Latest News

Shame on the Maori Party | Morgan Godfery

Shame on the Maori Party | Morgan Godfery


  • Ratings12345

Question: why would the Maori Party say that they “don’t see the point” in attending the Kingitanga’s national hui? Answer: incompetence.

It’s a familiar pattern. The Maori Party repeat the government position, they come under attack for doing so, 24 to 48 hours later they switch sides, possibly remembering that they are the ‘Maori Party’. If this was an innocuous issue, there would be little to no consequence in endorsing the government’s position. The thing is, it’s not. This leads me to the second question, how will the Maori Party’s position effect Maori opposition. Answer: immensely.A fragmented opposition is easier to neutralise than a united opposition. The Kingitanga and the Maori Party are power structures in Maori society. Together, they represent a threat to the government’s objective to divide and rule, split, and they represent no threat at all.

In rejecting the Kingitanga’s national hui and assuming this is “a thing iwi/hapu have to work out themselves”, the Maori Party have endorsed divide and rule. Their stupidity amazes me. An iwi by iwi approach will give the government the opportunity to exploit differences and jealousies between iwi. The result, aside from the results I outlined in the previous post, will be a reduction in the price of any bargain, especially in the case of pre-settlement iwi. A useful analogy is with trade unionism. As a collective, workers have more power and the chance to drive a better bargain. As individuals, the bargaining power is weighted towards the employer and as a general rule a lesser bargain is struck. It blows my mind that the Maori Party allow the divide and rule approach to stand.

Moving away from the Maori Party, the third question is will the Kingitanga pressure Waikato-Tainui negotiators to refuse a deal that excludes a national solution? The answer: yes.

Tom Roa, the chair of Te Arataura (Waikato-Tainui’s executive committee), has expressed his approval of the government’s iwi by iwi approach. Presumably Roa will play a key role in negotiations. However, the Kingitanga have access to Roa and their word will be persuasive.

Tumu Te Heu Heu, the paramount chief of Ngati Tuwharetoa and member of the Iwi Leaders Group, presumably agrees with Roa too. However, Ngati Tuwharetoa follow the Kingitanga too, therefore the King has the mana to lobby Tuwharetoa to switch positions.

Of the other major iwi affected, Te Arawa and Ngati Maniapoto, Ngati Maniapoto support the Kingitanga. Te Arawa don’t per se, but Ngati Pikiao host the poukai (the only iwi in Te Arawa to do so). In any event this will not stop the Kingitanga from lobbying.

With this in mind, the last question is: will the negotiators for Waikato-Tainui, Ngati Tuwharetoa and the other affected iwi take heed and refuse a deal that excludes a national solution? The answer: on the balance of probabilities, they’ll take the deal.

The rhetoric from key figures in Waikato-Tainui seems to indicate they will take the iwi by iwi deal. The Herald reported that figures in Waikato-Tainui have pressured pre-settlement iwi to take a deal on ‘credit’. That, ladies and gentlemen, is an example of divide and rule in action. The larger iwi who stand to make a commercial windfall will pressure other iwi to take a deal as well, regardless of whether those iwi have the structures in place to negotiate, accept and manage the results of a deal. There is nothing in the public domain that supports a different conclusion.

Maori, what we need is unity, unity and more unity. Having some iwi take a deal while excluding a national solution will cause more harm than good in the long run. Having the Maori Party endorse the government’s divide and rule approach will do more harm than good. Whatever way you look at it, we’re getting let down by some of our leaders. Good on the Kingitanga, the Maori Council, the Mana Party and most iwi for supporting a national solution. Shame on the Maori Party for supporting the government’s solution and shame on some in Waikato-Tainui for putting their own interests ahead of what’s good for our people.

(1) Comment

  1. Josephine Rena Maniapoto

    While I am uncomfortable with your criticsm of the Maori party, being a Maori Party supporter of the Te Tai Hauauru electorate, and I am a dtrong supporter of Tariana Turia, having known her and worked alongside her on many of our own projects before she entered Parliament. But, in this case I have to agree with you. Maori unity us what is required. Standing together, and it saddens me, that in this case they gace been caugt flat footed.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Latest Tweets

  • DigitalMaori11:16pm. Still at work. Yay for long weekend. Up for dawn parade 5.30am. Lest we forget #kiamaumahara http://t.co/OymYiuyOjB about 15 minutes ago
  • DigitalMaori@geysercf super super awesome Turangi about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriOur tamariki totally love #playtopia here in #Rotorua Now...slideeeeeeeee... http://t.co/LaI0Wc19Al about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@geysercf oh and super awesome Taupo! about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaori@geysercf Nga mihi ki a koe ki a koutou. Awesome Rotorua! about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @ecosophnz: 'Hacking for good'- this looks interesting:RT @AklTransport #HACKAKL - First warm up event next Wednesday 30th April http://… about 9 hours ago
  • DigitalMaorianei na whaea Annette http://t.co/gYxQOt47Co about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriaue... @tautokai about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @BrianBoruNZ: @DigitalMaori @runningwhio @tautokai @LewSOS Greens in Otepoti are heavily involved in social/envmntal actions together wi… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@tautokai @runningwhio well if I can be so bold, what new combined actions could you see Greens and Mana working together on? about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@caffeine_addict hahaha that's the one! about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@tautokai @runningwhio we hear that only a combined left can beat National yet see no combined effort. Potentials there. Just need action. about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@caffeine_addict isn't that the guy who voted with middle NZ on foreshore seabed, forgot he was Maori and got booted out? Oh yea, him... about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@tautokai @runningwhio I'm Mana party hard & often hear 'the left' need to work together but usually only see our members doing the yards about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @nzmusicmonth: Country Album & Song Finalists Announced http://t.co/v6WEEUmWCJ about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@runningwhio @tautokai @LewSOS agree. We attended loads of rally's demos community actions in 2013 & 2015 and few to no Greens attended about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @deltablues_king: Interested to know if @stevenljoyce has a decent comeback to this #epicburn by @TheBubbleBubble ? #nzpol http://t.co/8… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@runningwhio @tautokai @LewSOS @buzzandhum @MorganGodfery interesting, as most of the Maori issues we followed in 2013 had few Green voices about a day ago
  • DigitalMaoriRT @reomaori: He kaupapa o te wā: te whakawāteatanga o tērā o tātou i tana tūranga. Ētahi wā, ka tuhia e mātou he kaupapa o te wā ki tō tāt… about a day ago
  • DigitalMaori@althecat @winstonpeters @matuashane This is like wrestling, when the fan fave turns into the heel, then redeems himself and returns about a day ago