Nanaia Mahuta has come out against Goff. From Waatea News:
Another of Labour's Maori MPs has broken ranks with leader Phil Goff over working with former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.
Waikato-Hauraki MP Nanaia Mahuta says Mr Harawira has taken similar positions to Labour on issues such as the 90-day bill, raising the minimum wage, and greater protection for employee rights.
“But the real proof is what happens after election 2011 and I’ve been in politics long enough to know that the wind blows both ways and you can’t rule anyone in and out before that day. That’s the day that matters,” she says.
Ms Mahuta has confirmed she will stand again this year, despite stepping back in Labour's rankings for health and family reasons.
Goff needs to get on top of this – there is clearly a huge amount of dissatisfaction among the Maori caucus. As I blogged a few days, Parekura has already come out against Goff. This means Labour’s most senior Maori MP’s have openly defied the leadership and reneged on the accepted party position. This is nothing but sloppy political management on Goff’s part.
But perhaps the most interesting aspect of Nanaia’s statement was confirmation that she will stand again this year. This will disappoint the Maori Party. Although Nanaia’s grasp may be more tenuous than previously thought. Make no mistake, Nanaia is an extremely dedicated electorate MP and a well connected and respected member of Tainui, but nothing lasts forever. Fatigue may begin to settle in and a good candidate may, keyword may, clinch an upset. Nanaia can run on her record as an electorate MP (bar her record on the foreshore and seabed) and cruise to victory. So often though there is no correlation between performance and re-election. Success is often a combination of incumbency, personality, reach and circumstance. More often than not ones chances of re-election are situational. Is the public generally favourable towards my/my party’s brand? Does society currently value what I espouse etc…
Ultimately, I am picking Nanaia will retain her seat based partly on name recognition and partly on the perception that she is a dedicated electorate MP. This time around her connections to the Kingitanga may prove to be a black mark against her given the trouble surrounding the Kingitanga. It is almost certain that Nanaia will not be re-elected on the basis of her involvement on the national scene. She is silent on most if not all issues affecting Maori. I haven’t seen anything from her since I started blogging some three or four months ago. To be fair her focus is her family and good on her for that.
In any case she will probably win given the state the Maori Party is in. In 2008 the Maori Party brand was at its apex and the party ran incredibly aggressive campaigns in all of the Maori electorates. Even then they could not unseat Nanaia who was, following the seabed and foreshore controversy, exceedingly stained. If politics is indeed situational, and if Nanaia cannot be unseated in the most unsympathetic situation for Labour, then I am not sure she will be unseated this time around. The tide is turning against the Maori Party.