Dr Michael Bassett

Dr Michael Bassett

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John Tamihere Guarantees a "Coalition of Chaos"


Ever since John Tamihere was humiliated in the 2019 Auckland mayoral race he has seemed determined to prove that Auckland voters were wise to reject him. His stunts on behalf of the Maori Party keep downgrading the good work he started many years ago with the Waipareira Trust on behalf of de-tribalized Auckland Maori. He now looks determined to destroy public confidence in that trust and, as Thomas Cranmer has shown on this blog, turn it into some sort of fiefdom for his family and friends. I doubt there is much confidence in the Maori Party of which Tamihere is now the chair, but there will be even less by the time he's finished with it. "JT" which his fellow Roast-Busting radio clown Willy Jackson likes to call Tamihere, seems bent on destroying confidence in everything he is associated with.

Tamihere now struts about the place issuing grandiose demands to the Labour Party, where he was once a cabinet minister, that it should surrender the six Maori electorate seats which it holds in the current Parliament to the Maori Party. Instead it should concentrate on winning party votes from Maori in the seven Maori electorates. Tamihere says he believes that such a strategy would ensure victory for Labour, the Greens and the Maori Party in October. He hasn't told us which seat he expects to stand for, but you can bet your life that he wants to grab one of them. His real worry is that his whole shonky personal fiefdom will crumble if its subjected to careful scrutiny by a new government. His personal loans from taxpayer-funded Waipareira, his web of family connections, and money for the Maori Party could all be threatened. In his view, what Chris Luxon has designated the "Coalition of Chaos" can save him. Which is all the more reason why Labour and the Greens must lose.

The push towards Maori tribalism that Labour never mentioned at the time of the 2020 election, raced ahead under Jacinda Ardern, Nanaia Mahuta and Chris Hipkins. Three Waters, He Puapua, Te Whatu Ora and co-governance, where the Maori aristocracy appoints people to boards rather than have them nominated by an organization answerable to Maori at elections, let alone be directly elected by Maori themselves, are just some of the decisions taken by the current Labour government as it moves away from the bedrock democratic principle of one person-one vote. As a self-appointed member of that Maori aristocracy, Tamihere wants to ensure his personal fiefdom gets a favourable tick from the government when it finally comes under the microscope. The worst part of all this is that Willy Jackson appears to agree with him. According to the Herald of 31 May, Jackson's main worry is that now doesn't seem to be the right time to hand over the Maori electorate seats. But, by inference, once the election is over, he'd be prepared to reconsider. Beware! We were caught last election with Labour saying one thing on the stump and doing something different afterwards.

The strange thing about all this is that ordinary Maori have been prepared over the years to trust the Labour Party to look after their interests. Money budgeted for them has always been expected to reach them for health, education or cultural purposes, for example. Times, however, have changed. Who would have thought that the party of Micky Savage and Peter Fraser would eventually collapse into one willing to assist the Maori aristocracy to cream off money intended for the disadvantaged, lending it to themselves with no strings attached, and appointing their mates and relatives to boards, councils and trusts? Not appointed by those responsible to the wider public, but "placed" by the new Maori aristocracy. Ordinary folk are now starting to confront the reality that Labour no longer stands for them. Rather, "their" party is in the grip of those who are already privileged.

Thomas Cranmer's article should be closely studied by every candidate for Parliament in October. It contains some useful information about John Tamihere, with warnings about how not to conduct oneself when one works for a registered charity in receipt of taxpayer funds.