Hope with Hone

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There’s been a lot of discussion about whether a conservative party will emerge before next year’s election to provide a coalition friend and balance of power to help National form a government.

What I’ve been looking for, is a party on the Left. One that will counteract the power of New Zealand First, and provide a counterweight to the others on the Right and ‘Centre-Left.’ The Green Party’s fortunes after the next election are uncertain if past minor party performance is any example. And they’ve become so centrist that there’s room for views on the Left.

But just when I despaired of the rate at which electoral success is matched with compromise and mediocrity in the Greens, just when I thought there was no Left, left. Just when we needed a leader with fire in the belly, to pull New Zealand back to the Left, Hone Harawira turned up at Ihumātao and gave me hope.

Even though he arrived at Ihumātao with members of the Destiny Church which was odd to me, he’s representing an important Maori constituency in doing so. “I know from being in prison myself,…Man Up works’ he says. Unlike others involved with the Ihumātao dispute, he said that the Prime Minister is right to stay away and leave finding a resolution to her Ministers. Hone was confident, strident, and he had strong opinions, and he had mana. It was refreshing to think the Mana Movement might be back as a political force for good.

Indeed, in Ihumātao the mana of the people is rising, being given voice around a unifying cause – that resonates the issues of land confiscations and indigenous powerlessness around the globe. Some people have been scathing of the popular support the Ihumātao protectors have received. There have been accusations of bandwagoning. I prefer the explanation that it’s our zeitgeist. We’re frustrated with past injustices perpetuated today. We’re sick of the privilege of corporates. We’re angry at the ruination of shared heritage, of desecration for money. We’re sick of political complacency, of the conservatism of power.

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Now, Ihumātao is being described as a revolution, this era’s Springbok Tour, our Bastion Point, the biggest Māori movement of our time. The beautiful moments of peace like when the police plant trees with children and sing along with the crowd show class and ethnicity more unites us than divides us, and that cops with guitars can do more to shape peaceful reconciliation than when they’re carrying batons.

The surprising flashpoint that is Ihumātao was a perfect moment for Hone to make his re-entry, bringing with him authenticity, straight talking, staunch. Back on the scene speaking to the dispossessed, disenfranchised, disappointed. I hope we can hear more of him as we get nearer to the election.

14 COMMENTS

  1. Hone is indeed a welcome voice and presence with the MANA carried from his strong support of the people who are underfoot in the class war in NZ. He is a champion and only ex MP with uncompromising socialist views about a fairer society.
    Destiny Church is not a part of the Mana Party.
    I suspect Destiny is there to increase the head count and gain public notice.

      • No, definitely not Sam. Hone & Mana is a spent force.
        Nga Puhi doesnt speak for all Maori or can speak for all Maori.
        Hi jacking the movement for political gain is so yesterday, to be frank, fuck’n sad.

        • Maori progress:

          * Education
          * Work
          * Scam or get scammed

          Two paths at this point:

          * Derangement
          * Get rekt

          Or

          * Maximalism
          * Save
          * Enjoy outsized returns and contribute to the community

          The degree to which Māori walk the second path determines there success.

  2. Hone is one of my heroes. Met him in 1978 in the Auckland Car Assembly Industry where we both worked.
    Have bumped into him from time to time ever since it seems–he was in Patu Squad in ’81 Tour, I was in Biko Squad. Went to Waitangi protests over the years, and a few Far North struggles too involving Ngati kahu in my area. And I know some of the efforts he and Hilda have put into local development against the residual settler racists in Kaitaia.

    He is a great guy in this country’s history, end of. Now you can question his political affiliations over the years if you want to, and if he seriously goes near Destiny I certainly will! But, he still has a good analysis on a number of issues particularly now including Ihumātao. History could have been rather different if all the political parties, not just Labour, had not turned on Hone’s Te Tai Tokerau campaign when he was with Internet Mana.

    Kia Kaha Hone!

  3. Hone is our only chance on the straight talking trustworthy left. Last election I got suckered into thinking that the Greens were going to finally do something worthwhile for beneficiaries but from here its back to Mana. Hone is not only our greatest orator but also most staunch activist. He belongs in Parliament and with any luck will be there again after the next election.

  4. Hone has no credibility after his racist diatribe against pakeha who are not all too blame for Maoris plight.
    In fact a lot of us are just as marginalized as our Maori brothers and sisters in this land of Aotearoa.
    I like his straight talking approach on poverty but i always get the feeling he thinks that only Maori are doing it hard and that i and others should always feel guilty for crimes committed 170 years ago that most kiwis would never countenance these outrages in our day and age.
    If he could just be inclusive and talk for all victims of neo liberalisim white , brown and the rest then he might just harness the support of many who need a champion.
    I am not Maori or Pakeha but a New Zealander and proud to be one.

    • Hone is the only politician who has talked of the class warfare. That includes the downtrodden Maori and others. Its a class problem with racism added.
      Kiwis come in many forms. Lets not be divided but identify the class struggle.

    • Mosa: “Hone has no credibility after his racist diatribe against pakeha who are not all too blame for Maoris plight.”

      Yup. Harawira has “form” for saying that sort of thing. No contemporary citizens are responsible for the land theft and confiscations of the 19th century. Nor are pakeha responsible for Maori crime, family violence, or drug and alcohol addictions, with the resulting mental health issues.

      With regard to Ihumatao, the intention on the part of the occupiers is to grab the land. Never mind that it’s privately-owned – which is why the government can’t intervene. They say that they don’t want houses built on the land, but on RNZ a couple of days ago, Harawira let the cat out of the bag, saying that yes, of course houses could be built there. So: attempted land grab, despite Fletcher being the legitimate owner. All of the rest of us who value our own property rights better hope that the government stands firm and doesn’t intervene.

      • Hone is but one voice.
        The confiscation issue has been canvased in Treaty settlements and to some degree put to bed for some.
        Today’s generations were not around at times of confiscation so anything given in compensation may be welcomed by iwi but the underlying effect of the colonisation and particularly confiscation is dramatic in defining our demographics.

        We can and need to do better than treaty settlements by creating a more egalitarian and accepting society that mixes without the fear of other who are different. Its a path of growing understanding. Radicals can help bring attention to wrongs and protest about events but some radicals help us see the problem with a strong resistance to letting go the reins that guide a dominance by those who currently have control. Policy must be carefully made with a future direction.

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