"I have seen that played out in Labour and in National where the Maori voice is ignored or subsumed. You saw that in Labour with the foreshore and seabed legislation," she said. "We have seen that with National consistently, particularly with the way Georgina te Heuheu has been treated ... she is one of their senior MPs but is not treated like a senior MP."Of course the defenders defend
Labour's transport, infrastructure and associate Maori affairs spokesman Shane Jones labelling him a "political hoodlum".That is a compliement but Jones won't get that. Labour's Maori Affairs and Treaty of Waitangi spokesman Parekura Horomia, in his roundabout way, confirms Hone's words too
When asked if he thought he was being ignored because he was a Maori MP in a largely Pakeha party, Horomia replied: "When you are a minority and you have been doing this like I have for 30-plus odd years, you soon learn and know very well when you are getting nought ... you have to be tough enough to understand that is the environment you are working in and make sure you make the best shot to ensure you utilise the leverage.
It is an issue and the major parties pretend it isn't an issue - but the people know because it is obvious. What to do about it? I'd like to see more fractionation of the big dinosuar parties so that we have more parties representing more interests. Then, after elections, they can coalease into groupings based upon their overriding philosophies. We must not be afraid of small parties - they are the future and they can work together, even though there have been failures in the past and the relentless propaganda from the dinosuar parties is negative towards such ideas.