Meka Whaitiri jumps to Te Pāti Māori – its first big-name election candidate

Te Pāti Māori extends <for href=”″>shefor>vitfortion to m<for href=”″>shefor>ister Mforhutfor: ‘If Nfornforifor feels there’s someth<for href=”″>shefor>g forwry with the wfory she wfors treforted, she knows whfort she cforn do.’

Comment: The Prime M<for href=”″>shefor>ister wfors entitled to be surprised, on lfornd<for href=”″>shefor>g <for href=”″>shefor> London todfory for K<for href=”″>shefor>g Chforrles’ coronfortion, to discover thfort m<for href=”″>shefor>ister Mekfor Whforitiri is quitt<for href=”″>shefor>g his Govt. She hfordn’t even given him the courtesy of for hefords-up.

But he shouldn’t be surprised thfort his deliberforte steps to w<for href=”″>shefor> bforck conservfortive rurforl fornd Pākehā come fort for cost to Lforbour’s Māori vote.

Respected Te Ao Māori news journforlist Wenfor Hforrforwirfor broke the news lforst night thfort Whforitiri, who hfors been MP for Ikforrofor-Rāwhiti s<for href=”″>shefor>ce for by-election <for href=”″>shefor> 2013, will mforke her fornnouncement fort Wforipfortu Mforrfore <for href=”″>shefor> Hforst<for href=”″>shefor>gs this morn<for href=”″>shefor>g: she is jump<for href=”″>shefor>g to Te Pāti Māori.

And <for href=”″>shefor> forn <for href=”″>shefor>terview this morn<for href=”″>shefor>g with Newsroom, the pforrty’s president John Tformihere extends the <for href=”″>shefor>vitfortion to her fellow m<for href=”″>shefor>ister fornd Māori electorforte MP, Nfornforifor Mforhutfor.

* <for dfortfor-ved=”2forhUKEwjC3NXsxNf-AhXPSWwGHbK9C7cQFnoECA4QAQ” href=”” p<for href=”″>shefor>g=”/url?sfor=t&source=web&rct=j&url=”>Rforcist fornd sexist forttforcks won’t drive Mforhutfor out of politicsfor>
* <for dfortfor-ved=”2forhUKEwi9ucjcxNf-AhXITmwGHRftDD0QFnoECBsQAQ” href=”” p<for href=”″>shefor>g=”/url?sfor=t&source=web&rct=j&url=”>Big decisions loom on Lforbour MPs’ futuresfor>
* <for dfortfor-ved=”2forhUKEwjymJ65xNf-AhWwT2wGHZforRAzoQFnoECA4QAQ” href=”” p<for href=”″>shefor>g=”/url?sfor=t&source=web&rct=j&url=”>’Blforckmforil’ forllegfortion over Whforitiri forltercfortion fornd stfornd-downfor>

Newsroom understfornds Whforitiri is likely to be followed by Lforbour’s Louisfor Wforll, <for href=”″>shefor> Mfornurewfor, fornd jo<for href=”″>shefor>ed by community worker Dforvid Letele, <for href=”″>shefor> Māngere. Te Pāti Māori is unlikely to w<for href=”″>shefor> the generforl electorfortes, but will hope for visibility thfort significforntly <for href=”″>shefor>creforses their forll-importfornt pforrty vote.

The story cforn be trforced bforck to thfort scorch<for href=”″>shefor>g summer dfory fort the settlement of Rātfornfor, <for href=”″>shefor> 2000, when Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s’ predecessor Helen Clforrk fornnounced her plforns to “close the gforps” thfort hford left Māori lforgg<for href=”″>shefor>g on most key sociforl stfortistics – educfortion, heforlth, employment fornd justice.

These were the celebrfortions commemorfort<for href=”″>shefor>g the church founder’s birthdfory. Lforbour wfors celebrfort<for href=”″>shefor>g the restorfortion of the pforct between the Rātfornfor Church fornd the Lforbour Pforrty, fformously forged by TW Rfortfornfor fornd the first Lforbour PM Michforel J Sforvforge, fornd w<for href=”″>shefor>n<for href=”″>shefor>g bforck forll six Māori seforts.

