Is this a leadership coup?

Patrick Gower blogs at 3 News that he belives ’s “Plan A” is in fact to take over the Maori Party.

Hone Harawira clearly wants to take over the Maori Party. It was the signs outside his “disciplinary hearing” saying “Hone’s the Man!” and “change the leadership!” that gave the game away. …

Harawira’s been peddling a “I don’t have the tact and diplomacy to be leader, I’m an activist to my bones” line. That language shifted this week. In my one-on-one interview on Wednesday where he referred to John Key as a “smiling assassin”, Harawira refused to rule out taking the leadership if called upon by the Maori Party support base.

I tend to agree with Gower, that this is what Harawira wants. In his own way he is trying to do a Winston  constantly white-ant your colleagues to build up your own popularity, and then try to use that popularity to force his way into the leadership.

But like with Winston, it may not work as he wants it to.

Then there is of course the “change the leaders sign” at the hui yesterday. They’re obviously for Harawira. He claimed on Morning Report this morning that he didn’t know the signs were there. I burst out laughing: I watched his brother Tai get them out of a Harawira emblazoned vehicle, and put them up under instructions from their mum, Titewhai.

I think that says a huge amount.

Of course Harawira could get kicked out. This may not come to pass – but it doesn’t mean its not Harawira’s plan; I’m sure he wants to stay in. However, the party may decide he is becoming too dangerous and get rid of him. Obviously he would go out in a blaze of glory and win as an independent. So what of this “Left party”? It would dilute his goals for Maori, be hard to set up. The Maori party has the infrastructure, the brand, the membership and the history he wants. I’d say independent would be the Plan B – with a comeback in time still on the cards.

If Gower is correct in his analysis, then it is more likely they will kick Harawira out. Otherwise they risk being stabbed by him again and again.

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