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Harawira: Launch of Mana party

Speech to the launch of MANA
Hone Harawira, Te Reo Motuhake o Te Tai Tokerau
Saturday 30 April 2011

Let today be the day that we reject the politics of fear, because I know that if we are united, then there is nothing that we have to fear, and nothing that we can’t achieve

Let today be the day that we reject the politics of compromise, because we deserve better than the weak and accommodating representation in parliament that we walk away from today

And let today be the day that we set ourselves the challenge:
of setting clear goals
of acting with integrity and courage in all that we do
and most importantly, of coming back to the people regularly to seek your guidance for our actions, and your support for our plans

We will honour the sovereignty our tupuna signed up to in 1835 when they signed Te Whakaputanga and affirmed in Te Tiriti o Waitangi in 1840, and the rights of all New Zealanders that derive from the Treaty, including the right of Maori representation at all levels of government

We will do our best to keep Te Reo Maori in the hands of the people, and away from government control and government bureaucracy

I want us to put people and papatuanuku first
I want us to put an end to economic policies that drive people into poverty, and then penalise them for being poor

I want us to put an end to the billion dollar bailout of failed finance companies
I want us to recall the $36 million being wasted on that yacht race in San Francisco and spend it instead on emergency heating in the poorer suburbs of Christchurch that government forgot
I want us to put a halt to the sale of New Zealand’s assets because the immediate cash return will never compensate for the loss of economic opportunity once those assets are gone

I want us to guarantee affordable food and shelter for all NZers
I want us to take water, power and housing out of the hands of profit driven corporations and put them back into the hands of the people

I want every Kiwi to get a decent days wage for a decent days work
I want us to overturn National’s 90-day Slave Bill
And I want us to support the rebuilding of a strong union base to give workers back the rights they’ve lost over the last 20 years

And I want us to oppose the current tax regime that penalises the poor and advantages the rich
And I want us to launch the HONE HEKE TAX where every dollar spent is taxed at just 1%, which means poor people don’t pay much because they don’t have much to spend, and rich people pay more because they spend a lot more.
The HONE HEKE TAX will mean we can chop down the GST on essential services, immediately reducing the cost of food, electricity, petrol and housing, and enabling ordinary Kiwis to start rebuilding their lives


But most importantly I want us to be a movement to rebuild the MANA of our people
MANA tamariki, MANA wahine, MANA tangata, and the MANA of our kaumatua and kuia
the MANA of beneficiaries who are treated like a blight on society
the MANA of workers who have been reduced to near slavery
the MANA of our Pacific cousins who continue to be used as cheap labour and exported home every season, and
the MANA of our people, worn down by decades of deceit and dishonest dealings by the Crown, and governments who would reduce us to being no more than another ethnic minority, in our own land

And that is our greatest challenge – the restoration of MANA in a way that lifts every heart, and every soul, and challenges us to accept that only the best will do for ourselves, our children and our grandchildren …

E te iwi – I am grateful and I am humbled by the support that I have felt from all across the country, and I am grateful to all those who have offered their help to build a movement that can change this nation …


In my time in parliament, I have made it clear that it is the people of Tai Tokerau who determine my future in politics – not Tariana Turia, not Phil Goff, not John Key – but the people of Tai Tokerau
They have supported me in the good times
They have supported me in the bad times
They supported my leaving the Maori Party although they were gutted by the way I was forced to leave
They supported my travelling the country to gather support for a new movement
They have supported the call from across the country for a new direction
And last night, they supported the call for me to come back to the Tai Tokerau to seek a mandate for that new direction
I intend to honour that request

I understand that last night the Maori Party President told our chairman that they will not approach anyone else to stand against me in elections in 2011

Accordingly, I intend advising the Speaker on Tuesday that I will be seeking a mandate from the people of Tai Tokerau, and asking him to put in place the machinery for a BY-ELECTION in the north as soon as possible, to affirm that mandate, and so that I may return to parliament as the first in a long line of MPs for MANA, movement of the people

And from there, I want us to take up the challenge to change the world – step by step, and if necessary, electorate by electorate

These times come but rarely – this is our time

Happy are those who dream dreams, and are prepared to pay the price to make those dreams come true


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