Pita Sharples may as well have screamed, “You can take the leadership out of my cold dead hands”, as he channeled Charles Heston this week in the latest Maori Party leadership meltdown.
So what is actually driving all of this?
Personal finances. The blunt reality is that Pita Sharples can not afford to walk away from the leadership, that is why the fighting is occurring over the perks and status, this is about the ability to pay off mortgages.
It has everything to do with money and little to do with mana.
The only way Pita will leave is if he is awarded a juicy posting somewhere else so the Maori Party will desperately have to scramble to get him a job elsewhere if he is going to retire.
Will that be enough? By sitting at a table that Key had already sold, the Maori Party have had to swallow dead rat after dead rat for petty crumbs. National have used their relationship with the Maori Party as political camouflage where as the Maori Party have gotten very little for their voters.
If MANA or Labour can woo those angry voters, watch the Maori Party face political obliteration in 2014.
It’s a 3 legged leadership for a Maori Party without a leg left to stand on.