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.

Davis assures he’s contesting Te Tai Tokerau

After claims and speculation that Labour were not trying to contest Te Tai Tokerau – see Cunliffe lying about electorate deals? – Kelvin Davis has emphatically assured he is still out to win the electorate off Hone Harawira.

of course I’m going out to win it, as I’ve told you a dozen times already. No one has approached me to do any shonky deal.

Davis will be keen on winning the electorate as his chances via the Labour list look precarious.

Yesterday 3 News reported  Annette Sykes chasing Waiariki deal:

Internet Mana candidate Annette Sykes says Labour’s done a secret Epsom-style electorate deal with Hone Harawira.

She’s also calling on Labour to do a deal for her – in the Maori seat of Waiariki.

Internet Mana is…Parliament-bound on Mr Harawira’s coattails.

His lieutenant, Ms Sykes, says Labour’s done a deal which will help ensure he wins Te Tai Tokerau.

“I think it’s already happening there,” says Ms Sykes.”It’s been informally signalled.”

That contradicts what Davis has said.

Labour is denying the claim however, saying all seat deals are off.

“We are campaigning hard in all seven Maori seats and that includes Waiariki – I can’t be any plainer than that,” says Labour leader David Cunliffe.

That would include Te Tai Tokerau. Cunliffe has backtracked on other things but he looks like remaining staunch on this.

But Tova O’Brien at 3 News is not convinced.

Labour’s taken the higher moral ground over coat-tailing, despite not ruling out working with Internet Mana – the masters of coat-tailing – after the election.

So if it does a deal in either of those Maori seats – and it’s hard to tell if it will or not – they’ll be informal deals, done on the ground and on the quiet.

The proof will be in how the campaigns in the Maori electorates play out. If Labour have done or do any electorate deals on the quiet it should be obvious in how the campaign unfolds.

With Labour looking an unlikely winner in the election shoring up any electorate they can and winning as many as possible makes some sense. It will help put them in a better position to rebuild next term – something they have so far failed to do.

 

Seeking the youth vote

The Internet Party and MANA Movement is seeking votes from youth currently not interested in voting.

…enrolling and encouraging to vote as many new and current non-voters as possible, specifically (but not exclusively) targeting the young, Maori and Pasifika individuals.

https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B-OsCSmT5K89LUwxOExmUjJpN2c/edit?usp=sharing

The messengers look a bit out of synch with their target constituents. The presumed top four on the Internet Party and MANA Movement:

1. Hone Harawira (MANA leader)

Hone HarawiraBorn 1955 – 59 years old

2. Annette Sykes (MANA Party)

Annette SykesBorn c. 1961 – about 53 years old

3. Laila Harre (Internet Party leader)

Born 1966 – 48 years old

4.  John Minto MANA Party

Born c. 1953 – 61 years old

Photos obtained were as recent as possible.

 

 

Has Labour done a deal with Mana?

Matt McCarten’s appointment as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff is a sign of a coming together of Labour and the Mana Movement. Is it just by McCarten shifting from one party to the other? Or has some sort of co-operative deal between the parties been worked out?

It could be that McCarten simply applied for the position as David Cunliffe’s chief of staff and was chose on merit.

Or it could be that McCarten was head hunted by Cunliffe because he had the skills Cunliffe wanted.

Or something else.

There’s a number of things that may (or may not) be related to this appointment.

Cunliffe won the Labour leadership role due to support of party affiliates – unions.

Labour is now ‘red, not pale blue’, declared David Cunliffe in his bold speech to the CTU conference yesterday. It’s an evocative and highly symbolic declaration that speaks strongly to the core base of unionists and radicals…

But how deep is this new red? The best reports on yesterday’s CTU speech have Cunliffe splashing the red paint around to unions wanting to see socialism, but underlining his statements with a cautious blue pen when talking to the media.

There was doubt then (and since) about how red/union Cunliffe was inclined with mixed messages, but some debt to unions enabling his him to become leader was presumed.

Appointing McCarten strengthens union links with Cunliffe.

McCarten helped set up and is heavily involved with the Unite union.

There are strong links between unions (including McCarten’s Unite) and the Mana Party and Mana Movement. McCarten was involved in setting up Mana and has been party president.

On 27 October 2010 McCarten announced that he would stand as an independent candidate for Parliament in the Mana by-election caused by Winnie Laban resigning as an MP.

In April 2011, McCarten was appointed “interim” chair of Hone Harawira‘s new ‘Mana Party’.

There is a significant socialist movement connection with both Unite and Mana.

And now McCarten has come back to Labour because he thinks he has chemistry with Cunliffe and has a job to finish.

