Trottermania and revolution

Chris Trotter reveals some of the thinking of the revolutionary left in his latest post Making It Stop: Taking Stock Of 4 February 2016, With Some Thoughts About The Way Forward.

First he thanks the organisers of Thursday’s TPPA protest in Auckland.

To Jane Kelsey and Barry Coates I can only say thank you. Demonstrations like the one I marched in on Thursday don’t just happen. They are the product of hours and days and years of hard work, during which people fight not only against loneliness and fatigue, but against the insidious thought that their unceasing efforts might all be in vain.

Observing the glowing faces of Jane and Barry, as they rode down Queen Street on the afternoon of 4 February 2016, it was their selfless commitment to battling on, heedless of setbacks and against all odds, that brought tears to my eyes. Once again, thank you.

One of the features of the protest was the re-emergence of Hone Harawira and the Mana Movement, fighting for Maori sovereignty despite Harawira and others making ignorant or deliberately false claims about it – see Harawira versus TPPA.

Jane Kelsey has been a long time anti-trade political activist who has been working with the Labour Party with their move to a more anti-TPPA stance – see Kelsey briefing Labour on TPPA.

Involved in uniting Kelsey with Labour was Andrew Little’s chief of staff Matt McCarten, who happens to have had close connections with the Mana Party.

Barry Coates was number 17 on the Green Party list for the 2014 election. Recently number 16 Marama Davidson replaced Russel Norman in Parliament so Coates is next in line to be an MP. Here’s his Green candidate profile.

Back to Trotter:

BUT, NOW WHAT? In which direction should the energy generated by the 4 February protest actions be turned?

He suggests a few ongoing protest actions. Then:

The extent to which these core messages have already entered the public’s consciousness has unpleasantly surprised the TPPA’s supporters.

I think he may be overestimating how much the public knows or cares about the TPPA, and there are ample indications the media can see through their spin and have started to call them on it.

Radio NZ, One News and Newshub all showed how little the core messages had entered the protesters’s consciousness let alone the wider public.

They were taken aback at the size and vehemence of the Auckland protests and will already be working on ways to unpick the picture Jane Kelsey and her comrades have embroidered so vividly on the public mind. The Government’s and big businesses’ counter-offensive will have to be met, held, and rolled back.

The comrades versus big business – that’s the core message about what’s driving the TPPA opposition.

I know someone who went to a meeting last week featuring Comrade Kelsey. They genuinely hoped to be informed about the TPPA. They were gobsmacked about how sour and substance-less the messages were.

Strategically, the struggle is between the progressive/patriotic forces operating within the twelve signatory states, and the defenders of the transnational corporations. Obviously, this puts the “Pro” forces at a serious disadvantage. Far from being able to pass themselves off as promoters of the public good, they will emerge from the contest as the big corporations’ fifth columnists, committed to defeating the patriots fighting to prevent the agreement’s ratification.

The people versus the corporations again.

John Key and his Government thus risk entering election year as a collection of figurative “Quislings”, guilty of conspiring against the national interest on behalf of entities without countries, morals or scruples.

If this perception can be driven deep into the electorate’s mind, then National’s chances of re-election will be nil.

Trotter’s comrades dream. It’s a dream they also had last term, with asset sales instead of the TPPA, that became a nightmare when the reality of the election result hit home.

More importantly, the victorious coalition of Labour, the Greens and NZ First will be swept into office with a broad mandate to take on a corporate plutocracy that has ruled without challenge for far too long.

Wonderful. And the world will be rescued from evil at last.

For the first time in over 30 years, there will be a mass political movement dedicated to putting itself “upon the wheels, upon the levers, upon all the apparatus” of the neoliberal machine – and making it stop.

Except this time Labour seem to have decided to fight for the Mana space on the far left, after their worst election result in living memory in part due to a voter reaction against the Internet-Mana.

Comrades were convinced that Internet-Mana would hold the deciding votes after the last election,  and the glorious revolution would be realised.

But instead they crashed, and burned Labour.

Trotter seems to think Labour-Mana is a winning combination along with the Greens and NZ First. I wonder what Winston thinks of all this, he’s politically very astute.

Not long ago Trotter tweeted a link to his post:

Some thoughts on Thursday’s anti-TPPA demo. Has the “Missing Million” woken up?