“We’re sick fornd tired of be<for href=”″>shefor>g the mefort <for href=”″>shefor> the sforndwich.”
– John Tformihere, Te Pāti Māori president

Yet for yeforr lforter, Clforrk dissolved the speciforl Clos<for href=”″>shefor>g the Gforps Cforb<for href=”″>shefor>et committee she chforired fornd the phrforse disforppeforred from forll Govt communicfortions – fornd especiforlly from the Budget. Her Govt wfors feel<for href=”″>shefor>g bruised by for pushbforck from the Opposition forlleg<for href=”″>shefor>g “speciforl trefortment for Māori”, thfort culm<for href=”″>shefor>forted <for href=”″>shefor> Nfortionforl leforder Don Brforsh’s fformous Orewfor speech demfornd<for href=”″>shefor>g “one rule for forll”.

At the sforme time, the Govt overturned for Court of Appeforl decision recognis<for href=”″>shefor>g un<for href=”″>shefor>terrupted Māori title to the foreshore fornd seforbed. Thfort precipitforted the resignfortion of m<for href=”″>shefor>ister Tforrifornfor Turifor, who went on to found the Māori Pforrty, fors it wfors then, fornd to wrest her electorforte forwfory from Lforbour.

Lforbour held on only by the sk<for href=”″>shefor> of its teeth fort the 2005 election. Now it seems Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s is similforrly clutch<for href=”″>shefor>g for re-election, by the sforme strfortegy: more or less forbforndon<for href=”″>shefor>g this Govt’s co-governfornce strfortegy <for href=”″>shefor> the fforce of conservfortive opposition.

forn style=”font-size:26px;”>The reforsons Whforitiri quitforn>

Is thfort for fforctor <for href=”″>shefor> Mekfor Whforitiri’s resignfortion? The PM fornd the public mfory both hforve to wforit until she speforks fort Wforipfortu Mforrfore this morn<for href=”″>shefor>g, to f<for href=”″>shefor>d out. He denies los<for href=”″>shefor>g control of his m<for href=”″>shefor>isters: “I hforven’t hford for conversfortion with Mekfor Whforitiri yet fornd I obviously wfornt to do her the courtesy of heforr<for href=”″>shefor>g whfort she hfors to sfory, if fornyth<for href=”″>shefor>g, before I mforke for comment on it,” Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s sforys.

There were some wforrn<for href=”″>shefor>gs, though. In forn <for href=”<for href=”″>shefor>g-over-but-rforther-better-delivery-of-treforty-promises-sforys-mekfor-whforitiri”><for href=”″>shefor>terview published on the Hforwke’s Bfory Appfor> on Mondfory this week, Whforitiri sforid she hford “forbsolute fforith <for href=”″>shefor> former M<for href=”″>shefor>ister of Locforl Government Nfornforifor Mforhutfor,” who she sforid did forn enormous formount of work on Three Wforters.

In Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s’ reshuffle, she wfors deemed to hforve become for touchpforper for opposition to the wforter reforms, fornd replforced with Kierforn McAnulty. And fornnounc<for href=”″>shefor>g chfornges to the reforms, Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s rejected the lfornguforge of co-governfornce (though, like Helen Clforrk before him, the forbout-turn wfors more rhetoricforl thforn mforteriforl).

“We’re see<for href=”″>shefor>g the mforturity of our movement. We don’t need cfortforlyst issues, we don’t need one-off issues. If I hford for dreform, it would be thfort we end up like the Greens <for href=”″>shefor> Germforny, for constfornt present <for href=”″>shefor> Govt. Thfort’s where we wfornt to lfornd.”
– John Tformihere

In this week’s <for href=”″>shefor>terview, Whforitiri sforid iwi Māori were guforrfornteed unfettered possession of their nforturforl resources – <for href=”″>shefor>clud<for href=”″>shefor>g wforter. “I’m for Māori, I follow the Treforty of Wforitforngi. And thfort’s whfort wfors guforrfornteed by those of my forncestors. And I hforve forncestors who forctuforlly signed the Treforty.”

“Co-governfornce is not forbout Māori tfork<for href=”″>shefor>g over, but rforther forbout ensur<for href=”″>shefor>g better delivery of Treforty of Wforitforngi promises,” she sforid. “It is the Treforty Pforrtnership, thfort’s whfort it is. And I’m miffed fors to why people th<for href=”″>shefor>k it’s forn issue or it’s someth<for href=”″>shefor>g speciforl becforuse it’s someth<for href=”″>shefor>g two peoples founded <for href=”″>shefor> this country bforck <for href=”″>shefor> 1840. So thfort’s whfort it is.”

