The Dim-Post

June 4, 2010

An interview with Hone Harawira

Filed under: satire — danylmc @ 1:08 pm

Hone Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Glücksburg Harawira

The electorate office for the Maori Party’s most controversial MP is a hive of activity. Political staff tend to desperate constituents, party policy is debated, dress rehearsals are underway for the opening night of Hone Harawira: The Musical and the dancers and singers bustle around crates of live ammunition and dozens of guerilla fighters: preparations for Hawaria’s coup to overthrow the government next month are well underway. Combine this with the chaos of a busy electorate office and a booming hog-farm and the perpetual media circus that surrounds the man in the middle of it all and you have a recipe for anarchy, yet somehow the MP for Te Tai Tokerau is an island of calm in the midst of the storm.

Hawaria’s aide – a tall, smiling heavily armed man with no tongue, ears or eyelids – leads me through the maze of acrobats, plastique explosives and squealing piglets to a dimly lit room at the back of the building. The door closes and locks behind me. A fire flickers in the darkness, water drips through a hole in the roof. Harawira himself is an indistinct voice in the shadows.

‘Are you an assassin?’

‘I’m a blogger,’ I say. ‘Like David Farrar and Cameron Slater.’

He nods in recognition and turns to his aide. ‘Feed him to the hogs.’

‘Wait!’ I cry. ‘Let me explain. This is your chance to let your story be told. You don’t understand the awesome power of the blogosphere. I’ll publish anything you say! With no fact-checking or editorial oversight!’

‘No fact checking eh?’ Harawira nods to his aide, who stops pouring sulphuric acid onto my feet. ‘Very well,’ he says, leaning forward. I stop struggling against the tightly bound ropes and rest the side of my face on the cool dirt floor. The interview begins.

DP: Let’s start with the recent budget. You opposed the tax cuts for the rich and the rise in GST but under the confidence and supply arrangement you were obliged to vote for them anyway. How did that feel?

HH: Terrible. When I cast my vote I felt a great sadness fall upon me.

DP: Due to the impact the tax broadening would have upon your people?

HH: Yes. Although Parliament’s Standing Orders require all Maori to be heavily sedated before entering the House. Maybe that also had some effect on my mood.

DP: What about the downstream political consequences of the budget? You aren’t worried about resentment from low-income Maori becoming a liability in the next election?

HH: I don’t think Labour will run a strong campaign here next time; we have a lot of support and a great organisation and photographs of Phil Goff without his wig.

DP: So you’re confident you’ll be back in Wellington after the next election?

HH: Very much so. It’s not as bad down there as people say – there are even some nice beaches if you head up the Kapiti coast.

DP: Which ones do you recommend?

HH: The coalition arrangement explicitly prohibits me from endorsing any beach resorts or ski-fields.

DP: There’s been some confusion about the Maori Party’s flagship Whanau Ora initiative. Can you give a brief overview of the policy?

HH: At its core it’s very simple. Billions of years from now . . . [At this point a door opens in the building; due to noise from the nearby rehearsal Mr Harawira’s voice is not audible – drowned out by ‘Oh No You Won’t’, a charming duet between Helen Clark and Mr Harawira’s Mother Titewhai. The gap lasts for nine minutes.]

HH: . . . W and Z bosons and the kaitiaki of the rangitira over all elementary particles we estimate Whanau Ora will allow New Zealand to overtake Australia in GDP by as soon as 2018.

DP: That’s just breathtaking.

HH: But the real key is communication. Without a clear understanding of the policy in the minds of the nuinga we are doomed to fail.

DP: And this policy has buy-in from the National Party cabinet and John Key?

HH: Actually there is no such thing as John Key. He’s a pakeha myth perpetuated by the racist media – like speed limits and Dunedin. But we have support from the Ministers with the relevent portfolios.

DP: I’d like to ask you about the extra funding received by Te Puni Kokiri in the budget. Extra funding for Maori tourism and export operators on top of continuity for existing programs such as Ngā Kaihanga Hou . . .

