The legacy is there, the wins have been noted - now is the time to think of the bigger picture - to truely display leadership and allow the younger shoots to come forth - they are there, under your shade and they can make further gains for maori aspirations.
The downside of being in government with National is having to put up with all the anti-worker, anti-beneficiary and anti-environment (and therefore anti-Maori) legislation that comes as a natural consequence of having a right-wing government. ... Whether our views have been unduly influenced by our coalition obligations or not, the fact is that our public positions on some issues have changed a lot since we were in opposition.
Suggestions for the Maori Party -
Be clear about who our constituency is and define our policies and positions on that basis. Stop pretending that we are a mainstream party – we're not. The Maori Party operates on the basis that what is good for Maori is good for the nation so we should highlight policies that benefit Maori but also help the rest of the country.
Be bold in our positions. When governments say "Maori need to be realistic" what they're really saying is "no". But that shouldn't make us afraid to say what it is our people want, and commit ourselves to doing our best to achieving it. If we are not successful, don't let it be because we let somebody else stop us from daring to succeed.
Speak out strongly against National's anti-social initiatives.
Oppose National's Marine and Coastal Areas bill.
Develop strategic relationships with the Greens and with Labour.
Stop trying to make us all be the same. When some of us say one thing and others take another view, learn to celebrate the difference rather than try to crush the dissent. Maori are a vibrant and diverse people – our strength as a party is in reflecting that diversity and appealing to all sectors of our society. And remember, the kaupapa is always more important than the coalition.
And, most importantly, go back to the people.
Tell you what Hone I may vote again for the maori party if they did all that.
Socialist Aotearoa blog has a very good analysis of Hone's article and whilst I don't agree with all of it - I do agree with a lot of it.
The problem in Harawira's plan is its incoherence in relating to the National Party's "anti-social" agenda. Harawira calls for the Maori Party to speak out strongly against it in Parliament, "at public meetings and on the streets if necessary", yet also calls for the Maori Party to accept and celebrate a diversity of opinions within its caucus and organisation.
This is where Harawira's analysis falls apart. With a deep chasm within the party over supporting the Nats renewal of the new right agenda (and that is what voting for the Marine & Coastal Areas bill is) the party will have no ability to oppose this agenda - either in Parliament or out on the streets.
... So Hone faces a stark choice. Continue to watch the political gains of the Maori Party and all his hard work wash away as the tide goes out on ordinary Maori aspirations for honourable and reliable political representation. Or lead a minority position into a faction fight with the conservative wing of his party for the soul of the Maori Party. Or defect to form with Bradford and McCarten the much hyped new left party. Or retire from parliamentary politics altogether and return to grassroots activism a la Nandor tanczos. The choice is his. The stakes are high.
This year is crunch time and Hone is going to be put in very difficult positions - he is our hope, even as he has flaws, his light is still bright and strong.