Labour/Maori MoU

In contrast to the Memorandum of Understanding between Labour and the Greens all Labour seems to have for the Maori Party and MANA Movement is Memories of Utu

Ever since Maori MPs split from Labour and created the Maori Party in 2004 Labour seem have wanted revenge, or at least nothing to do with a party competing for the Maori seats in Parliament.

Leading in to the 2005 election:

SAINSBURY: If you had to, could you deal with the Maori Party in terms of forming a coalition? Yes or no.

HELEN CLARK: They would be the last cab off the rank, because I’ve got other options.

Twelve years later Andrew Little’s Labour seems antagonistic towards both the Maori and MANA cabs, wanting to slash their tyres and smash their windows. Little has all but ruled out trying to work with either party in government.

But does this make any sense apart from exacting utu on the party that split from Labour?

Labour are in a weak position and may all the potential coalition partners it can get, if not to form a government with but at least to strengthen their negotiating position.

It would probably be much easier to get Green and Maori parties working together in coalition than the Greens and NZ First.

Last month Bryce Edwards wrote in Labour’s balancing act with Mana-Maori:

Of course Andrew Little has no choice but to support his Maori MPs, and it may be politically astute to distance Labour from the Maori Party and Harawira before the election. But a ruthless examination of Labour’s path to government would suggest that losing the Maori seats would not necessarily be a disaster.

While Little’s comments have been interpreted as “all but” ruling out working with the Maori party, it would be foolish to damage the relationship and re-kindle the bitterness that existed when Tariana Turia was leader.

It’s a delicate MMP balancing act that requires party leaders to look beyond the individual and factional interests of their MPs in order to secure the treasury benches.

Labour seem to think differently, having ramped up their attacks and antagonism towards the Maori Party and since they have joined forces also MANA.

At The Standard in Kaupapa Pākehā Weka wrote yesterday:

I understand why Labour need to be pragmatic around the Māori seats. Not only is this traditional Labour territory, it will be important to the Māori MPs in the party. There’s mana at stake. But technically Labour don’t need to win the Māori seats to govern. They could lose the six of the seven seats they hold and it wouldn’t affect the number of Labour MPs in parliament, because Labour get their MP total off the list vote.

It would affect the balance of MPs across the house (in part to do with the overhang issue), and I’m sure Labour have been crunching the numbers, but there are other ways that this could play out. Labour don’t need the Māori seats, but they do need coalition partners.

This raises an interesting point.

Of course Labour would like to have all the Maori seats, but that’s not what will get them into government. They need to improve their all important party vote.

Stirring up and dividing the Maori vote may work against Labour’s overall interests.

There is a jarring contrast between Labour and the Greens trying to show how well they can get on and work together.

NZ Herald: Greens’ Julie Anne Genter and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern strike up friendship in Mt Albert

The least bitter rivalry in New Zealand politics has broken out in the Mt Albert by-election, with the two leading candidates striking up a new friendship.

The Greens’ Julie Anne Genter and Labour’s Jacinda Ardern have been car-pooling to events together and handing out leaflets side by side.

Genter, who is the Greens’ health and transport spokeswoman, said she had built up a close relationship with Ardern on the campaign trail.

“It’s been really fun being on the campaign with her. We get on really well and I’ve really appreciated it.

Genter and Ardern have made a point of not attacking each other to show their parties can work together under their Memorandum of Understanding.

In contrast Little has been vigorously attacking the Maori parties over the last few weeks, with things escalating this week.

Bitter battles seem to be overriding common sense.

If Labour want to increase their party vote, which is what they need more than any Maori seats if they want to get back into government, then they should be showing they can work with any other party, including Maori and MANA.

If not they are both limiting their chances of maximising their party vote, limiting their coalition negotiating strength and limiting their coalition options.

I’m not the only one baffled at Labour’s approach.

Memories of Utu seem to dominate their thinking, which puts their party vote and their coalition options at risk.

Maori Party-Mana Movement

Here is the agreement signed by the Maori party and the Mana Movement today.


