“Been a long time coming” said MANA leader Hone Harawira, of the talks held yesterday between Executive members of both the MANA Movement and the Maori Party “but given our history, the talks were cordial and the willingness to try to make something happen was genuine from both sides”
“I have no doubt that there are people from both parties who are sceptical about what a working relationship might look like, but if there has been a common thread from the Maori electorates over the past 5 years, it would be ‘I wish you guys would stop fighting one another, I hope you can get together’.”
“Yesterday was the first step in that journey. There’ll be a stumble or two along the way but nothing good ever comes to those who sit and wait anyway – tama tu tama ora, tama noho tama mate. So we’re going to try our best to find a way we can work together for the betterment of our people. And if it doesn’t work, it won’t be for want of trying.
“There’s a lot to consider – we have some common goals, like winning the 7 Maori seats back, but that throws up its own issues like who should stand in what seat, do we share support for the candidates, and how do we deal with the party vote.
“There are also some massive policy differences, like the Ture Whenua Maori Bill and the RMA, and there’s also the wee matter of the negative impact that the Maori Party’s relationship with National has on our people, so it ain’t going to be easy …
“We’ve got a lot of ground to cover and a lot of obstacles to overcome as well. That’s why it’s unlikely there’ll be a joining of the two parties anytime soon”
“And while there is a lot of love for the notion of MANA MAORI MOTUHAKE, both sides think moving down that path right now is a bridge too far”
“So there’s a lot to do. That’s why we’ve picked a small group to work on the issues and report back to both parties and we’ll take it from there”
“Merry Xmas everyone!”