Maori/Mana party deal

The Maori and Mana parties have announced a deal that will remain in place up until the election on 23 September.

Hone Harawira will stand in Te Tai Tokerai again (Labour’s Kelvin Davis one the electorate off Harawira in 2014), and the Maori Party won’t stand a candidate there.

And Mana won’t stand a candidate against the Maori party in any of the other 6 Maori electorates (one held by Te Ururoa Flavell, the rest held by Labour).

Both parties can still campaign for the party vote and criticise each other’s policies but won’t be allowed to attack each other’s candidates.

This looks like a good deal for the Maori Party, with Mana seemingly intent on putting much of their effort into taking Te Tai Tokerau back again and perhaps picking up a list seat or two through party vote.

This seems a fairly realistic and pragmatic approach.

RNZ: Māori and Mana parties sign deal to work together

Annoucing the deal in Whangārei this morning, Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan blamed Māori disunity for gifting the Māori seats to Labour in 2014.

He said it was time to bring all the seats home to kaupapa Māori parties, so they could hold the balance of power in Parliament and ensure a strong voice in government, regardless of which major party ruled.

Mr Morgan said a simple analysis of the Māori seat results from 2014 showed the combined votes for the Mana and Māori Party candidates would have given the parties three electorates.

But the Labour MP for one of those electorates, Te Tai Tokerau’s Kelvin Davis, said the dynamics had changed and people needed to know a vote for Mana was a vote for National.

No, it would be a vote for Mana. While it could help National retain power the aim is to get Mana back into Parliament.

If Labour diss off both the Maori and Mana parties they are reducing their own chances of ousting national from Government.

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.

NZ political parties in 2016

Brief reviews of the mid term political year for New Zealand parties.

The main issues have been:

  • Continued shortages of new house building and an escalation of housing prices, especially in Auckland, and an increased focus on homelessness
  • Growing attention given to ‘poverty’ as it is in New Zealand, and the income gap  despite the first increase in benefits in forty years.
  • The Trans Pacific Partnership got a lot of attention early in the year but that fizzled as it became evident that the US was unlikely to ratify it.

National

The National Party would probably have thought they had survived the year quite well, chugging away without doing anything radical, and staying  extraordinarily high in the polls most of the time for  a third term government.

An improving economy along with improving dairy prices have helped.

But Key resigned in December. National selected the Key anointed Bill English to take over, but how a new look National will be seen by the public won’t be known until next year.

Labour

Andrew Little consolidated his leadership, kept the Labour caucus under control and appears he is safe until next year’s election, but he failed to lift his appeal to the public, and Labour must be worried to be stuck in the twenties in the polls.

Labour entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with the Green Party and they tried to rebrand as a two-party alternative government but that didn’t change the polls much and may have created as many problems as it solved.

Labour finished the year buoyant after successful local body and Mt Roskill by-election campaigns, and noticeably raised in confidence when John Key resigned, but they have failed to impress as a potential lead party in government.

They survived the year and hope to benefit from a Key-less National but haven’t done enough to make a positive impression.

Greens

New co-leader James Shaw settled in without standing out, but Greens have lost one of their most respected MPS, Kevin Hague.

Their big play was the Memorandum of Understanding with Labour but that doesn’t seem to have  been the game changer they hoped for.

Metiria Turei seems to be dominant, and that probably limits the Greens’ electability, but they have at least stayed in a 10-15% support band in the polls so have a base to work from next year.

NZ First

Following Winston Peters’ big win in Northland NZ First have benefited from unusually good poll support for most of the year (it tailed off towards the end).

But it looks like Winston is catching his breath before election year. The party has done little of note apart from Peters occasionally trying to appear as the anti-politician, even though he’s one of the longest serving members of Parliament. He tried to capitalise on the Trump success in the US but that doesn’t seem to have done much.

Maori Party

The Maori Party has been working towards more complementary campaigning with the Mana Party in an attempt to create a stronger Maori bloc in Parliament. They are targeting the Maori seats held by Labour.

