Monday, January 31, 2011


The battle within the maori party for the future of the party is a unhappy development for Māori. The maori party came into parliament to represent all Māori and provide a voice at the table. Unfortunately the slim gains made don’t stack up compared to the loses for Māori and that include the lose of mana and independence by supporting the gnats in their agenda which has resulted in hardship for Māori and others with minimal resources. Now that the battle lines have been drawn between the four maori party members of parliament and Hone we are hearing calls for them to sort it out via kaupapa māori not pakeha ways. But what does that mean?

What actually denotes kaupapa māori compared to something else. Well the kaupapa must be drawn from our tūpuna, our ancestors and our gods. There are numerous examples within these spheres of the way to sort out differences and ultimately if the arguments used don’t incorporate those elements then it is not following kaupapa māori. Of course there are examples that can be used to justify positions on both sides and that is good. Both sides need to bring to the battle their precedents, their histories and their ancient knowledge.

I don’t have so many issues with bringing legal people into it mainly because I see their particular expertise as having a parallel with traditional knowledge of kawa and tikanga. They are just an iteration of that process. But I do think the lawyers need to have a strong understanding of Māoritanga. If their arguments are just based upon pakeha law or contracts then they are a waste of time. They must bridge between the past and the future and offer interpretations as to best practice and correct procedure.

I am concerned that the maori party is outsourcing gnat advisers to formulate their statements – that is damning if true. The various political parties use māori issues to further their own aims and they are not congruent with māori aspirations. What happened in the past when a junior person didn’t like or approve of the situation – they went off with their followers and set up separately. There are many examples of this, and this is what hone should do. But I am opposed to him joining a left party because his voice will be lost and maori aspirations will be subsumed as they are within labour. No - the better way is to set up an alternative maori party to contest the position and ethos of the existing party.


Anonymous said...

I absolutely agree that Hone should set set up a Maori party, not a left wing party even tho Maori and low income earners and beneficiaries share many of the same issues and problems.
Hone is a Maori activist and has Maori interests at heart, he's always been upfront about that. He is also a staunch advocate of Te Tiriti. From what I've observed of him, he is much more interested in doing things the kaupapa Maori and tikanga Maori way.
The dispossessed and disenfranchised Pakeha also need a party to be their voice but there are Pakeha who can take up that challenge.
We need Hone much more than they do!

Marty Mars said...

kia ora anon - you are the first person that has agreed with me about this idea that Hone should set up an alternative Maori party - I'm pleased that someone else can see what has to be done.

I'll send Hone a link to the posts but they have likely thought of it already. It just seems like a good alternative for Hone. Independent is not the place to be - he needs a team around him.

Anonymous said...

There defiantly needs to be some big changes in Aotearoa -

National and Labour are both free trade and often have minor difference, and labour is still unable to articulate a strong environment policy position.

A lot of people from unions and the left respect and admire Hone, and a lot of people want a left and anti free trade, social justice, pro indigenous and environmentalist based party or some kind of working alliance -
A left party, hone and maori and the greens working together.

From what Matt McCarten has indicated he is not interested in a political party unless the time is right and there is a strong social movement for the party to interact with and be part of.

The Greens support te tiriti and tinorangatiratanga but are needing lots of other allies on the ground and in parliament. There is no point going to parliament for the sake of it - there needs to be purpose and power behind the party.