The Executive of the MANA Movement and the National Executive for Maori Party have the power and authority to act on behalf of their respective parties in entering into this agreement.

Any and all contravening clauses/rules contained within existing party rules / constitutions / ture will be suspended for the duration of this agreement and replaced with the terms contained within this Kawenata and will conclude on September 23, 2017.

PRINCIPLES:

  1. The MANA Movement and the Maori Party recognise the importance of showing unity through diversity and the strength that this arrangement provides for the betterment of the people we serve.
  2. Through mutual respect and a commitment to build on the strengths each party possess, we sign this Kawenata to help us achieve the aspirations of both parties and more importantly Maori.

TERMS:

1. MANA confirm the decision made at its 2016 AGM, to focus on Te Tai Tokerau at the 2017 General Election, and to not stand candidates in the other 6 Maori seats (Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Tai Tonga).

2. The Maori Party confirm their determination to stand candidates in those 6 Maori seats (Tamaki Makaurau, Hauraki-Waikato, Waiariki, Ikaroa-Rawhiti, Te Tai Hauauru, Te Tai Tonga) at the 2017 General Election, while agreeing to not stand a candidate in Te Tai Tokerau.

3. Both MANA and the Maori Party also agree to allow each party:
a) to develop, present and promote the policies they think most appropriate;
b) to campaign for the party vote;
c) to criticise policies, without attacking candidates.

4. This Kawenata will take effect on signing and remain in force until 5pm Sat 23 Sep 2017.


Meaning of Kawenata from the Maori Dictionary:

1. (loan) (noun) covenant, testament, charter, contract, agreement, treaty – any undertaking that binds the parties in a permanent and morally irrevocable relationship.

The Maori/MANA Kawenata is not permanent as it has a termination date – election day.

Māori political play looks credible

Māori political interests are becoming clearer and look like they are aiming for real gains – and it doesn’t look favourable for the Labour Party, who appears to be losing it’s connection with yet another pew from it’s once broad church.

Maiki Sherman has an in depth and fascinating analysis of Māori political manoeuvrings at Newshub – Opinion: Māori politics now a Game of Thrones.

In short, the Kīngitanga movement appears to be teaming up with the Māori Party, and they are working towards an alliance with Hone Harawira and the Mana Party.

The person at the centre of this is Tuku Morgan, ex NZ First MP and now a closer adviser to Kīngi Tuheitia and president of the Māori Party.

If this works it could put a strong bloc of Māori in a strong political position, competing with NZ First for holding possible balance of power after next year’s election.

And it will either sideline Labour from power, or it have a powerful influence over a Labour led coalition.

National could be the main benefactors – apart from Māori.

As next year’s election looms closer, the power plays have begun.

And right at the centre of it is the King himself – Kīngi Tuheitia, the Māori Monarch. His movement, the Kīngitanga, is reasserting its relevance.

The King’s annual address is the only time he speaks publicly.

Over the years, his speeches have included the personal criticisms faced by the King and the overwhelming need to reaffirm the relevance of the King Movement.

Of equal importance, and intrinsically tied to the two points just mentioned, are the ever-increasing political themes seen in the King’s yearly speech.

Māori water rights, Kōhanga Reo, a Treaty of Waitangi claim to greater Auckland, and the question of sovereignty.

All of these issues have been part of an attempt to assert the power of the Kīngitanga.  

However, the King Movement does not command the same power it once had with the Government of the time.

The movement itself, as noted by the King in his annual addresses, has had to work on rebuilding its support amongst the Māori people.    

A king with fractured support from his own tribes is a king whose power is also fractured, leaving cracks for any government to divide and conquer.

Securing major concessions such as shared sovereignty then would be an uphill battle.

And so, politically at least, a strategy is needed to strengthen the King’s hand in the realm of Parliament.

Cue the King’s speech of 2016 that attacked Labour.

It was claimed the King went off script this year. But this is not the case.

