The who, how, why and ramifications of killing the Māori Party

By   /   October 1, 2017  /   25 Comments

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National used the Māori Party as political camouflage and the policy crumbs the Māori Party received for providing National with that political camouflage wasn’t worth losing their mana over.  

There have been many reckons about ‘who killed the Māori Party’.

Here’s my reckon.

WHO?

The Māori Party killed itself, blaming anyone else for their demise is just sophistry. They chose to sit at National’s table so that Key could make his Government’s draconian welfare reforms look far less harsh because of his relationship with the Māori Party. National used the Māori Party as political camouflage and the policy crumbs the Māori Party received for providing National with that political camouflage wasn’t worth losing their mana over.

HOW?

12 months ago, a high ranking Labour delegation met with a high ranking Māori Party delegation to talk about one thing and one thing only, if it was up to the Māori Party to decide between a Labour led or National led bloc to determine the election result, which side would the Māori Party support? The answer was that the Māori Party couldn’t guarantee Labour that they wouldn’t support National, and once that was clear, Labour went from seeing the Māori Party as a possible ally to enemy.

The Māori Party felt a pan-Māori political movement was a better approach than working with the Left. They reached out to the Māori King, urban Māori and MANA movement. Labour saw this outreach as a means for the Māori Party to establish itself as a permanent way to keep National in power.

Labour struck at the heart of this threat by stealing the urban Māori element of this pan-Māori push by gaining Willie Jackson as a candidate.  Willie Jackson’s urban Māori connections and excellent campaigning skills saw a 7 seat victory on top of huge gains in the Party vote.

WHY?

The simple truth was that the last 9 years of vicious welfare reforms combined with a historically punitive prison system hurt Māori hardest. Poverty and homelessness hit Māori hardest. Inequality in public services hit Māori hardest. So while the Māori Party wanted to sing the praises of their treasured Whanau ora policy, the grim reality many Māori faced made such boasts meaningless.

The only surprise about the demise of the Māori Party is that it took almost a decade to occur once they seated themselves at National’s table.

RAMMIFICATIONS:

Wiping the Māori Party out means that the 13member Labour Māori Caucus have huge obligations to ensure their are fundamental improvements for Māori within  society. Ironically to do that, the Labour Māori Caucus should push and champion the Green Party welfare reforms and benefit increases.

 

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25 Comments

  1. Pat O'Dea says:

    When, where, why, who, are the first laws of good journalism.

    12 months ago, a high ranking Labour delegation met with a high ranking Māori Party delegation to talk about one thing and one thing only, if it was up to the Māori Party to decide between a Labour led or National led bloc to determine the election result, which side would the Māori Party support?

    Martyn Bradbury

    I call bullshit

    “High ranking” Who?

    “12 months ago” When?

    Wellington, Auckland, cyberspace, where?

    I think you need to be more specific Martyn about this alleged meeting. How about citing some names dates, times or sources, for this alleged Labour Party “outreach”.

    And not some self serving anonymous source within the Labour Party, with vague talk that Labour had made such an approach to the Maori Party.

    I could also ask; Why was this alleged approach made in secret behind closed doors. And why wasn’t the negative result from Labour’s so called “outreach” announced at the time?

    There can be no covering up for Labour’s vicious sectarianism which has dropped us in the position we find ourselves in now. And which they seriously need to address, if the Left is ever to move forward and not be forever steamrollered by the Right.

    • Louis says:

      Rubbish. Dont know who you think you are to question Martyns knowledge like that and its not the first time that he revealed that Labour approached the Maori party and that they had refused to rule out National. Clearly you have no understanding of negotiations, which are never done in public. eg Remember the awesome Willie Jackson?

  2. Pat O'Dea says:

    Wiping the Māori Party out means that the 13member Labour Māori Caucus have huge obligations to ensure their are fundamental improvements for Māori within society. Ironically to do that, the Labour Māori Caucus should push and champion the Green Party welfare reforms and benefit increases.

    Martyn Bradbury

    In my opinion a Maori Caucus that compliantly accepted being excluded from the Labour Party list, to compel their loyalty to Labour’s sectarian war against the Maori Party and Mana, is unlikely to buck their Party over welfare reform or benefit increases.

    The first thing that the Maori Labour Caucus could do, to prove their independence, is to demand to be equal with other Labour MPs and that the Labour Party abolish the blanket apartheid like ban on Labour Maori electorate MPs being on the Labour list.

