Apr 13, 2012

Best and worst performing Maori MPs

Iv'e finally updated the best and worst performing Maori MPs page. There's no particular order to the list. Simon Bridges and Shane Jones feature in the best performing list, while Labour's Maori Caucus and Pita Sharples feature in the worst performing list. You can see it here


  1. I'm interested in why you haven't commented on the performance of the Green Party MPs who identify as Maori:
    Metiria Turei, Denise Roche and David Clendon.

    Catherine Delahunty is not Maori but she is one of the most passionate defenders of the Treaty in parliament.

  2. Thanks for asking that. The Greens Maori MPs, Turei, Roche and Clendon, are excellent, but they haven't been very active on Maori issues. Clendon made some good comments around the Urewera verdict, as did Catherine Delahunty, but other than that you'd struggle to find them entering or influincing Maori political discourse. Scanning this blog is a useful indication in terms of what's going on in Maori politics, and the Greens feature very rarely. The same goes if you google "Green party" and Maori in google news.

    I agree that Delahunty is one of the most passionate and articulate defenders of the Treaty. She's also very active with Maori communities, especially in the Bay of Plenty I hear.

  3. Here is Metiria speaking strongly on the the Takutai Moana bill and taking the Maori Party to task! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WRowidlfZoo

    Here is Metiria speaking up for children living in poverty, which is a huge Maori issue: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rANVXYFrwDs&feature=relmfu

    And Metiria again commenting on Treaty issues: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qCrlcVLbW_M

    I'm not sure what else you are expecting her to do?

  4. Thanks for that, but the first two examples are from last year. I'm covering January, February and March of this year. Furthermore, speaking in the House has, more often than not, has minimal effect on Maori politics.

    1. Sorry Morgan, I'm not sure how you can rate Metiria below the three you rate well. Metiria is the Co-leader of the third largest party and is leading the debate around treaty issues and poverty in political forums outside parliament as well. I understand she spoke well on Waitangi day too. What are Shane and Simon doing that puts them above Metiria?

    2. This is a subjective list looking at performance over a set period and, over that period, Metiria hasn't led on Maori issues. Shane Jones led the slave fishing issue, Hone Harawira and the Maori Party led the s9 debate, Simon Bridges has won a significant promotion and Hekia is, at the moment, the most visible Maori MP. Metiria isn't leading debate or influencing debate in Maori politics nor is she maintaining a media profile comparable to, arguably, Simon and she isn't maintaining a profile like Hekia.

      Metiria is a great MP and has featured on this list, from memory, more times than any other Maori MP except Hone Harawira. I'm not discriminating against the Greens - I voted for the Greens after all:


  5. I sometimes get the feeling, although it's never been explicitly stated, that the Greens believe in Maori leadership on Maori issues, so they mostly defer to the Maori Party (and possibly in the future, Mana)

  6. Hugh, I don't think that's the case at all, as Morgan said the Greens have often been on the forefront of Maori advocacy and we are a treaty based party. The formation of the Maori Party saw us lose some of our Maori members but they are now returning. I think we have some strong talent coming through as well, with Jack Tautokai McDonald and Dora Langsbury performing particularly well in the Maori seats.

    Your perception may be based on the fact that with only 9 MPs during the last term we were pretty stretched covering all bases.

  7. Bsprout: "as Morgan said the Greens have often been on the forefront of Maori advocacy"

    Morgan: "The Greens Maori MPs, Turei, Roche and Clendon, are excellent, but they haven't been very active on Maori issues."

    Yea, OK.

  8. The problem with your assessment, e mara, is this; you equate noise with ideas and volume with effectiveness. Don't forget, "E ketekete te kaka, e koekoe te tui, e kuku te kereru." Your analysis does not take into account the biased coverage of Maori issues by main stream media, who generally don't want to know and if they do they simply don't understand. It is a sad commentary on our ability to assess the best and worst if all we can do is base it on "sound bites"and digital images.

  9. http://www.radionz.co.nz/news/te-manu-korihi/100471/maori-should-be-decision-makers-over-rivers-turei

  10. Tena koe Morgan

    I have been following your blog for some time now as I am very interested in Maori politics and in media reporting of Maori politics, there are a few comments I would like to raise with you in regard to your recent blogs.

    “There’s a brown tide rising in National with Simon Bridges winning a ministerial role”

    Really Hekia and Simon are in your judgement the best performing Maori Politicians??

