Dec 14, 2012

On Tariana Turia's retirement

A few comments on Tariana Turia’s decision to retire:

  • Te Tai Hauauru isn't wide open - yet. Turia retains a loyal following and has, I think, the mana to anoint a successor. On the other hand, 2017 will be anyone's election. Unless Turia’s successor solidifies her base, boundary changes and a strong field might weaken the Maori Party hold on the seat. It’s worth remembering that their share of the party vote has declined from 31% in 2005 to 21% in 2011. Assuming that 2014 will be a four-way contest in the Maori seats (Lab v Green v Mana v Maori), the downward trend will continue. 

  • Rahui Katene now has an opening. Rahui is based in Porirua (one of the electorate’s major population areas) and has campaigning experience and an experienced campaign team. As much as Katene wants Te Tai Tonga, that electorate’s staying red for the foreseeable future. Katene will also fulfill the constitutional requirement that there be both a male and female leader. 

  • Turia’s legacy is not whanau ora. The program, in its current form, will not survive a change of government. Turia’s legacy is the Maori Party itself and the normalisation of kaupapa Maori politics. The Maori Party are not and never were a radical party. Their approach to governing, rather than looking to overthrow or remould the system, was to insert Maori into the governing and business classes. The party achieved that. The Iwi Leaders Group are now a power structure in NZ society, government has and is devolving some power to iwi (think Whanau Ora and Charter Schools) and the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People lends international recognition to tangata whenua. 

  • Not to take anything away from Tariana Turia and her achievements. She deserves an enjoyable and prosperous retirement.


  1. I agree Morgan that Tariana deserves a good retirement, but I struggle to see how the Maori Party will survive beyond the next election now.I say if Mana can find a credible candidate, then its game on.

  2. I agree wth last post. Cant c mp lasting. Maori seats wil go 2 lab or mana

  3. Did anybody hear her being interviewed on waatea radio by willie jackson?aparently she said that pita sharples should also stand down as leader next year.presumably to give te urura flavell a turn at leadership?i would think talking like that in public isnt good for the maori party?maybe all is not well in that party?

  4. Getting two new co-leaders is not a good situation for anyone. However, if I was Te Ururoa I would be somewhat miffed at the lack of opportunity to step up as a leader or a cabinet minister in the forseeable future.

  5. What has actually happened is the privatisation of social services such as education and health into corporate entities. The likes of the privatisation of Maori education into the hands of a few for their own private benefit, making millions while the rest of Maori recieve substandard education. Eg the Treaty Settlement for Maori Education in which Wananga are private companies, extracting millions for profit.



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