Labour leader Andrew Little was set up – he was sitting front and centre moments before the King’s address was delivered.

The King said he would not be voting for Labour again and criticised the leader for his unwillingness to work with the Māori Party.

He then went on to back the Māori Party, with a nod also to Hone Harawira’s Mana Movement.  

The King’s Hand – Tukoroirangi Morgan

Tukoroirangi Morgan has been the King’s Hand – the King’s closest adviser – for many years.

And Morgan now has another job – he was recently appointed President of the Māori Party.

He is expected to be a game-changer for the Māori Party. The latest developments with the Kīngitanga support is a clear sign of this.

Morgan’s strategy and game plan will be well thought out.

The first move was to extend an olive branch to the Mana Movement. Breakfast with Hone Harawira.

And the backing of both the Māori Party and Mana Movement by the King in his annual address was anything but a coincidence.  

The Marriage of Convenience – Mana Party

A Maori Party-Mana alliance is the ultimate marriage of convenience in the Seven Kingdoms.

The seed was already sown following the meeting between Tukoroirangi Morgan and Hone Harawira.

A formal merger is highly unlikely. But a marriage of convenience is very much on the cards. A deal is almost certain to be struck in the Seven Kingdoms.

The King’s endorsement of Mana though has served more reasons than one. It would be a hard sell to say the Kīngitanga was backing an independent Māori voice without acknowledging Mana.

The Political Pawn – Māori Party

The real power-play here is the King’s endorsement of the Māori Party and setting up its alliance with Mana.

In order to strengthen the Kīngitanga’s political relevancy, they need to secure more concessions from the Government.

The King and his office are well and truly  aware of the benefits of sitting at the Government table.

Unlike other political parties, the Māori Party is not tied to the greater party needs and wants. Māori aspirations come first.

And so the King is taking over the Māori Party –  a movement capable of doing the Kīngitanga’s bidding at the Government table. And sitting across from John Key will be none other than Tukoroirangi Morgan.

The Māori Party has been hijacked by the Kīngitanga – they just don’t know it yet.

Perhaps they are willing parties to this power play – they will have been well aware of the significance of appointing Morgan as their party president.

The Princess – Nanaia Mahuta

So, where does Nanaia Mahuta sit in all of this? The Hauraki-Waikato MP has been the political princess of the Kīngitanga for two decades.

Questions have been swirling for a while about whether Mahuta will contest the next election. While she has confirmed she intends to stand, inside sources reveal that is not the case. The King’s attack on Labour all but confirm this. It is no longer a question of if, but simply when Mahuta will step down.

The King’s criticism and its inferred message for voters to ditch Labour now makes it far too awkward for Mahuta to stand at the next election. Hauraki-Waikato are block voters. They have backed Mahuta over the years, much of it based on loyalty.

And loyalty should not be underestimated when it comes to Māori politics. When Labour announced its reshuffle in December 2015, Mahuta was demoted down the list. This caused outrage among Hauraki-Waikato constituents and the Kīngitanga. The King’s spokesman Tuku Morgan came out firing saying Little would regret it and the snub would come back to bite the party in the backside. The Kīngitanga has delivered on that promise.      

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

Expect the Māori Party to win this seat at next year’s election.

The Outcast – Andrew Little

Labour has now been outcast by the Māori King, and therefore, the Hauraki-Waikato electorate.

However, with at least another year out from the election, expect further moves to take place in the interim.

As the old saying goes, you ain’t seen nothing yet.

Labour have tended to use their Māori support rather than deliver what it has wanted. No are we seeing some utu?

The Gatekeeper – John Key

According to a media advisor in the King’s office, John Key and Kīngi Tuheitia have had at least three meetings in the past six months.

A stronger Māori Party could also be another saviour for National in that it may not have to rely on the Kingmaker – Winston Peters.

The Māori King could save Key from Winston the Kingmaker.

Yet, as they say – a year is a long time in politics. Anything could happen.

But one thing is certain – the Māori politics Game of Thrones is well and truly underway.

