Labour versus Maori/Mana, et al

The annual political pilgrimage to Ratana is highlighting growing competitiveness between the Labour and Maori Parties, with the latter now working more closely with the Mana Party and Hone Harawira.

Audrey Young: The political dance begins at Ratana celebrations

Labour faced criticism last year from Ratana speakers telling leader Andrew Little that he could not take Ratana for granted.

Little said he had heeded that and he and the Maori caucus had worked on strengthening the relationship with Ratana.

But Little has come out swinging this year.

He described the Maori Party as “effectively the Maori branch of the National Party.”

Asked if they would “last cab off the rank” if came to coalition building after this year’s election, he said: “Certainly after Greens and New Zealand First.

There’s whole collection, Maori and United Future, if they are still there. So they are certainly down the pecking order, that’s for sure.”

What if Labour+Greens gets say 45-46% and could get over the line with Maori Party support rather than needing Winston Peters? Little kicked of his election year with an attack on Peters over Pike River.

Labour is competing with NZ First and the Maori Party in particular for votes.

In August last year, King Tuheitia criticised Labour and New Zealand First during an unscripted part of his speech at Turangawaewae coronation celebrations.

“It really hurt me when the leader of the Labour Party says ‘I’ll never work with that Maori Party.’ I’m not voting for them anymore,” Tuheitia said.

So there is a lot of tension between the Labour and Maori Parties evident at Ratana.

Stuff: Maori Party co-leaders warn the Labour Party’s grip on the Maori seats is loosening

The Maori Party has fired shots at the Labour Party saying their exclusive relationship with Ratana has come to an end.

The Maori King’s son, Whatumoana Paki, and members of Kingitanga descended on Ratana Pa, near Whanganui, on Monday where they were welcomed along with the Maori Party co-leaders and Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira.

Traditionally party leaders and Kingitanga are welcomed separately but the united front is symbolic of the Maori King Tuheitia’s abandoning of the Labour Party in a speech at the anniversary of his coronation last year, which led to him throwing his support behind the Maori Party.

Ratana has a close bond with Labour and its MP in the Te Tai Hauauru seat, Adrian Rurawhe, is the brother of the Ratana church secretary, Piri Rurawhe.

RNZ: Flavell: ‘Times have moved on’ from historic Rātana-Labour link

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell has denounced the historic political tie between Rātana and the Labour Party and is proclaiming a new unified Māori movement.

Speaking at Rātana Pā yesterday, Mr Flavell, supported by hundreds from the Kīngitanga, various Māori organisations and Mana leader Hone Harawira, made a direct and convincing play for Rātana’s political support.

Well versed in Te Reo Māori and speaking on the paepae, Te Ururoa Flavell paused, pointed to the sky, and told the crowds the agreement made by Tahupōtiki Wiremu Rātana and the Labour Party all those years ago was in his opinion, over.

“Well I think it’s finished. At the end of the day, as many speakers have said, that was made for a place and a time. Times have moved on, the political environment is totally different,” he said.

Mr Flavell said he was ready for a new unified Māori movement.

“Now is the time for us to make that a reality. One political movement under a Māori Party banner, which will pull back those seats from Labour and stay in kaupapa Māori hands forever.”

Patrick Gower: Hone’s back with a Mana-Maori deal

The new Mana-Maori Party alliance had its first formal outing at Ratana today, meaning Mr Harawira is back from the political dead.

After years of fighting, the Mana Party and the Maori Party are making the pilgrimage to Ratana Pa together – not as enemies but as friends.

“It means Mana and Maori walking alongside one another together,” said Mr Harawira.

There is also competition from the Greens. From Stuff:

Labour’s attempts to hold on to the Maori seats could also be tested by the Greens’ new push for the Maori vote.

Co-leader Metiria Turei confirmed yesterday that she would run in Te Tai Tonga after previously running in non-Maori electorates. The party is also hoping to run in all seven Maori seats.

Curious timing for that confirmation, I thought a done deal had been announced last year.

It will be interesting to see how Labour approaches their turn at Ratana today.

NZ Herald: Andrew Little to visit Ratana Pa as Labour Party woos voter

The Labour Party will arrive at Ratana Pa today under pressure to show it deserves to maintain its hold on the Maori seats at this year’s election.

Ahead of his visit to the pa near Whanganui today, Labour leader Andrew Little said he had worked to rebuild ties with Ratana after being criticised at last year’s event.

It is understood he will make an election promise today – the first day of the political year – to build or upgrade housing in the small Ratana settlement near Whanganui.

The first day of the political year? There was a lot of politics evident at Ratana yesterday, and David Seymour delivered his ‘state of the nation’ speech. Last week Labour and NZ First did their Pike River promising.

And now Little is trying a wee bribe at Ratana? Is he going to do similar in Maori areas around the country?

Labour versus Maori/Mana is going to be a fascinating aspect of this year’s election campaign. Alongside Labour versus NZ First. And Labour versus Greens – despite their ‘Memorandum of Understanding’ they will be competing for similar vote pools.

With all these small battles Labour have a much larger challenge, in being seen as competitive with National.

Today Andrew Little has to try try and impress the gathering at Ratana.

Leave a comment

1 Comment

  1. PDB

     /  24th January 2017

    Little and the Greens were all over-shadowed today by the mad rantings of Morgan, with Little promising to fund Ratana’s centennial celebrations next year if govt (or more to the point ‘we’ the taxpayer will fund it for some reason).

    Of note this election from an opposition stand-point will be;

    *Who will win between Hone and Davis?
    *Who will win the most Maori seats – Maori/Mana party or Labour?
    *Will Gareth Morgan take many votes off the Greens & NZL First?
    *Will Winston be part of a govt with the Greens in it?

    Maori/Mana are in an interesting predicament. National unlikely to go into govt with them if Hone is in parliament, Labour is openly attacking them so no love lost there & Winston says he will not be part of a govt with the Maori party in it.

    Most importantly will Little pick up support now he is not wearing his glasses as often (like during today’s speech)?

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s