With the blessing of Mana:

Headline: McCarten move signals unity to change the government – Sykes

Source: Mana Movement – Press Release/Statement:

Posted on February 26, 2014 by admin in Annette Sykes, Press Releases

“On behalf of the MANA Movement, I’d like to congratulate Matt McCarten on his appointment as David Cunliffe’s Chief of Staff”, said Annette Sykes, MANA President. 

“It’s great having someone we know is committed to the same broad goals as us leading Labour’s election strategy. 
“Matt is a committed campaigner for justice and human rights and, as part of that, he helped in the establishment of MANA as our inaugural President.

“Through the positive relationship he already has with us and the Greens, and now with Labour, we have no doubt his appointment will help build a strong and united coalition of the left to change the government. 
“This is great news”, concluded Ms Sykes.

McCarten’s appointment seems to cement a very close connection between Mana and Labour. Has a deal been done between the two parties?

Regardless of how close the ties are this signals a concerted effort by Labour to appeal to the support they have lost touch with, the working class.

And it signals a closer connection with the socialist left.

Time will tell whether electorate arrangements are made between Labour and Mana, but the likelihood has increased substantially.

Sykes: “We have no doubt his appointment will help build a strong and united coalition of the left to change the government”.

Mana Party and Socialists

Mana is well known as the Hone Harawira party and as a party promoting Maori interests. Not so well known is the strong socialist connections with Mana.

Socialist Mana is not obvious from their website. There are signs of socialist inclinations, but nothing obvious or open.

From the Home page

MANA | Movement of the People | Nau mai haere mai and a Warm Welcome to all.

And a home page slide gives a hint:Mana revolution

From Kaupapa | Vision

Mana, the Movement of the People

MANA, movement of the people, is Aotearoa’s newest political force, led by Hone Harawira, Independent MP for Tai Tokerau.

MANA also speaks to the pride and dignity of workers who built this country into the special place that we all call home.MANA is born from a need/ or desire to be a truly independent Maori voice in parliament.”

MANA is also seen as the natural home to a growing number of ordinary Kiwis cast adrift by this National government, and despairing of Labour’s inability to provide a viable alternative.”

“Government is giving tax breaks to the rich, bailing out failed finance companies, selling off our natural resources, turning prisons into private profit ventures, and spending $36 million on a yacht race on the other side of the world, while ordinary New Zealanders are starving, workers are being forced into slavery by the 90-day bill, and Maori rights are being drowned in the Raukumara Basin.

“In the land of milk and honey, those massive inequalities are unacceptable.

MANA will promote policies that allow all New Zealanders to lead a good life.

MANA will guarantee a measure of people power and accountability from its MPs, that has never been seen before in this country.

MANA is a principle we bring out of our history, to serve us in the present, and to provide us with the platform to transform this nation.

Some general anti rich, anti profit, pro poor, and claiming to represent “the people” and promoting “people power”. But nothing specifically socialist.

Founding Principles:

MANA Founding Principles

The mission of the MANA Movement is to bring rangatiratanga to the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed.  It is they who carry the brunt of government by the rich and powerful for the rich and powerful.  We will lead the fight against welfare that punishes children, against greed that is rewarded by corporate payouts, against the damage to Papatūānku by pollution and oil drilling and against governments who fill the pockets of foreign companies at our expense.

The MANA Movement will support Te Tiriti o Waitangi as the basis of the New Zealand Constitution and will uphold Te Reo Māori as a taonga and ensure its protection.

We stand for the right to fulfilling work with a decent living wage.

We stand for full employment so that everyone can give back to their communities in a meaningful way and with dignity.

We stand for a tax system that abolishes GST and levies financial transactions, taking away the heavy tax burden that falls on the poor and middle income earners.

We stand for every family’s right to secure, healthy housing.

We stand for every child’s right to a free, high quality education that prepares them for their world.

We will support students’ right to enter the workforce free of the burden of student debt.

In short, we will fight to bring the voice of the poor, the powerless and the dispossessed into Parliament.  And we will fight to give Te Tiriti o Waitangi the mana and life that was envisaged by those tūpuna who signed it in 1840.

A mix of Maori/Treaty and general socialist orientated principles without being specific.

A site search on “socialism” has one hit, a news item by Harawira, and this makes some socialist connections clear.

Posted on April 9, 2013 by admin in Ae MarikaNews

On Saturday night I was privileged to host my first ever citizenship ceremony as a Member of Parliament. The ceremony was for a good friend of mine, Mike Kyriazopoulos and his wife Joanne. Mike is a mix of Greek and Jewish ancestry, and used to live and work in England where he met his wife Joanne.

