... being independent means I am no longer constrained by a party that got a bit lost at the first sniff of power, I’m no longer shackled to dull, boring policies written by bureaucrats to please the Nats rather than promote the hopes and aspirations of our people, and I no longer have to accept crumbs and the continued theft of the foreshore and seabed as the price of coalition.
And more importantly, being independent means that I am free -
Free to speak out against government policies that focus on the rich get richer while the poor get shafted and the lives of ordinary Kiwis get destroyed in the process;
Free to develop the argument that “what is good for Maori is good for the country” and that spending real money on getting rid of the Maori underclass, makes good economic and political sense for everyone;
Free to highlight the state of inequality that Maori people face in their homeland, to propose new ways of dealing with those issues and to work with any other MP or political party that is courageous enough to say why not;
Free to speak of bold new ideas, to develop the political will to grow those ideas, and to help define the goals, the teams and the structures required to turn those ideas into a genuine reality rather than the jaded, faded bureaucratic washouts that government departments thrive on and ordinary people hate;
Free to travel the north to build on the support that the people have always given me to raise the issues as openly and as honestly as I can;
Free to road-test those messages in a national tour over the next few weeks;
And free to talk to all the well-meaning people, Maori, Pasifika, Pakeha and others as well who have given me truckloads of support over the past few weeks about what it is they want to see in parliament.Yes bring people together - that is the answer. We are in this waka together and this movement, led by Hone, and devoted to tino rangatiratanga is a movement we can all support and we must support it because look around at the alternatives - notwithstanding the greens, what options are out there - not many, if any.