Maori Party looks to take on Harawira in the North

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(NZ Herald | Martin Kay) Maori Party loyalists in the Far North are scouting for a candidate to stand against Hone Harawira in Te Tai Tokerau – a move that could spark all-out war between the two factions.

The Maori Party agreed not to stand against Harawira when he quit in February, in return for him not standing candidates from any new party he forms in any other Maori electorate.

The agreement was designed to prevent a damaging battle which could split the Maori Party’s support and open the door to Labour in the other seats.

But it is understood some party loyalists in Te Ta Tokerau are unhappy about being unable to field a candidate.

Haami Piripi, a prominent Maori leader in the Far North, confirmed this morning that he had been approached about standing, but had declined.

”It would have been a fantastic opportunity to engage in some robust campaigning up here and debates over important issues, but unfortunately, I won’t be able to pursue that path.”

He believed there was a ”strong contingent” within the Maori Party in the Far North that was looking for a candidate and who did not see the agreement with Harawira as a barrier.

”Every day’s a new day in politics.”

Mere Mangu, who stood as an independent in 2005, would not confirm or deny whether she was in talks to stand for the party.

”Everything’s up for consideration, isn’t it? Can we leave it at that?”

Party president Pem Bird said the agreement with Harawira would be reviewed at a national council meeting on April 16 following concerns he had breached an undertaking that the two sides not ”speak disparagingly” of each other by constantly criticising the party since he left.

Bird confirmed there was also some disquiet among party loyalists in Te Tai Tokerau about being prevented from fielding a candidate – though he was not aware of moves to find one.

”There’s been quite a bit of talk up north in Tai Tokerau for sure. They’re wondering have we deserted them.

It could well be that they want to talk about – and I dare say they have been amongst themselves – a candidate they’d like to put forward, but it’s all got to be viewed within the context of the agreement that was made with Hone.

”Of course they’ll be talking about a candidate, and that’s their business. But whether the council will go along with it … because we’re bound by this agreement. But we can talk about it, we can evaluate that and see where we go from there.”

2 COMMENTS

  1. Is it time Hone Harawira challenged the foundations of the Maori party? With this challenge: Was Tariana Turia approached by a national memeber to form an alliance before she started the Maori Party, lets investigate the history in the snake pit of the Beehive, where such people as Tariana are the target.
    THIS MESSAGE FROM RANGIMARIE O TE ARAWA, Also Maori Einstein aka Lady Justice

  2. a candidate they’d like to put forward, but it’s all got to be viewed within the context of the agreement that was made with Hone

    All hearsay Hone is not about himself, but the people who are jobless, left to the dole que and those Iwi who are ignored as kaitiaki of the kaimoana and whenua they still consider being pushed aside by the this system of new legislations.

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