The relationship between the Mana and Maori partiesNow that the Te Tai Tokerau by-election is over , questions are arising as to whether the Mana and Maori parties will be able to work together.
I doubt it. Activists and politicians tend to clash.
Hone Harawira is making noises that both can work together, and believes that a relationship between Mana and Maori is best for Maori. Yet his priority is not working with other parties, it is building the Mana movement within parliament.
If there is not a good relationship between the two parties, Harawira has no answer to questions around Mana Party gains for
Maori except for standing against the Maori Party.
So, nothing’s changed then. He has staked his political future in working with the Maori Party or taking it over. If he can’t do either, Harawira will be an ineffective MP with a leader’s budget.
Pita Sharples says that that the Maori Party will work with Mana to same extent as he would with other parties. If Harawira works with the Maori Party on his terms only, the Maori Party “ won’t be having a bar of him” according to Pita Sharples on Morning Report today.
There is no way that the Maori Party and the Mana Party will be able to work together for mutual benefit, with Harawira in activist mode. However Mana may not contest other Maori seats if the party thinks it will get enough list votes to get a couple of extra MPs. The Maori Party will try to work with Mana, but they'll be political opponents until the election – with Harawira bad-mouthing off in the media - and that won’t be good for Maori political aspirations.