Yes, a lot could happen in the next year.

But what Sherman illustrates here is credible, and it looks like a well thought through plan. That could succeed.

The biggest unknown is who will lead the next Government, National or Labour. This plan appears to favour National. But above all it could put the Māori Party, the Māori King and the Mana movement into a very powerful position – and there may be little the rest of us can do about it.

What would provide a strong Māori bloc in Parliament with the most benefits?

A Labour led coalition, where Labour is keen to make up for nine years out of power, the Green Party is keen to launch their long planned ideals, possible NZ First are also in the mix, with the Māori Party making up the numbers?

Or the Māori Party building on their relationship with National, possibly providing National with a path back to power without needing to rely on Winston Peters, and holding on their own a decisive vote?

Where would Mana fit in if Harawira wins his seat back? He has vowed never to team up with National. But he could still team up with the Māori Party, who apart for Confidence and Supply have voted against the Government more than for it.

The next year in politics could be much more interesting than the same old ‘Winston holds the balance of power’.

Fascinating.

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.

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.

 

 

Will Hone’s wife have the final say?

The Mana/Internet Party alliance decision gets even more bizarre. Hone Harawira was previously reported saying that the Mana executive would probably decide.

Mr Harawira indicated the final decision would be made by senior party figures rather than a wider vote.

“It will probably be made by the executive in the final analysis.”

But now he says that if his wife says no “it’s probably no” Harawira’s wife wary of Dotcom link

Mana leader Hone Harawira’s wife, veteran activist Hilda Halkyard-Harawira, is among party members concerned about a likely alliance with the Internet Party.

Halkyard-Harawira raised her concerns about the alliance in a closed session yesterday at the party’s conference in Rotorua, with Harawira confirming she remained wary of it.

“She’s wary of the deal and understandably so. She sees it from not just a perspective of a Mana member or the wife of the Mana leader but from a long history of involvement in politics and activism,” Harawira said.

He said his wife, who declined to comment, shared the concerns of others about the potential watering down of what the movement stood for. She told members yesterday she was worried about the mana of the movement being diminished by relationships with other parties.

Protecting that was important and the leaders needed to be wary of guarding that credibility, Harawira said.

“The funny thing for me is that I can convince the whole of the movement but if she says no, it’s probably no.”

Regardless of what “the whole of the movement” thinks it could come down to one person’s say? What position does Hilda Halkyard-Harawira have in the Mana movement other than wife of the party leader??

Harawira’s conflicting Treaty of Waitangi and socialist ambitions

Hone Harawira seems to want his Mana party through his Ngapuhi tribe to leverage the Treaty of Waitangi to transform New Zealand’s constitution so Maori have some degree of absolute rule, with funding advantages from higher taxing of others, somehow in a more socialist society.

It’s hard to see how minority rule and preferential funding of one group can co-exist with socialism.

At the Waitangi Day events this year John Key tried to nudge along a treaty settlement with Ngapuhi, the local tribe and the largest in the country.

In a column in NZ Herald  Ngapuhi’s settlement role critical to future of Treaty Hone Harawira tries to claim far more – that the future constitution of New Zealand is dependent on Ngapuhi.

And as fate would have it, Ngapuhi’s place in the whole Treaty saga is about to come full circle for, just as Ngapuhi was the birthplace of Te Tiriti o Waitangi, so too does Ngapuhi provide the basis for our future understanding of Te Tiriti.

The Harawiras are well known Ngapuhi but are voices within a large tribe with a variety of opinions.

And other tribes around New Zealand would presumably value their own importance and input into the future of the Treaty and the constitution of New Zealand.

I don’t think our tupuna signed Te Tiriti in 1840 so “full and final” settlement would be reached in 2014 or that Te Tiriti becomes “null and void” when the settlement process is over, or that the promise of partnership raised is ended at the signing of a settlement.

And that’s why Ngapuhi’s role is so critical to the future of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

While some would like the Treaty to be null and void there is wide support for the Treaty remaining as important once the settlements are complete.