Maori tend to do politics quite differently to the rest. The Maori party has been the best of the rest in the polls but will want to pick that up more next year as well as pick up some electorates.

ACT Party

David Seymour has done fairly well at getting attention for a one person party and has had some small successes but his party has struggled to get anywhere. It has been Seymour rather than ACT.

United Future

Peter Dunne has had a quiet year apart from bearing the brunt of medical cannabis and recreational drug criticism, even though he is severely limited by National who don’t want to change anything on drug laws. Dunne’s party remains pretty much anonymous.

Conservative Party

An awful year for Colin Craig in the courts and an awful year for his party. Neither are credible and neither look likely to make a comeback.

Mana Party

Hone Harawira and the Mana movement are trying to make a comeback by working together with the Maori Party, so have established some possibilities this year without proving they can get back into Parliament.

Internet Party

Kim Dotcom seems to see his political influence in other ways than expensive and ineffective parties, and ex leader Laila Harre has joined Labour and wants to stand for them, so the Internet party looks a short blip in political history.

Cannabis Party

The Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party has simplified it’s name and has tried to benefit from increasing changes on cannabis laws overseas but haven’t found the formula required to become a significant political force yet.

The Opportunities Party

Gareth Morgan launched his own party this year and gets media attention – money speaks – and has announced a couple of policies but so far it looks like him and no one else.

NZ Peoples Party

The Peoples’ Party launched as a representative of immigrants and stood a candidate in the Mt Roskill by-election but will have been disappointed by their result, despite a weak National campaign.

Insight into Māori politics

There is a very good insight into politics Māori style by Morgan Godfery at The Spinoff: Behold, Māori politics’ great realignment. Or, don’t believe the hype

Talk of a resurgent Mana Party, unshackled from Dotcom and buoyed by a Māori Party pact, has prompted suggestions of a new order in Māori politics. Morgan Godfery explains why he’s just not buying it

The Parekura Method:

Take Te Tai Tonga, the old Southern Māori seat, running from Petone in the North to Stewart Island in the south and then tracking east to the Chatham Islands. In physical terms, Labour’s Rino Tirikatene is responsible for representing more than half of the country.

In population terms, Te Tai Tonga is more or less the same size as any other electorate. But the social expectations of a Māori MP are different to what other New Zealanders might expect of their constituency MP. When the Kaikōura earthquake struck Rino Tirikatene took the first trip down to help out in the kitchens at Takahanga Marae.

The term for this is kanohi kitea – a tricky one with a double meaning. In the past the term meant raid or incursion of some kind, but today we use it to describe someone who’s seen. It’s not enough for Māori electorate MPs to deliver magnificent speeches on the latest bill before the House. It isn’t even enough to make the Cabinet. Instead you must show up at every birthday, tangi, community fair and prizegiving that you can.

When I interned for the late Parekura Horomia, the former Minister of Māori Affairs and the long-serving MP for Ikaroa-Rāwhiti, we called it (behind his back) “the Parekura Method”. It wasn’t uncommon for Parekura to arrive on your doorstep unannounced, and for no other reason than he was in town and wanted to catch up. It usually takes seven hours to drive from Wellington to Mangatuna, but it usually took Parekura more than two days.

Based on history:

Sir Peter Buck was a professor of anthropology at Yale University, a medical doctor in the Middle East, a museum director in Hawai’i, and an accidental Māori MP after Hone Heke – the member for Northern Māori – died suddenly in 1909. After escorting Heke’s body back to his ancestral marae in Kaikohe, Buck’s mentor and the deputy Prime Minister Sir James Carroll took to his feet at the tangi and announced how Heke’s mother wished to “marry their son’s widow to a chief from the South”, a tribute to Buck for taking the punishing journey from Wellington and returning her son home.

There are excited whispers and Carroll senses his chance. He remains on his feet, wielding his tremendous mana on Buck’s behalf, and gently reminds the local tribes that Buck is now in credit and a debt is owed. Utu, or reciprocity, is due. Should they wish to restore balance perhaps they would consider Buck as their new MP (Carroll did this without consulting him, of course). Buck went on to win handily, even though he faced several local challengers and traced his whakapapa further south.

