Alan Duff: The bone-headed fighter? No thanks

Maori do not need Hone's hero complex or his 'leadership'.
Maoridom needs Hone Harawira back in politics like the proverbial hole in the head. Photo / Christine Cornege
Maoridom needs Hone Harawira back in politics like the proverbial hole in the head. Photo / Christine Cornege

This columnist usually stays away from politicians. But then Hone announced a comeback. Oh dear. Maoridom needs Hone Harawira back in politics like the proverbial hole in the head. He couldn't get on with the Maori Party, founded the Mana Party, had a bromance with the gifted but flawed German, Kim Dotcom. And when the admirable Kelvin Davis thrashed him in the last election, who does he turn on? Dotcom. But of course others, too.

A man with a hero-complex is not what Maoridom needs. They - our people - do not need someone pandering to our lowest common denominator, telling them their failures are not their fault but the fault of rich white people, greedy capitalists, a stacked system, government, all on the assumption these people are incapable of helping themselves.

Not once have we heard offered a solution to "poor" people's woes, to "poverty." He came up with no ideas on creating employment. Nor use of Northland Maori land.

No ideas on instilling an education ethos in the outlook of the very culture of those he claims to be fighting for. His ideas were and still are zilch.

He hasn't demonstrated by a single gesture that maybe he should take a less hardline stance. Oh, no. Not Hone. He's the self-described "fighter." Whoopee, that's gonna put a lot of Maori into their own homes and give them jobs, lift us up to the educated, aspiring middle class, a scrapper representing us.

In insulting Davis by saying Maoridom needs someone up front, not sitting quietly in the sixth row, and saying Andrew Little is acting "tough" but is "centrist", he's wrong on both counts. Davis is actively doing his best by Maoridom. Little has to be centrist or he'll lose more votes.

Hone means, as I see it, follow his 60s style of radicalism, use shock and awe tactics like his odious hero Fidel Castro - who stole from Cuba's state coffers to enrich the Castro dynasty.

Had Hone opened up by saying yes, he's making a comeback, now let's start with the awful fact that yet another Maori has murdered a child. Followed by ideas on what to do about it. A book on parenting skills, perhaps, Hone? Nah. Too hard.

Our team just celebrated our 12 millionth book given to children in low-income schools. You've never been near us, Hone. Not even a word of encouragement. Yet our programme has a heap of Northland schools on board. Just the Loud One missing from the waka. You know why?

He wants to lead. Not as in heading a large number of Maori into the Promised Land.

He just wants to be a heroic figurehead yet don't dare subject him to scrutiny or criticism. Let him be the warrior with his taiaha doing battle with non-Maori who don't have taiahas. Whoo, that's tough.

Listen, pal. The last thing we need are bloody bone-headed fighters. Sure, genetically, we've all got the warrior in us. But for God's sake know when to apply it and certainly not to advancing the Maori race.

We need our woman elevated to absolutely equal status. Not this outdated model of assigning women seats behind the front row because - yeah, sure - they need the males to protect them. Yes, women do need protecting - from too many of our Maori males. Too many of our kids need protecting from adult Maori males.

Maoridom doesn't need tough-guy rhetoric, or protest for its own sake, a ceaseless outpour of negativity and blame-laying. In case you're not aware, Hone, we've long used role models at our schools to give positive messages like: "It's cool to read. It's cool to aspire." That's all. Pretty simple, isn't it?

Not for Hone. He wants to make it a scrap, a brawl, a war of insults and sarcasm. The man who thought Helen Clark getting "the bash" when she was mobbed by protesters at Te Tii Marae was not so bad.

We knew he'd be back because he loves a scrap and loves being a heroic warrior figure.

He could try sitting down with people who are reasonable and come up with solutions to end Maori poverty and all our other problems.

This half-Maori columnist certainly believes Maori have a bright future, if only we could shut down the negative messages.

- NZ Herald

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Alan Duff

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