Could MANA be the new anti-austerity radical Left Party?


With the astonishing win of Radical Left Party Syriza in Greece and the rise of Podemos in Spain, is their political room for a Radical Left Party in NZ and could MANA be that?

What Greece shows is that the economic conditions have to deteriorate significantly and the contempt in the current elites incredibly intense before people dump being consumers and suddenly become citizens.

The poor need to see their lot as getting worse while the inequalities in a NZ led by a multi-millionaire money speculator so grotesque that people demand a State that will step in and put people first not corporations.

Is NZ at that level? At one extent it is. Those being thrown off welfare in their thousands and those too ill to work being threatened with ongoing and intrusive work testing are running out of options and becoming more desperate at the bureaucratic cruelty Departments met out to them.

Key is pretty safe in knowing their rage won’t crystallise into anything. But if the working poor are suddenly thrown a curve ball by the economy like collapsing dairy prices, Auckland property bubble burst or the end of the Christchurch rebuild, that could hurt first time home owners hardest and the failed promised prosperity from property speculation could fuel political calls far more demanding than the current political Left are proposing.

So the necessary environment for the possibility of a Radical Left anti-austerity party would be a jump in the unemployment rate, students too broke to study and a climbing mortgagee sales rate. If you don’t have those, things have not gotten bad enough for people to be angry.

But if that does happen, what are the possibilities of MANA filling that space?

Currently I think the possibility of a Left wing progressive Government in 2017 are thin. If Labour plus Greens are the majority, then I think we would see a strong Left Government, but if the majority requires Winston, the Silver Fox will negotiate a Labour-NZ First Minority Government and promise some policy wins to the Greens in return for their vote on Supply and Confidence.

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It’s not like the Greens could say no.

A Labour-NZ First minority Government would not go anywhere near the kind of structural economic models that are required if we want to be serious about inequality, poverty and climate change.

The Greens would need to get 15% and Labour 36% to win a majority. How possible is that?

MANA could easily hold their current economic platform up as proof that they could be a Radical Left anti-poverty Party. But would MANA go down that road again? One possible way back for MANA is a sit down talk with Marama Fox from the Maori Party to look at co-operating in the Maori seats to win them back from Labour. This would require Flavell either eating a lot of humble pie or retiring at the election.

Tripping up a newly right leaning Labour for the Foreshore legislation and knifing Hone would be a great pay back for both parties.

So MANA may not necessarily adopt the mantel of a NZ Syriza.

Any NZ version that did launch if MANA was focused on just the Maori seats however could have a policy platform like this…

-free tertiary education
-feeding the poorest kids in the poorest schools
-new state houses
-increase in benefits
-warrant of fitness on houses
-clear food labelling
-sugar tax
-adult education
-financial transaction tax
-Renters Rights
-public broadcasting
-Universal income
-environmental research and development
-Living Wage
-Cannabis legalisation
-recognition of the role of the Treaty as a founding document with the necessary constitutional changes
-more free health care
-making public education truly free
-Worker Levy to give Unions more resources and power
-Living Wage
-independent foreign policy


  1. Great result for Greece.

    At least the voters have woken up to the greed that has abounded in that country.
    We can only sit and watch how the elite react and how they try to preserve their wealth.

    I am all for the Mana Party rising again.

  2. Yes Martyn,

    As I watched five minutes of our mindless MSM at news time today at 6pm and out pops the magician , Key the smiling assassin not so cleverly saying “I will bring more social housing by selling off state housing”!!!!!

    He said he will come forward in the days ahead with a good account of the amount of State housing they are intending to flogging off.

    I guess the master of riddles will eventually wear down the remaining folks that have the capacity to see through his smoke screen and wake up as Greece did and finally say;

    “Enough – enough, stop the austerity Keyster and get out of here,”

    So Mana please start beating the drum as you did pre-election on the state housing asset sales by a carpet bagging Government throwing those
    in dire need out of proper state housing and into the chicken cages they are planning for those poor souls.

    I am from a family of Builders and watched Dad in the 1950’s build those State houses and they are the most solid housing we could have, and todays housing is poor by compression with those houses built of heart timber, and solid tongue and groove flooring that will last 200 yrs if maintained adequately, and insulated as many are now with the Government/Green insulation program.

    Key is a liar, a carpetbagger, and a Judas priest.

  3. Martyn I would swap one of those “Living Wage”s for Capital Gains Tax. In the absence of any CGT there are a lot of property speculators making a killing in Auckland – and don’t pay a cracker in Tax. I personally have heard the story of one man who sits on places for 6 months, then sells for at least $60k+ profit per house. Last year he on-sold 10 houses. And he paid $0 in tax.

    I also have a problem with ubiquitus use of the word “Radical” to describe Syriza. Surely “Progressive” would be a better word to describe their policies, which are shared here in NZ by about 75% of the population with regards to child poverty, inequality of wealth etc. If Syriza wished to dump the Euro – that would be “Radical”.

  4. To right Cleangreen! Well said.

    We shall have to keep our eye on Greece to see what happens.
    They were the original with democracy – maybe they will also be the first to bring it back!

    • Unlikely. They still want to remain within the Eurozone. As such they will have to learn to abide by the rules of that club.

  5. There are two telling differences between Greece and NZ. (1) They have had their way of life snatched from them, while we have had ours incrementally eroded. (2) Austerity has made them a sacrificial state, while under Key’s government, we maintain a sacrificial class, so as to keep widespread austerity at bay.

    Hence it is much harder for our left to ride in on a huge wave of anger, and to build a broad consensus that change is vital. However, the division between the haves, who are spared austerity, and the have-nots, who are not spared, is a festering sore in our society. A Mana Party framed as an anti-austerity party would at least help to force that sore out into the open, where treatment is possible.

  6. Sorry there was nothing wrong with the internet party .

    Only thing wrong was labours and Nz Firsts stab in the back.

    So its okay for John Key to have mega millions donars but not a left wing party to have Mega Millions donar is that what you are saying.

  7. I made a conscious decision to check all election parties policies and make my vote count the most for the children and youth of NZ. MANA/Internet Party filled this criteria. It’s a real shame people believed the hype just before the election.

  8. In Greece and Spain the proverbial frog had its legs lopped off before it got dropped in the boiling water. Kiwis willingly and witless jumped into the pot and begged to have the heat turned up.

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