May 15, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Waiariki? Meh! – Chanz Mikaere

4 min read


For the first time ever, I havent given a shit about any political parties: I have not been patched or contributed in any way to any of the gangs.

Why? Because this years Waiariki election is tiresome.


Last election, I used whakapapa as the deciding factor in my vote. Although I do have whakapapa to the Mana Candidate and the Maori Party seat holder, I gave my candidate vote to Labour. I am not a Labour supporter, but my whanaunga got my vote on default. Had I not been sucked into the TWO TICKS mentality, I probably would not have voted for him either.

There is no doubt that the Mana Candidate, Annette Sykes is a fighter. No one can touch her on issues of Justice and they are all left stunned by her arero tuhua. She will be brilliant in parliament, but, in all good conscience, I cannot give her my vote.

I have publicly given Te Ururoa Flavell a hiding in my poetry over the years. I have called him out on policy and been very vocal on accountability. We agree to disagree. Jimbo is a pro however, at mucking in. He is ALWAYS there to stack the chairs, sweep the stage and get the mahi done. I respect that. And still will not give him my vote.

Rawiri Waititi? Sorry bout it, is not in the same league as the other two candidates. Why would a Bro go in for Labour who confiscated the Foreshore and Seabed to open up the floodgates for oil exploration? I am stunned by this. I have sent emails and Facebook messages to him, and had no response. Hmmmm…no response? No vote.


Those who know me well remember that I was one of the first Maori Party supporters (long ago now) and was in the upper echelon of their national caucus. I was also one of the first to question the relationship between Maori Party and National. The at the table whakaaro was for me a major sell out of the original kaupapa. I have always maintained this. The Internet/Mana relationship is equally as interesting when Dotcom is the putea: this is a fascinatingly ironic way altogether of sitting at the table. Methinks: prostitution of the kaupapabut thats just me.

You see, I VALUE my vote and honestly see it as an extension of sharing my faith in the candidates ability to reflect and fight for the interests of my whanau and hapu. My vote means that I get to hold that candidate accountable to their word and actions. I see the winning candidate as working for the interests of the People. Not the privileged, the pontificating or the lining of personal pockets.

Though I respect the Sisters and Brothers in the Revolution who are doing what they each believe contributes to the kaupapaI am only casting a party vote this year. I am disillusioned with the state of the two indigenous parties currently purporting that their own ways of achieving Tino Rangatiratanga are the best and ONLY way to go. The bullying and pack mentality is not conducive to conscientising, resisting and transforming from our continued colonisation. I had hoped that the Aged Activists could step away from the shit slinging that is General Elections and behave with integrityand stand ABOVE that behaviour. It saddens me, that such korero has happened and that this is a model to those who want to enter this arena. One is trying to define what constitutes our values as Maori within the system designed to destroy us, while the other is posturing for the Poorand funded by the rich anyway? Anyone else smelling the bullshit?

I am hopeful and cynical. Sure, I sound jaded and a bit whiney. Yes I have high expectations and want to see the best for all tangata whenua and those who share this whenua with us. We need serious civics education. Until I see a candidate for Waiariki that I can TRUST with the interests of my people and my future mokopuna. I will not cast my candidate vote.

There is no ONE Maori world view anymore. Our political preferences are as varied as our coffee orders at cafes (on that note, this native will never go for a Flat White). No ONE political party in this system will successfully embrace the spectrum of diversity that is Te Ao Maori. No ONE indigenous political party will govern until we understand that we can exist with many voices on the same frequency.

My last bullet before the election?

See through the high gloss and photoshop to shift our thinking and see the issues. Your vote is yours. Do with it what you will.

If that fails?

Time to get all FIGHT CLUB on this shit!


Of Te Arawa and Mataatua descent, Chanz has completed her Master of Maori Visual Arts thesis with Toioho ki Apiti, Massey University in 2012. Chanz has been a practising Artist for 16years dabbling in diverse media ranging from glass to printmaking, sculpture, painting and weaving. For those who are interested in Kapahaka, the most recognised piece of Chanzs work to date is the stage backdrop of the Te Matatini National Kapahaka Competition 2009.
She is a poet and writes political commentaries to complement the Art making. Her work is featured in the National Collective of Independent Refuges Maori Growth Strategy.


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