A Reporter from the National Business Review (NBR) asked me on July 25 whether there was any contradiction between my thoughts on “Immigration in 2009 and now, particularly given Mana Party’s newly minted relationship with Kim Dotcom.”
In 2009 I was quoted as saying, “We should give due recognition to the importance of kaupapa Maori to immigration. For example, there is a policy whereby an immigrant can come in, put down $2 million and he is in. You know, no tests, no arrangements, just drop the bucks. We have to get away from that so that our future is based on kaupapa. It is like principles.”
Well, in 2014, my views have not changed on millionaire immigrants at all.
Unfortunately though, the Government’s rules have not changed much either. They still let anyone with a lot of money into the country without any regard to kaupapa Maori.
But thanks to Mana, Kim Dotcom has gone through a completely different process.
He has endured a lengthy and harrowing initiation with me and other very kaupapa-minded Maori activists.
He has been grilled by people noted for their undying commitment to social justice, and he has attended and addressed the Annual General Meeting of the Mana Movement, the country’s most progressive political force.
He also began a national tour at Te Rerenga Wairua (where the Maori Land March and the Foreshore and Seabed March began).
He has spoken to local hapu and iwi at Potahi Marae in Te Kao, Kohewhata Marae in Kaikohe, Te Whare Runanga in Waitangi, and Terenga Paraoa Marae in Whangarei.
He has spoken to predominantly Maori audiences in Kaitaia, Kaikohe, Kerikeri, Whangarei, North Shore and Kelston.
He is on the same demanding schedule over the next five weeks across the country.
It seems to me that the process that Kim Dotcom is still going through four months after first engaging with Mana is the process that every millionaire immigrant should go through when they come here.
Perhaps the NBR might want to recommend the Mana Immigration Policy to millionaires for other parties to adopt.
Hone Harawira is Mana Party Leader and Tai Tokerau Member of Parliament