Pita Sharples

Hooton on Labour’s skulduggery in Te Tai Tokerau

Matthew Hooton uses his NBR column to explain about David Cunliffe’s skullduggery in Te Tai Tokerau.

Less widely reported was Mr Key’s reference to the Maori Party. Like National voters in Epsom and Ohariu, the prime minister told those in the Maori electorates to back his support parties’ candidates.

This is a bit cheeky: National doesn’t run candidates in the Maori electorates because, theoretically, its policy is to abolish them (although it’s extremely doubtful Mr Key personally agrees, given his commitment to national reconciliation).

That’s why Mr Key’s nod to the Maori Party is so important. Under MMP, this election remains too close to call. For National to have a chance of a third term, Mr Key may well need Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell to retain Waiariki. Even more important is the result in Hone Harawira’s Te Tai Tokerau electorate, which spans Cape Reinga to West Auckland.

Most commentators assume Mr Harawira is completely safe, especially now he has scored Kim Dotcom’s dosh. But that reveals they haven’t looked at the data very carefully.

Three years ago, Mr Harawira only sneaked back into parliament, beating Labour’s Kelvin Davis by a mere 1165 votes, 6% of those cast. Labour won the party vote easily, by 10%. For his part, Mr Harawira’s majority was well less than National’s party vote and also NZ First’s (see table below). Obviously, many National and NZ First voters backed the Maori Party’s candidate, while Green voters backed Mr Harawira.

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This time, the Maori Party has Te Hira Paenga as its candidate. He would make an excellent MP. A father of five, he has post-graduate qualifications and is assistant principal at Hato Petera College. Whatever: he should fall on his taiaha.  Read more »

Haere Ra

Claire Trevett looks back on dignified politicians

Few could question the integrity with which Sharples and Turia approached their political lives. They rarely got embroiled in the mundane distractions of politics, the grandstanding and personal snipes, unless it was in defence of themselves. They were the perfect complementary force. Turia was the rock, Sharples was the orator, galvanising and the perfect voice to quell suspicion about the Maori Party among Pakeha.

When it came to the Pakeha media, both took time to explain who they were and what they were doing, over and over again if need be. They were dignified, courteous and calm. Turia’s entertaining habit of breaking into giggles when asked the occasional ridiculous question often said more than words would have.

The reality of politics has had the usual erosive effect. The acrimonious split with Hone Harawira delivered a cut the party has yet to heal from, despite its bravado. It continues to struggle with the perception it has simply become a stooge for National. Its MPs would occasionally adopt siege mentality at times of trial rather than front the issue.

But they stayed relentlessly on message, and that message has stayed consistent throughout. For Turia, that message has been life-long: the case for Maori self-determination. In her maiden speech as a new Labour MP in 1997, she did not bother with the usual platitudes of paying homage to the party she represented, or those who led it. Instead, she spoke of Maori being forced to live in two worlds, “drip-fed, spoon-fed and acted upon like imbeciles”. Read more »

Helping Labour out in Tamaki Makaurau

With Labour re-opening nominations for Tamaki Makaurau, I thought it might be handy to give them a help with the advertising.

Situation Vacant

Labour leader David Cunliffe is tipping the party’s ruling council will reopen nominations for the crucial Tamaki Makaurau electorate when it meets this week.     Read more »

Have Labour had an outbreak of ethics?

Matthew Hooton writes at the NBR about Shane Taurima and Labour’s decision to rinse him.

The strange thing about the Taurima report is that labour actually did the right thing and gave him the arse.

Have Labour had an outbreak of ethics or did they have too many gays for the quota?

Matthew Hooton thinks they knew all along and have done this to try to appear to have clean hands.

In some circles, Mr Taurima is very highly regarded.

As Winston Peters put it on radio this morning, as part of a wide-ranging interview on his latest allegations about the Cook Strait ferries and his promise to release, as early as today, information he says he holds that will force Judith Collins to resign: “Over the years I have known Shane, I have always found him to be highly professional and the kind of quality Maori media personality that we need to seriously encourage in this country.”

Mr Peters described the decision by the Labour’s New Zealand Council not to allow Mr Taurima to seek the party’s nomination for Tamaki Makaurau as “a tragedy”, “a terrible pity” and “disappointing in the extreme”.

