At the MANA Movement AGM being held this weekend at Auckland University MANA leader Hone Harawira spoke of the deepening levels of poverty caused by a decade of National Government, and said that MANA needed to lead the fight to re-establish the Treaty as the constitutional basis of Aotearoa, reclaim the wealth of the nation, refocus the economy and redistribute the wealth so that everyone could be part of a positive, inclusive, working society.
Harawira said that within 24 hours of his press release about putting the band back together he had been attacked by Prime Minster John Key, Labour leader Andrew Little, right-wing commentator Alan Duff, another right-wing commentator Paul Henry, and political opponent Kelvin Davis.
“I must be doing something right if all these people come after me just because of a humorous comment about going back to parliament” chuckled Harawira. “But I won’t be responding to any attacks from Kelvin. My sole focus is getting MANA back into parliament, not being dragged down into personality attacks”
Harawira said talks with Maori Party President Tuku Morgan had been positive. “MANA was born out of fundamental differences with the Maori Party but we have always kept a door open for discussions with the Maori Party on unity within Maoridom”
“We didn’t talk about mergers or policy agreements” said Harawira “but we did agree to consider strategic arrangements with the Maori Party to bring all Maori seats back into Maori hands”
Harawira said that he was currently involved in a number of really positive community initiatives in the far north and wanted to spend the rest of 2016 putting them onto solid foundations before launching into campaign mode in 2017.
“So that’s what I’ll be doing for a few months yet” said Harawira “Political discussions with the Maori Party are being handled now by MANA President, Lisa McNab”
MANA also launched their new interactive website www.mana.org.nz