The right honourable Hone Harawira (‘right’ as in ‘correct’, and honourable above and beyond the call, unlike most New Zealand politicians) was 100% right, telling the truth in the Sunday Star Times (January 17th 2011). I agreed with every single word of ‘Crunch time for Maori grumbles’, and I read it with the hope that the Māori Party would take notice.
And the Māori Party did take notice – completely in the wrong way. Instead of taking what Harawira wrote as a perceptive tract written in good faith, the party took umbrage. Instead of accepting a clear manifesto to improve things, the Māori Party had a hissyfit – albeit one cloaked in ‘due process’, legal advice and its constitution, which seems to have been copy-and-pasted from the Pakeha parties.
So congratulations to the The Māori Party – you have become what you set out to counterbalance. A kow-towing minor party that suppresses dissent in its own party and constituency and which lets emotion rule politics in that time-honoured, petty Kiwi way that also infests our business class while the major parties rule. Key – and worse, Brownlee and co – must be capering with glee. In fact, Key has already been on the radio. Crowing, essentially.
Shame on you, Sharples and Turia, for supporting this ‘disciplinary’ motion. You are stifling dissent just like National and Act – and Labour’s the same, for that matter. In these parties, MPs are supposed to toe the party line whether they agree or not, voting with the majority.
What rubbish! I completely disagree with any structure that insists on obedience against personal better judgement and/or beliefs.
Why? Take it to its extreme, and you get the ‘I was just following orders’ excuse.
Which served the Nazis so well.
I’ve said it before and no doubt I will say it again – the Māori Party made a pact with the devil when it went into league with National. It’s losing its way. As Harawira wrote, between 2005-08 the Māori Party voted 30% with National and 70% against. In the period 2008-10, the Māori Party voted 60% with National and 40% against.
What does that tell you?
It’s quite possible the same criticisms would have come to have been levelled if the Māori Party had gone into league with Labour – and I would have been as critical. But the Māori Party and Labour would clearly have been a more natural fit, despite the stupid Foreshore and Seabed legislation.
But pettiness and small-minded stupidity ruled this out, too. (Probably, to be fair, this was on both sides.)
Even so, I am gobsmacked that Pita Sharples has descended to this level. I used to respect him.
Good on you, honourable Mr Harawira. You enjoy strong support in your own electorate and you totally deserve it. If you go out on your own, I hope you continue to enjoy strong support – but this is all helping in the dissolution of current Māori aims.
Harawira has exposed his colleagues for what they have become, to the detriment of New Zealand.