Harawira Walks His Talk
5 April 2005
Tai Tokerau Candidate HONE HARAWIRA
Transient By Nature Launch Pad: Harawira Walks His Talk
“We’re finally getting out on the road,” says Hone Harawira, Maori Party candidate for Tai Tokerau.
Harawira is referring to the launch of the Transient by Nature Speaking Tour. It begins this Sunday (10 April) with a special karakia at Te Rerenga Wairua and then a public meeting at Te Kao.
“ ‘Transient by Nature’ was the phrase used to describe why 45,000 Maori were cut off the electoral rolls last time, and it’s a huge focus for us – getting our people back on the rolls, and back to the polls,” Harawira says.
“We’ve had a whole heap of queries about the Party, our policies, our candidates, how to join, and where people can contribute, and we’re getting those queries from all over the country. So we decided to organise a tour throughout our electorate to update everyone.
“We’re starting at the Cape because that’s where the Hikoi started, and that is where my candidacy began. We’re starting with a karakia because some of my staunchest supporters are members of the Ratana Church, and they want us to start that way. I understand they are also inviting a number of other denominations to take part.
“Our first meeting will be at Te Kao, because that’s where I come from, so it should be quite a day!” exclaims Harawira.
“We’re different from other parties in that all the other Tai Tokerau Maori Party List candidates will join the Tour. A major part of our success has been our support for one another, and I am very proud of the talent that each of them brings.”
He continues, “We don’t have a lot of money so we’re running our campaign on organisation and commitment.
“Members are out already, door knocking, and registering new members. The response has been fantastic. People are asking questions about the Party, but no one at all wants to debate the issues on Labour’s behalf.
“Labour can pump as much money into their campaign as they like,” says Harawira, commenting on Labour’s aim to pump up its campaign war-chest in a bid to stop the Maori Party threat in the Maori electorates. “But one thing they’ll never be able to win back is the Maori vote. They lost that forever when they ignored the advice of the Waitangi Tribunal, and stole the Foreshore and Seabed last year.
“I see that Parekura Horomia is in Labours Top 10 List, and I note more importantly, that when it came to decision time about the Foreshore and Seabed, Labour didn’t even have the courtesy to ask it’s Maori MP’s for their opinion. Putting them on the list is a joke.
“I note too that all of Labour’s Maori MP’s scrambled on to the list. They know that their days are numbered, and that their only way back to Parliament is through the List.
“I had to laugh when I saw that Labours Maori brochure led with the slogan ‘Two ticks for Maori’ because that’s our slogan!!!
“I laughed even harder when they whisked it out of sight and immediately replaced it with their old ‘Two ticks for Labour’ slogan.
“They had us all rolling in the aisles with their next line right out of the Maori Party Campaign Manual - ‘Maori on the Move’ - because Maori people are indeed on the move - from Labour to the Maori Party - in their thousands.
“Honestly, if Labour wanted to blow their Maori campaign launch, they couldn’t have picked a better way to do it.
“We’ve got a national council meeting in Tainui this Friday and Saturday, and then I’m coming straight back home for the start of the Tour.
“It’s time to start walking the talk … and I can’t wait to get started.”