Hone Harawira's confirmation that he will contest next year's election isn't surprising but he has a big job on his hands to redress the controversies that surrounded his previous time in office.

Speaking on The Hui, Mr Harawira said he would contest Te Tai Tokerau and stand against Labour's Kelvin Davis, who took the seat from him in 2014 by more than 1000 votes.

"No offence to the 25 Maoris in Parliament, but they are kind of hardly noticeable. You've got to have somebody who is 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," he said.

"Maoridom needs a fighter, not just a backing vocalist about six rows back."


Mr Harawira has never been afraid to speak his mind but, as other commentators have pointed out, this has been both a strength and a weakness.

He campaigned strongly against tobacco companies but this was often overshadowed by the controversy that followed some of his more inflammatory comments on other matters, such as the reference in an email to "white mother****ers".

Perhaps his biggest mistake was his decision to form an alliance with Kim Dotcom's Internet Party.

He acknowledges the mistake cost his party badly, with it capturing just 1.2 per cent of the vote.

Of Mr Dotcom he now says the businessman "decided he wanted to stay with his stuff right to the bitter end, and in the end that pulled us down".

However, it was his decision to enter into the alliance.

Mr Harawira may have had time to reflect on some of the events that marred his last foray into national politics but it is difficult, in my opinion, to see how he can make a fresh start with voters.