Interesting comments by ‘xtasy’ at The Standard on the Maori and Mana parties and their futures.
The Maori Party generally more or less appears to be a “dead” or “dying” party now.
Founded initially upon Tariana Turia leaving Labour, due to issues with their foreshore and seabed legislation, Sharples and others joined her to establish a party to seek redress from what Labour introduced into law, and a kind of “movement” was started.
The downfall of the Maori Party clearly started by going into a support agreement with a National led government, and to somehow at least passively “agree” to a range of controversial policies, naturally also to amend the law affecting foreshore and seabed matters.
But Maori Party members – repeatedly told by their elected MPs, that the agreement with Key and his National led government is good, necessary and will bring more benefits than being in opposition, have increasingly felt hood-winked.
Harawira brought on the challenges that arose through working with National and its other support parties. An internal rift developed, and Harawira left (or was forced to leave), to form Mana.
Mana is supposed to be a new, inclusive “Left Party”, but most know, it is primarily led and organised by and through Harawira and his closest supporters. Yet he always wishes to emphasize, that Mana stands for the rights of Mana PLUS others, e.g. Pakeha, negatively affected by bad right wing policies.
Maori Party support has dropped and they will struggle to get voted back into Parliament, since Tariana has announced her retreat. Sharples is just too much of an old power loving hanger-on now, as one must seriously question his ability to influence the decisions of the government he supports, and is member of as a Minister. Flavell made a challenge, but Maori Party leaders are too scared now to see it through.
Harawira made comments on National Radio this morning, basically admitting, that Mana is in a way the other Maori Party. He talked about working together, some form of alliance, or something in that direction. He also presented his interest as a “leader” for Maori interests.
There was suddenly not much talk about inclusiveness and Mana being more than just an “alternative Maori Party”.
Looking up their website tells you enough, how it is run and what the priority political emphasis and support base is:
It appears to be an “inclusive” party so far, through some images and presentation, but when looking closer, it becomes clearer to me, that Mana is primarily a party established by Harawira as “independent” MP for Tai Tokerau, who appears to have seen a need to try and boost membership and support by allowing in Minto, Bradford and a few others, to establish a wider set of leading members. Yet in polls it still struggles to get above the 1 per cent rate.
See also this newspaper article from the Northern Advocate:
So I feel, Harawira now has to come CLEAN, on what is ultimate mission is, where he stands, whether he really wants to be primarily a Maori leader, or to keep working on a more inclusive leftist party.
My suspicions are, he wants to be the former, as that is what he feels more passionate about.
Hence again, my conclusion is that not just is Labour in a situation where it is struggling to find a “new way” as a “left” or at least “left of centre” party, Mana is also about to fall to pieces, given Harawira’s newly revived true aspirations.
Maori Party will soon be “dead”, I would expect, at least no more than a party in a similar situation as ACT is in now.
From The Standard post Maori Party in terminal decline