Martyn 'Bomber' Bradbury: Most political commentators, myself included, simply assumed John Tamihere would be placed at number 2 on the Party list so that if another Māori MP wins an electorate and scores 1% Party vote, Tamihere would simply enter Parliament on the MMP coat tail.
We were all wrong.
Tamihere is clearly challenging the Māori electorate of Tāmaki Makaurau, 'You either vote me in as the electorate representative, or you don't get me at all'.
It's an old school move by an old school Politician.
Winning an electorate seat rather than entering Parliament on the Party list is the gold medal of political representation and Tamihere wants the mana of that win so that he has a mandate to actually demand the transformative change Māori are crying out for.
Tamihere's argument to Tāmaki Makaurau is that Peeni and Marama are getting in off the Party lists, so voters already have them as representatives, but voting Tamihere in gives them a 3rd voice of representation!
Will it work?
Māori have shown themselves to be the greatest tactical MMP voters in NZs political history. They have used the Māori electorates to maximise their political voice like no other segment of society has, and if there is any group who can tactically vote and gain, it's them.
Say what you like about John Tamihere, but he doesn't flinch from a challenge and always sets a higher target.
Let's see if it works come election day.
Editor - TheDailyBlog.nz
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