HH: All excellent programs that deliver great returns for all taxpayers . . .

DP: So what is your response to the recent leaked Cabinet report concluding that the only function Te Puni Kokiri serves is to make up fake Maori sounding words and try and trick gullible white people into using them?

HH: Simply not true and this is another area where National and the Maori Party have agreed to disagree and abide by the Maori principle of tirangawhai.

DP: So the finding is not a deal-breaker for your party?

HH: No.

DP: That seems to be a constant theme with your relationship with the government – National snubs the Maori Party and you declare that you are offended but then do nothing.

HH: I totally disagree – that’s not an accurate description at all.

DP: You don’t see it that way? That’s certainly how it looks.

HH: Nonsense.

DP: I guess we’ll have to accept we’ve reached tirangawhai on that issue.

HH: Very well put.

At this point two men enter the room – the Chief of Staff for the Maori Party and the Commander of Harawira’s amphibious assault force, both of whom have budget problems. Harawira signals to me that the interview is over. I wish him luck with his upcoming musical and coup. We shake hands and as I’m dragged away he leans in close. ‘I’m ready to tell you what the best Kapiti beach is,’ he says. He puts his mouth next to my ear. ‘Te Horo,’ he whispers. ‘Te Horo.’


  1. A worthwhile interview…

    When will you get back to writing satire?

    Comment by Sam — June 4, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  2. Gold

    Comment by Guitarodactyl — June 4, 2010 @ 1:28 pm

  3. “Actually there is no such thing as John Key. He’s a pakeha myth perpetuated by the racist media – like speed limits and Dunedin.”

    Goddamn it … now I realise I literally am living in a lie, do I have to confront the truth? A bit like Keanu Reeves in The Matrix? Which always made me wonder: why would anyone want out of their cacooned virtual reality – much less want to forcibly eject everyone else from that state – when the alternative is living in a completely devastated planet from which all organic life forms seem to have been removed? So maybe the REAL hero of that movie was Joe Pantoliano?

    But perhaps I’m drifting off the comment thread here …

    Comment by Andrew Geddis — June 4, 2010 @ 1:57 pm

  4. “Political staff tend to desperate constituents,”

    They certainly do!

    Comment by Repton — June 4, 2010 @ 1:58 pm

  5. Hone is clearly on the take. I have seen him down by the otaki river mouth fishing with academic members of the Te Wānanga-o-Raukawa as late as last month and he bumped me off a wave closer to the surf club last december. Trust me he prefers Otaki Beach.

    The Te-Horo tourism board is obviously funding, in some part, his coup. No doubt the pay off will be a waterfront development grant, or some such puha barrel politics.

    I will be damned if he gives those buggers the nod over my boys. We will fight him on the beaches – foreshore!

    Comment by George Rangitutia — June 4, 2010 @ 2:04 pm

  6. “So what is your response tothe recent leaked Cabinet report concluding that the only function Te Puni Kokiri serves is to make up fake Maori sounding words and try and trick gullible white people into using them?”

    I thought this piece was supposed to be satire?

    Comment by insider — June 4, 2010 @ 2:11 pm

  7. (Fast forward a few days):

    Mclauchlan, Danyl, of Wellington: for services to satire.


    Comment by Lew — June 4, 2010 @ 2:14 pm

  8. and tirangawhai to you too

    Comment by Funny nose — June 4, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  9. Wait – Harawira wants to rule the world through particle physics? If he lays claim to the tachyon then I’ll be deeply miffed.

    Comment by Ataahua — June 4, 2010 @ 2:55 pm

  10. If only TVNZ had asked you to script their programmes celebrating 50 years of TV.

    Comment by homepaddock — June 4, 2010 @ 3:23 pm

  11. You should’ve asked him how he ties his tie like that.

    Comment by Conor Roberts — June 4, 2010 @ 3:25 pm

  12. You don’t understand the awesome power of the blogosphere… If he lays claim to the tachyon then I’ll be deeply miffed

    Join me on the dark side, and we shall rule the universe as Father and Son!

