The degree of animosity between Hone Harawira and his former colleagues is not surprising. Of particular interest is this quote from Hone:
“Parliamentary Services came across yesterday to tell my executive assistant he’d been approached by the party leadership who said no, he’s not going to have that office, we want him completely out of the way so it was their decision, not Parliamentary services,” Mr Harawira says.
This is interesting. If this allegation is true then it clearly demonstrates the depth of resentment between Hone and the leadership of the Maori Party. It was well known that the two sides have had a fractured relationship well before the SST column and resulting controversy. But who could have imagined that in less than three years the party would splinter and the two remaining sides are left playing dirty politics amongst themselves. As a further illustration of how bad things have got consider this from Waatea News:
(Hone) is pleased with the support he has received from Labour and the Greens, and the only four people in the country he does not get on with are Maori party president Pem Bird and MPs Pita Sharples, Tariana Turia and Te Ururoa Flavell.
Ouch. Funny how Pem Bird is implicated. This shows that the parliamentary wing was working in cohort with the institutional wing of the party. Clearly Pem Bird holds no reservations in terms of giving effect to National Party directives i.e. to remove Hone.
Of course Hone is not the only one throwing around some mud. From Waatea News:
Party co-leader Tariana Turia has labelled the Tai Tokerau MP an embarrassment for missing the second reading vote on the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.
An embarrassment to who? Admittedly it was a bad look for Hone but ultimately his absence was inconsequential.
The rift between Hone and the Maori Party is probably deeper than many of us know. We can speculate as to what went wrong and when. Who was involved and so on. But this is probably counter-productive. Maori need to look forward. The question is who will take us forward. Hone or the Maori Party. My bet is on the former.