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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
“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.