Maori Party in disarray

The Maori Party was devastated after failing to win and electorate and losing their seats in Parliament. They appear to be having difficulty dealing with it.

1 News: Tuku Morgan quits Maori Party, slams former MPs after failure to get back into Parliament

Tukoroirangi Morgan has resigned as President of the Maori Party – but on his way out he’s let loose at the party’s former MPs.

“The role and relationship between the Parliamentary wing and the national executive of the Party was at times dysfunctional and unacceptable,” he said.

Ah, Morgan headed the executive of the party.

He also called on the pair, who are co-leaders, to stand down “to allow fresh talent to step up and lead.”

Perhaps a change of party president will help, but there may be a lot of repair work to do.

Dr Lance O’Sullivan said the resignation had to happen.

“I think it’s a good idea.

“It’s clearly, this election was quite a failure. There needs to be change in order to not repeat the failures and move forward. It’s simple common sense.”

He reiterated that he would like to stand at the next election.

He would be a good and probably popular candidate, but the party will need more than that.

NZ Herald: Tuku Morgan quits Maori Party, calls for Te Ururoa Flavell and Marama Fox to step down

In his newsletter, Morgan said a new generation of leaders was needed to carry the party forward.

“Both co-leaders Marama and Te Ururoa should stand down and allow fresh talent to step up and lead. This is not to diminish their record of achievement over the past years. Their contribution in securing major political gains for Maori is undeniable and is a source of immense pride for our Party.”

I thought that Marama Fox was an asset to the party.

In response to Morgan’s call, Fox said it was up to the Maori Party members whether she stayed in the job she had held since Dame Tariana Turia stood down in 2014.

“I’m keen to represent [them] if our people want me there.”

Fox was a strong performer last term.

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.

Labour demand Maori “open the books”

Nanaia Mahuta, in a press release under the New Zealand Labour Party, has asked for the President of the Maori Party to disclose “honorariums and fees paid”.

Does Mahuta think this should just apply to Tuku Morgan, or to all political party officials? There would be some interest in Labour making a full disclosure about how, for example, Matt McCarten is going to be paid as Andrew Little’s ‘outreach’ appointments secretary.

It doesn’t appear that Mahuta is offering to fully disclose all of her income.

Tribe footing the bill for Maori Party?

Waikato-Tainui deserve committed representation, yet the President of the Maori Party is muddying the waters by confusing the core business of the tribe with party politics, says Labour’s Hauraki-Waikato MP Nanaia Mahuta.

“The only way to fix this growing negative perception is for Tuku Morgan to disclose the honorariums and fees paid for the work he purports to undertake on the tribe’s behalf.

“Someone’s footing the bill and it shouldn’t be the tribe.

“The people I represent at the coal-face work are struggling to get work or are holding a couple of jobs down just to put kai on the table.

“They want a Government who will bat for them when it comes to security in the workplace, affordable rentals and real housing options. They want someone in the electorate who they can trust, and who will put the needs of real people first.

“From what I understand, Tuku Morgan as a member of the Waikato River Authority, a member of Tainui Group Holdings, a member of Te Arataura and several Kiingitanga appointments which provide an annual income close to that of the Prime Minister.

“I’m sure that the tribe would not want its charitable status affected if it starts footing the bill for political activity. So open the books Mr President of the Maori Party,” says Nanaia Mahuta.

This is an odd demand from Mahuta – if it is a demand, it may be just an attempt to stir things up amongst Tainui, to cast aspersions knowing that Morgan’s nor her nor Labour’s books will be opened.

RNZ followed up on Mahuta’s press release: Mahuta questions Māori Party president’s roles

Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta is calling for transparency from Māori Party president Tukoroirangi Morgan, saying he may be confusing iwi business with politics.

The Labour MP said she believed their iwi, Waikato-Tainui, deserved committed representation, and the only way to fix what she said was a growing negative perception would be for Mr Morgan to disclose exactly what he did for the iwi.

She said she did not have evidence that he was being paid by the iwi but it was a question that had been raised by her constituents.

No evidence but she does a Winston anyway.

“There is a growing level of unease across people who have reflected their concerns to me about a blurring of boundaries in terms of Tuku’s role as a representative of the tribe in various capacities and also [as] the president of the Māori Party – and somebody is paying for what he is doing.”

Ms Mahuta did not believe there was a high enough level of disclosure from Mr Morgan, certainly in his tribal capacity about what he was reportedly being paid and what he was doing on the tribe’s behalf.

Ms Mahuta said: “This is a direct response to the issues that Tuku has raised challenging the effort of Labour Party Māori members.

