Sharples on staying on

March 29th, 2013 at 9:00 am by David Farrar

Claire Trevett at NZ Herald reports:

co-leader has come out of his corner fighting in the leadership contest with MP , saying that although he knows the standoff could damage the party he will not stand aside or give a future date for his retirement, because he believed staying on was critical for the party to survive.

I think Sharples motives are good, and he is right that if he retired as an MP it would be bad for the Maori Party. He will be 73 at the election, and probably wouldn’t mind a quieter life.

But the issue is whether he has to remain as co-leader to still help the Maori Party retain support. I would have thought there is some sort of elegant solution where he becomes the “Kaumata”, is pledged to remain a Minister but you make Flavell co-leader to clearly signal there is a succession plan.

“I believe I’m the best person to lead us into the next election. We’ve had so much disruption with Hone going, and people saying there should only be one Maori party, and now Tariana is leaving.

“So it is important someone who has the connections, who is known throughout the country and has given all my heart and integrity is there to try to rally them back to the party.” He said he was not angry at Mr Flavell for challenging, but wished he had waited a while longer.

However, Dr Sharples is also refusing to commit to standing down at a future date after 2014 even if that would convince Mr Flavell to stay his challenge, saying that might weaken his leadership impact.

If there had been some clear indication of dates, then I imagine Flavell would not have been so public with his desires.

Dr Sharples also said he regretted saying he hoped to lead the party until the day he died – a comment he said was intended to be light-hearted but which drew criticisms, including from NZ First leader Winston Peters, by people comparing it with a dictatorship. He hoped Mr Flavell would stay on if the party elected to stay with Dr Sharples.

“I would love him to stay with me, so we could work together. He’s an awesome worker. But the leadership is a particular kind of thing at this stage, and I think I can reach out to a whole lot of sources that need to come back.

It will be interesting to see if they manage to find a solution to this.

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16 Responses to “Sharples on staying on”

  1. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    As a Kaumata, he would be a leader for Maori. I guess the problem is that the current constitution of Parliament does not give the cultural recognition and support or legal acknowledgement to the position of Kaumata within the house. Stepping down from co-leader would effectively demote him.

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  2. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    There’s a couple of traits that Maori seem to have built into their DNA which other races don’t seem to have in as much abundance and the expression of those traits as they’re acted out in the world seems to affect their politics.

    One is the warrior gene which seem to make Maori more prone to fighting than other people. When I say fighting I don’t mean physically so much as an emotional state of maintaining constant battle-readiness and now and again they act it out. Hone’s departure is an example of that in the MP but you see it in Maori families, which are often large and which in many, not all but in many, one member is battling another member over something, all the time. The members who are battling rotate but over time, life is those families is just a never-ending rotation of constant battles.

    Another gene I’ve noticed they have is the snobbery gene. Maori are great snobs. They place great store in bloodline connections, more than the rest of us do. And their concept and reverence of mana interacts with this trait in that often the one inheres the other. All of this adds up to a tendency toward nepotism which is greater than in other populations like say, us.

    As I say, you can see these traits as they operate and act themselves out in the real world not just in families but in the political stage and in the internal politics within those Maori businesses that are substantial enough to hit the headlines with their antics. You can ptwetend it’s wacist to point them out and pretwend they don’t exist but they do, actually, they’re right there, on paper. So I see nothing wacist about discussing a fact of life, as it exists in the real world, how can that be wacist?

    But the point is, I wonder if either or both of these traits are operating here and if so, to what extent and how might they influence the tactics and eventual outcome? I don’t have an answer, it’s a wait and see sort of question, see how it plays out. Either or both of those traits may or may not arise, in this issue. But let’s wait and see if they do.

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  3. Judith (8,534 comments) says:

    Reid: I think you are wrong. The things you discuss are not in the ‘genes’ they are social traits.

    For some reason people seem to forget that it took Europeans many hundreds of years to evolve into the social beings we are, where the ‘warrior’ within is controlled by the social norms (or semi-controlled). The same for the reliance on ‘bloodlines’. Let’s not forget it is only recently that females were given the right to become Queen – if they were the eldest child etc.

