I have been predicting that Hone will form a left wing party as opposed to a new Maori party. Here is further support of that proposition. From Waatea News:
Independent MP Hone Harawira says he intends to honour his separation agreement with the Maori Party and not contest seats it holds.
“It’s looking like there is going to be a new party. It will be announced round about the middle of next month. I can’t say yet when the candidates will be announced. I can say that at this time it is not my intention to stand candidates in the Maori seats against the Maori Party members,” Mr Harawira says.
I think it is fair to assume that any new Maori party would need to contest the Maori seats if it were to have any relevancy as a “Maori” party. The Maori seats give a party mana, or a mandate perhaps, as representatives of Maori. Without even contesting the Maori seats you forego a base to work from and a source of, as I said, relevancy and mana.
Of course things may change but the signs seem to be pointing in positive directions. Hone must know that the only beneficiaries of a three way race in the Maori seats will be Labour.
While I’m on the subject of Hone I just want to briefly discuss this comment:
“I think the concern for Phil has to be that people don’t see him as a credible leader any more. But, I can work with Labour any day, whether Phil’s in charge or Shane’s in charge. As Parekura rightly said, him and I have worked many times on projects in the past and we could do so again. I can do it with any number of his colleagues, so I don’t see it as an issue. It is really just political opportunism on his part,” he says.
This is a well crafted statement and I guess it does show that Hone is receiving some sound advice. The comment touches on the well established theme that Goff is not a credible leader of the Labour Party and as such will probably not lead Labour to victory. Hone then goes on to reiterate that he can work with Labour and as a result he frames himself as the reasonable one. Notice also how Hone name drops Shane Jones as a potential leader. Of course this is unrealistic but it is fair to assume that Goff is aware of the narrative the Shane is, or was, a credible threat and the inevitable leader. It goes back to the theme that Goff is merely temporary. Hone then mentions Parekura, clearly referring to Parekura’s early rebuff of Goff re working with Hone. As a result Hone is highlighting the apparent disunity in Labour. Hone then brushes off the whole issue and calls Goff out as a political opportunist thus reinforcing the dominant narrative that Goff’s move was driven not by principle but opportunity.