by Metiria Turei
The hui at Orakei Marae today was excellent. Ngati Whaatua put out the call for Maori in Tamaki Makaurau to gather to consider what should be done next to oppose the government’s rejection of guaranteed Maori seats on the new Auckland unitary council. They have decided to hold a hikoi on 25 May, the 31st anniversary of the Bastion Point occupation. In attendance were MP’s Pita Sharples, Hone Harawira and Georgina Te Heuheu and myself. But where was Labour?
Labour has made a meal out of critiquing the Maori Party for their agreement with National, notwithstanding Labour’s own utter rejection of the Maori Party in 2005. Labour’s dismal failure to take heed of its own Maori MP’s over the foreshore and seabed issue came back to bite them in the proverbial and only has itself to blame for the emergence of the Maori Party as a political force in opposition to Labour.
Funnily enough, Labour has since the election a new found enthusiasm for defending Maori, noticeably absent for many years now. So, given Labour’s hue and cry over the effect of National’s policy on Maori, why werent they at this hui to support Maori representation on the Auckland council? What is their position? Its a bit of a mystery.