Waka rocker shows race not enough for party

Every party has at least one potential waka rocker, a maverick  MP who puts him or her self before the good of the party.

The smaller the party the more serious the damage done. One dissident voice out of 30 or 40 can be easily silenced, one out of five is much louder.

If one paddler breaks the rhythm in a big waka the strength of the others will still carry if forward. But a small waka will lose momentum and it doesn’t take much rocking to tip it right over.

Hone Harawira’s column in the Sunday Star Times was not the first time he’s stood up and rocked the waka but this time his colleagues have had enough.

Rebel Maori Party MP Hone Harawira faces disciplinary action and possible expulsion from the party after a formal complaint against him by his fellow MPs over his public criticisms of the party and its links to National.

The party will hold an urgent hui tomorrow in Mr Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau electorate, but if that fails to resolve the issue it will go to a formal hearing of the party’s disciplinary and disputes committee.

Bryce Edwards at Liberation thinks this is a fight to the political death but Cactus Kate asks if the party’s constitution can save Hone.

If it can it might sink the party in the process because the schism shows the problem inherent in a Maori Party – there are Maori issues but no single Maori view.

A party and its supporters need to be united by a common philosophy and principles not just issues and definitely not just race.

4 Responses to Waka rocker shows race not enough for party

  1. robertguyton says:

    Hone hasn’t put himself before the good of the party.
    He called the party back to it’s roots.
    It’s hurting those who have been softened and bent by money and promised power.
    It’s disturbing those in National who had the Maori MPs where they wanted them.
    Tautoko Hone!
    Kia tere.
    Kia tupato.
    Kia hiwa ra.

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  2. gravedodger says:

    John Hatfield’s HOS column demonstrates the inherent instability of a party formed on the basis of a single issue then going forward trying to maintain momentum when wider issues must be addressed.
    The Maori Party formed when Labour party members who felt totally betrayed with the kneejerk reaction by a poll obsessed Labour Party leadership over-reaction to a perceived problem with a court ruling.
    That was simple and gave a great start to the fledgling party who collectively must address issues and formulate responses to the wider problems such as health, education, the welfare trap and Maori society generally. That raises serious problems with the personal politics of the members of the caucus, hence the contretemps we are witnessing.

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  3. Richard says:

    Robert,
    “Hone hasn’t put himself before the good of the party.
    He called the party back to it’s roots”.

    The Maori Party was formed and elected because of Maori opposition to Foreshore & Seabed Legislation introduced by Labour. National, the Government, have introduced new F&S legislation that has little support- right to left, iwi and green. That legislation is dead,I hope, and it should be.

    “It’s hurting those who have been softened and bent by money and promised power.”

    Not too sure what you mean. But if it is iwi leaders exploiting the power of the Maori Party because of its relationship/partnership with Government, that is MMP; exploit opportunities when you can. I do not see power and money changing hands; influence is the key.
    National will drop the Maori Party if it does not think it is in it’s best interests. Again, such is MMP; Labour would do the same-in spades.

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  4. robertguyton says:

    “exploit opportunities when you can”
    Really Richard?
    How pragmatic.
    “National will drop the Maori Party if it does not think it is in it’s best interests”
    Labour too. I suppose you’re right.
    Not the Greens though.
    They have a broader view of integrity.

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