Well Hone’s party is certainly turning out to be a diverse one. Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:
The Mana Party’s new candidate for Tamaki Makaurau is a Ratana Church minister who once praised Prime Minister John Key as “a person who should be admired” – and still thinks Mr Key has done a good job.
Kereama Pene was confirmed as Mana’s candidate in the Tamaki Makaurau seat currently held by the Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples.
Last year, while welcoming Labour leader Phil Goff to the annual Ratana celebrations, Mr Pene praised Mr Key as “a brilliant speaker” and “a person who should be admired”.
Yesterday, Mr Pene said he stood by his comments about the PM.
“We’re in a recession right now, and I’ve got to think like the rest of the country that he has done a pretty good job.”
But it isn’t just John Key he praises.
Asked what Mana leader Hone Harawira would think of his view, given that he had walked away from the Maori Party because of his dislike of National, Mr Pene said: “National is actually the group that have done most of the great things for Maoridom over the last 20 years. You’ve got to give praise where it’s due.”
He said the Treaty settlements process, the Waitangi Tribunal and kohanga reo were all implemented under National.