The Dim-Post

June 26, 2011

North by northwest

Filed under: Politics — danylmc @ 7:37 am

Hone Harawira wins his by-election:

Mr Harawira was defiant in victory tonight, attacking the Maori Party and telling his supporters that his Mana Party and the Maori Party he left would be reunited one day, once co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples retired.

Harawira said he would be ringing Dr Sharples but he was “hugely pissed off” with his former colleagues.

Originally I predicted a Kelvin Davis win but I changed my mind last weekend after watching the Marae debate. Every time I’d seen Harawira on TV in the past he’d was in adversarial mode – he’d said something offensive or done something dumb and was on TV to defend himself – but the debate showed a different side: charming, very quick-witted, disingenuous. Labour’s Kelvin Davis was completely outclassed.

It was a pretty narrow margin off a low turnout, but Labour won’t be able to throw the same resources at it in the General Election. The big question is whether Mana will try and take the rest of the Maori seats or whether they’ll reach a non-aggression pact with the Maori Party. This latter option doesn’t sound too likely:

Hone Harawira told supporters yesterday that Mana would eventually take over the Maori Party, following yesterday’s Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

Harawira thanked his supporters and said he would call Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples as promised, but was “hugely pissed off” with them.

“They shit all over [the people of the North] when they got rid of me and then they got someone else [Solomon Tipene] and they shit all over him,” he said.

The Maori Party would have to pay the price further down the track, he said. “We, the people, deserve better.”

Sharples and Turia would have to retire soon, he said, and Mana would be there to take over.

“We will take over that party, we will bring it back together as Mana Maori and if ever I dare to step upon the people the way the Maori Party has stepped upon the Tai Tokerau, just slap me,” he said.


  1. Sounds ambitious and optimistic. I don’t know how much Harawira’s (and his family’s) personal support in Te Tai Tokerau will work in other Maori electorates and in the country in general.

    Comment by Pete George — June 26, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  2. Down the track.

    But not yet. I really do think Hone wants non -aggression this November.

    Comment by Graeme Edgeler — June 26, 2011 @ 10:53 am

  3. Labour’s Kelvin Davis was completely outclassed.

    I’m not sure that was the case, Davis increased his proportion of the (low turnout) vote from 29% to 41% – I think the most telling result was the nearly halving of voter turnout. I think that reflects more on continuing disillusionment with Labour – Davis is still an MP and the voters new that wasn’t in jeopardy.

    Comment by Pete George — June 26, 2011 @ 10:59 am

  4. The bovine Maori bludgers and parasites of Te Tai Tokerau have had their stupidity and herd like instincts rewarded by being courted by two excellent candidates, and there is every chance that this comig election these Maori will split their vote between what ever candidate and party vote option best suits their seperatist and statist agendas.

    This, of course, is the behaviour of a leaperous class of social leeches – something the fine, upstanding and best informed voters in the entire country in Epsom wouldn’t do, for example.

    The reason I kow this is James has told me that self-serving decisions made by rich people are noble in intent; whereas the poor doing the same simply proves their vile and indigent nature.

    Comment by Sanctuary — June 26, 2011 @ 11:25 am

  5. If anyone can identify what Hone’s plan is to help solve Maori unemployment I would love to know what it is, because I don’t think I’ve ever heard him express one tangible idea.

    Comment by radarzero — June 26, 2011 @ 12:22 pm

  6. Basically his plan is to roll back the tax cuts and use the money to finance work schemes.

    Comment by danylmc — June 26, 2011 @ 12:28 pm

  7. radazero – he has proposed that starting in Te Tai Tokerau all unemployed are given the minimum wage and put on community work schemes. It might increase the population of the far north but not the productivity.

    Comment by Pete George — June 26, 2011 @ 12:31 pm

  8. He also mooted the idea of putting an extra teacher’s aide in every school.

    I think there is something to the notion that getting into the habit of a work ethic has an intangible value regardless of the productive value of the work, especially when compared to paying people for nothing. But there’s also the pride aspect of the value of one’s job; pointless, soul-destroying make-work can be debilitating in a different way.

    Comment by Adze — June 26, 2011 @ 12:49 pm

  9. I’ve been told that Davis has the understanding that Maori in Northland will achieve if only they work hard, respect themselves and get into education.

    The factors conspiring against this being a reality are immense.

    Maybe in 06 Auckland, with pakeha unemployment around 3%, but not in 11 Northland with Maori unemployment nearing 50%. There simply aren’t the jobs – there is no economy. That he shares the same non-structuralist view of social conditions held by most ACT MPs is disturbing. He might speak well, and may make a decent backbencher, but should never be in cabinet (that said, he’d be better than 1/2 current National cabinet, whose viewpoints are equally myopic).

    Comment by George D — June 26, 2011 @ 1:34 pm

  10. George D – think you are unfair to Davis; he values education as he thinks it will help Maori become entrepreneurs who will create jobs. Whether this is feasible in the current economic/political climate is another matter but he certainly does not believe getting educated will in itself magically create jobs.
    Also in any future scenario the outlook is bleak for Maori if current education dropout rates continue.

    Comment by deemac — June 26, 2011 @ 2:32 pm

  11. Deemac, perhaps I haven’t heard enough and my last comment is indeed unfair. But those I’ve heard this from are hardly Marxist te Mana supporters. Entrepreneurialism only works when there is sufficient capital, and sufficient growth in demand to sustain it. What is needed now is structural intervention, and the only way I can see that occurring is through highly active support for industry creation and growth in the region (something that could be sustained across much of NZ, but here especially).

    Comment by George D — June 26, 2011 @ 4:11 pm

  12. Clearly the unacceptable job situation in Northland has a cyclical component and a structural component. Northland’s unemployment rate has been, on average, 2.2 points higher than the national rate over the last ten years. Currently it’s 2.4 points higher, which isn’t that different from usual.

    Davis is right that improvement in education is vital for Northland’s long-term viability. But an education isn’t going to help much until the short-term problem of no jobs is sorted out. Davis’s view is incomplete, but I think most of the Labour front bench have a similarly incomplete view.

    Comment by bradluen — June 27, 2011 @ 10:58 am

  13. It’s nice to see HH is so gracious in victory.

    Comment by Gregor W — June 27, 2011 @ 11:50 am

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