Jones vs ALCP

January 26th, 2014 at 11:00 am by David Farrar

Stuff reports:

Speaking at the celebration of prophet Wiremu Potiki Ratana’s birthday, an event that marks that start of the political year, Fred Macdonald of the Aotearoa Legalise Cannabis Party (ALCP) argued that legalising cannabis would earn more revenue for the Crown and see fewer people imprisoned. Macdonald said the drug was used as a medicine in the time of Jesus Christ.

“Just get on with it, stop making our cannabis convicts political prisoners because that’s what’s going on. The war on drugs, it’s just a whole lot of bullies . . .,” Macdonald said.

Jones, who was in the audience for the speech, then launched a rebuttal when it was his turn to speak, saying drugs and alcohol were a major problem in Maori communities and a religious celebration on a marae was not a place to associate Jesus with cannabis, praise its potential or argue for decriminalisation.

“I wanted to send a message to all the visitors and to Ratana: do not allow your powhiri to be diminished by some half-stoned creature from Macdonald’s farm,” he said.

It was particularly “galling” that a Pakeha man could make such a speech on a marae when Maori women were not accorded that privilege, he said, adding “the vast majority of the Maori there were offended”.

Jones said he had been taken aside by Ratana followers and thanked for his actions.

But Church spokesman Andre Mason said he was disappointed in the actions of both men and defended Macdonald’s right to speak his mind, even if his views were not shared by everyone there.

“That was very inappropriate of Shane doing that. This is not a normal marae like every other marae , . . .This is a place of freedom of speech and he was right to share his thoughts, maybe it would’ve been a bit long but he shared he thoughts.”

I suspect it was the nature of the response, being a personal attack on Macdonald, that didn’t go down so well.

Wonder if other churches will be allowed to become Labour affiliates?

January 24th, 2013 at 3:00 pm by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Mr Shearer pledged last year to meet regularly with the Ratana movement.

Since then, he has hosted the church elders at Parliament and met them several times.

“So I am going up for the church service on Friday – for me that is the most significant day and it’s the day when people commemorate it.”

He said this week that Labour were also now in discussions with Ratana about whether it would become an affiliate of the party.

That would give it some influence over candidate selections and voting power in future leadership elections.

I think it is abhorrent that external organisations have voting rights in political parties. It makes them a hostage to special interests. Think if Business NZ was allowed to vote on National Party policy, candidates and the leader? It would be called organised corruption. Think if the Destiny Church was allowed to become an affiliate of the Conservative Party and vote on their policies? Think if Greenpeace got 20% of the votes for the Green Party leadership? Why is such an anti-democratic thing as organisational affiliates tolerated in Labour? It isn’t far removed from US style special interests buying politicians.

All voting in political parties should be by individuals who have chosen to join the party in their capacity as an elector.

And encouraging a church to become an affiliate member of a so called secular political party. My God. Anything for votes or money.

Labour at Ratana

January 25th, 2010 at 11:06 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

Labour received a battering at Ratana township yesterday as National and the Maori Party continue to bask in popularity after more than a year in office together.

Labour was challenged to reciprocate the loyalty shown to it from Ratana for decades by accepting four Ratana candidates for winnable positions in Parliament – on the list.

To rub his nose in it, Labour leader Phil Goff had to endure a speech praising Prime Minister John Key for being “a brilliant speaker” and “a person who should be admired”.

Heh. Now one has to understand the significance of this. Ratana is not just a meeting of Maori. It is not like Waitangi. Ratana has been an ally for Labour for many many decades. As a Labour leader, having Ratana praise National is somewhat akin to a Green Leader having to listen to Greenpeace praise National.

And Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples was welcomed in the morning, with him telling Ratana that the Maori Party was their party – it holds five of the seven Maori electorateseats.

The recent Marae Digipoll showed the Maori Party massively ahead of Labour amongst Maori voters on the Maori roll. It also showed National ahead of Labour amongst Maori voters on the general roll.

Mr Goff rejected the suggestion of greater Ratana representation in the Labour caucus, other than on merit.

I have a two word response to that – Ashraf Choudary!

Ratana minister Kereama Pene, who delivered the critical speech, was told by Labour MP Shane Jones he should stick to ministering.

How to win friends and influence people.

In The Press report I note Goff is using their new slogan – the ordinary person:

“Sure, you need to update it to be a 21st-century relationship, but it shows the coincidence between Ratana and Labour working for the ordinary person.”

We should start a competition to count up how often the phrase “ordinary person” appears in Labour press releases, blog postings and speeches.


January 23rd, 2010 at 10:00 am by David Farrar

The Herald reports:

But it took only one surprise sentence from a kaumatua speaking on the marae to indicate that while Labour leader Phil Goff will have the crowds when he appears tomorrow, he could face a more difficult time.

Joe Everett, a morehu (Ratana follower), noted the long connections the Church has with Labour but then said that since becoming Prime Minister, John Key had abided by his promises to the Maori people.

“In the short time you have been in power, you have done so much more than others have done for the Maori people.”

The overt praise and implicit criticism of the previous Labour government made it clear the Church followers at least are openly reconsidering their alliance with Labour.

Church elder Andre Meihana said Mr Goff could well face criticism over the controversial speech he gave last year, as well as what some saw as a failure by Labour to foster its close ties with the Church over the past five years.

I thought Key might get some stick for not agreeing to Maori seats on the Auckland Council, but that seems to be an agree to disagree issue.

And the Dom Post:

Mr Key opened his speech by joking about flowerpots at the marae – six were blue and four were red.

“I like that. Don’t go changing that when the other fellow [Labour leader Phil Goff] turns up on Sunday.”

He said his almost exclusive focus this year was to improve educational standards in the country, “so that every child in New Zealand gets the opportunity to succeed in life”.

Of course Labour and the educational unions are against having national standards and reporting to parents on them.