I pray that the leadership of Ngapuhi is bold enough to step away from the mandate, to defer negotiations until the hearings are over, to create space for Tuhoronuku and Kotahitanga to settle the terms of a structure that can act in the best interests of all descendants of Ngapuhi, and to lead the national debate about the proper future of Te Tiriti o Waitangi.

For all its chequered past, Te Tiriti o Waitangi is rightfully regarded as the founding document of this nation.

And will remain so after the settlements. But it seems that Harawira wants to use the Ngapuhi settlement negotiations to be used to leverage wider constitutional goals.

The timing is right for Ngapuhi to step up to the challenge of ensuring Te Tiriti becomes a central plank in the constitutional transformation of Aotearoa, and the opportunity that it presents to redefine the future for its own descendants.

It will be difficult enough getting agreement within Ngapuhi. And other tribes of New Zealand will presumably want to have their own input into our country’s future. As will the rest of New Zealanders.

What sort of constitutional transformation of Aotearoa does Harawira have in mind? His politics and his party give us an idea of that. It’s not just a party, it is promoted as the Mana Movement – “MANA, a Movement truly of the People”. Which people?

The Mana Kaupapa/Vision is generally vague but gives us some idea.

“MANA is born from a need/ or desire to be a truly independent Maori voice in parliament.”

MANA also speaks to the pride and dignity of workers who built this country into the special place that we all call home.

Mana does not represent “the people”. Harawira represents the Te Tai Tokerau electorate which is in the Ngapuhi north.

In the 2011 election in Te Tai Tokerau Mana got 4,844 votes (24.49%) compared to Labour with 6,855 (34.65%) and the Maori Party with 2,208 (11.16%), NZ First 1,950 (9.86%), National 1,814 (9.17%) and Greens 1,704 (8.81%) in a typically low Maori electorate turnout of 19,782. Most general electorates get a 30,000+ turnout.

Ngapuhi stretches down to Tāmaki Makaurau in Auckland (where Pita Sharples is the sitting MP). In 2011 Mana got 2,552 votes (13.68%) compared to Labour 7,739 (41.50%), Maori Party 2,694 (14.45%), NZ First 1,948 (10.45%), Green 1,810 (9.71%) and National 1,569 (8.41%).

In the Te Tai Tonga Maori electorate (covering the South Island and a large part of Wellington) Mana got 1,042 votes (5.92%).

  • In the overall 2011 party vote Mana got 24,168 (1.08%) compared to Maori Party with 31,982 (1.43%).
  • In the latest Roy Morgan poll Mana was on 1% (Maori 1.5%). Since the election Mana have twice peaked at 1.5% but are mostly on 0.5-1.0% (Maori 1.0-3.5%)
  • In last week’s 3 News/Reid Research poll Mana was on 0.3% (Maori 1.0%).
  • IPredict currently has Mana at 0.5% (Maori 1.3%).
  • Facebook Likes – 4,715

So even in Ngapuhi country Mana has been supported by less than a quarter of voters and it’s likely not all of them would totally support Harawira’s ambitions.

Mana constitutional aims

Part of Mana’s Treaty Settlements Policy is:

  • Begin a process to settle the way in which political and legal power is structured in Aotearoa New Zealand.  Settlement must include meaningful constitutional transformation.

Treaty of Waitangi

  • Give hapū and iwi decision making powers equal to government and local government in developing environmental policies relating to biodiversity, prospecting, the management of coastal areas and RMA plans so they can exercise kaitiakitanga over lands, coastal areas, and waterways.
  • Action Section 33 of the RMA which allows local authorities to hand over functions, powers and duties to iwi.
  • Resource hapū and iwi to carry out the above.

Livelihoods Policy priorities include:

  • Pursue measures to provide full employment (with full employment the unemployment benefit would not be needed).
  • Support changes to employment relations laws that give workers greater bargaining power to negotiate wages and conditions with their employers, and oppose changes that reduce the bargaining power of workers and unions.
  • Introduce a requirement for all State-Owned Enterprises and Māori corporate entities to prioritise the employment of New Zealand residents or face significant financial penalties.