The ‘missing million’ dream was another failure last election. The ones who vote saw through it.

This seems like just another swing between Trottermanic and Trotterdepressive.

What’s missing is 21st century reality.

Too many Maori, not enough chiefs

Breakfast has just had two contradictory items on the continuing mess at Waitangi.

First they interviewed Manu Paul who slammed John Key for trying to bring talk about the TPPA to Waitangi.

They have followed that with “former politician” Hone Harawira slamming Key for not coming to Waitangi to discuss the TPPA in the political debate tent he is organising.

Paul criticised Key for poor communication. The problem is who the hell should key communicate with?

Some say Key should talk to Maori about their issues. Others say they would have done everything the could to stop Key from talking there.

Too many Maori and not enough chiefs?

Mixed Māori messages on TPPA

There are mixed messages from Māori interests over the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, with some individuals and groups strongly against it, while groups with business interests can see potential benefits for Māori .

Protests are expected at Waitangi this week, and a hikoi is on it’s way from Cape Reinga, with Hone Harawira coming out of his political hiatus.

Māori Television reports Hikoi against TPPA sends loud message from Māori:

Mana Party Leader, Hone Harawira says, “The TPPA is a new treaty or covenant by which government can steal, usurp our sovereign rights.  So I’m calling on the public to be united to retain our sovereign rights and not just sit hopelessly allowing it to happen.”

“If the horse has already bolted then it’s our Prime Minister who opened the gate and that’s the issue.  We must get rid of him and create a Māori government and a Māori parliament that will rid us of this deal that is no good for this country or its people.”

The march may have only just begun but it’s already attracting support from a diverse range of groups.

Heeni Hoterene says, “This march is bringing a whole range of diverse groups together all in opposition to the TPPA.”

Of course all groups who join an anti-TPPA hikoi will be in opposition to the TPPA.

But not all Māori groups are against the TPPA. NZ Herald reports: Māori see TPP benefits, risks

Some Māori business leaders say there are risks with the Trans Pacific Partnership, but people should look at it again to see the benefits it offers for the Maori economy.

Harawira is not likely to look at it again, but some Māori groups see potential benefits.

Paul Majurey, chair of the Hauraki Collective:

The Maori economy has been estimated at $40 billion and Auckland lawyer Paul Majurey, chair of the Hauraki Collective, said Pare Hauraki’s fishing and aquaculture assets would benefit and the trust was supportive of the deal.

It already exported to China and Japan and the TPP would open access to Japan where fish products faced stiff tariffs.

The agreement would also allow Maori to form partnerships with investors from those countries, as happened under the China FTA.

He said there were risks and it was natural Maori would be concerned about sovereignty and the erosion of Treaty of Waitangi rights.

“There are issues and question marks with any international agreement that involves our sovereignty.”

He said the TPP protected the Treaty and reserved the right to protect rights to traditional knowledge and plants, according to the Wai 262 finding.

Traci Houpapa, the chair of the Federation of Maori Authorities (Foma)…

…said the TPP had obvious benefits for Maori exporters and businesses and that would flow through to communities.

She said New Zealand could not miss the chance to sit with global heavyweights such as the US and Japan, and hoped consultation on the agreement over coming months would provide Maori with assurances about the Treaty partnership.

“People are wanting assurances that partnership is in place and isn’t impacted by the TPP.”

She was comfortable that other trade agreements had upheld the Treaty.

“And our expectation is this Government will do the same,” she said.

She said New Zealand was the only country with protections for indigenous rights in the trade agreement.

Taranaki-based Parininihi ki Waitotara chair Hinerangi Raumati…

…said most of the assets were in dairy and while the deal did not deliver as much as had been hoped for, she did not believe it was something to be scared about.

“If it benefits the New Zealand economy, it’s got to be benefiting the Maori economy and I guess we’ll see that in time.”

The protesters are likely to get much more media coverage than the supporters.

Harawira versus TPPA

Hone Harawira has said that he doesn’t think that the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement should be signed at all and that there is no mention of Maori in the agreement.

He’s either ignorant about what’s in the Agreement, or he’s blatantly lying.

Interviews from Radio NZ on Will the Treaty clause in TPPA do the job?