    Comment by Phil — June 4, 2010 @ 3:28 pm

  13. @ Conor – it’s not a tie, it’s a Cravat

    Comment by Phil — June 4, 2010 @ 3:29 pm

  14. HH: Te Tai Tokerau… shit; I’m still only in Te Tai Tokerau… Every time I think I’m gonna wake up back in the Wellington.

    When I was home after my first term, it was worse. I’d wake up and there’d be nothing. I hardly said a word to my wife, until I said “yes” to a divorce.

    When I was here, I wanted to be there; when I was there, all I could think of was getting back into Wellington. I’m here a week now… waiting for a vote on GST… getting softer. Every minute I stay in this room, I get weaker, and every minute John Key squats in the Beehive, he gets stronger. Each time I looked around the walls moved in a little tighter.

    Everyone gets everything he wants. I wanted a vote in the House, and for my sins they gave me one. Brought it up to me like room service.

    Comment by taranaki — June 4, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  15. He almost looks a bit like Brando in that photo.

    Comment by philonz — June 4, 2010 @ 3:43 pm

  16. Very nice. And nice touch, too, taranaki. I can almost hear the sounds of the chopper blades/room fan …

    Comment by David in Chch — June 4, 2010 @ 3:49 pm

  17. my long weekend begins with a hoot and holler – thanks Danyl.

    Comment by dfmamea — June 4, 2010 @ 4:38 pm

  18. Danyl cements his place as the second-best writer of satire in NZ after whoever is subbing on Stuff at any given moment. (Does it count if it’s unintentional?)

    Comment by SHG — June 4, 2010 @ 4:43 pm

  19. This, Danyl, is superb. Enjoy your weekend.

    Comment by Russell Brown — June 4, 2010 @ 5:17 pm

  20. heh…Te Horo literally translated = “the landslide”

    Comment by matthew — June 4, 2010 @ 8:59 pm

  21. Otirā i turi te nuinga ki tana kupu, nō reira ka tīkina e ia tana pū hurihuri, ka mea, mehemea ka tohe rātou ka pūhia e ia, turi tonu tētahi o ngā tāngata, pūhia ana e ia ka tū ki te hūwhā

    Comment by Sinner — June 5, 2010 @ 8:19 am

  22. “Who here really believes we can win the war through the ballot box? But will anyone here object if, with MMP in this hand and a Patu in the other, we take power in Aotearoa?” – Hone Harawira speech to Maori Party General Assembly 2006.

    Comment by Sinner — June 5, 2010 @ 8:23 am

  23. Dunedin, too, eh? I should have guessed.

    Comment by Clunking Fist — June 5, 2010 @ 11:13 am

  24. Is “tirangawhai” the New Zealand “malamanteau”?

    Comment by Robbie Ellis — June 5, 2010 @ 11:09 pm

  25. Thanks guys.

    Comment by danylmc — June 6, 2010 @ 8:51 am

  26. […] An interview with Hone Harawira – Dim Post goes where no blogger has gone before. […]

    Pingback by Did you see the one about . . . « Homepaddock — June 6, 2010 @ 11:50 am

  27. DP: So what is your response to the recent leaked Cabinet report concluding that the only function Te Puni Kokiri serves is to make up fake Maori sounding words and try and trick gullible white people into using them?

    HH: Simply not true and this is another area where National and the Maori Party have agreed to disagree and abide by the Maori principle of tirangawhai.


    The Government has also agreed to declare in law that Maori have mana over the foreshore and seabed.

    The universal recognition or “mana tukuiho” was the main change that emerged yesterday after agreement between National, the Maori Party and the Iwi Leaders Group to repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act 2004.


    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — June 15, 2010 @ 2:34 pm

  28. […] Colonel Kurtz. Likewise Hone Harawira to an extent; Danyl’s brilliant commentary on this is here. The reality is — to put it very mildly — somewhat different. This isn’t to say […]

    Pingback by Kiwipolitico » Blog Archive » Iti and Bomber: response to “The Big Dog” — July 16, 2010 @ 10:50 am

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