May 15, 2021

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Why Hone will win | Morgan Godfery | Maui Street Blog

6 min read

Lets be clear. Hone Harawira will win the byelection (assuming he forces one). In this post I want to discuss why.

But before we can examine why Hone will win, we need to understand why he is forcing, or more accurately intends to force, a byelection. Firstly, Hone intends to use the byelection as an early election year platform. A byelection will, theoretically, provide four weeks of sustained and intensive media coverage. Hone can use the byelection as a platform to launch Mana Party policy and project the partys values, image and so on into the public consciousness. A byelection will also allow the Mana Party to direct public discourse on Maori issues and working class issues. The Mana Party is now the de facto opposition to the Maori Party (Labour barely rates a mention) and will hope to serve as the de facto opposition on working class issues during the byelection. Ultimately, the Mana Party intends to cement their place in political discourse i.e. advocates for Maori issues and advocates for working class issues.

The second yet less prominent reason Hone intends to force a byelection is to affirm his mandate.

But the central reason Hone has signalled he intends to force a byelection is to bait the Maori Party. Hone wanted the Maori Party to stand a candidate against him and they fell for it. The door is now open for the Mana Party to stand in the other Maori electorates, bar maybe Te Tai Hauauru and Te Tai Tonga. Conceivably Hone did not want to be the one to break the agreement his strongest attribute is his perceived integrity after all. This is what Hone had to say:

“Despite massive pressure by many people to put candidates up against the Maori Party MPs, I have resisted the temptation because I believe it is important to stand behind a promise you make.

Hone wanted to maintain his honest guy image.

The Mana Party knows that Waiariki and Ikaroa-Rawhiti are marginal seats, and possibly Tamaki-Makaurau and Hauraki-Waikato. The Mana Party needs the Maori electorates as a fall back in case the party does not attract an acceptable number of party votes. However, Hone and co. did not want to sacrifice their integrity and break the deal struck with the Maori Party. The Mana Party needed to be the passive player, the guy playing a fair game, as opposed to the aggressor. The party therefore chose to bait the Maori Party and force their hand.

So why will Hone win the byelection?

Firstly, Hone Harawira enjoys a personal following not a Maori Party following. Almost 62% of electors voted for Hone Harawira at the 2008 election while only 31% of electors voted for the Maori Party. Hone is a minor celebrity in the North and a man who commands a considerable amount of respect. He works tirelessly for Te Tai Tokerau and continues to consult his electorate with regard to his political decision and his parliamentary work.

Secondly, Hone is the incumbent. Incumbency comes with a few advantages. Hone can tap networks he has worked with in his capacity as the MP for Te Tai Tokerau, for example Hauora (Maori social service providers) and Runanga. The incumbent also enjoys name recognition and the ability to point towards a parliamentary record and a record of achievement on behalf of the electorate. The incumbent can also work from his/her electorate offices and utilise the resources and staff that come with.

Thirdly, Hone Harawira has the common touch with Maori. The Maori version of smile and wave. What many mainstream commentators do not appear to appreciate is that brand Harawira is extremely powerful. Brand Harawira, unlike Brand Key, is not refined nor entirely intentional. However, it is persuasive and attractive. Important Maori concepts, such as manaakitanga, are expressed in Brand Harawira. More contemporary Maori values are also reflected in Brand Harawira, for example Hone is straight up and seems to reject flashness yet retains a certain amount of swagger. Many Maori, especially young Maori and Maori with a tino rangatiratanga bent, like to think Hone reflects them.
Fourthly, and perhaps most importantly, Hone maintains functioning networks across the electorate. He has the ability to tap a ready pool of activists and organisational capabilities. On the other hand, the Maori Party does not. Their branches, committees and so on have moved with Hone. Tim Selwyn picks up on this point:

It’s mass dessertion and operational collapse here in Waiariki, so in the North it is difficult to imagine that they still have any functioning branches at all – although they will have many ambitious members who remain loyal for personal reasons who will form an electorate level committee, but without any depth.