“I’m just asking a question and I think it’s a fair one.”

I don’t think demanding party officials disclose all their income is the done thing. It isn’t ‘fair’ unless Mahuta and the Labour Party are prepared to do likewise.

Asked if this was an indication she was going to stand for the Hauraki-Waikato Māori electoral seat next year, she said: “This is a signal that if Tuku wants to make real the challenge he has put to Labour, he better announce his candidates early.”

It’s an indication that things are hotting up in the Waikato, and between the Maori Party and the Labour Party.

Mahuta has normally been a very low profile MP, if nothing else this seems to have prompted her to be more visible. Perhaps she intends to fight for her electorate.

Recently the Māori King said in his annual speech that he would no longer vote for the Labour Party.

Maori resisting King Tuheitia rule?

King Tuheitia arranged the recent water hui, where in the closing speech he expressed strong views on water ownership. According to NZ Herald (in Iwi tries to fix split on water) this was a major change:

What is not in doubt is that there has been a sharp evolution of the Kingitanga. In the past, spokesmen have been the voice of the movement – in part to protect the monarch from direct criticism.

King Tuheitia’s speech to 1000 Maori on such a charged issue changed that.

Since the hui there have been obvious differences amongst Maori – different views and different approaches to dealing with the water issue. The King’s spokesman is trying to enforce unity:

King Tuheitia’s spokesman Tuku Morgan is emphatic that all iwi leaders must stick to resolutions passed at the King’s water summit, which include working out a framework for water rights before iwi negotiate with the Crown.

Immediately after the hui this month, Mr Morgan said: “The A list of Maoridom were here, the who’s who of Maoridom were here – they are part of the decision and they are bound by the decision.”

This seems to be an attempt to change the way Maori do things, and there has been resistance to this.

But Tom Roa, who is chairman of the tribe’s executive board Te Arataura and on the Iwi Leaders Group for Freshwater, says the King’s “strong” position on water – that Maori own it – also reflected respect towards the individual right of iwi to go back to their people to weigh the resolutions.

“From my perspective … every iwi and every hapu has their right to their autonomy and that includes Waikato-Tainui.

“The New Zealand Maori Council will not negotiate on Waikato-Tainui’s behalf. Nor will any group. That’s our plain position and I suggest that’s the position of every iwi and hapu in the country.”

It now seems apparent that the water hui was an attempt to promote a specific view on water rights (the King’s view) and to get all Maori to join in and follow the King’s initiative.

If Waikato-Tainui won’t give up their autonomy and follow the (Waikato based) King there’s little chance of more distant iwi becoming subjects of the King.

Who’s water hui?

A ‘national’ water hui has been called for:

King Tuheitia has convened a national hui on water rights after the Government ruled out responding to a Waitangi Tribunal request for it to do so.

(Key Government won’t go to hui)

There has been controversy over whether Maori Party MPs would attend, mostly generated by Hone Harawira. But it seems like there was never any intent to invite them:

The hui will be held at the Turangawaewae Marae at Ngaruawahia next week and spokesman Tuku Morgan today said King Tuheitia never intended to invite the Government.

“This was always going to be our time. The Government have their own agenda. They have decided to be selective about who they talk to. The issue of water impacts on Maori across this country and it is not the sole prerogative of small cluster of iwi.”

(Hone Harawira launches N-bomb)

But it doesn’t sound like this hui is intended to be representative of ‘maori across the country’.

A number of Maori MPs from various parties had rung and indicated they would like to attend and the hui would welcome them, he said.

But  only some Maori MPs would be welcome. That means it isn’t a ‘national’ hui. And it contradicts a previous statement:

King Tuheitia spokesman Tuku Morgan today said next week’s hui would unite all Maori.

“This national summit is for everyone, to enable all Maori across the political landscape, across the tribal landscape, to come together so we can have a significant discussion about how we expect to resolve in a cohesive way, the issue of the ownership of water,” he told Radio New Zealand.

(National water rights hui called)

It certainly doesn’t seem to be uniting very well.

It seems more like a politically motivated, politically aligned hui that specificaly excludes some Maori (and all non-Maori who might also have an interest in water rights).

Is Hone Harawira pushing divisiveness on behalf of the organisers? Or is he trying his own Maori splitting agenda to suit his political purposes?

Why is King Tuheitia organising it as a national hui? He represents some Maori in one region –  “A number of tribes supported the movement, but it became centred on the Waikato region and people.”

National hui? Or one-sided political hooey?

Who’s water hui? Who’s water?