Maori Party schism looks likely

One News reports:

A collective from the filed an official complaint against fellow Maori Party member late last night.

Maori Party President, Pem Bird, says he received a complaint yesterday from Waiaraki MP Te Ururoa Flavell, supported by Te Tai Tonga MP Rahui Katene, and Maori Party co-leaders Dr Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia. …

Bird said the party is seeking an early meeting to try and resolve the issues raised by the complaint and an urgent hui will be held on Friday.

“We have invited Hone Harawira, Te Ururoa Flavell on behalf of the complainants, and the Chair of the Te Tai Tokerau Electorate Council to be present at the hui. It will be chaired by the Party’s co Vice President, Ken Mair. The hui will be private and confidential to enhance the chances of successfully resolving the issues in the complaint,” Bird said.

I’m not sure what Harawira’s game plan is. Sometimes it looks like he is trying to take over the Maori Party and mould it in his own image. Sometimes it looks like he is trying to engineer a split.

It is hard to see how he can be a candidate for the Maori Party at the next election, with his recent actions. If there is a schism, he will take a lot of activists with him.

What will be interesting is whether he stands as an Independent, tries to set up his own Maori Party or becomes the Leader of a hard left party which includes Sue Bradford and Matt McCarten. If he does the latter, then they will get representation in Parliament on the basis of Harawira retaining his seat which is likely. Not sure though that Hone would want to be seen to stand for a party which is not a Maori nationalistic party.

Overall this is pretty good news for the left. One danger however is that a Harawiara led hard left party could attract activists and voters from the Greens, and they can’t afford to drop under 5%.

Hat Tip: Whowuddathort

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