Maori Party in 'terminal decline' - Harawira
Wed, 23 Jan 2013 11:12a.m.
By Dan Satherley
Mana leader Hone Harawira says the Maori Party is in "terminal decline" and will be "dead" at the polls in 2014 if it doesn't change its ways.
Speaking on Firstline this morning, Mr Harawira said he has approached his former party with offers of reconciliation, without any luck.
"I have been approached by Maori Party members all around the country, asking me to come back," he says.
"But I can't come back the way it's set up, the way they're connected to National, the kinds of policies they're supporting at the moment."
Pita Sharples, 71, said last week he would lead the party into the 2014 election, instead of stepping aside for the younger Te Ururoa Flavell, 57. Co-leader Tariana Turia will be 69 in April.
"The leadership is really starting to show its age," says Mr Harawira. "Tariana's getting on to 70, Pita's already in his 70s – he'll be 73 next year. In this game, people are looking for strong, vibrant, challenging kind of leadership, and both of them are starting to show they're wanting to slow down, when in fact Maoridom – and Maori people – are very much a younger, more vibrant, more active people."
He says the party's association with National is a threat to its long-term future.
"When I was there the Maori Party had a membership of 24,000," he tells Firstline. "At their last AGM they recorded a membership of 600. They're in terminal decline."
Despite his suspicion of Labour, which he says has moved "to the centre and more and more to the right and away from the poor and the dispossessed", he says Mana would be comfortable joining them in a coalition of the left.
"I'm comfortable working with the Greens – I've had a couple of chats with [Labour leader] David Shearer, and I look to increase those over the next year or so.
"Clearly we are on that side of the camp, and I'm comfortable being there."
Mr Harawira says his party will have nothing to do with National, which is causing "huge damage to Maori communities".
"Is there an opportunity for us to bring the Maori Party and the Mana movement together? … I think Maori people generally are saying to the Maori Party – and the membership dropping from 24,000 to 600 – is sending a very clear signal: get away from National, or you're dead come 2014."
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24/01/2013 8:58:43 a.m.
Hone is right. Ask most Maori about how they feel about the party that supposedly represents them and they will give you the same answer. They are disgusted that Pita and Tarian ever sold their souls to the devil with the smile with no good results coming from it. That being said I don't think Labour are going to be much help either even if they win back the Maori vote and win the next election. What Maori need is their own Parliament that will debate Maori issues, funded through the Maori Affairs Ministry. The fact is Maori are fed up with our politicians as are most kiwi's.
24/01/2013 8:19:05 a.m.
Hone should stand by his own policy being used on him.When he talks about other politicians should be taken out the back and shot, Hone should stand up and take that same policy upon himself and save the country the trouble.Labours 'Last Cab on the Rank' still describes how they see Maori and they only want lackeys, not anyone who will think for themselves. What has a century of suporting Labour got Maori? Obviously blindly following Labour is not good for Maori and they need an alternative. Even a small voice in government is better than no voice as a lackey, or no help in opposition like Hone.Need to look at the alternative. If the Maori party doesn't work with National, what will happen for Maori? Given Labours policies to give double digit inflation and reduce real wages, I can't see Maori being better off under Labour.
24/01/2013 1:50:10 a.m.
The Maori Party will be a dead loss without Hone Harawira or the Maori people will be struggling and soon end up living in slums, this is a no joke but moving forward with time.
Bare in mind that this country will be differ from the old inhibitians.
23/01/2013 2:40:34 p.m.
"Mr Harawira says his party will have nothing to do with National, which is causing "huge damage to Maori communities"....so who will he work with then?...he has already said Labour/Goff (leader at the time) should be taken out the back and shot...only way he can get into Govt is with National (not going to happen) or Labour!! end of story..., and what price his 'vote' going to cost??, far too expensive for any Govt of NZ no matter what colour they are Red or Blue.
23/01/2013 1:06:37 p.m.
All of what Hone said is 100% right.
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