Economic Justice:

  • Abolish GST
  • Significantly increase the tax take by introducing a tax on financial speculation, called the “Hone Heke tax” (chopping down GST and income tax), which will be designed using examples of similar taxes introduced overseas.  Initially it will be used to replace the annual $15 billion collected by GST.
  • Increase benefit incomes to a living income, including extending the in-work tax credit to the children of beneficiary parents.
  • Abandon the market-based provision of essential services such as electricity and water in favour of non-profit and sustainable provision of those services.
  • Reduce the tax paid by low income earners by not taxing the first $27,000 earned and introduce a more progressive tax scale where the wealthy accept the responsibility to pay the largest share of the tax income.
  • Introduce a capital gains tax on all but the family home and Maori land.

Education Policy:

  • Support the principle of free state and community owned schools.  Cancel public private partnership contracts for schools.
  • Build schools into Taiao Hauora centres with free dental, healthcare, and social support.  This includes free breakfasts and lunches for all children.
  • Reduce and then end all tertiary education fees over time.  In the meantime, there should be no further interest on student loans.
  • Provide students with community-based jobs to help them complete their courses and reduce their debt.
  • Māori providers of tertiary education to be funded as a Treaty partnership responsibility of the Crown.

Seabed Mining

  • Ban fracking.
  • Cancel deep sea oil exploration and drilling.

Food sovereignty

  • Develop alternative food production, ownership and distribution methods to free New Zealanders from the clutches of international food companies and local supermarket chains.

Housing policy

  • Acknowledge the reality of homelessness in Aotearoa by making it a duty of Government to ensure every individual and family is housed, in secure, safe and affordable accommodation.
  • Build 20,000 more state houses within the next two years.
  • Maintain income related rents at no more than 25% of income for state, local government and community and iwi social housing.
  • Enabling genuine community ownership through democratically elected, accountable shareholder directors.
  • Establish the right of people to remain in or return to their home rohe without penalty from the state, and increase government support for rural districts.

Social Wellbeing

  • Work towards implementing a Universal Tax Credit/Universal Basic Income where everyone in Aotearoa aged 18 and over would receive a minimum, liveable, tax free income after which progressive tax would kick in.
  • Extend the In Work tax credit to the children of beneficiary parents.  This would immediately lift incomes for beneficiary families.

Many of the Mana aims and policies are laudable but some lean significantly towards to socialist side of the political spectrum.

There is also some strong socialist connections with the Mana Movement.

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 the Aotearoa is Not for Sale coalition against privatisation. We work with Global Peace and Justice Auckland against imperialism and war.

We are part of the MANA Movement.

Our members are involved in the student movement, environmental action, anti-austerity and human rights campaigns. We support people fighting imperialism from Palestine to West Papua. We support Tino Rangatiratanga and oppose all forms of oppression such as racism, sexism and homophobia.

We believe that struggles for justice and liberation should be guided by an anti-capitalist vision of the future. We fight for socialism from below.

Mana policies giving priority to Maori interests and Tino Rangatiratanga – the term’s closest English translation is ‘absolute sovereignty’, although many also refer to it as self-determination, autonomy, or Māori independence – seem at odds with socialist principles.

It’s worth looking back at Harawira’s closing remarks in his column.

The timing is right for Ngapuhi to step up to the challenge of ensuring Te Tiriti becomes a central plank in the constitutional transformation of Aotearoa, and the opportunity that it presents to redefine the future for its own descendants.

It would be interesting to get more detail from Harawira on what his central plank in the constitutional transformation of Aotearoa actually means.

He seems to be proposing a sort of socialism that gives overall power plus preferential treatment and funding to Maori descendants (funded by much higher taxing of the predominately non-Maori ‘rich’)  with Ngapuhi playing a leading role.

Is this the sort of country that the majority of Ngapuhi, Maori or all New Zealanders would want?