Apr 22, 2021

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Maori News & Indigenous Views

Beware the Smear: The Mana Party, the Maori Party & Bullying (Opinion)

3 min read

No one likes bullying.

A few weeks back, a young Australian kid caught a couple of punches from a bully. Heart-breaking moments play out like this every day. What surprised and shocked the world was when the victim turned the tables and body-slammed his attacker, showing under-dogs everywhere that bullies eventually get their due.

So then, it was a little surprising to hear Tariana Turia come out in the media to say that she had been bullied over the weekend by supporters of the Mana Party at a hui in Te Tai Tokerau. Hadnt they been chucking punches at Hone for some time now?

We had heard there was a Non-Agreession Pact signed between Hone Harawira and the Maori Party some called it a Divorce Agreement. While I dont know the detail, there was talk around not stepping into each others rohe to stand a candidate. So then, what was the Maori Party doing in the Tai Tokerau in the first place? The Herald said it was a weekend hui to rebuild the partys infrastructure in Te Tai Tokerau but then, isnt that deliberate provocation? Another punch.

Much has been said about keeping the peace between the Mana Party and the Maori Party. No one was surprised to hear reports that hui were being held to collect information condemning Hone and again, passing judgement on his actions and activities. Little was mentioned, however, of attacks made by the Maori Party on members of the Mana Party. At a personal level, the Maori Party have helped to kick me off one work contract, had the power to have me removed from a significant infrastructure project and talked pretty negatively about me in front of others. And Im not the only one to catch punches from the Maori Party. But again, Im a nobody one can only imagine what the Maori Party have been saying about Hone.

So then, to hear Titewhai speak up against the Maori Party incursion into Te Tai Tokerau over the weekend well, it felt like their chickens had come home to roost.

I mean, you cannot disrespect people and expect the people you are bullying to step back. It reminded me of the Takutai Act and how passionate people were feeling in their opposition to the Maori Party signing up to it. Comment after comment appeared on Facebook speaking to the Maori Party to oppose the Bill, to which one of their staff quipped Man, I wish some of you people would just get with it; some of you are just not up with the play.

Now, it was the peoples fault.

That same member spoke up when calls were being made to oppose Petrobras and the oil exploration on the East Coast. Again, she said Maori are doing as per normal argueing (sic) with each other while the Pakeha are getting on with things. Again, its the fault of Maori for allowing the Government in to potentially destroy the environment.

But then, back to start.

No one likes bullying. Watching the news last night and seeing Tariana play the victim, all the while saying that aggressive korero said on the marae should be reported to the police, well, that seems provocative in its own right. If you cannot voice your full concern on the marae, where can you?

For me, the bullies are the Maori Party.

They man-handled Hone poorly and with it, lost one of the crucial Maori voices in Parliament; calling a rebuild hui in Te Tai Tokerau is a clearly visible step to preparing a campaign; going to the media instead of the Mana Party demonstrates this was going to be a public beat up; they dismissed and blamed Maori people across the country for not agreeing to the Takutai Act; comments on Facebook from Maori Party staff seemed quite rude; and personally, to feel their political interference into my life, well, makes me more determined to be there when these bullies get their just desserts.

3 thoughts on “Beware the Smear: The Mana Party, the Maori Party & Bullying (Opinion)

  1. I found Tarianas comments reporting abuse to the Police re how they were spoken to at the marae as stupid and naive . If one cannot go to the Marae (esp one of your own) and express your disafisfaction qt what has happened to your son, your whaanau, then that is the place to do it. Cant play your Pakeha tricks and politics on the marae Tariana, and I hope that we never have that right taken away from us. The marae is the place to say what you want to say, it is safe, it is ours and it is up to those at the marae to control the korero, .Mereana Pitman

  2. This should read: "… if they win Hones electorate seat and 3% of the vote, this would allow the Mana party a near total of 4 or 5 MPs."

  3. The Maori party are running scared indeed. It could have been win/win. The idea to allow the Maori party to contest all the Maori electorate seats bar Hones and to allow Hone to contest the party vote while the Maori party withdrawal from the party vote, would have allowed more Maori representation. That means at best the Maori party could win the electorate seats from Labour and retain their own, and Hone would win his seat and capture more from the list i.e. if they win Hones electorate seat and 3% of the vote, this would allow the Maori party a near total of 4 or 5 MPs. If you add the Maori party MPs this is more than double the amount of kaupapa Maori MPs.

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