Mana Party in Northland

The electorate that Hone Harawira built the Mana Party on was Te Tai Tokerau. That covers Northland and parts of the northern fringe of Auckland.

But the Northland electorate has been a non-Maori National stronghold.

Nevertheless Mana announced two weeks ago they have a candidate for the Northland by-election.

BREAKING NEWS: Porter is standing in Northland By Election

It is with great respect that I, Porter, Rueben Taipari accept the Mana party candidacy to stand in the Northland by election caused by the mysterious resignation of Mike Sabin ex National party MP.

The reason I accept is because the corruption within this Govt is a major issue and blatant disregard for the democratic system, fast tracked laws, misuse of Govt intelligence services, convenient forgetfulness and many other unethical practises should be a concern for all who value our freedom as a democratic country.

National made a lot of promises in the election last year and has kept none of them.

That’s an odd claim. One of the big talking points of National’s campaign last election was how few things they actually proposed or promised apart from ‘steady as she goes’. Making wild claims isn’t a good start.

Mana hasn’t stood a candidate in Northland before.

In 2011 their party vote was 420 (1.29%). Last year Internet-Mana got 601 votes (1.69%).

Porter, Rueben Taipari wasn’t on the Mana list last election.

Porter’s candidacy for the by-election isn’t mentioned on the Mana website (the last sign of activity there was on October 7 last year).

However it has been mentioned on Mana’s Facebook timeline, which links to an article on Mana News:

Porter up against all odds

Rueben Taipari Porter is disappointed with the Northland Age’s article that supported Norwegian multinational deep sea oil drilling company Statoil. Mr Porter explained “The Northern Age article was one sided this is a good indication they are just ticking the box and pretending to get consultation for Statoils drilling aspirations”

When asked if he was interviewed Mr Porter said “NO” he explained he wasn’t  interviewed for this article despite being included in the photo. This entire article is designed to give the perception that Statoil has community support and the community has been consulted. Rueben Taipari Porter is up against the odds if mainstream media is going to skew public opinion in favour of Statoil.

Oddly that doesn’t actually mention the by-election.

The Mana Party now seems little more than an umbrella for activists. The by-election will give Porter some attention but it’s hard to see it recovering Mana much ground.

New anti-austerity radical Left Party?

Forever dreaming of a left wing revolution Martyn Bradbury asks Could MANA be the new anti-austerity radical Left Party?

He recognises that an anti-austerity party needs to have severe austerity measures to campaign against, and New Zealand is nothing like the economic basket cases in Europe like Greece and Spain.

What Greece shows is that the economic conditions have to deteriorate significantly and the contempt in the current elites incredibly intense before people dump being consumers and suddenly become citizens.

The poor need to see their lot as getting worse while the inequalities in a NZ led by a multi-millionaire money speculator so grotesque that people demand a State that will step in and put people first not corporations.

Is NZ at that level? At one extent it is. Those being thrown off welfare in their thousands and those too ill to work being threatened with ongoing and intrusive work testing are running out of options and becoming more desperate at the bureaucratic cruelty Departments met out to them

New Zealand is nowhere near this level.

And Bradbury seems to have pretty much given up hope for the Mana Party.

MANA could easily hold their current economic platform up as proof that they could be a Radical Left anti-poverty Party. But would MANA go down that road again? One possible way back for MANA is a sit down talk with Marama Fox from the Maori Party to look at co-operating in the Maori seats to win them back from Labour. This would require Flavell either eating a lot of humble pie or retiring at the election.

Tripping up a newly right leaning Labour for the Foreshore legislation and knifing Hone would be a great pay back for both parties.

Knifing Hone?

So MANA may not necessarily adopt the mantel of a NZ Syriza.

It doesn’t look likke Mana has any mantel right now.

So anti-austerity urgency and Mana fading away, So not much hope of a Bradburyesque revolution.

So Bradbury is left forlornly dreaming of his political utopia.