I don’t think it should be signed at all.

There’s no mention of Maori in the TPPA, there’s no mention of the Treaty of Waitangi in the TPPA, there’s no mention of the protections for Maori through the Waitangi Tribunal in the TPPA, there’s not even mention of the rights of indigenous peoples under the United Nations  declaration of the rights of indigenous peoples.

So Maori are almost unanimous in saying we don’t think it should be signed at all, let alone that close to Waitangi.

I don’t know on what basis Harawira can claim “Maori are almost unanimous in saying we don’t think it should be signed at all” and I think that is highly questionable.

And the ‘no mention’ claims were challenged on Radio NZ.

However there is a treaty exclusion clause in the agreement, but there’s no agreement on the level of protection that it offers Maori.

With me now to discuss this is trade expert Charles Finney, a partner at Government relations consultant Saunders Unsworth, also Victoria University senior law lecturer Carwyn Jones.

So Charles if I can start with you, the clause, it’s too long probably just to read out but do you think it’s robust enough?

Charles Finney: Yes it’s pretty much the same clause we’ve had in every free trade agreement since the one we negotiated with Singapore that came into force in 2001.

It was drafted by Nigel Fyfe who is now actually a senior treaty negotiator for the Office of Treaty Negotiations, and it has basically stood the test of time. It’s been in all these agreements and has yet to be challenged.

This is slightly different in that it actually goes further and it basically says that interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi is actually not subject to the dispute settlement provisions of the agreement, so basically it’s up to New Zealand to say if the Treaty of Waitangi is actually covering a measure.

That’s quite contrary to Harawira’s claim.

So Carwyn, is that rub, is it there’s too much room for manoeuvre in the language?

Carwyn Jones: Well I think the key concern really is that essentially it relies on the New Zealand Government being willing to make an exception, to stand up and say we’re going to go outside of the general provisions of the TPPA because we believe that we need to do this for Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

What else could it rely on? We (New Zealand) must be responsible for ensuring provisions of the agreement are in keeping with the ToW.

Carwyn Jones: Now it’s been difficult enough to get movement from the Government on some of these long standing issues around things like traditional knowledge around environmental regulations, those kind of issues, without adding in other parties who don’t have Treaty of Waitangi obligations, who don’t have any interest in the New Zealand Government fulfilling their Treaty of Waitangi obligations.

We can’t hold back on any international agreements until absolutely every issue related to the ToW is completely dealt with to everyone’s satisfaction, which will probably be never.

So essentially it’s a lack of trust?

Carwyn Jones: Well I mean it is a lack of trust because we look at the history of the way Government has dealt with Treat of Waitangi issues and we see that we need to have some pretty strong provisions to be able to have some leverage and enforce those.

How could you get stronger than “it’s up to New Zealand to say if the Treaty of Waitangi is actually covering a measure”?

Ok, what does that mean about whether it’s subject to the dispute settlement process, does that come into this at all? Could people be sued over it?

Carwyn Jones: Well as Charles has pointed out the Government’s interpretation of the Treaty isn’t subject to those disputes, but the Government’s actions may still be open to challenge if the other parties are concerned that this is an unjustified discrimination against persons from those other parties, or if it is actually disguised as a restriction on trade.

And so even just that ability to make those challenges I think has a kind of chilling effect on what the Government is going to be willing to do and so I can only see them becoming more entrenched, more conservative, even less likely to start to move towards actually law and policy which is consistent with the rights guaranteed under the Treaty.

This sounds vague, I really don’t not what his specific concerns are here, especially regarding the TPPA.

Charles Finney: I think that those concerns really about New Zealand domestic politics, not about  the Trans Pacific Partnership Agreement, but I would note that we have had exactly this clause with the exception of the exclusion from the dispute settlement in all our free trade agreements, which have been subject to dispute settlements since 2001. We haven’t had a problem, we haven’t seen a chilling effect from Government action vis a via the Treaty, the Treaty settlement process has actually been accelerated and there have been a number of very good settlements  occurring with these agreements in place so I disagree with that view.

The perceived problems seem to be theoretical possibilities rather than real likelihoods.

