The maori party have said that Hone has broken his agreement, which was for him to stand as an independent, and they have called the truce off, but will stand a candidate against Hone in the by-election? They are having a hui on it. No doubt they have someone ready to go but it was interesting to hear Pem Bird say he was shocked about the by-election - that seems a bit weird.
So what have we got.
The Greens are good and can get into their campaigning - hopefully with a few joint statements with the Mana Party on key issues.
Winston will continue to gain support and he may go for the race card if he feels desperate.
National have Brash to worry about and Winston to some extent - sure they have a fondness for the maori party but how far that goes depends on the polls and probably the RWC. I would like to see them stand a candidate against Hone.
Labour have big issues and I think they are stuffed. As other partys get support i expect goff to trot out some 'race' issues - you know like how maori are privileged and not like real kiwis. It doesn't matter if they stand a candidate because I think their party vote from maori is going to dive big time. They have been living on borrowed time and the generous nature of Māori but that has changed and the bullshit won't work anymore not when the truth is there in all its horrible glory. The Foreshore and Seabed debarcle is not forgotten. But it's funny how the Gods work because now we have two maori parties, a wonderful unintended consequence.
The maori party are now fighting for their political lives and they will fight and that is sad because who are they fighting against? They should stick to their non-aggression agreement but their pride won't let them. Make no mistake it is all very personal now. Could they take the seat from Hone? Anything can happen but i cannot see it - it is all over for the maori party but they don't recognise that. However, I wouldn't have a problem if they kept a couple of seats. Over the next wee while it will be good for them to be there giving Brash some stick but then again, i am sure I heard Pita Sharples say he wouldn't have an issue going into coalition with Brash, so the only stick given will be one to bash maori with.
Brash is bad and he will use the race card at will and the really sad and sick thing is that he will get support from numbers of people who live in this country. Yes some of our fellow citizens really believe that Māori are lessor than them and they will be coming out of their holes to back Brash. Māori are about to recieve a severe thrashing from Brash as he builds his bought party. Luckily Mana and the Greens are there and labour and Winston to some small extent. Even the maori party will get their chance to walk their talk. It will get nasty, these guys have money and are not happy - they aren't making enough money and something has got to be done about that.
The battlefields will be the rights of Māori, the environment and their exploitation of it, and the continued suffering of people disadvantaged within our system. The economy is always there because that is their reason and excuse for everything.
I am optimistic because Brash will alienate people. He will suck a few from the gnats and he will battle with Winston for others. Key's image will gradually erode as more people see how shallow he really is. Goff will continue to act concerned. The maori party will become irrelevant. The Greens will grow and Mana will too. I am optimistic that people will see that an alternative is now available and they will support Mana.