Māori party on the brink | The Jackal

7 Sept 2017

Māori party on the brink

The Māori party's campaign, like their coalition partners, appears to be unravelling at the seams. In the last few days we've had co-leader Marama Fox give a shocker of an interview where she claimed Labour putting Kelvin Davis in as co-leader was a "token gesture".

Fox then insulted Davis and other candidates again at the Spinoff debate last night. In my opinion Duncan Greive's write-up of the Māori party MP's misconduct was far too kind.

Obviously a large factor in the Māori party’s demise is their unrepentant arrogance. Combine those negative traits with a bit of potential electoral bribery, and you’ve got a recipe for political disaster on polling day.

Today, Newshub reported:

Māori Party candidate Wetex Kang accused of offering cash credits

Māori Party candidate Wetex Kang is being investigated by the election watchdog following complaints his campaign has been offering cash credits online.

Mr Kang, the party's first candidate of Asian descent, is contesting Auckland's Botany electorate.

The Electoral Commission on Thursday confirmed it was looking into complaints about him offering virtual credits on popular Chinese social media app WeChat as part of his campaign.

"The Electoral Commission has received complaints about the use of 'hong bao dollars' on WeChat as part of Māori Party candidate Wetex Kang's campaign," a commission spokeswoman said.

"The Commission is looking further into the complaints, and has sought further information from Mr Kang."

When contacted, Mr Kang declined to comment on the claims.

Personally I would have liked the Māori party to have succeeded in reducing things like the disproportionate amount of Māori incarcerated in our overflowing jails. But it’s increasingly evident that the Māori party is part of the problem and not the solution.

The decision on whether the Māori party survives or not will be made in the Māori electorate of Waiariki, where Labour candidate Tamati Coffey is neck and neck with Māori Party candidate and leader Te Ururoa Flavell.

Today, Radio NZ reported:

Tough battle for the Waiariki seat under way

Māori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell knows he has a battle on his hands to keep the seat of Waiariki.

It's a two-horse race between the current Māori Development Minister and a relative newcomer to the Māori political scene, Labour candidate Tamati Coffey.

Despite Mr Flavell comfortably taking the seat in the last election, Labour won 38 percent of the party vote compared with the Māori Party's 22 percent.

The challenge for Mr Coffey will be to ensure those party votes are accompanied by a tick for him as MP - if that happened, the race could be very tight.

It’s pretty obvious that by accepting a few crumbs from National’s table, the Māori party have done themselves irreparable political damage. By compromising over what they initially stood for, they’ve effectively become a shadow of their former selves.

But instead of recognising their main problem, the Māori party has instead arrogantly displayed their disdain for the people who initially put them in office by supporting policies that actually hinder Māori achievement.

Those disproportionately affected by things like poverty and homelessness have been ignored by the Māori party, who voted for many of National’s socially destructive policies.

Thankfully there are good alternatives for voters. If people want to see a government adopt policy that doesn’t impede Māori progress at nearly every turn, it’s time to change the government.