Nov 9, 2011

Waiariki debate continued...

My last post (and it was hardly a post – more like a few sentences) generated a passionate response from camp Annette and camp Te Ururoa. The comments fell into three broad categories: 1. Annette smashed Te Ururoa and he is “the one percent iwi elite scumbag”, as one fiery commenter put it 2. Annette is, in the words of the first commenter, a “BMW” (Bitter Maori Woman) with nothing more than a big mouth while Te Ururoa is quietly doing the job. 3. We, as in Maori, need to stop turning on each other.

I’m glad this blog is stimulating debate, but please, please can we keep it civil. Calling someone a “scumbag” or a “BMW” probably doesn’t help anyone.

Anyway, a few words on the debate itself. Annette won, hands down. She controlled the debate. Te Ururoa found himself having to respond to her attacks, or allegations is probably the nicer word here, therefore, he was unable to control the agenda. Annette backed him into a corner and portrayed him in an unfavourable light. It was masterful politics. However, Te Ururoa responded almost as well. He didn’t come out of the corner fighting, instead he steadily moved himself out with careful justifications and a focus on the Maori Party’s achievements. Te Ururoa’s responses detracted from the potency of Annette’s attacks (or allegations) and helped build the picture that he is a respectful person (which I’m sure he is).

Annette is prone to well crafted and well delivered rhetoric, so naturally this is where she stole the show. Te Ururoa built the best image, but Annette spoke the best. Each answer she provided explored Mana policy, at times she digged at her opponents and, most importantly, she linked every answer to themes that will resonate with Maori. For example tino rangatiratanga, anti-capitalism and the effects of colonisation. It was masterful politics.

Te Ururoa also provided in depth and considered answers. But often he found himself having to defend himself or his party rather than going on the front foot like Annette. However, he still managed to paint a good picture of himself as respectful and considered. Louis Te Kani, unfortunately, wasn’t a feature. He found himself relying too heavily on non-specific soundbites. A little depth from him would have gone a long way.

On a similar note the Ikaroa-Rawhiti debate is on tonight at 9pm. I’ll probably write on it tomorrow.  


  1. Politics is as much about impressions as it is about setting the narrative. My impression was of a hectoring candidate (Annette) hence I came away with a negative view. And from the other posts many Maori had a similar reaction. So the narrative was compromised by the impression Annette left. And yes, Te Ururoa's impression he is respectful (whether true or not) was what I was left with. So that's what influenced me.

    Anti-capitalism resonates with some Maori, not Maori (as in all). Her rhetoric on colonialism in particular is now passe. So many of the rangatahi I engage with couldn't give a toss about whether they are 'colonised' or not. Because they've moved beyond it (as have I to be honest). Yep, bring on the noise about how that makes me a colonised Maori - yawn.

    Now tino rangatiratanga. That's one thing I think you can be more universal about. I still hold to it. But what it means is a debate we have still yet to have and settle on. Cause if it means total Maori control over their own affairs - well I don't know about that. I've seen enough of the quality of our 'leadership' and big talker syndrome to see how prone we are to dictatorship. Unless we are proposing socialism??

  2. There is a warped perception of what it means to have rangatiratanga and the whole colonised issue. Te Ururoa breaths rangatiratanga. He brought his kids up speaking Maori in a society (both Maori and Pakeha) that thought he was crazy. When working at St Stephens he fought to have the students exposed to Maoritanga just as much as they were to the haahi.

  3. OMG, Annette is one crazy women who likes the sound of her own voice and only has fringe politics on her side! What a weirdo!
    Te Ururoa answers to John Key. He lost his Mana when he jumped into bed with National!
    Louis Te Kani is only one that seems to care about all levels of our society, especially our at risk youth. I can see him doing some great things for Maori when he gets into parliament. Both Labour and National have said they will not work with Hone so why would you waste your vote on Annette and a vote for Te Ururoa is a vote for National. I will definitely be voting for Mr TK!

  4. I vote for ururoa is a vote for key!!! If ururoa had balls he would stand up against the non-return of te urewera!!! A vote for sykes is a vote for Nothing, bkuz that is what MANA will achieve, NOTHING! Look at their policies they are diabolical and away with the fairies just like leader Hone. The only thing Mana has achieved is divide Maori even more, you saw that in the debate!! I doubt the Maori and Mana will even work together, what a shambles. Neither will get my vote, I WILL be voting Louis Te Kani, for a more realistic candidate, party.

  5. There's a lot that could be said about the comments under your last post on Waiariki Morgan. I read them a couple of days ago and was reeling too much in horror to contribute to the korero. What is obvious from the interaction is that the myth of Maori homogeniety is just that - a myth. 'We' don't speak with one mind - but hold diverse ideas, varied positions - while some have argued that there is no need for two 'Maori' parties, I can't think of anything better to reflect this reality.

    My horror is at the use of 'BMW' as a label for any Maori, no matter their position or party. It is such an overused colonial nonsense, employed tactically to quell any opposition to the status quo. I don't like it when white people use it, I like it even less when brown people take it up. Who are our 'BMWs' of old? Whina Cooper, Eva Rickard... there's quite a list. It bears remembering that demonised in their day as angry Maori, history always smiles kindly on them - not so the compromisers. I don't have an issue at all with peeps supporting different parties, having different ideas about what is in the best interest of Maori, I do have an issue with decrying strong political stands as divisive while throwing around divisive, colonising labels.

