Nov 29, 2011

Native Affairs post-election special

If you didn’t watch Native Affairs last night, you should. In their last show for the year, and probably the best of the year, Julian and Annabelle hosted a raft of MPs and a brilliant panel (minus Mike King who was pretty bad).

Julian interviewed Pita Sharples, Winston Peters, Hone Harawira, Shane Jones, Meteria Turei, Rino Tirikatene, Simon Bridges and Louisa Wall. Annabelle discussed the interviews with Sandra Lee, Matt McCarten and Mike King. I don’t want to have a moan about Mike King, but I can’t let it slide that following Meteria’s interview King admitted to having never seen Meteria in action before. Even worse King then proceeded to speak of Meteria as if he’s never seen a sharp Maori women nor ever expected to see one. Prior to that King was salivating all over Winston again, just like he did on Saturday night.

Anyway, Pita Sharples came across as despondent. He found himself having to defend why the Maori Party lost a seat, had their party vote slashed and majorities in their remaining electorates slashed. Pita did have the good sense to admit the party’s relationship with National contributed to, or is still contributing to, the decline of the Maori Party.

Winston was, well he was Winston. Hugely charismatic, likeable in a mischief way and abrasive. Winston touched on good themes, for example poverty and asset sales, but he reverted to attacking the media when it wasn’t justified. He tried to dump Maori TV in the same basket as the mainstream media which was, in my opinion, patently unfair and a great way to burn bridges. After all, the Maori media have given Winston fair and consistent coverage.

Hone, true to form, gave a good interview. He was upfront and he added a dash of humour. Nothing really stood out.

Shane Jones. What a waste. The panel pointed out Shane was the first Labour MP to give an honest account of their loss. He didn’t sugar coat it, he didn’t repeat Labour’s lines, he called it as he saw it. 3 out 4 New Zealanders didn’t vote Labour (discounting the one million who didn’t vote) and that’s a problem they need to address.

Meteria Turei was the best performer of the night. As Mike King found out, Meteria is hugely intelligent, incredibly articulate and she’s pretty charismatic. The best Maori leader in Parliament in my opinion. Every thing was to the point and she didn’t deviate from the script.

Rino was given a soft interview and still seems like the win is yet to sink in. Julian almost caught Rino out when he put the proposition to him that would he support Ngai Tahu if they want to snap up SOEs. Rino seemed surprised and quickly stated Labour’s position.

Simon Bridges and Louisa Wall appeared together. Both MPs won huge majorities in their respective electorates. Louisa is the first Maori woman from Labour to win a general electorate and Simon is one of National’s best, no the best, Maori MP. Yes, better than Hekia Parata. In Mike King’s best call of the night he called Simon on his smugness. Mike correctly identified that NZders hate smug politicians, or smug people in general actually.The panel agreed Simon is a future leader of the National Party and maybe the first Maori Prime Minister. Agreed.


  1. Agreed - this was superb television - puts the rest to shame

  2. If Bridges gets close to being leader of the Nats...and then possibly PM...he would be a PM who happens to have Maori ancestry...maybe popular in his electorate....hasnt shown he is in touch with a broad range of Maori issues though....and mispronounces te reo.... how much involvement does he have with his iwi hapu and marae? Hekia seen as culturally Maori. Speaks the language. Grew up on the coast.
    (Makere Edwards)

  3. Simon wasn't raised "Maori" if I can use that turn of phrase. Certainly he has Maori whakapapa and no one can take that away from him, but I do agree he isn't really in touch with Maori issues.

    I think it's a little unfair to ask how much involvement he has with his iwi, hapu and marae. If that's what it takes to be Maori then most of us will probably fail the test. Simon describes himself as a politician of Maori descent rather than a "Maori politician" which is the label used to pigeon hole and relegate other Maori MPs.

    Hekia was definately raised Maori, but I think it takes a very arrogant Maori to stand against her own iwi, hapu, marae and assert that her Pakeha mates (National) are right and that their Pakeha mates from overseas (Petrobras) should be allowed to prospect Maori waters.

  4. Louisa Wall isn't the first Maori woman to win a general electorate for Labour. Jill Pettis, who is part Maori, was the MP for Whanganui. Then ofcourse, there was Georgina Beyer who was Labour's MP for Wairarapa.

    Don't mean to take anything away from Louisa though, I think she's great.

  5. Couldn't have said it better myself, Hekia is not only arrogant, but a bloody embarrassment to Maori. Her day will come. You don't knock your own people and get away with it. Shame on her.

  6. Tena koe this is Marama Waddell just letting you know that in my view Winston Peters will be the first Maori Prime Minister....Simon might have won a majority possibly from voters who support National anyway....and whilst he won Winston's seat he does'nt have the local/international experience and leadership of a party or of leading a country.

  7. Every Maori in that house is judged on their involvement with iwi and hapu. Even Winston made progress on treaty issues for his Ngati Wai people. And thats why Parekura Horomia is so popular for example. He is a kanohi kitea at his marae. There for every tangihanga and celebrations etc. It goes a long way in winning trust amongst your people. Its not unfair to expect Maori MPs to be involved with their people.And for those Maori in the Maori seats....its crucial. M. Edwards.



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