Waatea News Column: The astonishing Māori Party victory highlights the strategic power of Māori voters


With the Specials in, we can once again see how Māori voters in the Māori Electorates continue to be the most powerful strategic block of voters in New Zealand.

Their overwhelming desire was Māori Party candidate vote, Labour Party vote.

This has triggered an MMP overhang and forced National and ACT to need Winston Peters in what is looking less like a functioning Government and more like a voyage of the damned.

When Matt McCarten helped set up the Māori Party he argued for this very tactic of Candidate vote Māori Party/Party vote Labour to generate the MMP Overhang and make the Māori Party a 7 seat heart to any Labour Government moving forward.

With more focus on the overhang, the time to reconsider this feature of MMP demands our attention.

Last week I wrote:

The Rātana movement into politics in 1923 helped seal gains for Māori and Pakeha with Michael Savage in 1936.

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Savage was gifted a potato, a broken gold watch, a pounamu hei-tiki, and a huia feather as symbols of the new alliance.

The potato represented loss of Māori land and means of sustenance, the broken watch represented the broken promises of the Treaty of Waitangi, and the pounamu represented the mana of the Māori people, if Savage was able to restore those 3, he would earn the right to wear the huia feather.

It is time for Labour to earn the right to wear that feather.

The idea of reawakening the Ratana alliance and working together on a shared strategy in the Māori Electorates so Māori Party candidates run in the seat and Party vote goes to Labour is worth pursuing.

600 000 use food banks each month, 24 700 are on the social housing wait list, ACT/NZF/National Government will pass draconian social policy that punishes the poor, beneficiaries, the disabled, drug addicts, prisoners, renters, workers and state house tenants.

If the social carnage we are about to witness over the next 3 years doesn’t motivate Labour and the Māori Party to work together, nothing will.


First published on Waatea News.