The Maori Party fundraiser

The Mana Party is enjoying trumpeting the Maori’s Party’s fundraising dinner, where fifteen specially selected leaders paid $5,000 each to dine with John Key at the Northern Club. Hone Harawira’s reaction?

“Our dealings with Dotcom and Gareth Morgan have been very open and we haven’t received a cent.”

Harawira won’t have enjoyed the way the label of hypocrite has been thrown his way recently, thanks to his Dotcom dealings, so it will undoubtedly be satisfying for him to throw the label back at the Maori Party.

First things first, though. There is absolutely nothing illegal about this piece of fundraising. Nor, I think, is there anything morally dubious about it. The Prime Minister agreed to be guest speaker at a fundraising dinner organised by a party that has supported National for two terms. As part of his role, he agreed to swap tables every so often, in order that everyone got a chance to speak to him. (Frankly, if I were stumping up five grand for dinner, I’d damn well want to be sure I got some face time with the PM!) The Prime Minister attends fundraising dinners all the time, as I’m sure do all of the other party leaders too. Some of the dinners cost $100, some cost rather more. This one is evidently one of the more high end ones…

What about the politics though? It’s obviously damaging to the Maori Party. They look like National party lapdogs, which is the last thing they want, given the more left wing views of their support base. The Maori Party’s leaders have continually run the line that they have supported National because it is better to be at the table, achieving things, than to be sitting outside the tent looking wistfully in (to mix a metaphor). Using John Key as their chief fundraiser gives a lie to that stance. Mana’s line of attack has been clear – a vote for the Maori Party is a vote for National. That line of attack just became even more effective.

 

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