    Or is this policy of exclusion intended to be carried on into the future, so that Labour can continue to compel their Maori MPs to thwart any independent Maori Voice in parliament?
    Is this situation intended to be carried on into the future, so that, if need be, Labour can ram through more anti-Maori policy programs or policies. Or more likely do nothing progressive for Maori?

    Labour might claim that an independent Maori voice is not needed in parliament. But Labour’s patronising policy of second class exclusion from the Labour Party list for Labour Maori MPs proves otherwise.

    • Louis says:

      You know the Maori party supported National’s punitive welfare reforms and selling off state housing, right? You also know they supported the RMA and the Marine and Coastal area act 2011 that repelled the Foreshore and Seabed and were deemed traitors for that 2011 bill, right? Did you miss the news as to why you have remained so willfully ignorant Pat? Never heard Labour claim that they are an independent Maori voice. Labour’s Maori caucus requested to be removed from the list, they have to have permission to do so, their plan, after being attacked by the King, Tuku and the Maori party was to fight back and bring in the largest representation of Maori ever and this aim they achieved. The Maori party consigned themselves to history deservedly so.

  3. Pat O'Dea says:

    So the question is, Left or Right, red or blue. If I’m honest (I’m an ex-politician … you decide) either way we’re screwed.

    No Treaty references in law, remove significant gains from the RMA, remove “race-based” (much needed) targeted funding, scrap whanau ora!

    Warning: I foresee three years of provocative action to stem the tide of equity bloodletting. You can trust me, I’m an expert – according to Winston.

    Marama Fox

    Marama Fox lays out Winston Peters anti-Maori policies he will demand from his coalition partner.

    Will Labour go along with it?

    In the unlikely chance that Winston Peters will go with Labour, will Labour whip their Maori MPs to go along with Peters Maori bashing, to keep New Zealand First’s redneck Pakeha membership on side?

    Would Labour’s Maori electorate MPs bow down to these demands?

    • Sam Sam says:

      Water is a treasure afforded to Māori under the treaty. Unfortunately Māoridome soloing the hundred $billion NZ economy dependant on water rights is impossible so negotiating proper royalties is the only thing that matters. Everything else is just waiting.

    • Michelle says:

      Gee Pat I think you need to settle down its seems you like many others are still upset about the maori parties demise when they only have themselves to blame. During the election fox marama made it clear they were leaving the door open just in case they need to go into coalition with the gnats. Now how many seats did they get at the last election 2014 it was one (Waiariki) with party votes bringing in the fox. And how many seats did they win at the election before this one 2011 it was 3 seats if I recall. Now this shows a clear trend downwards 3, 1, and what comes after that pat =none. Marama got in of te uru roas back she didn’t have a mandate. She has had far to much to say and she needs to shut her big fat mouth cause her comments are divisive and they are hurting our people when we need to stick together. The mainstream media love her because of her comments and they love her because her and her mate flavell have maintained the gnats are the best party for our people if we want to go forward. I have said this before and I will say this again if they are so good how come every time they are in power the stats for our Maori people are the worst they have ever been. Now I watched tariana on Q & A someone needs to tell her she is living in the past. She is quoting old shit and in my view I agree with her only on one issue quote she said ‘I am past my used by date’. She is also holding a grudge against labour and as Matt MaCarden said she is tarring this new labour party with the same brush as the clarke government. Now she also said on the same show the gnats are the best party for our people to which Matt replied well there lies the problem. And would she listen no because so deep is her hate for clarke and her government she hasn’t been able to move on and it looks like it is eating away at her.

      • Grace Miller says:

        Tautoko.

        Fux is an Uncle Tom of the highest order, to me. What changes have been made for Maori that improve our outcomes? #fuckalltonothing and in 9 years, only the brown elite have prospered.

        Social climber that sat at the table, feathering her own nest while the rest of us languished under the bootheel of her masters. #shameful and they have only themselves to blame for being ousted.

        #Turncoats #pigsatthetrough

      • bert says:

        100 % Michelle. Tariana IS the problem. Still can’t let go the Foreshore and Seabed mistake by Labour, even after an apology of integrity. Tariana has hate in her eyes and voice and therefore the wrong person to be involved in the future, such is her ingrained hatred. However, they may have found a jewel in Lance O’Sullivan, he is a peoples champion and very humble, Tariana could do well to learn from Lance.

      • Louis says:

        Well said Michelle, couldn’t agree with you more!

