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Ae Marika: Politics Bloody Politics

Ae Marika

Column published in the Whangarei Northern Advocate on 25 July 2008

For more info on the MP and his views on everything from kiwi to kangaroo, check out his website at


Kia ora everyone

I’m sitting in the House listening to some of the petty questions and inane answers which pass for Question Time here in parliament, and an email pops up telling me that a guy I went to school with has just passed away.

And I look around the House, and I wonder what the hell I’m doing down here in Wellington – watching grown adults attack one another, digging up senseless drivel on some poor bugger on the other side, and doing whatever it takes to undermine the other guys – instead of being back home, with my whanau and the people that I love.

And I wonder whether the determination to get to a place where you can influence national events, is worth the loss of time spent keeping in touch with the people that you think you’re doing it for.

And on top of all that, it’s election year as well, which means that government is doing everything it can to stay in power, the opposition is doing everything it can to get into power, the minor parties are doing everything they can to stay afloat, some very intelligent people are making fools of themselves with promises of heaven and accusations of hell, and in the scramble for the trappings of power, it just seems that everyone’s forgotten about the real world out there.

And that’s why I’m glad that I’m a member of the Maori Party, because as a matter of principle, neither the Maori Party nor the Greens get involved in any of the personal abuse that passes for witty repartee down here.

And I’m also glad that I’m in the Maori Party, because we’ve got bugger-all money.

And when you don’t have money, you got nothing to fling around on glossy brochures, 20-foot billboards, Saatchi-‘n-Saatchi TV blurbs, and full-page ads in the newspapers.

So the only way you can win people to your point of view is to get out on the street, knock on every door in your electorate, go to every hui you can get to, and take your case to the people.

And I value hugely the challenge of talking to people, listening to people, and trying to build a platform where the needs of the people, become the focus of my political life.

I don’t pretend to have all the answers, and I certainly don’t pretend to speak for everyone. But if I learn anything from the tragedy that crossed my email today, it’s to draw strength from those we lose, to provide for those who have yet to come.

There’s much to be done. Back in a fortnight.

No reira e täku hoa, haere, haere, hoki atu ra ki te kainga i whanau mai te äniwaniwa. Waihotia nga mea o tënei ao, mo mätou hei whiriwhiri, hei wänanga, kia tae atu ki te tu kotahi mo ngai tätou te iwi Maori.


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