Hone Harawira has been talking publicly two weeks after his election loss. He talks about his key policies, child poverty, homelessness, unemployment and the Treay of Waitangi as if he was had been the sole crusader on these social issues.
From a Mana media release on Friday: Mana’s Challenge To The 51st Parliament
MANA defined its position when we announced that our constituency would be those we call TE PANI ME TE RAWAKORE, the poor and the dispossessed, and our last three years have been a challenging and vigorous time where we have staked out our place in the political world – a commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society, our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance in Aotearoa.
Mind you – being so highly principled brings with it enormous risk, not least the fact that KIDS CAN’T VOTE AND POOR PEOPLE DON’T, but I am proud of what we have achieved in our short time in parliament.
When we first raised our FEED THE KIDS policy three years ago, everybody laughed, so we took our kaupapa on the road, we built a support coalition of more than 30 national organisations, we pushed the policy into the top 5 issues of the year, and with the support of a standout series on Campbell Live, we got a poll last year that showed more than 70% supported a government-funded food in schools programme.
When we called for 10,000 NEW STATE HOUSES EVERY YEAR until the housing crisis was over, other politicians squirmed, but after challenging them at a Housing Action protest outside parliament, Labour took up the same call for 10,000 new houses a year, albeit theirs was more a pitch to woo middle-class voters than a bid to help the poor.
We took up the call for FULL EMPLOYMENT because to accept anything less was to accept failure, and by pushing for the minimum wage to be the LIVING WAGE OF $18.80 AN HOUR, we forced other so-called left-wing parties to follow suit.
Other left wing parties might dispute that they have been “forced…to follow suit”, in particular the Greens.
This theme was also prominent in an interview on Q & A yesterday. It began:
Do you regret doing this deal with Kim Dotcom?
Harawira: No I don’t think I do, I mean…
You don’t think you do…?
Harawira: No no no no. I mean we have two hundred and sixty thousand kids living in poverty in this country, we’ve got more than thirty thousand families that are homeless, more than twenty five percent of Maori youth are on the dole.
There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.
The Greens in particular have also strongly campaigned on very similar issues.
Harawira: There needed to be something to help Mana broaden our kaupapa, and to try to get more MPs into the house.
But you’re not there now to…
Harawira: Sure. But was it a risk worth taking? Absolutely it was, because even now that I’m out of Parliament I’ve received hundreds, probably more than a thousand emails, text, phone calls really regretting the fact that I’m not in there including from National Party supporters.
I think genuinely there needs to be a voice for te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed in the house, and I think that was Mana’s role and it will be Mana’s role in the future.
Harawira’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. Mana’s voice won’t be in Parliament this term. A major reason for this is Mana’s alliance with Kim Dotcom and the Internet Party.
There were hundreds, probably more than a thousand people warning against this. It looked like a huge clash of principles.
Sue Bradford resigned from the Mana Party because of the alliance. She had previously been a Green MP.
Laila Harre left a prominent job in the Green Party to lead the Internet Party along side Harawira’s Mana.
Russel Norman spoke strongly against the Internet Party and the Internet-Mana alliance.
Harawira and Harre chose Kim Dotcom over the Greens to try and help the poor and the dispossessed.
The Green Party has fourteen MPs in Parliament. Harawira and Mana are out.
Why did Mana choose to be backed by Dotcom? How many kids could have been fed by the four million dollars Dotcom wasted on a failed campaign?
Why didn’t Mana join forces with the Greens, who have very similar aims and policies?
If Harawira wants to continue his crusade for the poor and the dispossessed he could work with the Greens. Mana could ally themselves with the Greens.
What’s most important – speaking for the poor and the dispossessed from the sidelines, or being a part of a much wider campaign for the less fortunate in our society?
Perhaps Harawira wants to be ‘The Man”. He pulled out of the Maori party team to set up the Mana Party.
if Harawira joined the Greens, if the Mana Party allied with the Greens, many voices would be stronger than one man and his movement outside Parliament.
That would have more chance of real success than hitching hopes to Dotcom and Harre.
Green policies include:
A billion dollar plan to reduce child poverty
Workers will get a better, fairer deal under the Green Party
A healthy home for every child