It’s the kind of thing that could only happen in Māori politics and it’s one reason political commentators often assume Māori politics adheres to a kind of tribal logic.

These examples are related to the current battle over Māori seats between the Māori Prty with Mana, and Labour. Interesting insights.

Māori – Mana marriage?

The Māori Party and Mana’s Hone Harawira are talking about getting back together for next year’s election. The reconciliation is being brokered by Tuku Morgan.

RNZ: Māori Party and Mana Party agree to put differences aside

The Māori and Mana parties have formally agreed to develop their relationship ahead of next year’s general election.

The executives of both parties met in Whangarei today to discuss their future after they put their differences behind them in July.

Māori Party president Tukuroirangi Morgan said they would now focus on developing Māori politics, and doing what was best for Māori.

If Harawira and the Mana Party join forces with the Māori Party for next year’s election it raises some interesting questions.

Would this rule out Māori -Mana helping National form a government? Harawira has been staunchly against this in the past, while the Māori MPs feel they can do more good in Government rather than in Opposition.

And if Māori and Mana make arrangements about who will stand in each of the Māori electorates how will Labour manage that? Do deals with the Greens? Will that be enough to hold onto the six electorates they have regained.

Labour has been criticised in the past for taking it’s Māori seats for granted and not delivering much to the Māori constituency.

Labour have already sounded a bit like jilted brides when the Māori -Mana remarriage was mooted.

Bomber promotes war, fear and terror in NZ

Fear, terror, hate, evil, war.

Don’t worry, what this Bomber promotes is unlikely to be felt by anyone. He is as lethal as a water bomb using a hundred year old balloon.

From a Martyn Bradbury post at The Daily Blog: Andrew Little + John Key declare war on Hone Harawira and MANA movement

There has been no official declarations, just more wishful thinking. But the language used is trying hard to promote conflict.

John Key and Andrew Little have immediately opened up a war of words…

No they haven’t, they responded to news that Harawira was standing in next year’s election with more like ‘yeah, so what’.

Both Little & Key have very specific reasons for attacking MANA…

…it highlights how both political parties fear a populist peoples movement…

For Little, his attack on Hone is part of Labour’s terror

…Labour who illegally sent the terror squad…

Labour hate being reminded…

For Key. his attack on Hone is fuelled…

The fear Hone has caused by just announcing he is back…

…a reminder of how terrified the establishment are that the poor could gain genuine political representation.

…to overthrow this evil Government

Bomber against the world. The same old revolution repackaged with rusty old rhetoric.

Someone recently referred to him as Cadbury, but his chocolate mind has been in the sun too long.

Morphing the Mana Party into the MANA Movement may make some headway, but with friends like Martyn there won’t be many parties quaking in their political boots.

Not much to fear here.

Labour versus Harawira

It looks like Labour and Hone Harawira may be set to cold shoulder each other after Harawira announced that he would stand in Te Tai Tokerau in next year’s election.

Te Reo Putake posts on this at The Standard in Mana 2.0

It’s more like Mana 4.0 after Mana formed when Harawira split from the Maori Party (1.0), then jumped into Mana+Kim Dotcom prior to the 2014 election (2.0), then virtually disappeared along with Harawira after he lost his electorate (3.0), and now rises from the ashes (4.0).

TRP actually details all these phases:

Hone Harawira has announced he is re-forming the Mana Movement and intends standing in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate at the next election. Harawira has also suggested that prominent pakeha mana leaders Sue Bradford and John Minto will have lower profiles this time around.

Harawira told Mihingarangi Forbes on TV3’s The Hui that he was re-forming the Mana Movement because Māori lacked a strong voice in Parliament. The man he has to beat in Te Tai Tokerau, Kelvin Davis, probably disagrees.

Mr Harawira first won Te Tai Tokerau as as a supporter of the National Government, then split from the Maori party to form the Mana party, winning the seat again in a by-election. Harawira’s decision to ally with Kim Dotcom’s Internet Party in 2014 was a disaster, with IP/Mana gaining just 1.5 percent of the party vote and losing Te Tai Tokerau to Labour’s Kelvin Davis.

