The audacity of Key’s Hone Harawira dog whistle



Key’s decision to take 2 Ministers that supported an apartheid South Africa from a Party that referred to Mandela as a terrorist and not any leading voices in the antiapartheid protest movement shows the immaturity and lack of character of Key in a startling way.

His comments attacking Hone Harawira however are deliberate and Machiavellian in the extreme.

National know they have taken a hiding over this self inflicted blunder. Many NZers, regardless of where they were in 1981, feel Minto should have gone as part of the official delegation. Taking McKinnon & Bolger whom both sat silently by and allowed Muldoon to destroy the country as representatives is beneath the dignity of the moment.

Oh and Key also found space for the official photographer. Important to take photos when ones Prime Minister is so forgetful.

This should have been a healing moment, but from a leader who farcically claims to have had no opinion on the issue while being an ardent Muldoon supporter, leaving protest leaders out of the delegation was a missed opportunity that has eroded Key’s soft blue vote.

So what do you do when a leader who can’t remember what side of a national psyche defining moment he was on offends those sensibilities with all the tact of a Willie & JT rape culture interview? Why you bash Hone Harawira.

National strategists know Harawira is a lightning rod for their red neck rump vote. To date, next years attack plan for National was to paint the Greens out as terrorists who would economically vandalize every dairy milk farmer in the South Island. They can’t use that plan now Key is being forced to consider a deal with Chemtrial, moon landing conspiracy theorist and climate denier, Colin Craig.

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So National move down the cab ranks, and it’s time to start attacking Hone Harawira and his ‘cost’ to the tax payer for using his Leaders budget to fly to South Africa.

Here are the facts. Hone asked Parliament Services if he could use his leaders budget to fly to South Africa to pay protestors respects in a manner befitting Nelson, and they said it was allowed. Hone’s wife Hilda paid for her flights privately. He is away from Parliament because he is constantly moving around NZ meeting and talking with more community leaders and Maori communities than John Key does. Attempting to write the lack of time Hone spends in Parliament off as lazy when he spends all that time on the road meeting and talking and listening to what the people have to say is as beneath Harawira’s mana as sending Ministers who acquiesced to apartheid to Mandela’s funeral.

Seeing as Key’s appearance only generated non-recognition and laughing it up inappropriately with the British PM as their most memorable outcomes, Hone’s haka to Nelson Mandela was worth every single cent!

This attack by Key on Hone is an attack we will hear repeated throughout next year. As the election looms, expect Key to play petty bigotry against Hone every chance he gets to make his chemtrail, moon landing conspiracy theorist, climate denying far right Christian friend Colin Craig look politically palatable.

This is aggressive race baiting tactics against a Maori leader by a National Party Prime Minister, in the shadow of Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Does John Key have no shame?


  1. So if he’s spending all his time on the road talking to people, if he’s not then turning up to parliament, what exactly is he doing with what they tell him?

    The whole point of a member of parliament you elect is that they relay your views in the house, not just drive around the country having cups of tea and talking to people. My uncle Oliver the electrician could do that.

    • As the only MP of a minority party Hone Harawira’s vote makes zero difference to most of the business that goes on in parliament.

      And for Hone to go to parliament by rote day after day to indulge in the petty bickering and nasty point scoring and ego tripping that most MPs think is a worth while use of their time, would not only be soul destroying but a complete waste of Hone Harawira’s time.

      Harawira’s time has been well spent going around the country networking and meeting with both Maori and Pakeha communities agitating for his Feed The Kids campaign. A fact that John Key knows quite well and is very pissed off about. As this campaign is building real momentum. This initiative was launched in parliament by Hone Harawira as a measure to address the pressing issue of childhood poverty. An issue that John Key would rather not be raised at all.

      • Jenny’s right on the button, I’m part of a local team that Hone visits regularly to bring us up to date and explain the next steps. MANA has already been in 2014 campaign mode for a couple of years! Parliament isn’t listening to Hone but a lot of his supporters are getting organized behind the scenes. And yes we usually have a cup of tea together after the meeting. MANA is drug- and alcohol-free.

        The big bonus from Hone’s visits is that he attracts inquirers to come along and find out what we’re doing. Attendances at our hui are about double when people know he’ll be there.

    • Probable results of going up and down the country talking to your electorate (when your vote does not make much of a difference in the current government:
      1. You get to see first-hand your electorate, and find out from those living there what their strengths, needs and aspirations are.
      2. You listen
      3. You connect people and communities so they can work together to help themselves.
      4. Use this information to draft bills for legislation eg. Feed the Kids
      5. Actually get on with projects that meet that need, and ignore the scant attention this gets in the media.
      6. Support your electorate when they use their democratic right to protest when you agree with them.
      7. Get informed about issues of substance.
      8. Use all this information to help draft party policies.
      9. Avoid the childish behaviour currently on display in parliament.

      Your idea of representation is flawed. Hone Hawawira come the closest to actually reflecting his electorate than any other MP I can think of.

      • They are holding up remarkably well in the polls for a late second term government so they must be doing a reasonably job of reflecting the views of a sizable section of NZ society.

  2. I myself personally have no problem with the tax payer flying Hone over to South Africa. I am just really ticked off that he came back from their. No doubt he went over their to swap notes with Robert Mugabe.

    • If you must insult people you should at least learn the different meaning of the words “their” and “there”, if you don’t it just makes you look ignorant.

