Morgan Godfery blogs:
Hone Harawira is known for a lot of things, but not many people realise he is a social and moral conservative. He is against, for example, drug liberalisation and gay marriage and in an interview with Bryce Edwards Hone claimed to be against a society of “choice”. This, I think, reveals an authoritarian attitude not uncommon in Maori males of Hone’s generation. …
Anywho, as I said Hone Harawira is opposed to gay marriage, or marriage equality as it’s positively framed. This position has been opposed universally within the Mana Party. Leading members have asked Hone to justify his position, but he is yet to face the membership with a justification. This is unacceptable from the party leader and he will be rightly savaged for it.
This issue will be interesting to see play out.
Hone is a Maori nationalist politician who is left economically. Most of his party though are hard core leftists, who detest social conservatism. This naturally creates tensions.
The other friction is that Hone is not a “Explain yourself” type politician. he is more in the Jim Anderton mode of my way or the highway. I still believe his departure from the Maori Party was more about ambition – he could not secure the leadership. So he may be reluctant to moderate his views, no matter how much his supporters want him to.