Hone ready to climb back into the saddle

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HARD WORD: About to be ousted Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira absorbing the bad news on election night 2014.
HARD WORD: About to be ousted Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira absorbing the bad news on election night 2014.

Mana Movement leader Hone Harawira has confirmed that he will take on Labour's Kelvin Davis next year in a bid to win back Te Tai Tokerau.

Mr Davis won the seat in 2014, by a final margin of 743 votes, Mr Harawira apparently paying a heavy price for aligning himself with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party.

Mr Harawira made his announcement on TV3's The Hui on Sunday, saying Maoridom needed a fighter, not "a backing vocalist about six rows back."

"No offence to the 25 Maori in Parliament, but they are kind of hardly noticeable," he said. "You've got to have somebody in there who is a fighter, somebody who won't be cowed by party politics, or by parliamentary politics, and who is going to stand up and say what needs to be said, whenever it needs to be said."

Mr Davis and Maori Party co-leader Marama Fox had tried, "but they keep getting squeezed back into that party politics".

Former Maori Party member Annette Sykes was likely to stand for Mana next year, and former Mana candidate Jordan Winiata was also "in the mix".

Mr Harawira confirmed his intentions in flamboyant style, saying everyone had been missing the MANA sound so the band was getting back together.

"Annette will be lead singer, we'll have Jordan on bass, I'll play lead guitar, and I'll get Kereama and the Ratana Boys on percussion. John Minto's a little rhythmically challenged, so we might get him to head up the roadie crew," he said.

"I've jammed with Te Ururoa [Flavell, Maori Party co-leader] before and that went real well, so you never know. And if he wants to play lead that's fine with me. It's the music that matters. But we won't be playing too many new tracks when we hit the road.

"It'll be a Greatest Hits tour, with all the songs that people know and love when they come to a MANA gig - The Treaty Rocks, Tax the Rich to Free the Poor, Housing for the Homeless, Feed the Kids, Jobs for All, No to Deep Sea Oil - all the tracks that MANA's taken into the Top 10."

- Northland Age

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