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Mike Hosking: The Māori Party need to take a leaf from ACT's book

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Sep 2021, 9:33AM
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)
Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waititi. (Photo / Mark Mitchell)

Mike Hosking: The Māori Party need to take a leaf from ACT's book

Mike Hosking,
Publish Date
Fri, 17 Sep 2021, 9:33AM

The Māori Party's petition to change the name of New Zealand is, of course, going nowhere, which may ultimately be an indication as to where the party itself is going. 

They are a rarity in MMP, a party ousted from Parliament, but able to make a comeback. 

Many a small party have come and gone, and with the exception of New Zealand First, no one has managed the trick. 

The trick about the trick, if you pull it off, is not to look a gift horse in the mouth and blow it. 

But my guess is, that’s exactly what they are doing. 

Obviously, I don't vote for the Māori Party, so I am not sure what those who do actually want, and maybe they don't want a lot. 

The bloke who won the seat for them won it off Tāmati Coffey of Labour, which if you look at the numbers at the last election, for a guy to lose a seat representing a party that won a majority says a lot about your impact or lack of it  

But is a petition that draws little more than a bit of click bait reality. 

If we accept that the plight of some Māori is poor to dire in a variety of economic and social areas, is the job of a representative at the highest level of influence not to somehow address that? 

And if it is, is running a petition on a name going to make a material difference to anyone? 

So far, the party have got attention for neck ties, hats, a bitchy column the other day about David Seymour and now the petition. 

The lesson, if they choose to learn it, is to look to ACT. 

Say whatever you like about them, but these past two years David Seymour has given every observer of the art of political effectiveness a lesson to remember. 

Hell, even the Listener has an article on him this week on whether he could actually be Prime Minister. 

And how has he done that? By being serious and being funny with it. 

The euthanasia law was law for the generations, his contribution is now permanent. 

His endless ideas, his holding the Government to account literally on a daily basis, his ability to get more airtime than any other opposition player and his sense of humour. 

Calling James Shaw ‘James Off-Shaw' in reference to Glasgow is the line of the week. 

It's all there if you want to learn how to do this game of politics properly, and with that approach he’s gone from the quirky outlier of one, to the serious contender of ten, and growing.  

The Māori Party, in comparison, have done nothing but squeal and sound aggrieved and permanently angsty.  

If you get what you deserve, they’ll be gone again in two years.

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