But do you understand effectively where some Maori are coming from on this, if it is a question that they just don’t think that perhaps they will be backed up enough and that they will be in a position which could put them vulnerable?

Charles Finney: There has been extensive consultation with Maori on these types of provisions since the late 1990s, I personally have done a number of those consultations. Indeed I remember consulting with Hone Harawira’s sister on this issue about the year 2000.

The concerns have been listened to and I believe Government will act appropriately.  

People like Hone Harawira are unlikely to ever feel consulted enough or trust the Government on things like this.

Can we trust Harawira to tell the truth about what Treaty provisions there are in then TPPA?

Trade Minister Todd McClay released a factsheet on this:

Setting the record straight on TPP and Treaty

Trade Minister Todd McClay today released a new TPP factsheet outlining how TPP specifically recognises the Treaty of Waitangi, as well as other areas of significance for Māori including opportunities for Māori exporters.

“There is a lot of misinformation out there about TPP,” Mr McClay says.

“Nothing in TPP will prevent the Crown from meeting its obligations to Māori.

“As with all of New Zealand’s free trade agreements since 2001, TPP includes a specific provision preserving the pre-eminence of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand.

“The value of the Māori asset base is now over NZ$40 billion, with significant ownership in key export sectors such as red meat, dairy, kiwifruit, forestry, and seafood.

“Maori therefore stand to benefit from the tariff savings under TPP on current exports across these sectors, which are estimated to be more than $200 million a year once the tariff commitments are fully phased in.

“New Zealand’s approach in its free trade agreements reflects the constitutional significance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand.

“The Treaty of Waitangi exception is in addition to the fact that the obligations in TPP have been designed so as not to impair the ability of governments to make legitimate public policy, including in health, education, and protecting the environment.

“Being part of TPP – which covers 36 per cent of global GDP, and takes 40 per cent of our exports – is strongly in New Zealand’s national interest.”

TPP Factsheet – TPP and Maori 21 Jan 2016 (pdf 82.73 KB

The factsheet includes:

A key feature of TPP is an exception that preserves the pre-eminence of the Treaty of Waitangi in New Zealand (Article 29.6 in Chapter 29 of the Agreement, see http://www.tpp.mfat.govt.nz/text). The Treaty of Waitangi exception has been included in all of New Zealand’s FTAs since 2001. This reflects the constitutional significance of the Treaty of Waitangi to New Zealand.

The clause:

TPP Article 29.6: Treaty of Waitangi

1. Provided that such measures are not used as a means of arbitrary or unjustified discrimination against persons of the other Parties or as a disguised restriction on trade in goods, trade in services and investment, nothing in this Agreement shall preclude the adoption by New Zealand of measures it deems necessary to accord more favourable treatment to Maori in respect of matters covered by this Agreement, including in fulfilment of its obligations under the Treaty of Waitangi.

2. The Parties agree that the interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi, including as to the nature of the rights and obligations arising under it, shall not be subject to the dispute settlement provisions of this Agreement. Chapter 28 (Dispute Settlement) shall otherwise apply to this Article. A panel established under Article 28.7 (Establishment of a Panel) may be requested to determine only whether any measure referred to in paragraph 1 is inconsistent with a Party’s rights under this Agreement.

The factsheet:

The Treaty of Waitangi exception in TPP specifically refers to the Treaty of Waitangi, and applies to the entire Agreement. The exception ensures that successive governments retain flexibility to implement domestic policies that favour Māori without being obliged to offer equivalent treatment to overseas entities. The “chapeau” language at the beginning of paragraph 1 of the Treaty of Waitangi exception (Article 29.6) provides assurance to trading partners that the New Zealand Government will not seek to abuse the flexibility that has been provided to New Zealand in respect of the relationship between the Crown and Māori. Paragraph 2 ensures that New Zealand’s interpretation of the Treaty of Waitangi is not subject to the dispute settlement provisions of TPP.

It’s hard to imagine that Harawira is ignorant of this. If he’s aware of it as he should be if he is saying things like “Maori are almost unanimous in saying” then he should not be saying things that appear to be blatantly untrue.

 

Sign of movement at Mana, Harawira plans return

After their disastrous election result the ‘Mana Movement’ website became motionless after posting a Media Advisory on October 7.