    We are a diverse group. As a group we are at a point in history (ooo sounds grandiose) where real planetary and humanitarian crises confront us. Yet we don't confront them with the same resources (or lack-thereof) the same ability to speak and be heard. As many of the anonymouses (and I do mean mouse - stand by what you say) above attest there are Maori who won't necessarily advocate for the most vulnerable amongst us. But that's my standing point. And that's why I hope Mana are a viable voice in parliament, however that comes about. But perhaps that makes me a BMW too. Mauri ora!

  6. I think I agree with every word you just said

  7. Louis Te Kani for MP of Waiariki is a more viable option then Te Ururoa or Annette? ha What a joke...! In terms of saying Mana has been lost by Te Ururoa due to the Maori Partys decision to join the Government, if you all would just get off your high horse for one second and take time out to develop understanding and knowledge of this move then id be interested to hear what you say... Since when have people made decisions influenced by what others say? Where has loyalty, faith, and belief disappeared to? I think the hell with that, we should go with what we truly believe in! Our people need to wake up and face the facts... we need to open our eyes and not just our ears to the situations in front of us... I will say it one more time, no other party has ever gained $600 million dollars in one term, two Maori ministers, at the main decision making table....The Maori Party will always be independent! Yeah it hasnt been easy but ROME WAS NOT BUILT IN A DAY! Our people need to patient!!!! It is the only true Party 100% Maori and there decisions will always be determined by what their followers and supporters want, that is why local hui and conferences are held during big decisions... duhhh! Wake up people! Maori Party Motuhake hard! Kia Kaha Te Ururoa!

  8. A vote for Te Ururoa is a vote for Key and National???? So a vote For Te Kani and Labour is a vote in support of a Labour party who created and passed the Foreshore and Seabed Bill 2004? Get your facts right mate!

  9. I'm so glad you wrote that, Turangawaewae. I couldn't agree more.
    I don't think Annette is bitter. I reckon she's angry, sure... and she's using that anger courageously, to speak truth to power.
    Why can't we admire that? are we so afraid of what conservative pakeha wil think of her (and, by extension, us) that we have to hate on her first? It seems a sad state of affairs.

    Kia ora Morgan, first time writing, but been enjoying your blog for a while.


  10. Thanks for commenting, Pip. I think we should admire Annette's heart too, even if we don't agree with it.

  11. Bah white politics is about impression rather than substance. US politics used to choose their present on a number of criteria: race, gender, class, stupidity, relationship with Wall Street (read: War Street) and hair. Today they choose on a revised criteria: gender, class, stupidity, relationship with Wall Street and hair. NZ politics select on class, relationship with Wall Street/UN and race.

    Maori politics and leadership used to be about substance now they are trained until there is no discernable difference between white and brown leaders.

    I voted for the Maori Party but never again. The party will die an eventual death because they are a bunch of elitist scumbags, and they know it. Give them some money and they'll jump through hoops.

    But the chickens are coming home to roost and the Maori Party are in a panic because they've been decimated. Still, we need more angry/aggressive brown female leaders because that's how the leaders of the 70s and prior were. The ones that scared the shit out of people - taniwha. People like Eva Rickard, Princess Te Puea, the Ngati Porou women, the Nga Puhi women, the Tuhoe women, etc. There's one in every whanau that puts the shits up us. The ones that controlled the men at the front of the marae. The ones the say, "Fuck it, I've had enough. Get out of my way." The ones the say, "For shit to get done, I've got to do it my fucking self!" That's how we made giant strides and got shit done - not with these 'good impression, well-dressed, well-trained' monkey scumbags parading as leaders.

    Sometimes you have to get angry and protest to get yourself heard so that shit will change. That's what's happening with the Arab Spring (some of it), Occupy WS and Europe and here in the 70s. Labour, National and the Maori Party are playing yesterday's game, with yesterday's policies in yesterday's environment.

  12. All you unfortunate misinformed Maori Party knockers... Dum.

    If you were self informed you'd know that our party, I say our. Because even though you bag them and hate on them they still work for you. they still believe in your rights. But if you do not like the maori party because you buy in to media (camon whanau!!) Go to the f'n huis, learn your bloody language and then you tell me if its not so bad. Most of you that disagree with the ideals of the maori party may be because you are not as maori as you think you are??


    Why do i say that?
    Because most of our kaumatua excersize their matauranga and experiences at hui. Tikanga Maori!!!

    because no matter how bad they are shat on. By their own people (blood in some cases) they continue on.

    The vast majority of the support for labour...pffft (you say maori party is bad) Labour is the hand that fed our people the sea bed and foreshore path.

    The majority for Hone and mana... we'll see what you can do outside of cabnet and policies.

    National- We know exactly what we get with them. as the greenies put it. drill it, mine it, sell it.

    I predict that you will all eat your words as maori party will thrive!



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