Tai Tokerau by-election
I heard this morning - at dawn - that the Maori Party had decided to attack first by ripping up February's carefully crafted non-aggression/accommodation pact and would be running a candidate against Hone. Those fools. Those old fools.
The Maori Party are at their lowest ebb in the wake of selling out so royally on the foreshore and seabed confiscation. It's mass dessertion and operational collapse here in Waiariki, so in the North it is difficult to imagine that they still have any functioning branches at all - although they will have many ambitious members who remain loyal for personal reasons who will form an electorate level committee, but without any depth. It's a bad look to break the peace - Hone will be glad they blinked first.
Maori Party President Pem Bird reported as putting both his feet in his mouth instead of just one. Firstly he reckons they can win a by-election against Hone. That's just silly. Then he says the Maori Party don't care about youth because they don't vote! An extraordinarily idiotic thing to tell his voters.
He's right about not coming second - they'll probably be third if Labour run Kelvin Davis (but they would probably be wise enough to steer clear as they did when Tariana ran in 2004).
This tops off a shocker PR week for the Maori Party. On the Native Affairs show in Maori TV Hone and Pita Sharples went at it and Pita said he wanted to sit around the table with Don Brash in government! An extraordinarily idiotic thing to tell his voters. They are after old people's votes and they want to be in government with Don Brash. That's a political suicide statement.
Hone and the Mana movement need to get their admin balls lined up as they have to be pocketed in quick succession in order to get the movement into a registered party for the nomination. If Hone didn't have the organisational skills (and union muscle) of Matt McCarten behind him he couldn't be making these ballsy calls let alone be pulling them off. There is a high level of confidence that Matt and the others can get this done in time.
As for the odds. I'd give —
To win Te Tai Tokerau by-election:
$1.20 Hone Harawira
$7.00 Maori Party candidate
$4.50 Any other candidate