After an eight month hiatus there was sign of movement again recently, reporting on the party AGM.

Hone Harawira said he had been busy “just to keep things bubbling over, I have plans on being back in parliament in 2017”.

“We heard how the mainstream media had made the news into “bubble gum media” highlighted by the recent sacking of John Campbell from TV3 and the resignation of Mihingarangi Forbes over political interference in news and current affairs at Maori TV, and we heard of positive steps being taken to use on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses.”

Using “on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses” didn’t work so well last election. Mana have a big job getting back up enough to contest the election in 2017.

MANA still pumpin’

Posted on June 8, 2015 by admin in News

“We had our AGM over the weekend” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira “and I was blown away by the resilience of our crew, their inventiveness and their courage in helping drive the campaigns that are involved in all round the country”

“Since the election MANA members have played critical roles in the ‘End Zero Hours’ campaign, action against the sale of state houses, fighting the war on the poor, starting small businesses, feed the kids initiatives, and a whole host of other activities”

And that’s what makes MANA so special” said Harawira. “Having an MP helps but it’s clearly not the sole purpose for MANA and that’s why I love being part of this Movement”

“We had speakers from right across the political spectrum talking to us about issues as diverse as te reo Maori, the foolishness of war, the cost of poverty, the vicious attacks on the people living in the Gaza strip, the Ture Whenua Maori Act, and innovative housing designs”

“We had strong women speakers, Pasifika, Pakeha, kaumatua and kuia, and some really awesome rangatahi as well and I feel really positive about MANA’s future in their hands.

“We had a range of speakers talk to us about the use and value of social media.

“We heard about how $600 million will refurbish half of all state houses in Aotearoa, but how government was more likely to spend that money on two planes for the air-force.

“We heard about the successful campaign led by Unite Union to ‘End Zero Hours’ and bring an end to fast food outlet’s plans to drive workers into poverty.

“Speakers talked about how the new Te Ture Whenua Māori Act was nothing more than a modern day land confiscation and what steps we might take to protect Maori land.

“We heard about the latest developments in the campaign to stop the TPPA, and we passed a motion to support putting the case before the Waitangi Tribunal.

“We had Reo Māori graduates outlining the ongoing value of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura schooling for Māori youth; kuia talking about the ongoing threats to the reo despite all the hard work in Kohanga Reo; and we also heard from Labour MP Peeni Henare who added his voice to the call from MANA to make Maori compulsory in all schools.

“We heard from MANA Pasifika about using different language media to reach a huge audience who were likely to be receptive to MANA kaupapa.

“We heard from a range of speakers including a lecturer in engineering, a project manager in whareuku construction and an intern in earthship technology outline new and innovative house building techniques, a strong presentation from the Social Housing Action Network, and the tabling of a motion for rent controls to stop landlords ripping people off.

“We heard how the mainstream media had made the news into “bubble gum media” highlighted by the recent sacking of John Campbell from TV3 and the resignation of Mihingarangi Forbes over political interference in news and current affairs at Maori TV, and we heard of positive steps being taken to use on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses.

“We reconfirmed our National Exec for 2015

  • Hone Harawira – Kaiārahi o Te   Rōpū Mana (Leader)
  • Lisa McNab – Tumuaki (President)
  • Annette Sykes & John Minto – Tumuaki Tautoko (Vice-Presidents)
  • Carol Hata – Kaitiaki Pūtea (Treasurer)
  • Andrew Paul (Secretary)

“And because we’ve got so much going on, we decided to hold a strategic planning hui in a couple of months to properly map out the next 5 years, and I’m looking forward to us taking all of the positive energy from our AGM and putting it into some constructive steps in the lead-up to the next election and on to 2020 as well.

“As for me – well, I’ve just been focussed mainly on Tai Tokerau stuff since the election” said Harawira “walking the talk from my time in parliament …”

“Starting industry courses, rebuilding Rugby League, helping kura deal with difficulties, trying to get funding for our kaumatua and kuia and support for some of the tougher communities in Northland, starting a prisoner support programme, building support for a water claim to the Supreme Court, restarting a couple of work trusts that have languished over the past few years and helping out at our local kura”

“I’ve also done a bit of media work, been to South Africa to help build an indigenous network as part of the global civil societies movement, and to Australia to support to ‘Stop the closure of remote Aboriginal communities’ campaign. And I co-hosted a Pacific preparatory conference prior to the United Nations Peoples Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York”

“So I’ve been busy as but that’s the life of a MANA activist, and it’s only gonna get busier from here on out … and just to keep things bubbling over, I have plans on being back in parliament in 2017” said Harawira.

