. Make it clear that in the interests of advancing the status of Maori we will be meeting with other parties to consider our options. (i.e Greens and Labour)
Meetings with other political parties is a strategic matter and therefore has some importance. It is an issue that the caucus would decide upon collectively and not directed by one member in public.
8. When some of us say one thing and others take another view, learn to celebrate the difference rather than try to crush the dissent…..and remember the kaupapa is always more important than the coalition.
This statement is a reflection of Hones own position over the last few years. The caucus has done its very best to accommodate Hones position, to allow him to contribute in his way and using emotive terms about is out of order.
9. Go back to the people. Since being in coalition with the Nats though, we haven't done any tours. …somehow … it seems that we’ve become too busy to tour any more…. I suggest we get "unbusy" real quick and start reconnecting with the people who out us in Parliament.
I take offence at this inference on a number of counts. It is fair to say that we may not have had tours with all Members together on the road at one time as we have in the past because of the coalition. The coalition gave us two Ministerial positions and the rest of us have been fully committed. That is called hard work!
Hone knows that we have two Ministers who are fully committed both in sitting weeks and non-sitting weeks so being on tours is difficult. During sitting weeks, the three of us left are responsible for the house duty to represent the views of the Party in Parliament. We must be in the House to do that. His inferences here are out of order.
I have myself done tours of my own electorate and my buddy electorate so it is not true that we have not had tours.
Finally, we are free and able as MPs to conduct our business as we can. Hone is able just as I am, to do our own tours. It can happen within the constraints that we have if we chose.
I reject the suggestion that we are choosing not to do what he wants and have road shows and I reject his assertion that I/we have lost the connection with the people.
In closing, I have attempted to confine my complaint to specifics within his article. I have also attached a small number of recent articles which are of a similar vein. In these articles, Hone has used the discussion about the Marine and Coastal Bill to:
· Articulate an incorrect position of the Party
· Make assertions about what the leadership will or will not do
· Make statements that reflect poorly on myself
· Make statements that present the view that he is the one who is correct and the rest of us have sold out.
I believe that these matters should be dealt with internally and again breaches our constitution.
Ko te tuhi reta pënei i tenei ehara i te mea ngäwari engari kua roa au e wänanga ana me pëhea täku mahi i te taha o Hone. Kua ngana nei au ki te pera, kua korero tahi maua mo nga uauatanga engari i tona mutunga, kaore he paku rerekëtanga. Kua ngaro te ähuatanga o te whakapono a tëtahi ki tëtahi, o te ngakau nui a tëtahi ki tëtahi, o te mahi ngätahi, o te arongatahi ki te kaupapa o te Paati Maori me nga mahi nui kei mua i te aroaro. He whakaaro ona he whakaaro oku, engari ko ona nga mea e pänuitia whänuitia ana na te kore mahi tahi.
Ko te tumanako ia, ka whai hua tenei tono. Ki te kore, ko täku e kite nei, ko te whakatinanatanga o te korero, "he totara waahi rua he kai na te ahi"
It has not been easy to present this complaint about relationships but I do so believing that I have tried hard to deal with Hones approach to the political environment and despite my efforts to try to work things through, little has changed as evidenced by this recent article. Worse, these recent actions are the same approach he took for much of last year which divided us as a team and impacted negatively on us personally and as a group.
I have lost trust and confidence in Hone to work as a part of our team and relationships have disintegrated to the disadvantage of our Party. For us to continue in this way is to see the situation worsen and have a huge impact on the long term future of our Party. I do not wish to see that happen and ask that this letter be given urgent consideration. I am able to make myself available to meet if this is needed. Noho ora mai.
Te Ururoa Flavell
Member of Parliament for Waiariki
From: Oral Submission to Maori Affairs Select Committee at Whangarei 2010
This bill and its potential fallout also bring back some very real and very scary memories.
Back in 2004, Labour's Maori MPs tried to sell the FS Bill as "the best deal we can get".
Back in 2004, they also tried to belittle Maori opposition by saying "It's only a few people, the radicals, who oppose the bill".
Back in 2004, Labour's Maori MPs were conned by their political masters to back the bill.
Days later they were trampled underfoot by the 50,000 who marched on parliament, and months later Labour lost 4 of its 7 Maori seats as a result of that decision.
The similarities between then and now are stark, and glaringly obvious for everyone to see. I sincerely hope my Maori Party colleagues heed the warning
I have also had people tell me "don't you know that this is parliament Hone, you can't get sovereignty here!" Well, I don't accept that line either.
The vision of the Maori Party, and I quote directly from our constitution here, "the vision of the Maori Party is born of the dreams and aspirations of tangata whenua to achieve self-determination for whänau, hapü and iwi within our own land; to speak with a strong, independent and united voice; and to live according to kaupapa handed down by our tupuna".