Their citizenship application was finally approved a couple of weeks ago, and the ceremony was held at the Auckland Trades Hall in Auckland as part of a special tribute evening for Mike who is a committed socialist, a union activist, and chairman of the MANA branch of Te Raki Paewhenua.

Mike gave his oath of allegiance in Maori and followed that with his own personal vow to honour Te Tiriti o Waitangi and the principles of international socialism.

That’s  celebrating a Mana branch chairman who is a committed socialist with his own personal vow to honour the principles of international socialism.

And a search on “socialist” finds: Public meeting about the Mana Movement in Melbourne

Posted on November 13, 2012 by admin in Korero, Speeches
The following speech was given by Grant Brookes who delivered it to people who were interested in the MANA Movement in Australia.  If you want further background to the event, contact Grant Brookes –  grant_brookes@paradise.net.nz.
MANA – A movement of the people in Aotearoa/New Zealand 

Talk to Socialist Alliance public meeting, Melbourne

And in this speech:

I speak also as a socialist, and a member of the Workers Party. And I am a member of MANA.

The three main socialist groups in Aotearoa have also backed MANA and are active within it – Socialist Aotearoa, the International Socialist Organisation and my group, the Workers Party.

And if you look at those groups you find a more open connection between Mana and socialists.

Socialist Aotearoa

What is Socialist Aotearoa?

Socialist Aotearoa is an activist organisation of anti-capitalist workers and students. We are involved in the union movement as activists, delegates, and organisers. We support theAotearoa is Not for Sale coalition against privatisation. We work withGlobal Peace and Justice Auckland against imperialism and war. We are part of the MANA Movement.

International Socialist Organisation of Aotearoa/New Zealand

WHO ARE WE?

The International Socialist Organisation is a group of revolutionaries in Aotearoa/New Zealand. We are active in campaigns, protests, on campuses, and in the trade unions. We are part of the Mana movement.

Workers Party

Fightback (formerly the Workers Party) is a socialist political party active in campaigns nationwide.

We aim to build a new political movement based on the interests of workers in Aotearoa/NZ and internationally.

Our activities include organising in workplaces, campaigning against imperialism and supporting the Mana movement.

Fightback stands on the following platform:

1. Opposition to all New Zealand and Western imperialist intervention in the Third World and all Western imperialist alliances.

2. Secure jobs for all with a living wage and a shorter working week.

3. For the unrestricted right of workers to organise and take industrial action and no limits on workers’ freedom of speech and activity.

4. For working class unity and solidarity – equality for women, Maori and other ethnic minorities and people of all sexual orientations and identities; open borders and full rights for migrant workers.

5. For a working peoples’ republic.

There are some strong union connections with Mana:

Mana Kaimahi Network established

Syd Keepa (Mana Movement spokesperson on employment and industrial relations) and Mike Treen have agreed to establish a network of unionists who support the Mana Movement. This group will be called the Mana Kaimahi Network and they want to encourage active participation of working people in the Mana Movement leading up to the election on November 26.

In the first instance they would like to invite active unionists and union officials to join an email network and/or facebook group to coordinate activities. Until the election they will focus on distributing Mana election material in workplaces, communities and unions; enrolling potential Mana voters; and identifying Mana supporters within the trade union movement to join Mana.

In the near future this group will look forward to the possibility of forming workplace, union or cross-union branches of Mana members. Their aim is to have an active role in promoting policy that upholds the interests of working people.

Mike Treen has had socialist associations for a long time.

And other prominent Mana members are are also prominent socialists.

John Minto, Mana list candidate last election and Mana Auckland mayoral candidate.

Sue Bradford is known to be very left wing with a socialist past.

Matt McCarten is another unionist/socialist involved with Mana:

McCarten has an interest in New Left and socialist views, calling into question capitalism and the Establishment.

Mana was built on Hone Harawira is more Maori nationalist with socialist tendencies, similar to Annette Sykes who is also prominent in Mana. But strong socialist elements have also been prominent in the establishment of Mana.

It’s curious that the socialists are open about their Mana connections but Mana seems coy.

Should Susan Devoy’s appointment be squashed?

I don’t know if Susan Devoy would make a good race relations commissioner or not, I know too little about her. I’m a bit of a maverick amongst bloggers, I don’t spend thirty seconds on Google and then rip in to a rant on topics or people I know little about.

I give the people who make appointments like this the benefit of the doubt unless there is good reason to criticise. And it can take time to evaluate, especially with appointments that seem to come out of left court.

Stuff give some opinions in Dame Susan: I have to be voice of reason.

Justice Minister Judith Collins, who appointed her, was firm that the right appointment had been made.

