January 23, 2013
Morehu fight for political influence
With political parties converging on Ratana Pā for the annual celebration of founder Tahupotiki Wiremu Ratana’s birthday, there’s a warning not to disparage the movement’s influence.
Member Ruia Aperahama says as well as the traditional allegiance to Labour, in recent years morehu have also split their support between the Māori Party, Mana and the Greens.
He says Shane Jones’ attack in 2010 on apotoro Kereama Pene, who used the welcome for Labour’s then-leader Phil Goff to criticise the party and praise Prime Minister John Key, cost the list MP in the subsequent election.
"If it wasn’t for Kereama Pene standing in Auckland, Shane would have won the Auckland seat and toppled Pita Sharples. And Shane would also have been a high candidate to now be the leader of the Labour Party. It wasn't about winning the seat. It was about giving a strong message to Labour and to Shane Jones, do not take the next generation of Ratana morehu for granted," Mr Aperahama says.
Ratana votes also helped Mana leader Hone Harawira keep his Te Taitokerau seat.
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