    Bloodlines were very important however Globalisation has dissolved that reliance.

    You expect something that took hundreds of years for Europeans, to take less than 200 for Maori and not cause any social problems? (I am talking about Maori culture not their race which is of course ‘diluted’ – for want of a better word)

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  4. Reid (16,634 comments) says:

    The things you discuss are not in the ‘genes’ they are social traits.

    They’re expressed as social traits but why are those social traits expressed? Both of those traits could be explained by their tribal background. They are precisely the sorts of traits that would be beneficial to have based on the tribal life they used to lead for hundreds of generations.

    Europeans have different traits in our genes because for hundreds of generations at the same time Maori were living in the bush in tribes we were living in ever larger cities and that had its own effect on our DNA which is why we Europeans are not so family-focused as tribal races are. We don’t use our cousins for example to raise our own kids, we just don’t do that. Our DNA is why we don’t, just as Maori DNA is why they do.

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  5. liarbors a joke (1,069 comments) says:

    Trougher

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  6. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    Pita Sharples has come up the hard way he came from a disadvantaged background though he seems to had a poor but happy childhood. He took advantage of the opportunities that came his way. Got a PhD went into politics. Being a Minister is something he probably regards as a great privilege where can do something tangible and good. He is not going to give that up while he had a sound mind and life in his body. He just won’t. Maybe Flavell can fit into Tariana’s shoes. But that is the only solution I can see.

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  7. Manolo (14,065 comments) says:

    The racist politician Sharples is probably paying a 25-year mortgage and needs all the money he can get.

    For his limited abilities as anthropologist and snake-oil salesman, the wearing of a bone-carving has taken him far beyond anyone’s expectations. He will not let go a minister’s salary and the baubles of office.

    In summary: Sharples is an unabashed trougher and parasite.

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  8. bringbackdemocracy (428 comments) says:

    Ah the advantages of an upper house to shuffle off the old and bewildered.

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  9. pollywog (1,153 comments) says:

    Jeez youre a moran Reid!

    …and yeah, Pita needs to wean himself off the public tit eh! 73 and still sucking it down is not a good look.

    Wheres the succession plan?…at least show a bit of nepotism and let one of the younger cuzziez have a slurp or even get close to the nipple ?

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  10. Muzza M (292 comments) says:

    I’m wondering if he collects the national super?

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  11. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    I’ve heard that he has just commissioned a master carver to make him a new carved walking stick and he want’s to get at least ten years out of it! :)

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  12. wiseowl (931 comments) says:

    Shouldn’t be a Maori party.

    I have an old piece of willow hanging around that would do the trick.

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  13. OneTrack (3,228 comments) says:

    Why should Sharples have to stand down “for the good of the party”? Who says it would be good for the party for a start.

    Sharples stands, Flavell stands and the party members vote who they want ie the boring old democratic (should I say it – pakeha) way. Howe hard can that be?

    Or, they could also bite the other bullet, get rid of the sexist rule in their constitution that says they must have one male and one female (doesn’t matter if they are competent or not) and choose to have both, even they are both male (oh, the horror).

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  14. tvb (4,512 comments) says:

    John key could broker a solution by offering a deal in which Flavell becomes a minister Tariana becomes an under secretary of health dealing with smoking. The funding peogramme that gives money to bikie gangs to finance drug deals and the like can be handed over to Flavell to sort out.

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  15. Johnboy (16,994 comments) says:

    Of course if Flavell stopped wasting everbodies patience waffling on in stoneagese whenever he stood up in parliament (and thus stopped encouraging sadarse’s like Delahunty) we would take him a little more seriously.

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  16. landoftime (36 comments) says:

    I always remember a politician telling me that the hardest thing to do in politics was to put your own ambitions aside for the good of the party. Pita is obviously having trouble with that and that will be the Maori party’s downfall.
    Pita – you are replaceable. It is the party that will live on – not you.

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