Time for Māori Labour Caucus to fight for poverty, housing & climate change the way they’ve fought for 3 waters + difference between Hone & Māori Party


The very excellent Graham Adams at the Democracy Project fears the Māori Labour Caucus has too much power and is pushing pro-Māori agendas through that the majority of the electorate will balk at.

This is true in that the Māori Labour Caucus are the most powerful faction inside the Labour Party and they are ferociously good negotiators.

I believe however as we enter the second year of the second term that the Māori Caucus must step up to force Jacinda to live up to her promise of transformative politics.

The left love Michael Joseph Savage. Every Labour MP who wishes to push their left wing credentials have photos of him hanging in every electorate office and Minister’s room.

Savage is lauded as the creator of the welfare state in the wake of the Great Depression.

He was swamped when he went into public as NZers gushed over how he had saved them all.

The most hilarious truth, provided by insights from John A Lee who served in Savage’s Cabinet paints a very different picture from the mythology the left have given Savage .

The truth is that Savage was incredibly centrist and not a radical at all. Backed up by the neoliberal Walter Nash and conservative manipulator Peter Fraser, Savage did all he could to stop transformative change, it was actually Savage’s Caucus who forced his hand repeatedly to be transformative.

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The exact same dynamics are at play inside Jacinda’s Labour Government.

When there is a crisis, the Prime Minister shines, but when it comes to domestic policy, she is super cautious to the point of being timid.

The reality is there won’t be transformative change unless the Caucus demands it.

Which brings me to the difference between Hone & The Maori Party.

Hone was on Q&A live with Jack from the Te Tai Tokerau checkpoint last weekend and his humble, funny and kind arguments on lockdowns were a reminder of what a phenomenal leader he really is.

When MANA pushed for ‘Feed The Kids’ it was ALL the Kids, not just Māori kids. Yes MANA was Maori led, but its philosophy was about lifting EVERYONE up.

The Māori Party in contrast is far more interested in only helping Māori children and complaining they can’t wear sneakers inside Parliament.

Their claim Labour policy amounts to a ‘modern genocide’ is as laughable as it is offensive.

It’s time the Labour Māori Caucus learn the lesson from Mickey Savage and Hone and starts using the same political muscle to force transformative change in poverty, housing & climate change the way they have with 3 Waters.

Savage’s legacy was only possible because his Caucus forced him to be far more progressive than he wanted to be.

The Labour Māori Caucus need the same foresight.

The 190000 kids in poverty, the 22000 on emergency waiting lists and the generations locked out of home ownership are begging them to.

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  1. We have lists and accounts on TDB nearly every day of how the NZ neo liberal state came into being, how it has created a cruel “Tale of Two Cities” in this land of plenty. But there are precious few ideas on what to do about rolling back “Roger’n’Ruth’s” toxic legacy.

    Parliamentary politics is certainly part of it, but not the whole deal. Labour’s Caucus is full of people that have known no other way of doing things all their adult lives. There is generational change from the 2023 election on, but will the new gen voters be different from boomers and reject “dog eat dog” as the way society operates? Lets bloody hope so.

    From this distance it is clear why Mana and Internet Mana united all the other Parliamentary parties against them–Mana put up a clear alternate view and rejected the Parliamentary neo liberal consensus that all the others–Greens included–buy into. Labour has now totally squandered a once only MMP majority Govt. to make significant change. Yes most love Jacinda as they should, but that will change if Delta becomes a real shit storm.

    We need a class left based party that raises all the demands from state house mega build to free Wifi and public transport for working class families. A party that organises in the community and takes direct action in league with the 70 NGOs and Unions and Iwi organisations. A left alternative is vital because the authoritarians are revving up.

  2. Yes Martyn and if they (the Maori caucus) don’t step up the majority of them will be gone at the next election. Many of our Maori whanau deserted the Maori party as they were too close to National and under them for nine years inequalities were increasing in all facets of life. Flavell is a nice person but his area of expertise is education not politics and so he had to go cause we didn’t want more of the same old. This forced the Maori Party to take a new direction, starting with actively recruiting good quality candidates and a strong leader in Tamihere not afraid to to be forthright and challenge the status quo. For too long our people have sat back and been too passive. But now with mass immigration part of Nationals plan to keep the rich getting richer, driving down wages whist dismantling unions using the ERA, this was the impetus for Maori to fight for our rights and what was promised to us in the TOW (tino rangatiratanga) but has never been delivered. Recently the Covid epidemics inequitable vaccine rollout has shown us we must continue to fight for everything including our lives. And we must and should encourage our whanau to get themselves on the Maori roll so we can have more power as immigration will soon once again be on the rise and our status as tangata whenua in our own country will once again be in danger of becoming watered down.

