Even though MANA was born out of fundamental differences with the Maori Party, we have always kept the door open for talks with the Maori Party on unity within Maoridom. Five years later, new Maori Party President Tuku Morgan, finally announces that it’s time they took up the offer. That’s what led to our having breakfast in Whangarei last week.
There’s been a lot of speculation about what we talked about, but there was no discussion of a merger between the two parties or any agreement on policy. And let me state categorically, that there is no truth to the rumour that Tuku offered me the leadership of the Maori Party. But we did agree to consider strategic arrangements to bring all Maori seats back into Maori hands.
MANA is clear that what we want is what we were calling for last year but this time with even more urgency, because as the result of the continuing actions of this government, the rich just keep getting richer, the poor keep getting poorer, Maori keep getting bullshitted to … and nobody gives a damn.
And that’s what MANA’s role is - to lead the fight in:
- Re-establishing the Treaty as the constitutional future of Aotearoa
- Reclaiming the wealth of the nation
- Refocussing the economy
- And redistributing that wealth so everyone can be part of a positive, working society.
MANA is a Movement with simple aims:
- Make the TREATY OF WAITANGI the cornerstone of our country’s constitution
- ELIMINATE THE INSTITUTIONAL RACISM that makes Maori third-class citizens in our own land
- INCREASE AND INDEX FUNDING FOR MAORI in education, housing, and employment
ESTABLISH STATUTORY PARTNERSHIPS WITH MAORI at all levels of government
- ACKNOWLEDGE OUR PACIFIC HERITAGE
- TAX THE RICH TO FREE THE POOR by bringing in a Financial Transaction Tax to pull back billions from those who have profited from the sale of Aotearoa
- Put a stop to the TPPA that gives foreign corporates even greater control of our resources
- And CANCEL GST on everything, because it unfairly targets the poor
- FEED THE KIDS. Do it immediately, and do it unconditionally
- HOUSE THE HOMELESS
- Heavily tax those with too many houses - Thousands of homes will come on the market for first home buyers;
- Make immigrants pay to have new homes built - a rejuvenated building industry and even more homes for first home buyers;
- Stop the corporate sell-off of state houses, and renovate/upgrade them all immediately
- Build 10,000 homes a year for those who need them
- Put an end to BENEFICIARY BASHING. Nobody chooses to be poor, and nobody deserves to be bashed for being driven into poverty by the rape and pillage of our nation’s assets
- Introduce a UNIVERSAL BASIC INCOME and an INDEXED MINIMUM WAGE
- Create EMPLOYMENT PROGRAMMES to keep people engaged in meaningful work while rebuilding their communities
- Change the focus of SOCIAL SUPPORT from attacking the poor to helping the people.
- And CLEAN UP OUR WORLD.
- Stop DEEP SEAL OIL;
- Stop TOXIC MINING;
- CLEAN UP OUR WATERWAYS;
- And REDUCE OUR RELIANCE ON FOSSIL FUELS.
Taking these stands won’t win us favours with either Labour or National, both of whom are guilty of fostering racism and corporate greed. We take these stands because we believe in a society where Maori can stand tall, where te pani me te rawakore is just a line in a song, and where everyone can feel good about the contribution they can make as a citizen of Aotearoa.
And MANA WILL WORK WITH OTHER PARTIES AND ORGANISATIONS to advance those goals, but MANA WILL NOT WORK WITH NATIONAL who, over the past decade, have stripped the country of its assets, enriched the 1%, and deepened poverty to levels not seen in this country in the past 50 years.
That makes our task a hard one, but that’s life. Life is tough for those we serve. Our job is to change that.
We don’t need to concern ourselves with relationships with other parties. We have established our platform, and we can safely leave any discussions with our party leadership. Our job is to take MANA to the 7 Maori seats, and to spread the MANA message to every corner of Aotearoa.
I’m currently involved in a number of really positive community initiatives in the far north, and I want to put them onto solid foundations before launching into campaign mode in 2017, but I’ve already taken on more visits around the north and I will be honouring requests to speak around the country from here on out.
Thank you all for making this AGM a really positive and uplifting occasion. Now let’s get on with the business.