He then outlines why Harawira and Labour are unlikely to be helpful to each other:

Harawira says a partnership with Labour is unlikely, as he feels its leader, Andrew Little, has led the Labour party away from its working-class roots.

“He seems to be a nice enough guy, but he keeps bouncing around from trying to sound tough to trying to sound centrist, and I just think the leader of the Labour Party should have made up his mind by now. I think he sings from a different song sheet that boy, and it’s not exactly the song sheet that fits the Mana profile.”

So no chance of a Labour/Greens style arrangement then, which presumably means he won’t be winning Te Tai Tokerau back and Mana redux is probably dead in the water already.

And:

Anyway, good on Hone for trying again. It’s just a shame that by distancing himself from Labour at a time when they are open to partnership approaches he has almost certainly doomed Mana 2.0 before it has even got started.

Comments are a mix of support and criticism. This exchange indicates a few tensions on the labour left.

weka 7

Wow, that knife must have already been sharpened and ready, eh trp?

Well done on creating a misleading and partisan post before the announcement even hit the ground, one that can only be designed to be divisive. Hard to see what the point is, given that Labour need as much help as they can get.

  • Meh. Hone made the announcement that he will not work with Labour, not the other way round. If you have a complaint, take it up with him. As I noted in the post, it’s a bit weird for Hone to write off a possible partnership when Labour are open to discussions about exactly that possibility. Not that I’m suggesting Labour would have done a deal in TTT, just that such arrangements are clearly on Labour’s agenda at the moment and it would have been in Mana’s interests to explore it further.

    • You dont understand Mana and all of your pronouncements on what’s good for mana are based actually on what you think is good for labour

BydOnz illustrates another reason why Mana will struggle to get much more than 1% support:

Sorry Hone, a Marxist revolutionary call would be the go, smash this bullshit corporate crapitalism that only benefits the one percent and their underling traitors.

Greg suggests:

Bradford and Minto on board will be like having concrete boots.
Just go independent.

Sue Bradford wouldn’t have anything to do with the Internet-Mana marriage on principle so I don’t know if she would even return.

Alan gives a reminder of a major problem last election:

Hone and Winston propping up Labour and the Greens – yea that is going to work

People like Martyn Bradbury were prematurely predicting with glee how Mana-Internet would hold the balance of power after the 2014 election and the hard left tail would wag the Labour dog.

And Alan also points out:

Hone and Winston are polar opposites and despise each others politics, NZF + Labour + Greens is difficult enough, adding Hone to the equation makes it very difficult.

Labour+Green is a hard enough sell to centre and swing voters as it is, Labour+Greens+Mana makes that a lot harder.

TRP again:

I’d say Hone has his work cut out for him. He won the seat as part of the maori party and had their organisation, and popular support behind him. Then he won it in a by-election under the mana banner. Then lost it, despite having Dotcom’s millions behind him.

Having to win it back against a popular and effective local MP is a big ask. I don’t see that he has the kind of organisation behind him now to make it work, nor has he got the kind of issues that might galvanise the electorate. Or to put the latter in another way, the issues that are important in the electorate can probably be better addressed by Kelvin Davis as part of the Labour/Greens government.

It’s just going to be really tough for him to get cut through.

Especially tough if TRP reflects Labour’s ‘no way Hone’ attitude.

Peter Swift

Labour and the Greens need to come out early doors and say they won’t ever deal and work with mana,. There is nothing in a union with them except lost votes and voter disdain.
To the vast majority of NZ, for whatever reasons, Hone is toxic. Having him in the political mix is an oxygen sucking recurring nightmare for parties wanting to engage the left of centre middle ground. He’s so unlike able in NZ, even his own constituency rejected him last election night, leaving him to boo hoo on the tele.

If the left are serious about winning in 2017 then we have to act on this asap.

When challenged on ‘us on the left’ he added:

Us left of centre and not the sub 1% loony left is more specific.

And then reiterates an earlier comment by Swordfish.

