|BFF: Turia, Key and Sharples|
I think Hone breaking down will probably endear him the hearts of many Maori and women. Raw emotion is, more often than not I think, a public sympathy winner. I personally find it quite touching that Hone did succumb to tears when speaking of his wife. Humanity is such a rare quality in politics – sadly – it really goes to show that Hone is genuine.
It is clear that Hone is under immense emotional pressure. He is torn between the promise a kaupapa Maori party holds and loyalty to his, probably soon to be former, colleagues. For Hone it is not a choice. He wants both a Maori party that delivers for Maori and a relationship with his Maori Party colleagues. Unfortunately, he cannot have both. His colleagues are so compromised by a right-wing economic agenda, so utterly enamoured with government and absolutely infatuated with John Key that it is near impossible for the Maori Party caucus, excluding Hone of course, to deliver on the promise a kaupapa Maori party holds. It should be clear to him that he is the lone voice for the poor, the disenfranchised and dysfunctional – he is the lone voice for Maori. Hone should raise his flag as an independent. Why bother remaining in a party that is captured by a brown faced corporate elite. The Maori Party are governing for the elite by the elite. Hone’s voice will be lost within the corporate vehicle that is The Maori Party. Let them crash and burn. As an independent Hone’s voice will carry integrity. Hone should consider this:
ACT is electoral poison. No thinking person will vote ACT (not that any thinking people voted ACT to begin with). Closer to the election if it appears that Rodney will not bring any extra MP’s with him National will probably cut their losses and reclaim Epsom. Rodney is toxic and his one vote is of no use to National. Therefore, National will need the Maori Party to govern provided they do not secure a majority (it is a serious possibility given the pathetic state of the opposition). However, The Maori Party will struggle. Apparently staff turnover is high, the party has no money and no mana. I am picking Rino Tirakatene will snatch Te Tai Tonga leaving only Tariana, Pita and Te Ururoa. Will three extra votes be enough to secure a National Party majority? Probably not. Hone’s vote may become the casting vote. Hone may make or break a government. Therefore, there is no value for Hone or Maori in remaining with The Maori Party. He will only be forced to prop up a second term National government.
I really see no future for The Maori Party. The Party will need significant financial and personnel support from the National Party. But if the Nats see no benefit in The Maori Party’s votes then they will probably see more advantage in going for gold (an outright majority) or facilitating the formation of a new right party. The people are gathering against The Maori Party. Tamaki Makaurau kaumatua and kuia are calling for another hikoi along with Nga Puhi. Ill feeling towards The Maori Party is not isolated, it is felt across the motu. Hell even I’m pissed off with them and I have never been a Maori Party supporter (and never will be considering their recent behaviour).
A dramatic shift in ideology and behaviour is required to stop the bleeding The Maori Party is suffering. With Turia and Sharples in charge we can safely assume that change will not happen. The leadership, along with iwi leaders, are too self interested and dim-witted to move in the politically and morally astute direction. Maori need to vote with their feet and start from scratch. The Maori Party appears to have failed. Time for something different.