Now to Hone Harawira. No one is surprised the D&D committee recommended Hone be expelled. It was always a foregone conclusion. The question now becomes will the National Council follow that recommendation. In my opinion, probably.
The leadership need him gone, he is an impediment to their agenda, National want him gone because he is an impediment to future coalition arrangements with the Maori Party and lastly iwi leaders want him gone because he threatens their access and influence over government. There is significant pressure coming from all corners.
I think Hone is beginning to realise all hope is lost. Why else would he skip the hui and instead attend a Waitangi Tribunal hearing. A parting fuck you perhaps?
Andrew Geddis makes the point;
The Maori Party's National Council is required under the Party Constitution to make its decisions "by consensus. (Consensus may be defined as a process of ‘whakawhitiwhiti whakaaro,' To arrive at an outcome at which those present, are accepting')." In other words, every member of the Council has a veto power over that body's decisions.
And further down reports;
The NZ Herald is reporting that:
"Mr Harawira's fate would be decided by the council, including at least two representatives from each Maori electorate except for Mr Harawira's Te Tai Tokerau branch. Mr Bird said Te Tai Tokerau's views were already clear and they were "conflicted"."
So that is how they'll manage it - simply exclude from the decision-making process anyone you think is going to disagree with the decision. Like I predicted back here. Where I also noted that it's a step that "would be risky - it's the sort of procedural move that a court might get very interested in down the track."]
So there is almost no chance Harawira will remain with the Party.
I cannot believe Bird has done this. What a dipshit. His political inexperience is really showing. Rangatira are not autocrats. To maintain power, mana really, Rangatira had to practise a consensus style of leadership. Compromise was always offered and finding common ground was paramount. But no, Bird is obviously a Rangatira of 2011, like his mate Tuku Morgan, he dictates and thinks all are bound to follow because he has mana. Wake up Bird, your mana comes from the people, many of whom reside in Tai Tokerau. And if you choose to shit on them they will not hesitate to remove your mana.
If this entire process was handled well and undertaken in good faith the Maori Party could have kept their honour and membership intact. After this final slap in the face I cannot see how anyone would continue to associate with the Maori Party. The party appears determined to alienate its biggest support base. But for what? A ministerial position and all the perks that come with it?
Hone must go it alone. Stand as a voice of integrity firmly opposed to the sell out Maoris sitting on the opposite side of the House. As an independent Hone has more power to expose the Maori Party’s corporate agenda.
The Party must now expel Hone. They have no choice. But I wonder though if they have considered the consequences. Are they prepared to suffer an immediate electoral backlash? Do they think they can recover next year? Who within the party will be the voice of principled opposition?
What ever happens this is the sort of debacle party’s never really recover from. Good I think. I do not want to see the Maori Party, as they are, in the 50th term of Parliament.