“She’s a very fair, honest and decent person, and frankly, she’s got a spine that I admire.”

If accurate that sounds like a good enough starting point.

Mana Party president Annette Sykes called for Dame Susan to be sacked for her “racist viewpoint”.

Passing the Sykes non-racist test would exclude many people, but I suspect Sykes would fail the test of many too.

What race is Devoy?

Dame Susan Devoy admits she is not yet in a position to make statements as the country’s race relations commissioner – she is not even sure whether she is part-Maori.

“It’s a long-held view that we are of Ngati Kahungunu descent. But that has never been proven in any births, deaths and marriages certificate,” she said, describing questions yesterday about her ethnicity as “awkward”.

“My mother’s name was Tui and if you saw her you would instantly think we were Maori … I think you’re as Maori as you feel.”

I had no idea she was possibly part-Maori. And I wonder if that matters.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples yesterday described the appointment as “fantastic” but his colleague Te Ururoa Flavell questioned whether it was appropriate, given her views on Waitangi Day.

Interesting contrast of opinion there. The Waitangi Day criticism has been prominent.

Yesterday she described Waitangi Day as “extraordinarily important” but “it isn’t New Zealand Day, is it?” she said.

That sounds perceptive to me, Waitangi Day is obviously important to some but many don’t see it as a New Zealand type of day. And ambivalence isn’t along racial lines, Otago Maori chose not to make a big thing of Waitangi Day this year.

There is more to Waitangi and New Zealand than some people wanting an annual soapbox.

“What I would like is to see New Zealand celebrate our national day [in a way] that is a celebration, and perhaps that might be my first role, my first job, sorting it out,” Dame Susan said, before insisting that it wasn’t a public issue and “I certainly won’t be making it one”.

It could be a good thing for her to sort out – perhaps by trying to reconcile a variety of views, but that might be too radical for Sykes.

She had never considered whether she was politically correct enough for the role, but it was “quite possible” she would continue to speak freely.

Being seen as “politically correct enough for the role” would be terrible criteria for the position – political correctness has become a corruption of broad views and understanding.

“But I think in this role I have to be the voice of reason … This is not a platform for me to voice my own views, it’s really to advocate on behalf of.”

That sounds like a reasonable approach to me. She must have said things like that in her job interview.

But I still don’t know enough to decide whether to offer a blogger bouquet or bollocking yet. I sometimes get accused of sitting on the fence, but I prefer to look at it as working out what the fence is made of – and for some reason blogger barbed wire reminds me of pricks and arses.

In any case I’m backing Devoy’s appointment, unless I see good reason it was flawed, and I haven’t seen anything convincing to suggest to me it is.

Sykes v Key on water and coalitions

Annette Sykes has warned John Key to stick to his knitting:

PM warned to leave water rights issues to the lawyers

Maori rights lawyer Annette Sykes has suggested Prime Minister John Key should either get a law degree or stay quiet about Maori water rights issues.

“Perhaps he needs to go and get a law degree, which has been one of my concerns about him since he started talking about this. He really does not understand the complexity of the overlay of rights relating to resources like water.”

Fair enough. But Sykes also says:

Ms Sykes also said Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia should put aside the ‘baubles’ of her office and remember she is Maori by walking out of the Maori Party’s agreement with National over water rights.

As Mana Party president, Ms Sykes said Mrs Turia in particular should have a strong stance on the issue because it was her own Whanganui iwi which was among the first to fight for rights over fresh water. Ms Sykes said if Mrs Turia did not act she was effectively abandoning the fight of her own people.

“I beg Tariana, who I’ve got the hugest respect for, to sit back and reflect and in the spirit of Che Guevera who obviously influenced her last week, position herself for freedom and the rights of our people rather than to take money as a Prime Minister’s friend at the table.”

Perhaps Sykes should get elected as a politician or stay quiet about party coalition relationships.

She said both Mrs Turia and Pita Sharples would have to give up a sizable portion of their salaries if they gave up their ministerial posts.

“It’s time for them to do that, it’s time to forget about money and promote the mana of our people. That’s one of the problems – when you’re given the baubles of the Crown to sit at a table and you’re going to have those baubles taken away it does sometimes impact on moral appropriateness and I’m asking them to put that to one side and think like Maori, act like the rangatira [chiefs/ leaders] they are and stand up for our people.”

There seems to be a conflict of interest. Is Sykes acting on behalf of clients on the issue of water rights? Or is she acting on behalf of a party trying to play politics at the Tribunal?

Annette Sykes is a lawyer acting for claimant hapu at the Waitangi Tribunal hearing on whether state asset sales should be put on hold until Maori water rights are resolved.