The maori party have a good campaign beginning and i'm not going to knock it (too much) because it is very smart and is designed to attract the voters that they say they want. In their latest panui they describe
The challenges our people face are complex and they were created over the equivalent of 57 parliament terms or about 170 years so fixing them will not happen over night. For every day we have spent in Parliament, since signing an agreement with the Government, we have delivered to our Maori communities $2.67 million worth of benefits (per sitting day) - a milestone no other party in this country's political history has achieved.
This statement is smart because it reinforces the line of incremental change that the maori party have consistantly used. It is good to be consistant in the message. Breaking down any achievement into smaller and smaller pieces allows the recipient to create a connection with the claim. $2.67 million of benefits (pretty vague term here) per sitting day sounds like a lot and I'm sure it is, but is that the measure of success? Of course not - it is made up, but still true within its context - framed by the designers of the message - very smart designers.
But for me I'm not worried even slightly, because whatever happens with the election will be the right way forward. I don't have a problem with multiple parties representing Māori - I want it and encourage it. Concensus works, cooperation works - competitiveness doesn't. The Mana Party will attract those who believe in equality, social justice, kaitiakitanga and tino rangatiratanga and I believe there are lots of people who do believe in those values, from all backgrounds and ethnicities. So go hard maori party, go even harder I say, because these debates are strengthening Māori, making us stronger not weakening us. Go very hard indeed maori party and let's create history and empower and engage Māori.