I trust the insight and impartiality of this contributor’s opinion more than I do yours.

http://thestandard.org.nz/mana-2-0/#comment-1191095

“As a bona fide Leftie (rather than Centre-Leftie), I’d suggest that Labour and the Greens are at far greater risk of losing the next Election if voters come to believe that any putative Labour-led Govt would be in any way reliant on Harawira and Mana to govern.

Let’s be crystal clear here – both the Mana Party and the Internet Party were absolutely toxic to voters at the last Election. Even the faintest whiff among the New Zealand Electorate that Harawira might play a crucial role in allowing a Labour-led Govt to be formed will scare the bejesus out of a whole swathe of potential swing voters.”

I’m not sure Swordfish is exactly impartial but this may illustrate Labour’s real problem with Harawira and Mana that TRP didn’t express, instead blaming Harawira for ruling out liaising with Labour.

TRP also dissed the Maori Party as National supporters.

I understand how Labour may have concerns about being seen as associated with Harawira and Mana, but Labour have what could be a significant problem here.

A large number of voters obviously don’t see any problem with National associating with and working with ACT, United Future and the Maori Party.

Labour must be super-confident to burn off in advance the Maori MPs, Dunne and Harawira, or bereft of any understanding of how MMP works.

A party struggling to rise above 30% does not have the luxury of being that selective about potential coalition partners.

A Harawira comeback?

It looks like Hone Harawira is going to attempt a political comeback.

Source from the North: Hone Harawira WILL contest the 2017 election in Te Tai Tokerau, for the Mana Movement

If he stands in Te Tai Tokerau it will be interesting to see how Labour deals with the campaign there. Kelvin Davis won the electorate off Harawira in 2014, much to the annoyance of Mana and Internet Party supporters who needed an electorate win to make it into Parliament.

There was also quite a bit of annoyance that Mana got on board with the money man, Kim Dotcom. There will be memories of that.

While Mana supporters have remained active the Party has virtually disappeared with their website gone and only spasmodic activity on Facebook.

They seem to have tried to re-brand themselves as a ‘movement’ but there hasn’t been much sign of it.

Party prospects

What are party prospects leading up to next year’s election? It’s a long time in politics until we vote again so there’s many things that could affect the overall outcome and the outcome for individual parties.

Has Been and Never Been

The 5% threshold is making it pretty much impossible for a small or new party to get into Parliament on party vote. This is by design by the large parties, successfully keeping small parties shut out.

Mana Party

Mana took a punt on Kim Dotcom’s big money last election and crashed badly, losing their only electorate and failing to attract combined party vote. Hone Harawira seems to have disappeared from public view, and the Mana Party website seems to have also disappeared. Their chances of revival look unlikely, and their chances of success again are also unlikely.

Internet Party

The Internet Party had large funds and little credibility last election. Dotcom acknowledged afterwards that he was politically toxic. Without his money and presence and media pulling power the party continues – their website remains – but is ignored and will find it difficult to get anywhere, which is a shame because they had some interesting ideas on inclusive democracy.

Conservative Party

With heaps of money and media attention last election Colin Craig and his Conservatives could only manage about 4%. After last year’s major upheaval it’s unlikely they will get half that next time. Craig is severely damaged politically and socially and would struggle to lead the Conservatives to 2% next time. There is no obvious alternative leader.

The Strugglers

UnitedFuture

As a party UnitedFuture has faded just about completely. It is still operating but without a major input of money and new personal I don’t see any change. The only option for UF is for outsiders to see an opportunity to use an existing party to get a foothold in Parliament rather than start from scratch, but even then success would be dependent on Peter Dunne  retaining his Ohariu electorate. I think Dunne must be close to considering retiring, and if he does UF will retire or expire.

ACT Party

ACT have defied critics and survived the Don Brash and John Banks disasters due to the success of one person, David Seymour. I think Seymour is odds on to retain Epsom next year (deservedly) so ACT is likely to survive. National and possibly Conservative vote must be up for grabs, but it will depend on ACT coming up with additional electable candidates to make an increased party vote attractive. Jamie Whyte didn’t work out, but with Seymour anchoring the party they may attract strong candidates who would then stand a good chance of success through an improved party vote.