The New Zealand media dictatorship

That’s the headline at News Mana which features:

John Minto: We Need Kiwi Socialism

Hone Harawira: The fight never dies

Is this a spoof site? A recent post:Waitangi a ban on Burgers not Burkha Mana News editor Joe Trinder

At Waitangi this year  Kingi Taurua the paramount Chief of Ngati Rahiri at Te Tii Marae has come out saying David Rankin has misheard the announcement there is a ban on Burgers not Burqa especially triple cheese burgers with fries. The leadership at Waitangi want better food choices but are willing to consider burgers if they are healthy

And now: The New Zealand media dictatorship

Eleanor Catton has managed to reveal the mechanism of the National party media dictatorship this could be extremely dangerous for the survival of our democracy. According to Sean Plunkett you are not permitted to criticise the National government its unpatriotic and against the people of New Zealand.

Too many reporters within journalism have intimate relationships with the national party that are a conflict of interest designed to mislead the New Zealand public.

These reporters are holding back real journalists like Andrea Vance.

It is unnatural for the press gallery to be uncritical of a seven year old government. The Prime minister office is pouring to many resources into dirty politics and controling the media and little effort to tackle the housing crisis or poverty reduction.

ManaMediaConspiracy

The New Zealand Herald is a strong part of the National party media strategy.

Spotted at Kiwiblog: Mana’s conspiracy theory

Is Mana News competition for The Civilian?

Harawira on what he and Mana are up to

Patrick Gower interviewed Hone Harawira on The Nation on Saturday and asked him what he’d been up to. The answer was not very much since turning his back on politics after a disastrous election result.

Gower: What are you up to, what are you doing for a crust these days, what’s Hone Harawira been up to?

Harawira: Actually for the first couple of months absolutely nothing. Just hanging about home ah with the mokopunas, doing a bit of paddling, trying to get my health back.

He seemed to have struggled through the election campaign, perhaps that was to do with his health.

Ah, yeah and then a trip to South Africa, then the Nga Puhi claims.

Now starting to look at a couple of projects to get started in the New Year.

Gower: Sweet. And what about Mana itself, is Mana still alive?

Harawira: Yeah no we had a great week just a couple of weeks ago at Auckland University Marae. We had about seventy, eighty people come from all around the country from as far south as Dunedin, and everybody’s really focused on getting back to stuff in their communities, which is what I’m doing as well, and rebuilding from that level.

Gower: And what about Kim Dotcom, have you had a chance to catch up with Kim Dotcom?

Harawira: No actually, no we missed a chance ah last weekend, ah we’re trying to do it this weekend, probably catch up some time soon.

It sounds like he has just shrugged and turned away from Dotcom. That’s odd considering the huge cash provided and major alliance in the campaign.

Gower: You might pop out to Helensville after this?

Harawira: No I can’t, ah I’m going to be too busy after this. I’ve got um Newstalk ZB, I’ve got a kuruwhanau (?) to see, then I’ve got yo fly home.

Gower: Now we had Laila Harre on the program a little while ago, she said that…

Harawira: Where, here?

Gower: No on The Nation a couple of weeks ago. She said that the Internet Party completely mismanaged that last month of the campaign, do you agree with her?

Harawira: Oh look, those days are gone. Suffice to say from our point of view it was a shot worth taking, it didn’t come off, ah but Laila, wonderful person, ah a great political commentator, a woman of great principle.

Harre was widely criticised for her lack of principle in teaming up with Dotcom.

So, I missed the opportunity to be working with her but I wish her well whatever she’s going to be working on in the future.

Gower: And what about yourself, you’re still keen to come back to Parliament?

Harawira: Well a lot of people are keen for me to come back to Parliament, including some strangely enough right wing types. I think I just get a sense there needs to be somebody in there who’s going to be strong on the basic issues of poverty and homelessness, those sorts of things.