Any NZ version that did launch if MANA was focused on just the Maori seats however could have a policy platform like this…

– free tertiary education
– feeding the poorest kids in the poorest schools
– new state houses
– increase in benefits
– warrant of fitness on houses
– clear food labelling
– sugar tax
– adult education
– financial transaction tax
– Renters Rights
– public broadcasting
– Universal income
– environmental research and development
– Living Wage
– Anti-TPPA
– Cannabis legalisation
– recognition of the role of the Treaty as a founding document with the necessary constitutional changes
– more free health care
– making public education truly free
– Living Wage
-independent foreign policy

That sounds a lot like the Green Party. Another party with near identical policies would struggle to find any space on the left.

Bradbury seems to have no desire to work with the Greens, and they are probably happy to keep a distance.

So he’s a radical without a party.

And a country without any need or desire for a revolution.

Bradbury and the futility of founding an anti-austerity radical Left Party have a Greek connection – the myth of Sisyphus.

SisyphusRock

Has Bradbury given up on Mana?

In a post at The Daily Blog Martyn Bradbury asks Is it over for the Greens?

From what he says (laments) it’s fair to ask if it’s over for the Mana Party. He starts his post referring to Mana but ignores them in hismusing about the future for the left.

With MANA knocked out of the election by Labour

That ignores the fact that Mana’s wounds were largely self-inflicted. Labour can’t be blamed for trying to maximise their vote and their electorate wins.

I helped start up MANA 5 years ago because Labour + Greens could never make it over 50% without needing NZ First.

He not only “helped start up MANA”, he was on Mana’s payroll a couiple of years ago.

His main point is how NZ First will cut the Greens out of power (which has happened before, in 2005)..

With Labour now chasing the middle, the Greens find themselves at risk of getting politically snookered again.

It was a scenario that was quietly bubbling away at the least election.

If Labour + Greens don’t equal over 50%, then they need NZ First. If Winston is in the mix he will want a Labour-NZ First minority Government with just the Greens as a support Party. This strategy will be the preferred option of Labour who showed last election how focused they are to killing off any real left wing politic

It’s a big question as to whether Winston will be in the mix in 2017. Without him NZ First will struggle to maintain support.

To avoid this political castration, the Greens need to kit 15% and Labour need to hit 36%. With Polls showing the sleepy hobbits of muddle Nu Zilind still love John Key, those totals 3 years out from the 2017 election look optimistic in the extreme.

Far more likely is Labour and NZ First cutting a deal that leaves the Greens out in the cold again.

Labour has to get back above 36% if they are to recover successfully, but Greens look like they have hit a support ceiling and 15% looks a difficult target for them, They were confident of getting 15% last election and failed to gain ground despite Labolur’s weakness.

But an interesting thing from this post by Bradbury is that he doesn’t include Mana in his musings about the future.

Has he given up on Mana?

Has Mana given up? The last post on the Mana website is a Media Advisory dated October 7, 2014.

Internet Party may contest again in 2017

Mana have officially taken steps to end their relationship with the Internet party – see Harawira on what he and Mana are up to – and Laila Harre is stepping down, so Dotcom’s party is partnerless and leaderless.

And Dotcom says he is broke.

But he said yesterday he “would not be surprised if the Internet Party has another go”, as reported in NZ Herald’s Dotcom’s lost Mana but Internet Party may ride again at 2017 election.

Internet Party founder Kim Dotcom says his party could still make another bid for election in 2017 despite its merger with the Mana Party coming to an end.

The Internet Party will soon be leaderless as Laila Harre plans to stand down and its main backer, Mr Dotcom, says he has run out of money fighting his extradition to the United States.

But the internet entrepreneur suggested yesterday the movement was still alive, saying he “would not be surprised if the Internet Party has another go” in 2017.

He did not want to comment further as he was focused on getting the US branch of his party up and running for the US elections in 2016. The US Internet Party will be backed and run by American citizens, but Mr Dotcom is likely to play some role.

He says he has no money but that may be just in New Zealand.

Financing a party in the US would have to be on a much bigger scale. Perhaps others will front up with the dollars but Dotcom hasn’t got a good campaign record – he has a reputation as a political wrecking ball.

It would be hard to see any political ambitions as anything other than an anti US Government publicity stunt – which was how his attempt to bring down the Prime Minister and government of New Zealand was seen.

If Dotcom survives financially and legally his chances in 2017 don’t look good. This year he tried to piggy back into power off the Mana Party and that failed.

It’s very unlikely any other party here would consider campaigning with him no matter how much money he offered.