    • Gosh, Stephen, how long did it take for you to come up with that ‘witticism’?! Three, four days?

      Would you care to expound on your claim that Hone Harawira met up with Robert Mugabe? Or is that more unsubstantiated made-up bullshit from another rightwing twat who has no real insights to offer us?

      Your call, chum.

  3. Too right. Hone has done nothing wrong here. Surely, taxpayers flew over those apartheid Muldoon supporters – why not have someone who literally took a stand and worked for Mandela’s cause? When it comes down to the character, vision, values and beliefs of a person, where’s Key’s justification in not sending Hone, and instead taking his chosen “right mix” of people?

    • I have come to expect that sort of hypocrisy from the New Zealand right, whether they go overseas they are ‘cost effective’, whenever an opposition MP goes overseas they are ‘wasting taxpayers money’. 😉

  4. Parliament is a tool of the ruling class, as it ‘sanitises’ radical voices so they become diluted and meaningless, and thus not a threat to that class. Therefore, meaningful change through Parliamentary engagement is limited by the very nature of the institution.

    That said, according to the talking heads, Hone has asked three written questions in 2013. I know for a fact that writing such questions is not an onerous task, and they can be a useful tool for digging out information from Ministers and putting it in the public domain. As such, I am a little disappointed this very low-effort mechanism has not be utilised to build up information about government activities (or lack of them).

    Why doesn’t Hone solicit questions from Mana party members, which he can then ask through his office? I doubt any political party does this currently and it would be a great (albeit small) exercise in grassroots participation in democratic processes. It won’t change the world, but it can’t hurt.

  5. Tomorrow’s Herald Headline:

    John ‘I’m relaxed about everything except Madiba’s funeral’ Key attacks anti-tour protestor.

    How the left reacts to this is instructive of how we will do next year, this attack is just a taster. For example …. ‘Key race card distracts from referendum result.’

    The facts of Hone’s trip aren’t really important, it’s the perception that he creates, the choices he offers – ‘do NZers want pro tour hypocrites to represent us in SA?’

    Hone should be turning this around on Key, as these mock headlines suggest.

    ‘Pro-tour delegation head attacks anti-tour protestor for mourning with black S Africans.’

  6. I was pleased Hone Harawira went and that he took his wife – considering no women were in the ‘official’ delegation, I thought this was particularly good for balancing up the one-sided choice made by this government.

    Key was spiteful because it showed up his choice of white and/or pro apartheid male for what it was – poorly considered like everything else he and his government does.

    I must note that it appears Mr Harawira is a big threat to the establishment – he appears to have been singled out and targeted in the media since last years Waitangi day on a regular basis – if one looks at Mana’s policies – they are very clearly against cooperate monopolistic behaviour and focussed strongly on people and their needs – Sacre Bleu! ‘we [our masters] can’t be having any of that nonsense’ – so it is pretty clear why those with the most power would want him out of the running for the next election…

    In conclusion: Keep up the good work Mr Harawira

    • p.s It is not audacity nor is it arrogance that Key is displaying – words often used to described him – it is contempt. He shows contempt for anyone or anything that doesn’t fit with his [and his backers] narrow and small-minded agenda – no aim toward the greatest good for the greatest amount of people – not a good quality for a PM.

      The only people justifying his pathetic policies and spin these days have the self same contemptuous attitudes and narrow agenda.

  7. This is aggressive race baiting tactics against a Maori leader by a National Party Prime Minister, in the shadow of Nelson Mandela’s funeral. Does John Key have no shame?

    No he doesn’t but it does show which side he was on during the 81 tour and it’s obvious that he hasn’t switched sides.

  8. Well, Key can stress all he likes – especially as the roaring sound bearing down on him is an election defeat fast approaching.

    But at least we know one thing; Hone Harawira can remember which side of the Tour conflict he was on.

  9. Being on a “Jolly” and taking a “junket” were the two accusatory terms that John Key used against Hone Harawira for going to South Africa to pay his respects to Nelson Mandela on behalf of all those New Zealanders who actually opposed apartheid and can remember it.

    The words “Jolly” and “Junket” could best describe the official delegation made up of 5 people plus an official photographer at a cost of $100,000. When they got there they found that only two representatives from New Zealand could be accommodated in the official party. So what did the other three do? Did they camp out in their official luxury hotel digs, or did they do what Hone Harawira did and stand with the people to pay their respects. I suspect that actually having to go and mix with the people would have been a bit beneath those three. I bet those three plus the photographer probably never left the hotel bar.

  10. busy man Hone H…he barely got off the plane and is texting that we are attending a conference organised by Blackpower and mongerl mob members tomorrow….anyone from parliament wanna come to that one? will we see and iwi leaders there? I doubt

    • “…he barely got off the plane and is texting that we are attending a conference organised by Blackpower and mongerl mob members tomorrow…”
      Rueben Taipari

      Probably a far more decorous and respectful lot and far less hostile towards Hone Harawira, than the soul destroying abusive bear pit of parliament, where John Key and his tory gang would like to keep him bottled up.

  11. I voted for Mana last election. I’m not brown. When does Hone, or anyone else from Mana, arrange to meet with “Les Autres” in each urban area at least? Or is Mana as invisible as all the rest?

    PS I’m glad Hone went to South Africa. An honest mourner.

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