Harawira told his supporters, who had gathered at Parliament today, that he would continue to campaign for the poor.
“Mana’s dream is for a society where Maori can stand tall,” he said.
“Your love and support has sustained me through the darkest of days.”
Harawira said he was proud of his party’s achievements and commitments in Parliament.
“A commitment to ending poverty for all and particularly those most vulnerable in our society – our kids; a commitment to putting an end to the grinding homelessness affecting tens of thousands of New Zealand families; a commitment to putting the employment of people ahead of the sacrifice of jobs in the endless pursuit of wealth for the few; and a commitment to a future where the Treaty of Waitangi is honoured as the basis for justice and good governance in Aotearoa,” he said.
He did not mention the Internet Party in his speech. Instead, he said it was his principles that perhaps got the better of him.
“Mind you – being so highly principled brings with it enormous risk, not least the fact that kids can’t vote and poor people don’t, he said.
It wasn’t principles that got the better of Hone. It was selling them out to Dotcom. If he had not done that, he would still be an MP, and it is pretty likely he’d have a second Mana MP in Parliament also.
There is a part of me that regrets Harawira has gone, because I think Parliament is better when it is representative, and Hone did represent a significant proportion of Maori (and non Maori) opinion. His motives were generally good, even if his judgement was less so.
But the reality in politics is that decisions have consequences. He made an appallingly bad decision, and it had appallingly bad consequences for him. That is how society works – bad decisions often lead to bad outcomes. His defeat was self-inflicted.