Maori Party

The Maori Party continue to be quiet achievers. They should be able to retain at Te Ururoa Flavell’s electorate seats and their first list MP Marama Fox has made a quick impact. They stand a chance of picking up ex Mana Maori votes so have some chance of getting more seats via their list. Further electorate prospects will depend on candidate quality. The Maori Party could also be impacted negatively by a Labour resurgence if that ever happens.

The Over Threshold Parties

New Zealand First

It’s difficult to predict NZ First’s future. It is very dependant on Winston Peters. He had a major success early last year by winning the Northland buy election but hasn’t dome much since then. He could just be pacing himself, rebuilding energy and drive for next year’s election campaign. Or he could be running out of puff – that’s been predicted before but so far he has managed to keep coming back.

Installing Ron Mark as deputy could be a problem for NZ First. The rest of the party has been generally out if sight, but Mark is an ambitious attention seeker, and the attention he gets is often uncomplimentary. He could deter voters.

But if Winston remains NZ First should remain after next year’s election. Peters may or may not retain Northland, but the party should be good for 5-10% party vote if he is still in the race.

Green Party

The Green Party have successfully weathered another leadership change. They had built their vote and presence but were disappointed to not gain ground last election despite Labour’s vote shrinking. Greens are assured of retaining a place in Parliament but may find it challenging to increase or even retain their current numbers if Labour recovers and increases their vote. And Greens need Labour to improve substantially to give them a chance of having their first stint in Government.

Greens should be able to stay above 10% but may be cemented as a good sized small party rather than becoming the growing force they have ambitions of being.

Labour Party

Labour have to improve their support significantly or it will either be difficult for them to get back into Government or it will be difficult for them to govern with Greens and NZ First pulling them in different directions, possible apart.

It would be unlikely for Labour to switch leaders yet again, that would be damaging, so they need Andrew Little to step up. That hasn’t happened yet. They are playing a risky strategy of keeping a low profile while they consult constituencies and rebuild policies. They really have to be looking like a possible alternate Government by the middle of this year. They need to somehow get back 5-10% support.

They are banking on Little growing into his leadership role. He can only be a contrast to John Key, but so far he looks more out of his depth rather than swimming competitively on the surface.

Labour are also banking on their ‘Future of Work’ policy development. It’s a good focus for a labour allied party, but a lot will depend on whether it results in something seen to be visionary or if it is perceived as a Union policy disguised by Grant Robertson.

Labour could get anywhere between 25% and 40% next election. It’s hard to tell what direction they will go at this stage.

National Party

National have been very successful since they won in 2008. They have increased their support since then, most parties in power bleed support. This partly to do with John Key’s continued popularity, and increasingly by Bill English’s capable management of finances in sometimes very difficult circumstances (GFC and Christchurch earthquake).

National’s support must fall at some stage but it’s difficult to judge when that might start happening. Left wing activists have been predicting it in vain for seven years. Much will  depend on whether Labour can step up as a viable alternative alongside Greens and probably NZ First.

Next election could see them get anywhere between 40% and 50%. Their political fate is in their own hands to an extent but also reliant on possible alternatives.

Sign of movement at Mana, Harawira plans return

After their disastrous election result the ‘Mana Movement’ website became motionless after posting a Media Advisory on October 7.

After an eight month hiatus there was sign of movement again recently, reporting on the party AGM.

Hone Harawira said he had been busy “just to keep things bubbling over, I have plans on being back in parliament in 2017”.

“We heard how the mainstream media had made the news into “bubble gum media” highlighted by the recent sacking of John Campbell from TV3 and the resignation of Mihingarangi Forbes over political interference in news and current affairs at Maori TV, and we heard of positive steps being taken to use on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses.”

Using “on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses” didn’t work so well last election. Mana have a big job getting back up enough to contest the election in 2017.