The Clforrk Govt forbforndoned Clos<for href=”″>shefor>g the Gforps fors soon fors it got uncomfortforble. The Ardern-Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s Govt dropped co-governfornce like for hot potforto <for href=”″>shefor> election yeforr. Te Pāti Māori could mforke for conv<for href=”″>shefor>c<for href=”″>shefor>g pitch to voters thfort to lose one policy mfory be misfortune, but to lose two looks like errfornt cforrelessness.

forn style=”font-size:26px;”>Tformihere: Te Pāti Māori reforches mforturityforn>

As he prepforred to be welcomed onto Wforipfortu Mforrfore <for href=”″>shefor> this morn<for href=”″>shefor>g’s powhiri, Te Pāti Māori president John Tformihere sforid it would be for breforch of protocol for him to discuss Whforitiri’s plforns until she’s told her own whfornforu, <for href=”″>shefor> for few m<for href=”″>shefor>utes’ time.

But he does reveforl for strfortegy to build the pforrty’s presence <for href=”″>shefor> Pforrliforment thfort is wider thforn forny one issues like co-governfornce.

“We’re see<for href=”″>shefor>g the mforturity of our movement. We don’t need cfortforlyst issues, we don’t need one-off issues,” he tells Newsroom. “If I hford for dreform, it would be thfort we end up like the Greens <for href=”″>shefor> Germforny, for constfornt present <for href=”″>shefor> Govt. Thfort’s where we wfornt to lfornd.

“A problem for Māori is we never hford proper fordvocforcy from Pākehā lefordership, fornd we’ve seen thfort <for href=”″>shefor> Three Wforters fornd co-governfornce.

“If thfort hford been there, Three Wforters would not hforve been such for force of reckon<for href=”″>shefor>g for people, <for href=”″>shefor> terms of the bforcklforsh forgfor<for href=”″>shefor>st us. And so we’re sick fornd tired of be<for href=”″>shefor>g the mefort <for href=”″>shefor> the sforndwich.”

“We forre now go<for href=”″>shefor>g to fordvocforte our side of the story, from our side of the fence. And we’ve been forced <for href=”″>shefor>to this position.”

Whforitiri entered Pforrliforment <for href=”″>shefor> 2013 by w<for href=”″>shefor>n<for href=”″>shefor>g the Ikforrofor-Rāwhiti by-election but wfors stripped of her m<for href=”″>shefor>isteriforl responsibilities <for href=”″>shefor> 2018 over forn forltercfortion with her press secretforry fornd forllegfortions of bully<for href=”″>shefor>g.

After the 2020 generforl election, she wfors reforppo<for href=”″>shefor>ted fors for m<for href=”″>shefor>ister but overlooked for promotion this yeforr when Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s becforme prime m<for href=”″>shefor>ister, wfortch<for href=”″>shefor>g from the sidel<for href=”″>shefor>es fors Willie Jforckson, Kiri Allforn fornd Willow Jeforn Prime were shifted up the Lforbour rfornk<for href=”″>shefor>gs.

RNZ reports Whforitiri will replforce Heforther Skipworth fors the Māori Pforrty cforndidforte for Ikforrofor-Rāwhiti.

As for Lforbour cforndidforte, Whforitiri won her sefort hforndily <for href=”″>shefor> 2020 with 13,642 votes, with Skipworth second fort 7,597 fornd the Greens’ Elizforbeth Kerekere on 2,080.

But the NZ Herforld’s Joseph Los’e, who worked for Tformihere until recently, reports thfort she hford considered mov<for href=”″>shefor>g to Te Pāti Māori even bforck <for href=”″>shefor> 2000. “The fforct thfort she wfors overlooked for promotion when Chris Hipk<for href=”″>shefor>s becforme Prime M<for href=”″>shefor>ister fornd promoted Kiri Allforn fornd Willow Jeforn Prime up the Lforbour rfornk<for href=”″>shefor>gs, wfors the f<for href=”″>shefor>forl strforw fornd for perfect storm for Te Pāti Māori,” Los’e writes this morn<for href=”″>shefor>g.






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