Politics | Adrian Rurawhe

Protestors may waste vote on Tamaki's new party - pundit

Political analyst Dr Lara Greaves (Ngāpuhi) says the people at the anti-government mock trial yesterday will probably buy into Tamaki’s new political party, Freedoms New Zealand.

But she says Bishop Brian Tamaki's new coalition of parties could have some trouble getting actual political representation.

“This formation of a new party adds an extra actor to the political landscape. However, it’s really hard to get to the 5% party vote threshold, it’s really hard to win an electorate seat, so the unlikelihood of that is pretty unlikely overall.”

If voters don’t end up voting for Tamaki’s new party, New Zealand First could be another option, she says.

“NZ First has always picked up the anti-establishment voter, the people who are already disgruntled at the political elites.

Subtle changes under Rurawhe?

“It’s tricky to know exactly what’s going to happen with that vote and whether that vote will be big enough to sway anything, all organised under one umbrella to get that to that 5%.”

Recently expelled Labour MP Gaurav Sharma was even asked by Tamaki if he would want to join the new party – something Greaves doesn’t see as a possibility, as he trains to become a GP.

“I can’t see [Gaurav’s] ideas around medicine melding really well with anyone who is anti-vaccine. It would indicate he is not thinking straight in line with his values.”

With Trevor Mallard stepping down as Speaker of the House and Labour’s Te Tai Hauāuru MP Adrian Rurawhe now officially elected into Speaker, Greaves says it will be interesting to have someone who has had years of experience in chairing for iwi and hapū taking up the role.

“We saw the first version of the Māori Party raise that Parliament isn’t a respectable place and doesn’t blend well with tikanga Māori. It’ll be interesting to see the ways in which a Māori speaker with experience in Māori spaces might subtly alter those rules and norms.”