A curious non-personal response, as if he doesn’t make his own decisions. And while Harawira spoke strongly on poverty and homelessness he failed to work effectively with other parties in Parliament, something that’s essential to progress policies.

Gower: Will you have a crack against Kelvin Davis again in 2017?

Harawira: Oh if I have a crack it won’t be because I’m having a crack against Kelvin Davis, ah, it will be because I’m having a fight to support the rights of  te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the homeless.

Gower: And will it be with the Internet Party, will it be with Kim Dotcom, will you go with him again?

Harawira: Ah no, look we’ve just we’ve just ah formerly closed off that relationship, so I don’t think it’s, I don’t think it’s public yet but the letter’s just gone off to ah the Electoral Commission I think.

It sounds like someone else is managing the formal split and Harawira is a semi-interested spectator.

So that’s over, but ah certainly the relationship with some of the people we met in the Internet Party, that will continue.

Harre?

Gower: All right then, is there anything more on that split or is it just all over completely?

Harawira: Ah well you never know, ah you never say never, ah suffice to say though that right now it’s focussing on what’s happening at home, what’s happening with the mokopunas, what’s happening with the whanau.

We’ve got to rap this up Paddy.  Thank you very much.

As Harawira said that he walked away, shutting down the interview.

Just as he seems to have shut off and walked away from his political career.

It sounds like he’s over Parliament and while others have tried to to talk about him having a go at returning his heart isn’t in it at all.

He looked shattered on election night and it looks like he isn’t over it. He could possibly recover, and the next election is a long way away, but he and Mana really need to campaign right through the term.

Otherwise they are likely to fade away into political history, a movement that lost it’s mojo after an unsuccessful Parliamentary stint brought to a close after a disastrous decision to try and benefit from Dotcom’s millions.

What’s happening with Mana?

Very little by the look of things. The Mana Movement seems to have stalled since their election disaster. Their current website home page:

Mana post election webpage

There doesn’t seem to be much revolting going on. They are still showing “Help us change the Government” and a number of Internet-Mana election items including “The Roadtrip” with Kim Dotcom and Laila Harre – that turned out to be a bad trip.

And the last post was a month ago, a Media Advisory on October 7 which begins:

“MANA Leader, Hone Harawira will not be available to speak with media today regarding his release “Recount Just One Step To restoring Credibility”

The recount was another failure.

There is some ongoing activity on their Facebook page – but they are still promoting “Party vote Internet Mana”.

Mana Facebook

@ManaParty on Twitter hasn’t been active since the 2011 election.

@ManaPartyNZ states: Official Mana Party twitter feed. Mana, ko te waka whakarei o te iwi.

It has only tweeted once.

There are several Hone Harawira Twitter accounts but none seem to be active. Harawira hasn’t featured in the news for over two weeks, he seems to have dropped out of sight.

Time will tell whether this is a hiatus for Harawira and the Mana Movement or if they will fade from the political landscape.

The Internet Party seems to have also stalled since the election. Their website seems to still be in election mode and the last “News” post was on 18 September, election day.

There is one sign of life though, Annette Sykes (Mana Party)is listed as a speaker at the Global Day of Action against the TPPA event in Rotorua today.

Otherwise the Mana Movement looks morbid.

Once Were Mana

As previously posted 3 News has revealed that three people associated with convictions or charges for sexual crimes have been employed by Hone Harawira and the Mana Party. One person closely associated with Harawira’s election campaign was arrested for rape of a child under twelve just prior to the election (so it’s at this stage an allegation) but still spoke at Harawira’s election night function.

Harawira is refusing to comment. The convictions, allegation and silence could all be highly damaging to an already severely wounded Mana Party.

In more ways than one this could signal Once were Mana.

Harawira employed his brother Arthur through Parliamentary Services with public funds – he’s spent time in jail for violent offences, including a sexual attack charge laid in 2008.

The Herald reported in 2008 MP stands by brother despite violence charges

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says serious charges his brother is facing, including indecent assault and kidnapping, will not damage the party’s strong anti-violence campaign.

The Tai Tokerau representative has vowed to stand by 50-year-old Arthur Harawira, who was last week released from custody on charges of assault with intent to injure, wounding with intent to injure, indecent assault, kidnapping and avoiding arrest. Suppression orders have been imposed to protect the alleged victim’s identity.

