Hone to stay, a win for the Maori Party
by Jake Quinn
Dr Sharples says the Maori Party “would not push out Mr Harawira if he refused to leave and continued to be backed by his electorate“. This is the most sensible outcome for the future of the party and a defeat for the special interests that would have been better served by the removal of the strongest activist voice from within it.
The decision to keep Hone on is a win win for the party because he’s now been sufficiently chastised (as was suggested as being necessary here) which appeases the media who have had their fill of blood, but keeps in the whare a popular (in certain key constituencies) and high-profile MP.
Importantly, this stifles, for now at least, the potential of another Maori focused party being established by Hone, which would have had the potential to split the Maori vote between the pragmatists and the ideologs – to both movements’ disadvantage.
The losers from Hone’s return are Labour and National. National lose because their coalition partner would have been oh-so-more amenable without Mr Harawira to deal with. Labour lose because an imploding Maori Party would have increased the likelihood of them taking back the Maori Seats at future elections.