Any branches the Maori Party retain will be cosmetic only. They will lack the numbers, connections and ultimately capabilities needed to make a serious impact.
Fifthly, the narrative is firmly set against the Maori Party. It is a well established line that the Maori Party has favoured the symbolic over the substantive, for instance the tino rangatiratanga flag and the UN declaration. The idea that the Maori Party has sold out is also firmly established as well, think the tax changes, the ETS, the MCA act and so on. The Party continues to frame itself as a party of the right, think the statement that the Maori Party can work with Don Brash and Te Ururoa Flavells defence of National re the AMI bailout. The attack lines are so simple and so easy. Whereas the attack lines that can be used against Harawira are personal and could be construed as an example of sour grapes. Ultimately, it is difficult to attack Harawira on his substantive record.

Finally, it has just been announced that Kelvin Davis will stand should the byelection happen. I imagine he will come a very respectable second. In a two way race I do not expect a Maori Party candidate to come anywhere near Harawira. After all, according to Hone at least, the Maori Party has approached eight candidates all of whom refused to stand (undoubtedly knowing that it is a lost cause). There cant be many quality candidates left at that rate. However, with Kelvin Davis in the mix it is conceivable that he will come within striking distance, at worst he will come an honourable second. Labour, like Hone, enjoy functioning and effective networks across the electorate. Labour, unlike the Maori Party, is not in disarray and have a strong candidate in Kelvin. Kelvin can run a strong campaign across the electorate and stand on his record as a list MP for the North and a rising star in the Labour caucus. I think we can also be sure that Kelvins supporters will actually vote, with Hones supporters this is less certain. Byelection turnouts are normally dismal, couple that with the apathy that permeates the Maori electoral population and the fact that Hone is almost guaranteed to win, and it becomes reasonable to assume that Hones mainly poor and rural and semi-rural voters will not even bother to turn up.
To wrap up, Hone will win, Kelvin will come second and the Maori Party candidate will come third. This is assuming the byelection is held tomorrow though. I am not reckless enough to state that this will be the outcome come the election which is at least a month away. There could be any number of intervening events and major revelations.

Finally, I probably wont be blogging for the rest of this week. I might write a few short posts, but probably nothing more.

About Maui Street Blog

The Maui Street Blog is the digitalcreation of rangatahi blogger Morgan Godfery, who affiliates to Ngati Awa (Te Pahipoto) as well as Tuhoe, Ngati Tuwharetoa and Ngati Hikairoa. He grew up in Kawerau, went to high school in Rotorua (Boys High) and Im currently studying law at Victoria University.

What Morgan has to say about his blog Maui Street is an attempt to address the shortage of Maori voices in the blogosphere. As an ardent reader of many left leaning blogs and an occasional visitor to some right leaning blogs I was, and continue to be, struck by the shortage of Maori bloggers and the poor coverage Maori issues receive, having said that there are a number of notable exceptions. Therefore, I believe Maui Street fills a very important niche.

Maui Street will deal, for the most part but not exclusively, with Maori political issues. I will do my best to post at the very least weekly. With study commitments and life in general my posting habits may become erratic.

7 thoughts on “Why Hone will win | Morgan Godfery | Maui Street Blog

  1. Hone, Just Looking At You Makes Me Salivate !
    You Look Like Prey To Me !
    I Might Eventually Have To Shit You Out !

    Aggressive In Parliament On REAL Waiariki Issues !
    Hone Is A Complete Failure !
    Hone I Am Pushing You Overboard !
    You ARE That Bad !
    Hone Y-Tangi !

    Ras Mikaere 'Enoch' Mc Carty
    Te Wepu Party !

  2. The Waiariki Tainui M?ori Are My Utmost Concern. I Will Be So Bold As To Lay Claim To Allowing Providence To Flow From The Waiariki Region !
    While Serving And Protecting The Rights Of Each And Every Tribe In Aotearoa, Irrespective Of Past Crimes Or Injustices – My Te Wepu Party Will Allow The Waiariki To Achieve That Ultimate Victory On All Fronts, As I Am Wholly Yours !
    Nothing Will Surpass My Love For The Waiariki ! I Am Your Man ! No Doubt About It ! I Am Praying For Your Support, To Allow Me To Grace Parliament With Honest And Bold And Aggressive, AGGRESSIVE Dialogue And Debate In Regards To
    Every Issue, Namely Waitangi Signatures NOT OBTAINED, THUS VOID OF THE ENTIRE TREATY, AND MY FERVENT PROTECTION OF THE NATURAL ENVIRONMENT ! I Am Going To Arrive In Aotearoa In A Couple Of Days To Fully Implement My Run For M.P. —> I Pray For Your Support. You Will Never Be Disappointed, As I Listen To Everyone's Concern !….And To Achieve That Waiariki
    Victory So Needed, And So Ignored And Trampled On, By Other Political Parties And "leadership". Thank You So Much !
    Ras Mikaere 'Enoch' Mc Carty

