Friday, May 27, 2011

Let Battle Commence

Maturity vs firebrand.
That’s how the Maori Party/Mana Party battlelines have been drawn in Te Tai Tokerau.
The Maori Party’s named Solomon Tipene as its surprise candidate against Hone Harawira in next month's upcoming byelection.
The 64yr.old great-grandfather’s had a long public service career with Corrections, Child Youth and Family, the army and the old Maori Affairs Department: "I hope to bring a stabilising factor to Maori politics in Tai Tokerau. For too long now we've had a situation where (Harawira) made it difficult for our people to support Maori politics." He says if he wins he’ll be representing a constituency which was once a "breadbasket" but is now a "basket case" with huge social and economic problems.
I’ve not heard of him before – but then again, I’m just (as HH would say) a “white motherf***er” – but I believe he has a very high profile in Maoridom. Tipene’s supporters say he’s an endearing man who’ll appeal to voters (and no doubt have a cleaner mouth than HH!). Certainly he’s more likely to secure the older more sensible voters while HH will run with his rabid ratpack.
Voters go to the polls on June 25 and the short campaign time puts Mr Tipene at a disadvantage to Hone-bro, who's had endless free publicity over his breakaway from the Maori Party. And let's not forget Labour's Kelvin Davis either - a stronger prospect than Mr.Tipene, I'd suggest.
But let’s face it: whoever wins in Te Tai Tokerau is academic really. November’s general election means they’ll just be doing it all over again anyway...and the latest poll results indicate their efforts may be all for naught.

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