  3. Well said but exactly how does anyone get Jacinda out of the catatonic state she governs in and on top of that, get her to deliver on something major like housing reform. Actually, on anything?

    No one has worked it out.

  4. Reduce her power XRay as at the moment she has a big majority more than Key had perhaps if her party lost almost all of those Maori seats she and her party might change tac.

  5. Looking at thinks from a Pakeha point of view it seems there are a lot more Maori words used in titles for government ideas or new departments but little improvement in the Maoris situation. With covid the Maori voice seems to be totally ignored and the attitude of whitey knows best prevails. Labour seems to be the party of choice for Maori but what have they done for them over the years except given them broken promises of improvement just around the corner.

    • Sorry Trevor but they have supported Maori, these being just some of the things…

      Supporting kōhanga reo, to ensure kaiako and kaimahi are paid fairly and facilities are in good condition.

      Made changes to how councils set up local wards to ensure Māori communities have a voice at the table

      Rolling out the Māori Pathways programme in our prisons, to reduce reoffending and improve outcomes for whānau

      Making sure New Zealand history will be taught in all schools and kura by 2022

      Set a goal to get 1 million New Zealanders speaking te reo Māori by 2040

      Expanded the Oranga Marae repair and development fund to support the revitalisation of marae

      Supported Māori communities in the face of COVID-19 with targeted support and advice for Māori businesses

      Supported more than 2,000 rangatahi Māori into employment, education, or training through He Poutama Rangatahi

      Established Te Arawhiti – The Office for Māori Crown Relations to make the Crown a better Treaty partner

      Making Matariki a public holiday from 2022

      Establishing a Māori Health Authority to commission health services, monitor Māori health, and develop policy

      Supporting Te Kīwai Fund, to remove barriers to tamariki and rangatahi Māori participating in sport

      Partnering with iwi to accelerate housing projects

      Delivering 1,000 additional new houses for Māori and funding repairs for whānau most in need

      Improved access to healthy, affordable homes through investing in papākainga and housing repair programmes

      Provided support to unlock the potential of whenua Māori and support whānau aspirations around their whenua

      Progressed changes to enable councils to write off rates arrears on whenua Māori

      Continued our commitment to Māori knowledge in science and innovation through Te Pūnaha Hihiko

      Boosted Whānau Ora to support more whānau in need

      Invested in iwi projects through the Provincial Growth Fund to revitalise the regions

  6. What is Maori doing about exploitation of both NZ visas and the social harm that the explosion of liquor licenses bring?

    What use is minimum wages, when many are making a fortune not paying minimum wages, and there is no real punishment in NZ to stop it and instead a sense of enablement to keep it going.

    Booze baron, Arora’s liquor empire had been built on migrant labour, with 107 visas issued to 15 companies associated with him since 2014. Arora’s businesses have failed 19 Labour Inspectorate inspections in the last six years, and seven other ex-staff have come forward complaining that he paid them as little as $7 an hour.

    His wife, Anuradha, is the new owner of a Bottle-O store in Lincoln, Christchurch, which she has re-branded as The Liquor Store and is pursuing a full liquor licence despite community objections. Earlier this year, Arora’s property interests totalled over $36m, although he has since sold some property.”

    Not a coincidence that those involved in selling of liquor and NZ migrant visas seem to be the winners in NZ!

    Less jobs, more crime, more victims!

  7. How can anyone fight ‘poverty, housing & climate change ‘ when three issues are out of the hands of any NZ government. The beauty of labour, and the left, is that they help mitigated some of the excesses of the system that helps create these issues…other than that, no NZ government has any say in these matters. Who creates the economic system that leads to poverty and widening inequality? Not NZ. Who and what drives the housing market? The (international) banking system that little ole NZ has zero say in. As for climate change, well, we (the government) are just a passenger along for the ride as far as that issue is concerned.

      • Keep you focus on government, and you will need all the shovels you can get….concentrate on those pulling the strings of government and you might just break the cycle….

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