New Zealand is creeping towards the next general election to be held just a few short months after a bi-election brought about by the removal of a Maori Party MP, Hone Harawira from his party. It was no surprise that Hone, now leader of his own ‘Mana’ Party was returned as the MP for Te Taitokerau, out-polling Labour and his once-upon-a- ‘Maori’ party (plus a couple of others who are hardly worth a mention- one suspects without their own vote they’d have halved their share! [but that’s not the scary part!]). Hone, although an out-spoken and at times ‘intemperate’ fellow (“white motherfuckers” just one of the epithets he’s used when annoyed about some policy or other that he deems is less than favourable to his Maori people) is held in high regard in his own electorate where he ‘tells it like it is’ and focuses on matters that impact directly on his people in the North, or, in his perception on Maori generally. It would not surprise me in the least if the Mana Party gathers some momentum over the next few weeks and converts this bi-election victory (albeit as the Mana member with a reduced majority than he enjoyed in his previous incarnation as Maori Party member) into at least his seat plus party vote share that could add a Mana list MP to the Parliament. Maybe. […but that’s not the scary part.]
At about the same time that Hone was being ejected from the Maori Party, Rodney Hide was being dumped from the ACT Party that he led and represented in Parliament, the hatchet job being done by various ACT party members, MPs and Don Brash, as yet not even a member of the ACT Party!! Don Brash, who was once the Governor of the NZ Reserve Bank. Don Brash who resigned from the Reserve Bank to ‘stand’ on the National Party ‘list’ in the 2002 elections. Somehow he was able to get a high enough position on The List (5th) to get a seat in Parliament after National lost the election. A year later he won a National caucus leadership vote and became Leader of the Opposition. In the process he ousted current leader and finance spokesman, Bill English and brought in John Key as deputy finance spokesman. He showed his real colours with speeches at the Orewa Rotary Club (kindred spirits?) that smacked of anti-Maori racism, (which Georgina Te HeuHeu disagreed with and was fired), dependant-bashing and general intolerance of the welfare state. Initially his statements led to a surge in support [but this isn’t the scary bit] but over time he lost ground as well as support in the caucus due to a clear lack of loyalty, questionable policies and ‘secret associations’ and questions of infidelity in his personal life leading to his ‘taking leave’ then resignation in 2006.
Clearly extremists in the ACT Party were displeased with Rodney Hide’s performance as MP and leader and so with the support of back-stabbers in the ACT caucus who switched loyalties (in return for whatever rewards one can only guess at [but that’s not the scary part]) Brash became leader (of a party he still was not a member of)? Now we are in lead-up mode Brash shows he has the same views, is as disloyal as ever to his supporters, and is misguided as to what MOST New Zealanders really believe (but by standing an ex-mayor in an Auckland seat rather than contesting it himself indicates he isn’t completely sure of his ground?)
It could well be that Don Brash will lead ACT into oblivion if John Banks doesn’t take the Epsom seat, and even though Aucklanders are an interesting breed it’s hoped those living in Epsom will make a choice based on what is best for New Zealand rather than pandering to extremist views of people such as Perigo, Ansell, Barrett, Douglas and Brash.
Sadly there are a number of people in this country who agree with Brash and his cronies’ politics and policies. THAT’S THE SCARY BIT!