From Hone Harawira;
I can announce that it is my intention to continue to serve the Tai Tokerau as an independent MP, and that I will contest the 2011 elections as either an independent or as a member of a new political movement in Aotearoa.
Interestingly, Hone indicates that he is open to joining or forming a new party. It is hard to know what to make of this. On the one hand you could speculate that Hone is sending a subtle message to the apparently numerous young activists who are calling for a new left party. However, on the other hand you could say Hone is just playing a sensible game. As a general rule you never rule anything out in politics. I tend to think Hone is declaring his availability as an anchor for a new left party. Not necessarily declaring his intention to actively form such a party, I think he intends that work to fall upon the young activists who are keen for a new left party.
What is also interesting about the above statement is that Hone rules out the possibility of seeking refuge with the Greens. Up until recently Hone has advocated for a strategic alliance between his former party and the Greens. However, Hone must realise he will not fit within the Greens’ new found eco-capitalist framework. Ultimately, Hone’s identity as a tino rangatiratanga advocate clashes with the Green’s identity as a middle class environmental party.
The statement continues;
It is also my intention to go back to my electorate and to supporters around the country over the next month to inform them of my intentions and to seek their support
It sounds as if Hone has already decided whether he will remain independent or form a new party. It appears that it is just a matter of seeking the endorsement of his supporters. Martyn Bradbury must be getting pretty excited.
In terms of the election itself, I have advised the leadership of the party that it is not my intention to contest any of the other Maori seats in 2011, and I understand that the Maori Party has agreed not to stand a candidate against me in 2011 either.
So Hone is ruling out forming an alternative Maori Party, however, not a new left wing party. Remember a new left party would use Te Tai Tokerau as their MMP anchor, therefore contesting other electorates is merely a waste of resources.
To conclude, Hone has indicated, quite expressly, he may contest the election as a member of a “new political movement”, i.e. a new left party. This will give hope to the likes of Martyn Bradbury. However, one must exercise cautious optimism. As Chris Trotter points out here and here, forming a new party is far, far easier said than done.