Russel Norman and Winston Peters visited him last year to discuss options and saw the dangers. They will be even less interested now.

I don’t think Labour would risk going anywhere near Dotcom’s financial incentives.

Internet-Mana got 1.42 per cent of the party vote in the September 20 election and won no seats. Its chances hinged on Mr Harawira keeping his Te Tai Tokerau seat, which he lost to Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

Harawira will find it hard enough to beat Davis in 2017. Mana have been burnt badly by their Dotcom association so a repeat must be unlikely.

And Mana isn’t the only self inflicted victim.

Harre’s political credibility has been scorched. The Internet Party will find it very difficult to attract a high profile leader with political experience, especially if the money has dried up.

It’s a long way from 1.42% to the 5% threshold. Dotcom misjudged his political chances badly this year. He must see the odds of turning that resounding failure around are very slim.

I would be surprised if the Internet Party will be a serious contender in 2017.

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.

Mana, Socialists and “the looming crisis”

A fascinating post at Socialist Aotearoa about a looming crisis, the election and the Mana Party – 2014 Elections and the Revolutionary left – closes with:

Revolutionary socialists must work within the MANA movement to be the most active leaders, with the most advanced strategies, tactics and politics, we must win our arguments through their strength.

We must continue to fight against racism, sexism and nationalism within the MANA movement, and call upon the movement to be the first to oppose these injustices wherever they present.

We must also work to win the most advanced section of the MANA movement over to revolutionary socialism and promote socialist ideas in general. Only then will we be ready for the looming crisis.

Are they ready for the Mana Party’s looming crisis?

Will Dave and the others at Socialist Aotearoa have anything to say about the revelations of the involvement of two convicted sex offenders plus one person arrested just before the election for rape of someone under twelve actively involved with and employed by the Mana Party?

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.

Mana candidate reveals online identity?

There’s an open implication at The Standard that a Mana candidate has been operating under a pseudonym there during the election campaign.

It appears that ‘Weka’ is Pat O’Dea, “electrician and union activist, Auckland” who stood in the Epsom electorate for Mana and was thirteen on the Internet-Mana list.

In this year’s campaign Weka was actively promoting the Mana Party and Internet Mana at The Standard without disclosing any  party affiliation or candidacy – but he posted (as Guest) under his own name at The Daily Blog.

In 2011 Weka seems to have taken a break from commenting during the campaign period at The Standard.

Lyn Prentice, who often tries to deny the degree of political subterfuge at The Standard, appears to know Weka/O’Dea personally so will have been actively allowing the anonymous campaigning. That’s his call of course but it makes some of his claims over the years about a distance between parties and The Standard look more dubious.

It seems to have been a quiet self outing of identity.

A week after the election there was a ‘Guest’ post at The Standard – Pick up the ball – that was openly authored:

Pat O’Dea

Mana Movement climate change spokesperson

The first comment:

Rosie 1

Kia Ora Pat. Nice post :-)

Followed by:

weka 1.1

thanks Rosie.

If that was accidental I would expect O’Dea/Weka would have asked lprent to remove the comments, so it is an unnoticed mistake or was knowingly revealed.

That is the only comment by ‘Weka’ on the thread and appears to be the last comment by ‘Weka’ (until a rush of comments today by “wekarawshark’ which may have an explanation).

Pat O’Dea starts to comment further on in the thread associated with his post, and has continued since, also commenting today. It wouldn’t be the first time someone has commented under multiple identities at The Standard, I’ve seen “whoopsies”.

Pat, Weka or Lynn will no doubt clarify on this if they see fit.

The Standard can operate however it likes, there is already not much credibility about claims of party independence there.

But a party candidate operating under a pseudonym in social media during an election campaign is not being open and honest with the public. I can only presume that the party would know this was happening.

Weka has a history of some reasonable comment but has also resorted to nastiness and abusiveness at times including a few shots at me. He has also been actively involved in trying to shut people and opinions he didn’t agree with out of The Standard and seems to pop up before and after an lprent ban at times.

Perhaps it was felt that dirty blog politics should not be risked being linked to Mana during the campaign.

Pat O’Dea profile at Key Wiki.

I’m not the only one who sees a link - see it pointed out here.

If what appears to be the case is not I’ll update here with a clarification.

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