Hone Harawira wins in Te Tai Tokerau, and I am celebrating

In a very low voter turnout, Hone Harawira has won the Te Tai Tokerau byelection.  Congratulations Hone!

Together, Mana & Greens have the ability to drag Labour over to supporting tino rangatiratanga and clawing back the devil takes hindmost neoliberal ideology that has driven both Labour and National for the last 25 years.

So let’s work together for that end, and to restore kaitiatitanga over our most precious and treasured lands and waterways.

And maybe the disastrous polling for the Maori Party (less than 10% of the vote) may give them cause to reassess their alliance with the Party that is the class enemy of most New Zealanders, be they Tangata Whenua or Tangata Tiriti.

Kia ora, Hone! Kia kaha, e hoa ma.

The relationship between the Green Party and the Mana Party

I hope both the Green and Mana Parties in future focus their attacks on the policies of those Parties (ie National and ACT) which threaten the commitment to environmental sustainability and social justice we hold in common.

The Greens and Mana are very close in their political objectives (based on Green policy and what Hone Harawira has said, because Mana have obviously not yet had time yet to engage in a process to develop detailed policy).

I don’t think Sue Bradford’s comments on Pundit (although I share her analysis on the Green support for Labour’s Emissions Trading Scheme) are helpful towards building the obvious political alliance between the Greens and Mana. Nor were Russel Norman’s comments attempting paint the Mana Party as fighting battles of the past.

The Greens and Mana are natural allies, with little difference in policy. What’s more, the two parties appeal to different demographics. Mana is never going to get significant support in Rongotai, Auckland Central, Dunedin North, or Wellington Central where the Greens do well.

But the Greens are never going to pick up a substantial party vote in Te Tai Tokerau, Mangere, Waiariki, or Manurewa – where Mana may do very well.

We are parties with very similar policies, but can appeal to very different demographics.

The Greens and Mana can complement each other, and work towards implementing the many policy goals we share. With neither Party achieving over 10% in the polls, at least for now, attacking each other is not a strategically sensible option.

Labour: South of the Mason-Dixon line

Scratch the surface, and you see deep-seated racism alive and well in New Zealand.

Unfortunately for those of us on the environmental left, it is alive and well in the Labour Party which, I guess, is another good reason to be Green.

Hone Harawira was attacked by Phil Goff – not for the stupid sexist “rape” and “motherfucker” terminology in his ill-advised email (for which he has apologised) – but on this basis:

When you come out and you make a comment like that, where you brand a whole ethnic group in this country in the most obscene and vile way, and then apologise for the language, but not for the meaning, there is no place in parliament for that.

Harawira’s actual words were:

“White motherfuckers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries…”

Which is true. Harawira didn’t implicate white people in general. But some white colonists and their descendants did precisely what Harawira describes – starting with legislation designed to alienate Maori land in the 1860s and, shamefully and most recently, Helen Clark and Michael Cullen – both of whom I otherwise hold a lot of respect for – through the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

It pains me that otherwise astute and well researched commentators such as Marty G at The Standard have bought into the Goff line. I’m not sure if they actually believe it, or if it is just blind loyalty to the Labour Party.

As Zetetic, another commentator at The Standard says:

It’s clear that Turia and Sharples will always go with the elite. Harawira represented the Maori working class.

Harawira’s clearly been deeply unhappy with the direction Turia and Sharples have taken the party. Betraying the Maori working class on issues like tax cuts and ACC. Cuddling up to the bosses’ party.

Right on! Despite his silly choice of language, Hone is one of us.

So I’m sure he won’t mind me posting this song by a bunch of white motherfuckers, albeit leftie and environmentalist ones, for him: