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

 


Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement

Debate on Prime Minister’s Statement –

Te Ururoa Flavell MP for Waiariki

29 January 2013; 5.40pm

Mr Speaker, it is good to be back.

First, because our capital city is looking absolutely beautiful today. As Wellington people say, you can’t beat Te Whanganui a Tara on a good day.

And it’s wonderful that the golden weather has arrived in time for one of the world’s great sporting parties, the Wellington Sevens.

We are going to see some fabulous creativity, on and off the field. We are going to see people cheering and singing and strutting their stuff. It’s going to be a massive celebration as well as a fierce competition. If only we could borrow some of that spirit for this Chamber for the rest of the year.

The second reason it is good to be back is because it means an end to the silly season of commentators interviewing themselves about politics.

As I read the summaries of 2012 and the forecasts for 2013, I was struck again and again by how many journalists and commentators and bloggers find it difficult to describe or categorise the Maori Party.

Are we left, are we right, are we in the centre?

I suspect that he will not thank me for this, but David Farrar at Curiablog is the only commentator who gets it consistently right. Whenever he analyses the potential coalition outcomes of a new political poll, he notes that “The Maori Party is not shown as part of the centre-right or centre-left.”

Exactly.

The Maori Party is not about labels that have been imported from other political traditions. We have our own kaupapa.

And I know that can make it difficult for mainstream commentators to understand what we’re on about, or to explain it succinctly and accurately to their readers.

We are – proudly - different from any other party in this House.

We are not from the ‘right’ which thinks that politics is all about smaller government allowing big business to create wealth that then magically trickles down to everybody else.

We are not from the ‘left’ which thinks that it is all about bigger government generously sharing some magically appearing wealth.

We are not from the ‘centre’, which thinks it is about a sprinkling of magical common sense.

We come from a different tradition, one that starts by thinking about relationships.

Relationships between people.

Relationships between people and the natural environment.

Relationships between the past, the present and the future.

Relationships are not about theories. Relationships are about practices.

Relationships are about how we talk together, and work together, and create things together, so that together we can pass on something better to our mokopuna. Relationships are what the Treaty of Waitangi is all about.

We come from a tradition that has survived the blind efforts of previous governments – governments of the left and the right, governments that could be brutal or merely paternalistic – governments that tried to eliminate differences, to impose a single, standard way of thinking and living.

We come from a tradition that knows what it takes to emerge from sheer survival, to standing up and asserting our role in this world on our terms.

We are honoured to carry forward the tradition of great New Zealanders such as James Carroll and Apirana Ngata and Matiu Rata.

It is a tradition carried forward by Pita Sharples whose visionary work in Maori language education and kapa haka and prison reform is paying real dividends today.

It is a tradition carried forward by Tariana Turia, whose courage and commitment to upholding the actual meaning of the Treaty of Waitangi inspired a new generation of political action.

This is what the Maori Party is about.

It is about relationships and it is about resilience.

We will continue to work with any party on policies that can deliver real progress for real people. Not theories, not politics, but people.

Sometimes it will be progress measured in inches, and sometimes – just occasionally - it will be measured in miles. I acknowledge especially the transformational progress being made by the Minister for Treaty Negotiations.

That is why the real reason it is good to be back here today, is because we’ve got a lot to do. There are a lot of people who need this Parliament, and this Government, to do more, better, faster: not just to provide “stable government in difficult times”.

We know about difficult times. We’ve been living in them for two hundred years.

And we want progress, not stability.

Back in 2008 the Maori Party decided that we could make better progress by being at the table in a National-led government.

We knew that it would have been much easier politically to be on the outside making dramatic hand gestures. That was an option.

But neither Tariana nor Pita nor myself got into politics because we thought it would be easy. We got into it because we wanted to make real progress for real people.

And we are, through Whanau Ora and insulating homes and tataiako and tackling rheumatic fever.

Is the progress fast enough or far enough?

No, and it never will be. We are hungry and we are impatient, and our eyes remain firmly on the horizon where our dreams lie.

Where every family is healthy and strong, where every child is loved, where every person is using their talents and skills to the utmost.

Not just Maori New Zealanders, but every family, every child, every person.

Because as a party, we naturally celebrate diversity as a sign of strength not weakness.

We know that Tainui is different from Ngati Kahungunu is different from Kai Tahu is different from Samoan or Tongan or Chinese or Indian New Zealanders, and on and on and on.

We know that in our bones, because that is the experience from which we spring.

And it is why our Party is not - emphatically not - an ‘ethnic’ party. We are a party of kaupapa and tikanga.

Our kaupapa is a gift open to everyone in Aotearoa – tangata whenua and tangata tiriti,

rich and poor, men and women, young and old,

white, brown, black or sunburned,

tattooed, pierced or blue-rinsed,

it doesn’t matter to me.

Our kaupapa is a gift that is open to everyone who knows that “one size fits all” solutions just don’t work, because we come in all different sizes and shapes and colours.

It is a gift that is open to everyone who knows that healthy families – whanau ora! – are the first measure of successful communities.

Our kaupapa is a gift that is open to everyone who knows that we must all go forward together, or we surely will not go forward at all.

It is good to be back. Let’s get to work.

ends


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Issue 49: Werewolf Weekender

Philip Matthews: From The Lost Continent
It’s a case of better late than never for Olivier Assayas’ marvellous After May/Apres Mai, which first screened at Venice in 2012, had a couple of North Island screenings last year during the International Film Festival’s “Autumn Events” season, got a theatrical release in Australia – but not here – and only now appears on DVD, after Assayas himself has moved on. More>>

The Complicatist: Blue Eyed & Soulful
For a while in June, the top two singles on the US Billboard charts featured Iggy Azalea, an Australian model turned hip hop performer. To some, this may seem like just the latest chapter in a long saga of whites ripping off black culture, while enriching themselves in the process. Obviously, there’s some truth in the stereotype. Yet it can also obscure the positive collaborations – in jazz, soul music and hip hop – between musicians who treated each other as creative equals, race regardless. More>>

Satire: Carry On Captaining
Oh hello. Scanner Technician Davis. To what do I owe the pleasure?
You think we’re what?
Oh, pish. This vessel has been travelling along smoothly for generations – particularly smoothly in the last few years though I say so myself – and I happen to know we have never once been hit by an asteroid... More>>

 

Parliament Today:

False Electoral Return: John Banks Sentenced To Community Detention, Community Work

“The conviction of John Banks today is another sad chapter for John Banks and the ACT Party”, says Labour candidate for Epsom Michael Wood. More>>

ALSO:

Gordon Campbell: On The Rise Of ISIS And Labour

While global attention got distracted by the fate of MH17 and the atrocities in Gaza, the world’s other mega ‘bad news’ story – the rise of ISIS-led fundamentalism in Iraq – has reached a tipping point. More>>

ALSO:

Rebuild: Christchurch City Council Releases Milestone Report

The Cameron Partners report says the Council may need to find an additional $783 million to $883 million by 2019... Options Cameron Partners proposed include increasing rates, borrowing more, maximising insurance payments, and freeing up capital from its commercial assets. More>>

ALSO:

Parliament Today: Parliament Adjourns

The 50th Parliament has adjourned for the final time. After the completion of the adjournment debate, MPs left for the campaign trail with Parliament to be dissolved on August 14 ahead of the September 20 election. More>>

ALSO:

Novopayout: Government-Owned Company To Take Over School Payroll

After lengthy negotiations, the Ministry of Education and the existing school payroll provider, Talent2, have settled both on the amounts payable by Talent2 towards the costs of remediating the Novopay service and a new operating model for the school payroll system. More>>

ALSO:

Employment: Labour Will Raise Minimum Wage, Restore Work Rights

A Labour government will raise the minimum wage $2 an hour to $16.25 and restore work rights to ensure the benefits of economic growth are shared fairly by all New Zealanders, Labour Leader David Cunliffe says. More>>

ALSO:

Police: Crewe File Review Released

No new evidence has come to light implicating any specific person as being responsible for the murders of Jeannette and Harvey Crewe... The review identifies there is a distinct possibility that Exhibit 350 (the brass .22 cartridge case) may be fabricated evidence, and that if this is the case, that a member of Police would have been responsible. More>>

ALSO:

Werewolf Issue #49: Gordon Campbell Interviews Laila Harre

For 25 years, Labour and National have been in virtual agreement about the basics of economic policy, and differed mainly on how to go about managing its social consequences. More>>

ALSO:

Get More From Scoop

 

LATEST HEADLINES

 
 
 
 
 
 
Parliament
Search Scoop  
 
 
Powered by Vodafone
NZ independent news