Andrew Little is going all in against Maori as he seeks to shore up support in Maori seats.
I’m not sure it is a good idea though to tell the Maori King to shut up and behave like a good little native boy.
The Maori King is “abusing his office” by nailing his colours to the Maori Party mast, says Labour leader Andrew Little.
Oh, so it is ok for Labour to “own” Maori politics, but the King should shut up and stay out of politics?
On Thursday King Tuheitia took the rare move of endorsing tribal leader Rahui Papa for the Maori Party to stand in the Hauraki-Waikato seat.
In the process he’s abandoned his cousin and sitting Labour MP Nanaia Mahuta, saying if she runs for parliament, “she’s with Labour, she’s not with Kingitanga”.
Tuheitia’s endorsement comes on the back of his speech at the anniversary celebrations of his coronation last year when he ruled out ever voting for Labour again because of the party’s refusal to work with the Maori Party and his belief that Labour’s Maori MPs were being poorly treated in the party.
Labour has always treated Maori with contempt. They have used and abused Maori voters for decades and condescendingly expect them to vote for Labour. This attitude of Little’s shows that clearly.
But Little is blaming Tuheitia’s political meddling on Maori Party president and close advisor to the King, Tuku Morgan.
“I think this particular King is problematic and I think he’s abusing his office, because I think he’s under the influence of Tukoroirangi Morgan – but his time will pass and any relationship will bloom,” Little said.
As to the plan to restore a relationship between Labour and Kingitanga, the Maori King movement?
“We’re going to campaign and win and we’ll beat the Maori Party,” he said.
“The problem with the King is that for whatever reason he’s allowed himself to become a mouthpiece for a single political party in a way that no previous head of Kingitanga has done. Certainly his predecessor, Dame Te Atairangikaahu, would never have allowed that to happen while she was the Maori Queen.”
There is the real issue, right there. Andrew Little is miffed that a Maori leader has a differing point of view politically, and he wants that stopped. That is rude, condescending and typical of Labour.
Andrew Little is going to need all the support he can get if he is able to muster the numbers to form a government. He’s decided to attack the Maori party, and it is pretty much because they’ve proven to be effective in delivering policy wins for Maori, while his own Maori MPs like Nanaia Mahuta have done nothing more than eat all the pies in Bellamys over the past 21 years.