Harawira said last night he felt sorry for the person involved, but Arthur was his brother. “I can’t condone his actions, but neither will I walk away from my family.”

While one could claim that people who have paid the price for their crimes deserve another chance but alongside the other two cases this doesn’t look flash.

The second case involves Daniel Taylor:

The records show Daniel Taylor was also a casual Mana Party staffer

The records show he was hired by Mana in December 2010 and was jailed in November 2013.

Also from 3 News:

Prominent Far North community figure Daniel Taylor has been sentenced to five years and seven months in prison for sexually abusing young boys.

Taylor, 34, was sentenced in the Whangarei High Court today on nine charges of indecent assault and attempted sexual connection. His minimum non-parole period is two years and 10 months.

The Child, Youth and Family-approved carer pleaded guilty to the charges in September, one month before his trial was due to commence.

He has been in custody since his arrest in November last year after being denied bail on several occasions.

So he was hired by Mana in December 2010 and arrested and remanded in custody in November 2012. There is no indication Harawira knew of any offending before Taylor’s arrest, so this could be nothing more than an unfortunate association with Mana.

One News reported on the third case on Monday: Prominent Maori leader pleads not guilty to raping young girl

A well-known Maori leader in Kaitaia has pleaded not guilty to serious sex charges against a young girl.

65-year-old Patrick Rivers, also known as Mangu Awarau, appeared in Kaitaia District Court charged with raping a girl under 12 and two counts of indecent assault. The court entered a not guilty plea on all charges on Rivers’ behalf.

The charges are historic and are alleged to have occurred during 2009 in Awanui.

Rivers is well known in the Far North and in Maori political circles.

He was out on bail at the time he was filmed with the Mana Party on election night. Two days earlier he had been charged with raping the young girl.

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira is a close friend. Mr Harawira declined to comment on their relationship and the nature of the charges when contacted by ONE News.

A Herald profile says he is Harawira’s cousin:

He joined his cousin Hone Harawira, now a Maori Party MP, another cousin Labour list MP Shane Jones, and Maori Language Commission chief executive Haami Piripi in the Maori protest movement.

The charge is still before the courts.

But this combined with the other two who have been convicted is an awful look and Harawira should front up and address it.

Otherwise – Once Were Mana.

Harawira’s disturbing association with sex offenders

3 News is reporting a disturbing association between Hone Harawira and the Mana Party and two sex offenders plus an alleged sex offender – Harawira hired sex offenders with taxpayer money.

  1. Mr Harawira employed his brother Arthur through Parliamentary Services with public funds – he’s spent time in jail for violent offences, including a sexual attack charge laid in 2008.
  2. The records show Daniel Taylor was also a casual Mana Party staffer. Taylor was a Kaitaia businessman and a Child, Youth and Family caregiver who is in jail for grooming young boys for sex.
    The records show he was hired by Mana in December 2010 and was jailed in November 2013. Harawira refused to confirm when Taylor finished working for the party.
  3. Patrick Rivers, who goes by the name Mangu Awarau, is one of Mr Harawira’s closest friends. He was part of the Internet Mana campaign and spoke at Mr Harawira’s election night function, just days after being charged with raping a girl younger than the age of 12.

3 News reports:

As Northland faces its latest high-profile sex case, 3 News can reveal the alleged offender had been working for Hone Harawira and paid by the taxpayer.

Leaked Parliamentary documents show he’s one of three men hired by Mr Harawira who have either been convicted of, or ended up accused of sexual offence charges.

And Kelvin Davis says this was known about two weeks before the election.

“There he was on election night standing as the pillar of society giving a mihi, and yet everybody there – the whole community knew – a couple of weeks in advance that he was facing these charges,” says Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis.

Why the hell wasn’t this news then?

Because Mr Harawira didn’t respond to repeated requests from 3 News, there’s no way of knowing what he knew about the charges, when he knew, or what he did about it.

This has been going on while Harawira was an MP, an elected representative. He has a responsibility to be open about this.

If this isn’t dealt with adequately then I don’t see how the Mana Party can continue, unless someone else takes responsibility.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 4,148 other followers