AN OPEN LETTER TO ALL UNIONISTS AND FIGHTERS FOR EQUALITY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE IN AOTEAROA

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Dear friends,

I am writing to urge all supporters of genuine left politics to support and if possible participate in the new Mana Party led by Hone Harawira to found a new movement for radical social change in Aotearoa/New Zealand.

The Mana Party is being launched this Saturday, April 30, from 12 noon at the Te Mahurehure Marae, 73 Premier Ave, Point Chevalier, Auckland.

This party is a product of the protracted struggle over the last decades to achieve an independent voice for the interests of Maori people in Aotearoa/New Zealand. That struggle exposed a rift that has seen a the Maori Party captured by pro-corporate elite more concerned with protecting the interests of the wealthy against the interests of the vast majority of people in Aotearoa/New Zealand whether Maori, Pakeha, Pacifica or Asian.

The Mana Party is determined to continue to be the voice of the majority of ordinary Maori and at the same time give voice to the excluded majority across our land whatever their national or ethnic origin.

In a letter to a unionist this week Hone gave a summary of how he sees the new partys direction. He wrote:

As you can appreciate the new party to be called Mana hasnt been launched yet and Im certainly not in a position to make policy on its behalf at this stage.

However I can say I have been a proud union member in any job I was employed. The party and I will be pro-worker. I am fortunate having several trade unionists taking leadership roles up to assist the new party and who have offered to contribute to its policy.

We have had some policy discussions in the interim working group and can give you a bit of a feel where we are at. Nothing is confirmed of course.

Mana will be anti neo-liberal, against monopoly capitalism and against privatisation of the peoples assets. Utilities such as water, power, roading etc should be in the hands of the people rather than a guaranteed money making venture for corporations

Our strategy on taxes will be targeted at wealth such as capital gains taxes, death duties, and asset taxes. We will want to abolish GST with sometime like a financial transaction tax (wed like to call it the Hone Heke Tax). The rich need to pay their fair share. As a start the last tax cut should be cancelled. Labours GST cosmetic elimination off fresh veges and fruit says everything about their current state of mind. Timid and uninspiring.

KiwiSaver is privatisation of our pensions so increasing the money we give to these financial institutions to do what they want needs more thought.

We should nationalise monopolies and duopolies.

We certainly need an agreed mechanism to set minimum terms of pay and conditions for workers. But given the private unionised workforce is small we think we should probably focus on union building first. The two practical steps would be any bargaining unit covering workers would take a vote. If a majority voted in favour of a CEA covering everyone then a bargaining fee would apply for those workers not wishing to join the union. It stops free loading and undermining the negotiations yet still allows workers to choose whether they belong to the union. The second suggestion is that the state covers any CEA costs for both sides. I would appreciate your feedback on this as a short term step. Ultimately every worker needs to be in strong unions but then thats your job, not mine.

New Zealand needs a planned economy that makes job creation its main emphasis rather than leaves it to the non-existent free market.

Given the short time Ive had to respond to this I apologise if I havent covered everything youd like. But my response should give you some comfort to where our new party will position itself politically.

Have no doubt we will be a staunch party that puts people Maori and non-maori before the needs of the already rich.

Im appealing to all supporters of the rights of working people and genuine equality and social justice in our land to become part building this new movement. As the invite to this public launch declares: Happy are those who dream and are prepared to pay the price to make those dreams come true. By supporting the founding public launch of the Mana Party this Saturday we take one more step towards making our dreams a reality.

Yours in Solidarity

Mike Treen

4 COMMENTS

  1. Nga Mihinui Te Mana,

    it is a great day!

    How does a sista join the parti?

    tautoko Tino Rangatiratanga!

    arohanui,

    m 🙂

  2. I call on you Hone Harawera.
    Show yor commitment to ALL NEWZEALANDERS by cutting the Maori electorates – make it an election issue and your party will reap the harvest of disenfranchised Nga Pakeha. With one bold stroke take out the labour party and the Maori party, both of whom have sold out.
    Fail to do this and risk a Pakeha equivalent of your own Mana party taking you out.

  3. Free market – does not exist inside or outside NZ. The Government is a prime player in supressing free market, to keep wages down, to prevent prevent the poor from competing in business with the rich, to prevent kiwis from buying or keeping their own assets, to force borrowing from global coporations.

    Ask any contract worker if they can set their service or product price, control their marketing, or set their hours of service. (E.g. ccouriers, truckies farm workers, building site workers, etc)

  4. All tax can be replaced by a single easily implemented transaction tax, the banks collect this (they already collect tax on interest earned). Reversing income tax cuts will simply bolster support for National. Replacing income tax with transaction tax will cut supporters from National.

    Transaction tax would also be collected on cross-border transactions i.e. levied on foreign corporations and so making every New Zealander a shareholder in the government and distributing a weekly dividend (UB is a promitive veersion of this), equivalent to the basic dole rate would be very good. It would empower all poor people with resource. It would also immediatlely dignify all poor people, beneficiaries and disenfranchised people, and cement them into the Mana party.

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