Do you need any further confirmation as to the political direction of Hone Harawira's Mana Party? Then check this out:
HONE HARAWIRA has confirmed veteran activist John Minto will be invited to stand for his new political movement, the Mana Party, in the general election.
In an exclusive interview, the nation's most polarising MP described Minto – formerly the leader of anti-apartheid group Halt All Racist Tours – as "a great New Zealander".
And Minto – who has rejected three previous offers to stand for other political parties at previous elections – has confirmed if his family backs him, he "would be delighted" to accept the offer.
"In terms of a New Zealander, he is what I call a great New Zealander," Harawira told the Sunday Star-Times.
"He will be formally invited to be a candidate for Mana, first of all on the list.
I guess that shouldn't come as any surprise. Minto is a veteran activist, is aligned to the far left, and is a close comrade of Unite boss and Mana "organiser" Matt McCarten. But "a great New Zealander" as Hone Harawira describes him? Not on our watch.
Meanwhile, the story gives a little bit more insight into the likely make-up of the party - read on:
"I have people talking about me being the leader of the Mana Party. But when I decided to chase Annette Sykes, I knew full well that she is a leader in her own right and in her own world.
"And John Minto is another person like that. People like that don't work around proclaiming their leadership... they are naturally leaders in the field they are involved."
Minto and Sykes – who has already accepted an offer to stand for the Mana Party in the November 26 election – will first help him on the hustings in the Far North as he prepares for the June 25 by-election in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate.
The by-election was forced after Harawira resigned from parliament, with his resignation set to take effect from Friday.
Harawira said: "I would go to any election standing alongside John Minto and Annette Sykes and I would have no doubt about their ability, their commitment or their courage.
"I would also match us three up against the leadership of any other political party in this country... in terms of the intellectual firepower, the understanding of the issues as they apply to the ordinary person, and the importance of the Treaty [of Waitangi] to the whole debate."
There will be some who are enthusiastic about a political party with the likes of Harawira, Minto, Annette Sykes and Sue Bradford at its helm. Unsurprisingly, we are not among their number! It seems to us that the Mana Party is going to get so cluttered with the agendas being bought to the table that it may be difficult for the party to develop a clear direction.
Hone Harawira will be going to the electorate in the Te Tai Tokerau to seek both a personal mandate, and a mandate for his new party. But will Te Tai Tokerau voters embrace the political agendas that the likes of Minto and Bradford pursue?
There's no doubt in our collective mind that the Mana Party has been formed as a vehicle for the hard-left. Matt McCarten is a cunning beggar, and he is seeking to transfer his union's record of activism into the political arena. Quite how that dove-tails with Hone Harawira's aspirations for Maori is open to debate. But one thing is for sure; the Mana Party will be highly visible, full as it is with masters of media manipulation.
Interesting times await us. We still reckon that there might be a level of discomfort at Green party HQ given that the Greens' hold on the protest vote might be loosened.