  3. Kia Ora, As The New Upcoming Leader Of My Own Party: Te Wepu. It Is I Who Will Attempt To Garnish The Votes In The Upcoming Election To Suprpass Every Expectation That Has Been Offered By The Likes Of Failed Candidate Hone Harawira –
    continued

  4. i enjoyed the catch up on te rangatira a hone
    he is a good honest maori working n sticking up for his people of te taitokerau
    and maori issues in general
    wat is like about him he alone stands against the corrupt govt doesn’t matter wat flava it is ie labour or national quite frankly i think these 2 illegal parties need to move over n let the maori m/ps take over n it can happen but
    because the govt of yesteryears have imported so many tauiwi here for their money the tauiwi feel obligated to vote for the whitemans power that let the 3million or so of them into our country without our consent or input
    i karakia ia ra ia ra for things to change drastically for us as tangata whenua
    and we are so overdue for this to happen so we don’t have to be refugees in our motherland so many tauiwi come here n bring their filth with them at the invite of the pakeha powers that be n in their own lands they r killing n starving so i guess they need to be educated in things maori too but the pakeha here need to get it right with us too coz for too long we as a people have tolerated their disgusting greedy ways and frankly i say no more dishonouring no more oppression no more raping n selling of our resources
    really it would be nice if the bastards just gave it back to us thats my 2cents worth of verbalness lol nothing wrong with having a voice n i can sing too

    1. You are so correct, too much deviousness from these mongrels, there are sooo many examples of bad illegal acts by governing body's where maori moves in business have been stopped, made difficult, subsidising withdrawn as soon as maori compete with pakeha business, etc…and the ignorant new comer people/s of our Aotearoa accuse us of wanting special treatment or being racist based in wanting what even the BS document tiriti o waitangi states that we have rights as the tangata whenua of the land, no wonder it's not recognised as the founding document of the country or part of schooling curriculum….I'm with you Hone on Maori issue's & on working class issue's. The Govt. & big farmers (fonterra) ganged up on the small farmers & squeezed them out of their farms, now manipulating the dairy industry & pricing, look at the dividends paid to the bugga's, they played a part in sending livestock offshore eventually closing down many freezing works around the country creating so much unemployment (mostly maori of course) same as the many closed down dairy factories that line our provinces, just these two were the founding industries of our country & look at what they have done, deliberate? of course!!!
      Who would trust people like this, NZ's finest representative/s in Govt & business, these mongrels eat their own! Yes they sold & sell out pakeha as well as there is not enough room at the top for what they are intent on creating, one level of control by the rich & keep the hourly rates down or lower so they maintain the upper hand, well let me inform you on the strength of maori who are coming back in numbers of population & education, we have mana, you may break some of us but not all of us, & we will take care of papatuanuku our land, that's all we want to do, as we don't have anywhere else to go, this is our home, so we all would be better off if you take your money & leave our shores for good & Yes we will show you how to look after our beautiful rohe/country, we will show you how we strategically manage a future for the people of Aotearoa, so please go & leave us to get on with the job!!!!

    2. " he is a good honest maori " . . . NOT !
      Doing Nothing For Anybody, Except The Lesbian Dyke Ngapuhi Y-Tangi Sell Outs Who Have Sold Out Aotearoa Into Hell Itself. Hone Harawira Is Only Concerned With The Ngapuhi Clip-Haired Dykes ! I Am Here To Take Charge !
      I Am The Te Wepu Party !
      Back Weh Hone !…..A Real Deal Rastafarian Is Here To Kick Up Rumpus !
      To Kick Your Failed Ass !
      -continued

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