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.
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.