MANA still pumpin’

Posted on June 8, 2015 by admin in News

“We had our AGM over the weekend” said MANA leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira “and I was blown away by the resilience of our crew, their inventiveness and their courage in helping drive the campaigns that are involved in all round the country”

“Since the election MANA members have played critical roles in the ‘End Zero Hours’ campaign, action against the sale of state houses, fighting the war on the poor, starting small businesses, feed the kids initiatives, and a whole host of other activities”

And that’s what makes MANA so special” said Harawira. “Having an MP helps but it’s clearly not the sole purpose for MANA and that’s why I love being part of this Movement”

“We had speakers from right across the political spectrum talking to us about issues as diverse as te reo Maori, the foolishness of war, the cost of poverty, the vicious attacks on the people living in the Gaza strip, the Ture Whenua Maori Act, and innovative housing designs”

“We had strong women speakers, Pasifika, Pakeha, kaumatua and kuia, and some really awesome rangatahi as well and I feel really positive about MANA’s future in their hands.

“We had a range of speakers talk to us about the use and value of social media.

“We heard about how $600 million will refurbish half of all state houses in Aotearoa, but how government was more likely to spend that money on two planes for the air-force.

“We heard about the successful campaign led by Unite Union to ‘End Zero Hours’ and bring an end to fast food outlet’s plans to drive workers into poverty.

“Speakers talked about how the new Te Ture Whenua Māori Act was nothing more than a modern day land confiscation and what steps we might take to protect Maori land.

“We heard about the latest developments in the campaign to stop the TPPA, and we passed a motion to support putting the case before the Waitangi Tribunal.

“We had Reo Māori graduates outlining the ongoing value of Kohanga Reo, Kura Kaupapa and Wharekura schooling for Māori youth; kuia talking about the ongoing threats to the reo despite all the hard work in Kohanga Reo; and we also heard from Labour MP Peeni Henare who added his voice to the call from MANA to make Maori compulsory in all schools.

“We heard from MANA Pasifika about using different language media to reach a huge audience who were likely to be receptive to MANA kaupapa.

“We heard from a range of speakers including a lecturer in engineering, a project manager in whareuku construction and an intern in earthship technology outline new and innovative house building techniques, a strong presentation from the Social Housing Action Network, and the tabling of a motion for rent controls to stop landlords ripping people off.

“We heard how the mainstream media had made the news into “bubble gum media” highlighted by the recent sacking of John Campbell from TV3 and the resignation of Mihingarangi Forbes over political interference in news and current affairs at Maori TV, and we heard of positive steps being taken to use on-line media to get the people’s voice out to the masses.

“We reconfirmed our National Exec for 2015

  • Hone Harawira – Kaiārahi o Te   Rōpū Mana (Leader)
  • Lisa McNab – Tumuaki (President)
  • Annette Sykes & John Minto – Tumuaki Tautoko (Vice-Presidents)
  • Carol Hata – Kaitiaki Pūtea (Treasurer)
  • Andrew Paul (Secretary)

“And because we’ve got so much going on, we decided to hold a strategic planning hui in a couple of months to properly map out the next 5 years, and I’m looking forward to us taking all of the positive energy from our AGM and putting it into some constructive steps in the lead-up to the next election and on to 2020 as well.

“As for me – well, I’ve just been focussed mainly on Tai Tokerau stuff since the election” said Harawira “walking the talk from my time in parliament …”

“Starting industry courses, rebuilding Rugby League, helping kura deal with difficulties, trying to get funding for our kaumatua and kuia and support for some of the tougher communities in Northland, starting a prisoner support programme, building support for a water claim to the Supreme Court, restarting a couple of work trusts that have languished over the past few years and helping out at our local kura”

“I’ve also done a bit of media work, been to South Africa to help build an indigenous network as part of the global civil societies movement, and to Australia to support to ‘Stop the closure of remote Aboriginal communities’ campaign. And I co-hosted a Pacific preparatory conference prior to the United Nations Peoples Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York”

“So I’ve been busy as but that’s the life of a MANA activist, and it’s only gonna get busier from here on out … and just to keep things bubbling over, I have plans on being back in parliament in 2017” said Harawira.