Jul 26, 2011

The Kingitanga, Wai262 and Mana Policy

The Kingitanga is, supposedly, apolitical; however critics are accusing Kingi Tuheitia of injecting politics into the movement. From Radio New Zealand:

A former head of the Tainui-Waikato Parliament has dismissed suggestions that a meeting between King Tuheitia and the dissident Fiji colonel, Tevita Mara, could politicise the Kingitanga.

The criticism has been raised by people formerly close to the Kingitanga.

But a past chairperson of Te Kauhanganui, Tom Roa, says King Tuheitia met with Ratu Mara out of respect, because the colonel has royal connections.

I agree with Tom Roa. Given Mara’s connections to Fijian royalty – as an aside I didn’t know Fiji maintained a monarchy – Kingi Tuheitia is under an obligation to meet him (Mara). It is customary for the Maori Monarch to meet visiting Royals from the Pacific. The relationship between the Kingitanga and Pacific Royalty is an expression of the relationship between Maori and Pasifika people. Maori are connected to the Pacific through whakapapa and the Kingitanga respects this by maintaining connections with “the royal houses” of the Pacific. Having said that, I do not think Mara, who is under suspicion of torture, deserves an audience with the King. Mara is, to be polite, a sinner who deserves an audience with the Police rather than the Maori King.

The Greens are, once again, calling it like it is. From Radio New Zealand:

The Green Party says it's not holding its breath for any genuine Government engagement in response to Wai 262 - the recent Waitangi Tribunal report on Māori culture and identity.

The report says current laws and government policies marginalise Māori and allow others to control key aspects of Māori culture.

Greens co-leader Metiria Turei says she sees little point in her party trying to make the Government do anything, because its response is likely to be fairly weak.

National will not touch Wai262 in an election year. Although the report proved pedestrian, any action taken will open National’s right flank and render the party vulnerable to attacks from the redneck right. It appears New Zealanders are comfortable with National’s approach to Maori and Maori issues, but Maori issues are always explosive and best left untouched in uncertain times. National enjoys a solid grip on the centre and the far right, but as we move closer to the election their grip of those constituencies will loosen. If the Nat’s are perceived to be pandering to Maori they will lose control of the right vote and potentially compromise their stranglehold on the centre. With the deteriorating economy and a resurgent left the Nat’s will play it safe – it would be unwise to inflame the Maori issue. However, the Nat’s may move on Wai262 in an attempt to placate the Maori Party and capture their support post-election. This is a long shot though – John Key already has the Maori Party wrapped around his finger.


The Mana Party have followed through with another policy drop, this time in health, employment, education, cost of living and tax. From what I have read, I’m impressed. Most of the policy is progressive and realistic. I haven’t read all of it nor thoroughly considered all of what I have read, but my first impressions are positive. This is what you would expect though with brilliant minds like Jane Kelsey contributing.

1 comment:

  1. "Although the report proved pedestrian"

    Have you read it yet?



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