Tamaki Makaurau, currently held by retiring Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples, is now overwhelmingly favoured to be won by Labour in September. Whoever wins Labour’s nomination can look forward to a long career in parliament, representing the Auckland region, and to become a major rangatira, with a permanent place in Maori history.

Mr Taumira is only human to have wanted that desperately – and Labour gave him every indications it wanted him, delaying the deadline for nominations to try to accommodate his difficulties with his employer, TVNZ.

Those indications were even stronger because a large number of people within Labour, including on its New Zealand Council, knew all along what Mr Taurima was up to within TVNZ and implicitly endorsed it.

Mr Taurima essentially set up a Labour cell within TVNZ, signing up his own staff as party members and setting up new branches.   Read more »

Hone tells Pita to naff off as he crawls closer towards a deal with Dotcom

A clever political game is being played at the moment.

Pita Sharples is manipulating Hone Harawira into doing the deal with Kim Dotcom by telling him he is an idiot for doing it and will therefore kill off Mana in the future.

Claire Trevett reports:

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has told the Maori Party to butt out of its plans to talk to Kim Dotcom’s internet Party after Pita Sharples said there was nothing in it for the Mana Party other than money.

Maori Party MP Dr Sharples said today he was perplexed about Mr Harawira’s willingness to entertain joining up with Mr Dotcom’s internet Party.

Mr Dotcom is due to speak at Mana’s annual conference this weekend where the Mana Party will decide whether to enter an arrangement with his party in the election.

Dr Sharples said Mr Dotcom had done “absolutely nothing” for Maori.  Read more »

McCarten’s winners and losers

Matt McCarten has written in the Herald on Sunday about his picks for winners and losers.

Losers

  1. Len Brown. The Sinner. A leader of the left in public who in private believed he was entitled to the good life of the elites. A man who gained the whole world, but lost his soul. Can he be redeemed?
  2. John Banks
  3. David Shearer
  4. Pita Sharples
  5. Peter Dunne

Number one in the losers list shouldn’t have been Len Brown, it should have been the citizens of Auckland who can’t rid themselves of a dodgy rooting ratbag of a mayor.  Read more »

Hide on Maori apathy

Rodney Hide discusses maori apathy towards…well everything, but especially voting.

Huge party, government and parliamentary resources were thrown at the poor people of Ikaroa-Rawhiti. They have never had so much attention, nor so many concerned for their welfare. The byelection was impossible for them to avoid.

And yet the “no vote” outpolled the winning candidate’s vote five to one. The “no-vote” majority was 17,500. That is despite the massive campaigning effort that a byelection entails.

I said as much at the time of the result. Maori didn’t care enough to even bother voting.

The people of Ikaroa-Rawhiti also have a heavy interest in government. Some 5500 of them are on the domestic purposes benefit. That’s 3.5 times the country rate. Another 4000 are on the unemployment benefit, 2500 are on the sickness benefit and 2000 on the invalid’s benefit.  Read more »

Pita Sharples to quit politics

via ODT

via ODT

Claire Trevett Native Affairs has a nice scoop:

Pita Sharples will resign as the Maori Party’s co-leader tomorrow and will quit politics altogether next year.

Read more »

Hooton on Harawira

Matthew Hooton must have fallen out with the Brown Brothers. He comments on the destructiveness of Hone Harawira.

Those most supportive of the Don Brash and ACT Party message of “one law for all” should be deeply grateful to Hone Harawira.

If the Northland firebrand had the slightest emotional intelligence and ability to think medium-term, he would now be set to become leader of a united Maori Party capable of winning all seven Maori electorates and something approaching 5% of the party vote.

Instead, his personal anger and belligerence, his childish emotional need to be a staunch bro’, and his extraordinary arrogance, so associated with the Harawia clan, meant he moved to split the Maori Party in 2011 and set up his own far-left Mana movement.

His complaint was that the other Maori Party MPs weren’t radical enough for him and were prepared to accept crumbs from John Key’s table as opposed to the … well, it is never quite clear what he would try to deliver to his people were he ever to have the chance.  Read more »

Labour most to lose

Claire Trevett has an article about the looming by-election in Ikaroa-Rawhiti. It is a reasonable article spoiled by inept graphics work.

See if you can work out what they are on about where they get the name of Labour candidate wrong, and the sequence cocked up.

heraldbomb Read more »