Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search

 


Harawira: 2013 Commencement Speech

2013 COMMENCEMENT SPEECH

MANA Movement Leader and Tai Tokerau Member of Parliament

Hone Harawira

Tuesday 29 January 2013

Mr Speaker – 2013 looks like being an exciting year for MANA as we look to build on successful initiatives from 2012 and focus on being part of an effective opposition to National this year.

FEED THE KIDS

I want to begin by expressing my gratitude for the broad support for MANA’s Education (Breakfast and Lunch Programmes in Schools) Amendment Bill or the Feed the Kids Bill as it has become known, including the Child Poverty Action Group, Every Child Counts, Unicef NZ, Save the Children, IHC, Poverty Action Waikato, the Methodist and Anglican Churches (Methodist Public Issues and Anglican Action), Te Rōpū Wāhine Māori Toko i te Ora (Māori Women’s Welfare League), PPTA, NZ Principals’ Federation, CTU Rūnanga, the NZ Nurses’ Organisation, and the Māori Medical Practitioners’ Association.

During election 2011, one of MANA’s main pledges was to fight for government funded meals in poor schools, and in 2012 we drafted the bill to honour that pledge. That was immediately followed by the Children’s Commissioner’s Expert Advisory Group on Solutions to Child Poverty recommending the introduction of a government-funded food programme in low decile schools, and a major policy speech late last year from the leader of the opposition calling on government to provide free meals to children in low decile schools.

At this time I want to thank those political parties who have already indicated their support for the bill, including Labour, the Greens, the Maori Party, and the newly independent Brendan Horan who has given me his assurance that if the bill passes he will refrain from singing to the house.

I’m not sure exactly when the bill comes before the house but I am hopeful that there will be enough support for it to get to Select Committee.

HOUSING

During election 2011, MANA also made a commitment to a programme of 20,000 houses in 2 years.

That kaupapa was picked up in 2012 by Labour with their commitment to 100,000 houses in 10 years, and enhanced by the Greens’ own housing proposals announced last week.

In 2013, I expect MANA to continue to provide leadership in the fight for better housing for all New Zealanders, especially those in dire need right now.

We want to see an end to policies which make it harder for poor families to access affordable housing, we want to see a rebuilding of the state housing stock, and we call on the new Minister of Housing, to take a fresh approach to this problem, to talk to and to listen to those people being hurt badly by current policies – people who are being forced out of state houses in communities like Glen Innes, Maraenui and Porirua; people in rural areas like the far north being forced to live in unacceptable conditions with no hope of any help, homeless people in Christchurch, Auckland and elsewhere; as well as those church and community groups working with the homeless and families on low incomes.

On another housing related matter, I wish to invite all my parliamentary colleagues to the court case arising from my arrest at a housing action in Glen Innes last year. The case has been set down for hearing on March 19 but may have to be moved to another date to accommodate the growing list of witnesses who have offered to speak in my defence. I fully intend defending the case myself with the assistance of a number of lawyers who have offered their help at no cost.

FINANCIAL TRANSACTION TAX

The third plank in MANA’s election 2011 campaign has yet to be picked up by anyone else here, though I expect it to be adopted a lot sooner than people might have thought some 15 months ago, and that is of course the Hone Heke Tax or the Financial Transaction Tax as it is known elsewhere in the world – a proposal that had most political parties and political commentators sniggering during the campaign 2011, but which is quickly becoming recognised in other OECD countries as the only sane way to increase government revenue without stealing it from the poor, by making the banks pay for the financial crisis they created.

A few days ago the European Commission approved a proposal to implement exactly such a tax on all transactions between financial institutions within those 11 member states that have approved it, without it affecting citizens or businesses – a tax that would raise a minimum of 57 billion dollars a year.

The Hone Heke Tax is clearly an idea whose time has come. I look forward to opposition parties coming out more openly in support of it over the next 12 months.

ASSET SALES

On behalf of MANA and the people of New Zealand I would like to thank the New Zealand Maori Council for their efforts to stop National’s plans to sell off our state assets, by instigating a court action over the Maori interests in water. In particular I would like to thank MANA president Annette Sykes who was a critical player in the Tribunal hearings last year and remains a key player in the Supreme Court hearings due to start later this week.

The efforts of the Council and those hapu and iwi who have supported their case, have forced the government to delay its asset sales programme, giving the rest of the country time to push the petition for a referendum on asset sales. The challenge now is to complete the petition, and for all parties and organisations opposed to the sale of state assets, to pressure the government to hold a referendum on asset sales to test their argument that that’s what New Zealanders want. It isn’t of course, and MANA stands ready to do its bit to help put an end to the madness, of selling our kitchen to somebody else, and then having to rent it back for the rest of our lives.

THE TREATY

And as we move towards an end to the Treaty Settlement cycle, I wish to remind the house that the Treaty lives forever, and that anyone thinking the Treaty will become null and void after treaty settlements have ended, is sadly mistaken. The Treaty is a taonga to Maori, and the foundation of all constitutional arrangements in this country, and all attempts to write it out of legislation will be resisted mightily.