    • Louis says:

      Lol just listen to yourself? what dribble, Labour is not going to whip anymore. Marama Fox and others should shut their mouths and stop abusing Maori voters, they should come clean and just join the National party, they certainly did FA for average Maori over the last 9 years. Why dont you go and listen to what the people are saying, they were right to vote out the Maori party. You should also watch and listen to Winston’s 21min standup with msm the day after the election where he points out that the Maori party are gone. I dont think negotiations between Labour and NZ First are going to be that difficult at all and Labour’s largest Maori caucus in history with its massive mana will remain intact.

  4. Louis says:

    Excellent article Martyn. “The Māori Party killed itself” Exactly right, and putting the spin aside that it was independant, was representative of and spoke for all Maoriu, which it did not, Tariana Turia (TV Breakfast) Marama Fox in particular, denigrating, abusive and insulting rants against Maori voters, and Flavell who also stated that “Bill deserved another 3 years” justified voters decision that the Maori party did not deserve to be in parliament. I applaud Maori voters and thank them deeply with all my heart for getting rid of an enabler of one of the worst National governments this country has been at the mercy of. Maori voters have done this country a great service indeed imo. The Labour party now has the largest Maori caucus of any party in this country’s history and have no doubt that they will serve the people well, particularly if given the opportunity in a few weeks time of being in government

  5. Mike the Lefty says:

    As a lifetime cynic I would conclude that National allied itself with the Maori Party for one reason: The Maori electorates are virtually unwinnable for National so it needed a proxy party to stand there. The Maori Party allowed itself to be used as that proxy party.
    When the Maori Party could no longer win any Maori electorate seats they were of no use to National and were treated accordingly.
    They forgot the golden rule: Never trust National.

    • Louis says:

      Agree with that Mike and the Maori party were a very willing proxy and relied on National to keep them in a seat of power.

    • Cag says:

      Watch “The Hollow Men” – very interesting point made towards end re Maori vote.

    • savenz says:

      You are right 100% MIKE THE LEFTY

    • Michelle says:

      yes Mike the Lefty the gnats have already said in around about way they would get rid or our Maori seats yet tariana and flavell keep putting them up on a pedestal so hungry are they for power

  6. Jeff Foley Jeff Foley says:

    Fraternising with the enemy, supping at the Devil’s table – no good was ever going to come out of that.
    The Maori party: Turia, Sharples, Fox and Flavell – all of them complete and utter traitors. Sickeningly, their behaviour in defeat is strikingly similar to that of Hillary Clinton – she still cannot comprehend the common reference to the idea of her Presidency as “the lesser of two evils”.
    I was going to vote for Hone – but not after seeing him get comfortable, once again, with the Maori party.

    • Grace Miller says:

      Ae, they sold us out for a seat at the table. What did they press the govt on? I mean, really? #nothing

      Supply and confidence, ministerial portfolios as bribes and they sat there, in the muck, troughing. Arrogance and hubris. Fux is in denial when it was her own hamu hand that cut their throat; Flavell sulking like a little kid.

      #sickening

    • Sam Sam says:

      It’s only natural for the party with the the most Māori electorate seats to gain the position of Minister for Māori economic development and that’s dangerous when a mainstream party gains a majority Māori electorate seats. One reason that’s dangerous is because there are no guarantees that those with Māori electorate seats can speak in a language that those with in the Māori seat electorates can understand. Now you don’t have to go full Sir Timoti Karetu and spit out Te Reo on a level above the rest. But Māori seat MP’s do need to be able to convince Māori voters and when the debate consistently.

  7. savenz says:

    Excellent analysis. Now Marama Fox is out from the influence of the National party she is actually doing great work – being part of a huge social housing estate of building ‘real’ affordable houses for circa $60k on Maori land.

    For whatever reason with 9 years of working with National this never happened.

    The Maori party is an example of how allied MP’s get corrupted and unable to do social good when working with the National party. It’s like some sort of brainwashing goes on there.

    They also seem to become the more hated party of National’s policies.

    Hope NZ First makes the right decision! Beware!

  8. Phil Toms says:

    Quite right Martyn – “The simple truth was that the last 9 years of vicious welfare reforms combined with a historically punitive prison system hurt Māori hardest. Poverty and homelessness hit Māori hardest. Inequality in public services hit Māori hardest. So while the Māori Party wanted to sing the praises of their treasured Whanau ora policy, the grim reality many Māori faced made such boasts meaningless.”

  9. mosa says:

    Of all the billions in treaty settlements handed out over the last 25 years why are Maori still living in poverty and degradation.

    Of all the supposed “wins ” that the Maori party has won for its people by being a puppet for the National party why are its people still living in poverty.

    Why is the Maori party never polled strongly in the party vote and lost all of the Maori seats it should have retained by big majorities if these ” wins ” were so significant.

    I am baffled.