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.
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.
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.