THE MAORI PARTY

Much has been made of the Maori Party capturing the headlines with a messy leadership challenge these last few weeks, and calls from Maori Party members for me to come back and take over the leadership of the party. So let me make this clear. I have no aspirations to lead the Maori Party - those calls have come from Maori Party members themselves.

I am comfortable and proud to lead MANA – a vibrant and active political force with a clearly identified constituency, te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed, and policies aimed specifically at addressing their needs first, because people matter more than profit.

But as I did right after election 2011, I want to again extend the hand of friendship and whanaungatanga to my colleagues in the Maori Party, and to remind them that there has to be a link between the fact that their membership has gone from 24,000 when I was there to just 600 last year, and their continued commitment to a government and its policies that have destroyed Maori families, and Maori hopes and aspirations.

I call on the Maori Party to walk away from that relationship and return to their roots, and I stand willing to take up the offer by the Ratana Movement to host any discussions which might lead to unity and a MANA MAORI alliance.

MANA clearly has the vibrant and energetic membership and the strong and positive leadership … the only question is whether the Maori Party is open to unity.

CONCLUSION

As we begin the new year, it is fitting that we farewell those who have passed away in the year gone by, and to send our best wishes to those in hospital today.

To my whanaunga Raumati Para and Whaea Koko, may you soon be free of that which ails you. I look forward to seeing you both in the near future.

And while it’s a rare occurrence for me to send best wishes to a policeman, I suspect there are many around the country who join with me in wishing Paddy Whiu all the best at this time. Paddy has become the face of Maori Policing and Iwi Liaison, the gentle, smiling and caring face of a police force that is often mistrusted and sometimes reviled in Maori communities. At times when tensions are high, and people’s emotions are on edge, Paddy has that unique ability to lower the heat through his simple good nature, kind words and warm humour. Kia kaha ra my friend - we’re all praying for you.

Ka hoki nga mahara kia a ratou kua ngaro - ko Jacqui Te Kani tēra, ko Timi te Heuheu, ko Hone Kaa, ko Pita Tapsell, ko Rau Kapa, ko Mama Tere … e nga mate haere.

Tatou ano ra e te kanohi ora, tēna koutou, tēna koutou, kia ora tatou katoa.

ENDS


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Tokenism Of New Zealand's Role Against Islamic State

To date, the Opposition has continued to occupy itself with the marginalia of the issue. E.g. whether Key did or didn’t know whether Barack Obama would be present at the US briefing last week on IS, or whether New Zealand’s military involvement is or isn’t already a fait accompli.

It might be better to tackle the issue, head on. Our contribution against IS will be to send SAS forces to train the Iraqis? That’s like offering trainers to General Custer just as the 7th cavalry reached the Little Big Horn.
More>>

 

Parliament Today:

Scoop Business: Shell And Todd Caught Drilling Without Approval

Multi-national oil company Shell’s New Zealand arm and local energy giant Todd Energy have breached the new law governing New Zealand’s Exclusive Economic Zone, the Environmental Protection Authority says in an Oct. 10 document released by the Green Party. More>>

ALSO:

Labour: Tea Breaks 'Gone By Lunch Time'

“How cynical that on the eve of Labour weekend, the National government is pushing through legislation that takes away the statutory right to tea and meal breaks along with collective bargaining protections, and makes vulnerable workers jobs even less secure." More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On Pharmac, Gough Whitlam And Sleater-Kinney

We’re not at the outset of these negotiations. The outset was six years ago, and negotiators were hoping to have some sort of ‘framework’ deal finished in time for the APEC meeting in a few weeks’ time. These ‘extreme’ positions are what we’ve reached near the intended end of the negotiations… More>>

ALSO:

PM Of Many Hats: Questions, No Answers On Whale Oil

Dr RUSSEL NORMAN (Co-Leader – Green) to the Prime Minister: How many times since November 2008 has he spoken with blogger Cameron Slater on the phone and how many times, if any, has he texted him?
Rt Hon JOHN KEY (Prime Minister): None in my capacity as Prime Minister. More>>

ALSO:

Aussie Investigation Dropped: Call On Minister McCully To Pursue The Case Of Balibo Five

West Papua Action is deeply concerned at the lack of any clear outcome from the Australian Federal Police inquiry into the 1975 deaths of the ‘Balibo Five’ including NZ journalist Gary Cunningham. More>>

ALSO:

'Feed The Kids' Bill: Metiria Turei To Lead Fight On Feeding Hungry Children

Green Party Co-leader Metiria Turei is urging all political parties to support the Feed the Kids Bill which she inherited today from Mana leader Hone Harawira. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: State Opening Of Parliament

The House sat at 10.30am on Tuesday before MPs were summoned to hear the Speech from the Throne in the Legislative Council Chamber. More>>

ALSO:

Tertiary Education: Students Doing It Tough As Fees Rise Again

The Government is making it increasingly difficult for Kiwis to gain tertiary education as fees continue to rise and access to student support becomes even more restricted, Labour’s Tertiary Education spokesperson Chris Hipkins says. More>>

ALSO:

Housing, Iraq: PM Press Conference – 20 October 2014

Prime Minister John Key met with press today to discuss:
• Housing prices and redevelopment in Auckland
• Discussions with Tony Abbott on the governmental response to ISIS, and New Zealand’s election to the UN Security Council More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news