Hone Harawira releases statement | 8 Feb 2011

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I wish to elaborate on the points I raised yesterday

Tai Tokerau kaumatua and kuia have been working very hard with their counterparts from other electorates to try to bring this back under Kaupapa Maori, and I am really sorry about how they are being treated here.

The president hires a $25,000 lawyer before taking the complaint to the electorate like he is supposed to do no discussion with my kaumatua and kuia at all and then tells everyone he hired Mei Chen because he cant trust Maori lawyers.

And then the co-leaders suspend me without even letting the Council know no discussion with our kaumatua and kuia either, and I suspect not even the president was told what was going on.

The process of Kaupapa Maori has been ignored, the constitutional process has been ignored, communication has clearly broken down right across the party, and I think that what most Maori Party members would want is for this whole mess to be set aside, cancel the lawyer, save the money, drop the disciplinary procedures, set the suspension aside, disappear onto a marae somewhere with a clear directive and dont come out till its all been sorted out properly.

Its what my kaumatua and kuia have been saying since day one; its what the constitution says; Id be happy to do it; if my colleagues agreed, this could be all done and dusted by the weekend and we could get on with the business of winning all 7 Maori seats.

This whole situation has become an absolute public relations disaster for the Maori Party.

This suspension though, coming right over the top of the disciplinary procedures suggests that the constitution is really just a smokescreen to stop me from raising issues which are close to our peoples hearts and pockets, but which threaten to derail our cozy relationship with National.

But I simply cannot do that.

  • We should recognise that Maori people are simply not happy to support a relationship with National while food prices go up, petrol prices go up, electricity goes up, house prices go up, rents go up, and GST gets whacked on top of everything, while this government gives millions of dollars in tax breaks to the rich.
  • We should acknowledge the reality that the rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer, and that our people are getting hammered every step of the way, and not because I say so, but because every single economic commentator is saying so.
  • We should not only be saying we want GST to be taken off food in the next budget, we should also tell the PM publicly that we did not support the last GST increase, and that any further increase in GST will be a coalition-breaker.
  • When Tariana Turias voters say that the most important issue for them is the Maori language, then we should be calling for Maori to be compulsory in all primary schools.
  • When government says that 60,000 children started school last week, 12,000 of them will leave without being able to read and write, and that most of them will be Maori, we should be demanding that government cancel any further bailouts for big business, and instead spend the money on ensuring that all Maori kids can read well, write well, count well and speak well by the time theyre 10, and that we will achieve that by 2014.
  • We should oppose the governments Marine and Coastal Areas Bill because it does not give us the title that our people marched for, and because most of our people do not support it. We should instead ask that the 2004 Bill be repealed and a moratorium be put on the FSSB for a couple of years to see if we can come up with a deal acceptable to Maori, while accommodating the wishes of other New Zealanders. This bill does not do that and we should not feel embarrassed about opposing it.
  • We should come out hard against the privatisation of the nations assets. Privatisation of the telecommunications industry has put billions of dollars of hard earned kiwi dollars into the hands of overseas interests every single year while thousands of Kiwi workers, many of them Maori, have been simply dumped at the roadside. NZ Rail is the same, NZ forestry, NZ banks this governments plans to sell of the rest of the nations assets must be stopped, and we must lead the charge to stop them.

The fact of the matter is that although there have been some small gains, Maori communities have been heavily hit all round the country by this governments policies, and our people want us to step away from National and look at whats happening.

We have been swallowed up by the National juggernaut, we are seen as merely the Maori face of a government that is hurting Maori people, and we are no longer being seen as active defenders of the faith.

40,000 Maori marched to give birth to this party, and I doubt that they marched to see us become the meek and accommodating coalition partners to National.

And thats the difference. Our people are hurting, and the issues I am raising deserve to be heard, and demand to be debated by Maori Party branches and electorates right across the country.

This should not be about silencing one voice. It should be about challenging ourselves to be the best we can because our people deserve the best, the strongest, the most positive, and the most influential voice that we can be.

I know I dont have all the answers. I know my colleagues have just as much to offer as I do, but I also know that our people are crying out for us to reconnect with them, with their lives, with their situations and with their hopes and dreams.

I know that I have been wrong with some of the things I have said, and some of things that I have done. I do struggle with authority and I know that I could handle my relationships with my co-leaders and my colleagues better than I have, but I have been selected by the Tai Tokerau to be the Maori Party candidate for the 2011 election, and I am ready to be that candidate.

5 COMMENTS

  1. "Dear Maori Party,

    If you listen to some (or all) of Hone Harawira's suggestions, you will have a good chance of getting more than just the Maori vote. These are some of the best ideas I've heard in a long time.

    Love, Me"

  2. What I don't get is how the democratic systems of the world fall into the majority left and right, and all our so called chosing power is fragmented into minor parties who have to jump through hoops just to get their voice heard. Is there any way around this without people throwing up their hands in fear of the red peril??

    • Continue with MMP. Every year the grip of the old westminster system is weakening. Vote Maori, vote Green, feck, even vote ACT just stay away from the red and blue and hopefully we will end up with a bunch of reasonable people in parliament with no one party big enough to be a grinch.

  3. I hold NZ in my heart though I have lived overseas for 15 years, my family are there I was born there I am a kiwi. The political shenanigans seem like a joke, everyone out for the grab. This is the first sensible and truthful statement I have read. NZ is going down the gurgler, time someone took notice and stood up, good for you Hone Harawira.

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