If you didn’t watch Native Affairs last night, you should. In their last show for the year, and probably the best of the year, Julian and Annabelle hosted a raft of MPs and a brilliant panel (minus Mike King who was pretty bad).
Julian interviewed Pita Sharples, Winston Peters, Hone Harawira, Shane Jones, Meteria Turei, Rino Tirikatene, Simon Bridges and Louisa Wall. Annabelle discussed the interviews with Sandra Lee, Matt McCarten and Mike King. I don’t want to have a moan about Mike King, but I can’t let it slide that following Meteria’s interview King admitted to having never seen Meteria in action before. Even worse King then proceeded to speak of Meteria as if he’s never seen a sharp Maori women nor ever expected to see one. Prior to that King was salivating all over Winston again, just like he did on Saturday night.
Anyway, Pita Sharples came across as despondent. He found himself having to defend why the Maori Party lost a seat, had their party vote slashed and majorities in their remaining electorates slashed. Pita did have the good sense to admit the party’s relationship with National contributed to, or is still contributing to, the decline of the Maori Party.
Winston was, well he was Winston. Hugely charismatic, likeable in a mischief way and abrasive. Winston touched on good themes, for example poverty and asset sales, but he reverted to attacking the media when it wasn’t justified. He tried to dump Maori TV in the same basket as the mainstream media which was, in my opinion, patently unfair and a great way to burn bridges. After all, the Maori media have given Winston fair and consistent coverage.
Hone, true to form, gave a good interview. He was upfront and he added a dash of humour. Nothing really stood out.
Shane Jones. What a waste. The panel pointed out Shane was the first Labour MP to give an honest account of their loss. He didn’t sugar coat it, he didn’t repeat Labour’s lines, he called it as he saw it. 3 out 4 New Zealanders didn’t vote Labour (discounting the one million who didn’t vote) and that’s a problem they need to address.
Meteria Turei was the best performer of the night. As Mike King found out, Meteria is hugely intelligent, incredibly articulate and she’s pretty charismatic. The best Maori leader in Parliament in my opinion. Every thing was to the point and she didn’t deviate from the script.
Rino was given a soft interview and still seems like the win is yet to sink in. Julian almost caught Rino out when he put the proposition to him that would he support Ngai Tahu if they want to snap up SOEs. Rino seemed surprised and quickly stated Labour’s position.
Simon Bridges and Louisa Wall appeared together. Both MPs won huge majorities in their respective electorates. Louisa is the first Maori woman from Labour to win a general electorate and Simon is one of National’s best, no the best, Maori MP. Yes, better than Hekia Parata. In Mike King’s best call of the night he called Simon on his smugness. Mike correctly identified that NZders hate smug politicians, or smug people in general actually.The panel agreed Simon is a future leader of the National Party and maybe the first Maori Prime Minister. Agreed.