    I would like share with you statements from the Tuhoe intellectual Tamati Kruger from the High Court during the Te Urewera Trial:

    “Mr Kruger said that 'for most New Zealanders, Maori means 'brown fellah' and Pakeha means 'white fellah'. The words are interpreted differently in Maori.

    'I don't know if you've heard one Maori saying to another, 'Gee you're a Pakeha.'?'

    It is not an insult, but 'a location of your ideology, your philosophy, and your style of life that you prefer...Maori people can refer to a Pakeha person as Maori'.

    Mr Kruger explained how he can go to Ruatoki with a Russian friend and introduce his friend as a Maori. Everybody would know that this person lives their life in a Maori way.

    'It is a fact due to colonisation, that there are Maori people that no longer choose to live by Maori values...they’re known as Pakeha”

    For you locate both Heika and Simon as Maori politicians is insulting to those of us who strive to live life as Maori, Hekia and Simon do NOT live their lives by Maori values and the proof of this is that they are indeed raising in the ranks of the National Party and by taking Tamati Kruger’s definition both Hekia and Simon are considered by Maori to be Pakeha in their ideology, philosophy, and their chosen style of life.

    Secondly, I watched you and Matt McCarten on Native Affairs this week, your comments about Te Ururoa Flavell were offensive and out right untruthful – it is painfully obvious that you have no respect for the MP of Waiariki (why is that?) and also no knowledge about the mahi he has done and relationships he has in Whakatane and Kawerau, were you there for the opening of the new Kura Kaupapa in Kawerau this year – I was and so was Mr Flavell, did you attended any of the court days during the Te Urewera Trail, I did and so did Mr Flavell….it is a bit unfair to ask if you have been present at this occasions however not as unfair as your comments on Native Affairs about Te Ururoa’s commitment to his constituents in the Eastern BOP. Your basis toward Mana puts in jeopardy your ability to comment on Maori political matters in a objective manner that is so important when putting yourself out there as a Maori political commentator.

    Finally I have to say to yourself and other left wing bloggers Bomber Bradbury, Tim Selywn have missed the big pink elephant in the room…if Hone had not of spat the dummy at the last minute over the foreshore and seabed legislation that he supported until Moana Jackson released his primer …..Maori would now be holding the balance of power and there would be NO sales of state assets.

  11. Kia ora, Muriwai. All fair comments, but I don't agree. To call Simon and Hekia 'Pakeha' in terms of ideology is correct, but it's an insult to their whakapapa. It is, after all, whakapapa that makes us Maori. The way a person lives their life may influence the way some people view that person, but it is not definitive. No one can detract from whakapapa.

    by the way, in the context that I've heard Maori been called "pakeha", it's used as an insult more often than not. A way of lessening their whakapapa.

    I agree, though, that Simon certainly lives by Pakeha values. However, Hekia is very much in touch with her taha Maori - even though she acts according to Pakeha ideologies.

    I have much respect for the work Te Ururoa did for Tuhoe in response to the Urewera raids and the work he continues to do for them. Not to mention the good work he does in Rotorua. However, Te Ururoa has done many things I disagree with and things I think have hurt Maori. Voting for the ETS, the tax switch, changes to ACC, the 90 day law, helping boot out Hone Harawira for minor transgressions, a shameless tilt at the leadership and, the biggie, supporting the pathetic MCA act.
    That's off of the top of my head. I was particularly disgusted with his assertions that Waiariki was behind the MCA act and that the act was substantially different from the foreshore and seabed act. Te Ururoa is no where to be seen in Kawerau, a token appearance is not enough. He has no links with social services in the town, the Council doesn't know him and nor does local business. Kawerau is a Maori town, the Eastern Bay is a Maori area, but one that Te Ururoa largely ignores. Todd McClay is more active in Kawerau.

    That aside, I respect Te Ururoa and what he has done for Maori - he's done much more than me - but that doesn't mean I'll ever hold back from criticising him when he gets it wrong.

    If Hone had stayed with the Maori Party, they wouldn't be holding the balance of power because Rahui Katene lost Te Tai Tonga.

  12. Rahui lost her seat because of the rift that Hone and the Maori Party caused amongst Maori, if Hone was still there Rahui would be too. I'm surprised you didn't put Rino Tirikatene on your worst list, you'd think he would be going full ball the moment he was elected.

  13. I don't think it was that simple, anon. There were a number of factors that contributed to Rahui's downfall. The fact Rino was a Tirikatene, the rise of the Greens and so on and so. You'll note I included Labour's Maori Caucus - that includes all of their Maori MPs.



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