Turia’s retirement will pose challenges for party

Tariana Turia’s announcement that she won’t stand in the 2014 election foreshadows the end of an ear for the Maori party.

It doesn’t mean the end of the party but it does pose some challenges for the organisation.

It will be difficult to find a co-leader with her mana.

It might be less difficult to find a candidate to replace her in the Te Tai Hauauru electorate but it won’t be as easy for a new candidate to hold the seat for the party.

Ms Turia began her parliamentary career in labour and resigned from the party on principle over the Foreshore and Seabed legislation. She resigned and stood in the subsequent by-election to prove she had a mandate.

Then Labour leader Helen Clark referred to the Maori party as the last cab off the rank for coalition negotiations.

John Key extended the offer a place in the National-led coalition after the 2008 election, even though he didn’t need the Maori Party’s votes for a majority.

But it gave him options and gave the party the opportunity it could achieve some of its goals in government rather than gaining headlines but making no progress in opposition.

As a small party it has had to compromise to gain some of what it wants, but it has stayed true to its principles and can point to some achievements, due in no small part to Ms Turia’s determination.

Her party will miss her.

3 Responses to Turia’s retirement will pose challenges for party

  1. pdm says:

    As long as Sharples stays the Maori Party will probably survive. However, once he goes and with Turia already gone it is hard to see anyone else capable of binding the factions together.

    Very much like Labour in so many ways.

  2. inventory2 says:

    You’re quite right Ele; there’s no obvious successor to Tariana as female co-leader, given that Rahui Katene seems to have moved on from life after Parliament. Tariana may be short in stature, but she is a formidable presence; a

    mana wahine

    .

  3. inventory2 says:

    Whoops; wrong html code: mana wahine was supposed to be italicised, not blockquote

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