- This is a missed opportunity to implement generational change. The Maori electorate remains young (the media age for the Maori population is 23 compared with 37 for the NZ population as a whole) and the Maori Party should move to reflect this.
- Sharples is a product of the Maori renaissance of the 70s, 80s and 90s. He embodies the ideas and ideals of that (fading) political period. Flavell, on the other hand, is a clean break from the period and a better representation of Maori post-foreshore and seabed.
- Having said that, as far as reaching across the racial and political divide goes, Sharples is the most effective Maori Party MP. But at some point Te Ururoa will have to become the party leader. With that in mind Sharples should step aside to give Te Ururoa time to bed in before the election.
- From an operational point of view it makes sense to have Te Ururoa deal with party issues while Turia and Sharples deal with ministerial issues. Flavell needs sustained political coverage if he is to hold his seat against Annette Sykes.
- Given his service to the party and Maori, Sharples deserves to stand down on his own terms. However, that doesn't mean he should have an indefinite lease on the leadership.
- This episode speaks to deep dysfunction in the party. One co-leaders calls for the other to step down, that co-leader refuses while the leader of preference refuses to, or is forbidden from, fronting on the issue.
Jan 18, 2013
Sharples vs Flavell: the leadership edition
Some comments on Pita Sharples confirming that he will contest the 2014 election - as co-leader.