Our job is to express the will of the Maori people, to defend Maori rights and to advance Maori interests, and to fight with every fibre of our being, against any threat to those rights -outside of parliament, and inside as well.
We were not elected to go soft because we go into coalition with anyone.
We were not elected to accept the crumbs that fall from another man's table.
And we were not elected to meekly accept that which we know to be wrong.
This bill is wrong, and we were elected to fight against bills like this.
A column published in the Northland Age
By Hone Harawira
MP for Tai Tokerau
14 December 2010
YES, NO, MAYBE …
Well, well, well … whadda ya know - Phil Goff has decided that Labour's going to "turn their back" on the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill.
Geez, if Goff wasn't such a bloody fool he'd be dangerous!
Remember - this is the crowd that put up the original Foreshore and Seabed bill without even asking their own Maori MPs!! "Never mind the Maoris. Let's just grab the title, tell them they can't go to court to get it back, and then we can start floggin' off the mineral rights to cashed up overseas interests!!"
That bloody arrogance got so many Maori pissed off that 50,000 of us marched against the bill, we formed our own party, and we've been taking the Maori seats off Labour ever since.
And then National stitches together their own version (same bill but this one's blue) and bugger me if Labour don't decide to back it (again I suspect, without proper consultation with their own Maori Council) because they reckoned it was going to be a "successful and enduring solution to the foreshore debate in NZ". Goff trying look statesmanlike … ha!!
Then Goff gets a sniff that Maori are lining up to oppose the bill because it doesn't return Maori title, it's too hard to prove you got title, and it's too expensive as well, but he don't even blink … and then he notices that a whole bunch of Pakeha are in the media opposing it too (rednecks bleating about "Maoris getting everything"), and all of a sudden he decides to pull the old switcheroo - again!!!
So, huffing and puffing about how it "will not provide a lasting solution" Goff decides to pull the plug on the deal with National (and I betcha he didn't consult with his Maori Council over that decision either!!), which just makes him look like a washed-up old, opportunist with no regard for principles and just chasing the votes wherever they might be.
The fact that the Pakeha opponents are mainly ACTors seems to have completely passed him by; they wouldn't vote Labour anyway.
Clearly, in all of this, Goff has shown again that Labour's interests have nothing at all to do with what Maori want, and his bouncing around the political spectrum to chase Pakeha votes is exactly the reason why Maori walked away from them 5 years ago, and will keep doing it when we get to the election next year as well.
I presented my submission last week to the Maori Affairs Select Committee on the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill, at a sitting in Whangarei (go to www.hone.co.nz for a copy).
I'm still opposed to the bill, and the more I hear about it, the more I'm opposed to it. The bill is a sham because it prattles on about mana but doesn't deliver on it; it is racist because it attacks only Maori; it sets tests which are unachievable for nearly all Maori; it sets costs which are too high for nearly every hapu in the country; and it has been widely condemned as unfair, unjust, and discriminatory.
A column published in the Northland Age
By Hone Harawira
MP for Tai Tokerau
7 December 2010
OPPOSITION TO THE FORESHORE AND SEABED BILL
Opposition to the new foreshore and seabed bill continues to grow, with Ngai Tahu, the iwi with the largest foreshore and seabed in the country, saying that it would rather keep the 2004 act than give Maori support to a 2011 version which was equally unjust. Ngai Tahu speakers told the Maori Affairs select committee in Christchurch yesterday, that while the new bill was an improvement on the Foreshore and Seabed Act, they still felt that the tests to have customary title recognised was too high and unfair.
And now the Human Rights Commission has also come out with its own submission stating that the new foreshore and seabed legislation still discriminates against Maori.
It seems that the longer the hearings continue, the greater the Maori opposition to this bill. I have no doubt that a few Maori will support this bill, just as there were a few Maori who supported the last one. Remember Dover Samuels, Mita Ririnui, Mahara Okeroa and John Tamihere? They all voted for the last foreshore and seabed bill, and promptly got dumped at the next election.
I think Tariana was right to signal that Maori Party support for this bill would rest on the will of the people. That will is being expressed quite clearly. Maori people are opposed to it. I would expect that not too long after the select committee finishes its work, the Maori Party will formally withdraw its support for this National Party bill.
DOING IT FOR THEMSELVES
Dissatisfaction with the Maori Party particularly over its position on the new foreshore and seabed bill, a rejection of what is seen to be the corporate-focus of the Iwi Leaders Group, and straight opposition to the National government's attacks on the wellbeing of whenua, whanau and hapu, has seen the emergence of a new Maori women's organisation - Te Whaainga Wahine, formed at a hui in Hauraki last weekend. Good on them.
And the solution?
Simple. Repeal the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed Act, give Maori time and space to work through the issue, and appoint an expert group to help us come up with an alternative that enables Maori to hold the title while allowing all New Zealanders the right to enjoy our wonderful beaches forever. Easy eh?