Mana Leader Hone Harawira has wished the prime minister well while condemning his record as governance for the rich at the expense of the marginalised.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline has been stopped, the Prime Minister has resigned, and the Warriors are coming to Kaitaia … so it’s an awesome day to be alive,” says Harawira.
“Look, John Key has been a great leader… for the rich. But I doubt that those living in car cases, caravan parks and cold, damp houses will be shedding a tear anytime soon. In case people haven’t noticed, Maori have also suffered massive setbacks in housing, employment, justice, corrections, education and welfare during his time”
Although Harawira’s much publicised falling-out with the Māori Party has shown signs of healing in recent weeks with discussions over a possible Mana, Māori Party ‘unification’ in time for the 2017 elections, Harawira is critical of those Māori elites he sees as having benefitted from John Key’s government without taking care of the marginalised members of their communities.
“The only Maori who will mourn John Key’s passing are those who clipped the ticket during his reign - those who reaped the benefits of Treaty settlements and corporate success, but did nothing to lift their own people from the mire of welfare despondency, drug-fuelled violence and suicide.”
Harawira is also critical of Key’s economic record and perceived popularity.
“I don’t buy the line about John Key’s legacy being marked by economic stability and an increased profile on the international stage, because I see where it has come from - off the backs of those who could least afford it, te pani me te rawakore, the poor and the dispossessed.
“I wish him well with his future and I hope his family get more time with him, but most of all I wish us all strength in overcoming the mind-set that only the rich should matter in life.”