Brian Edwards Media

The (second?) coming of Hone Harawira – a non-believer’s perspective

Returned home from a week in Sydney. It hosed down for the entire time, forcing us to stay indoors reading. “Forcing” is entirely the wrong word for Judy whose idea of heaven is a limitless supply of books and limitless time in which to read them. I, on the other hand, find reading difficult and only read when there is nothing else to do – on holiday, in bad weather, with nothing on the box.

The iPad comes close to providing Judy with her limitless supply of books, courtesy of Kindle and at a fraction the price you’d pay in the shop for “the real thing”. Curiously, I’ve started reading more thanks to Mr Jobs’ wondrous invention. It may be that the illuminated screen suits me better than the printed page. And there’s the added advantage that I don’t have to go searching for a dictionary when, as is often the case,  there’s a word I don’t understand.

This was particularly helpful as I ploughed my way through Christopher Hitchins’ memoir Hitch-22. “Ploughed” is the right word. This is heavy going, but every now and then you dig up a thought gem that makes the whole thing worthwhile.

Hitch, a take-no-prisoners atheist, would have been as entertained as I was, when I returned home, to read that Kereama Pene , a senior minister of the Ratana faith believes that Hone Harawira may be the fulfilment of a prophecy by the Church’s founder, T.W. Ratana.   

“What [he] basically said at Ratana Pa is: If all the lights go out or all the people lose hope, the prophet said ‘turn your eyes to the north, a young man will rise up carrying the Treaty’.

“This is the first young guy who has said ‘I’m going to carry the Treaty, that’s going to be my first korero (thought) and that’s going to be my last korero’.

“I guess we’re driven by our own prophecy, there’s no doubt about that.”

I have no desire to offend Mr Pene or the Ratana Church, but it really is difficult to treat the idea of Hone Harawira being the fulfilment of a prophecy with any degree of seriousness or respect.

Even to the most credulous believer, it must surely seem preposterous. To the atheist, who regards all religious dogma as mumbo jumbo for,  as Hitchins puts it, “those whose pressing need it is to woo and win the approval of supernatural beings”, it can be nothing less than the quintessence of absurdity.

Many years ago I interviewed Hone’s mother, Titewhai Harawira. In the course of the interview I put it to her that she was consumed with hatred for the Pakeha. She vehemently denied it, but the language and tone of her reply merely served to reinforce the truth of my accusation.

Titewhai’s blood runs in Hone’s veins. But I sometimes think he is conflicted. There is, I divine, a decent and warm human being in there, a nice person. The cognitive dissonance of the voices in his head may go some way to explaining his Jekyll and Hyde vacillation between belligerence and appeasement.  

But even if I believed in prophecy, I would still find the idea of Hone as “the chosen” or “the anointed one” too incongruous to embrace.

It would certainly be unfortunate if this nonsense were, as Mr Pene hopes, to influence the outcome of the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.

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  1. Its possibly only as ridiculous as Brian Tamaki becoming a Bishop.I cant decide whether to laugh or cry.

  2. @pjr: At least Harawira has been nominated a prophet by a second party; “Bishop” Tamaki can claim no such endorsement however ludicrous Harawira’s nomination may be.
    Let us weep together; I’m certainly not inspired to pray.

  3. Wonder if it has anything to do with the End of the World is Nigh, like if not 22 May then – er later.The second coming might be Hone and all evil will be swept aside, so pray folks for his blessing -er just in case.

  4. If Hone wins the bi-election, the Harawiras will certainly ” PROFIT ” following the fine example of the Tamakis

  5. Akuhata Kiwa (1917) prophesied the coming of Ratana himself (as did a number of other maori seers), saying: “This young man will come before I have passed through death’s veil. There will be no prophets or knowledgeable teachers after him, never.” In their zealous support of Hone-bro, the good folk of Ratana seem to have forgotten that particular prophecy: there – will – be – no – more – prophets – after – Ratana.
    Hipa Te Maiharoa (1868) said: “The one who will save (the maori people) will come forth in the Taranaki area…”. But being born in Whangarei and raised in west Auckland, Hone again doesn’t fit the bill.
    Enough said.

    Read more:

    BE: Very interesting. Thanks for that.

  6. It would be a bit of a stretch to call Hone Hawawira any sort of ‘prophet’.

  7. Is this a soap opera…

    BE: I won’t publish gratuitous abuse, Suzanne. I suggest you re-write your comment in a more moderate tone dealing with the issue.

  8. I don’t think the prophet said that the “young man of the north” would himself be a prophet, only that he would be carrying the treaty. It seems to me that on purely empirical grounds, putting aside religion and supernatural stuff generally, one would have to consider that there could be something in this prophecy given that Hone is clearly young, of the north, and carrying the treaty.

  9. I don’t know about that Millsy. He certainly profits from being blunt about what he stands for. Something that most other politicians avoid for fear of losing votes.

  10. “He certainly profits from being blunt about what he stands for”

    There is being blunt, and being an idiot. I class him in the latter category. And I class his supporter as idiots for signing up to his bandwagon. (Though John Minto I can understand — he would sign up with Mickey Mouse if he thought he could bring about the Revolution).

  11. Mikesh you are correct and as usual the media will twist words to suit and sell a paper – just like they did with TW Ratana himself. Look at the history. If anything he is the only politician I know that does not waiver from his path.
    Ratana on his World Tour on seeing thousands of slaves in Capetown asked if his people could cook a feast and spread it before them. Ratana prayed and then prophesised that a day was coming when the mighty hand of God would lift up and liberate this black nation. The tour was in 1924 he had passed many years before this prophecy was to be fulfilled.
    I am not a supporter of the Mana Party or infact any party at present but I can see how people will manipulate words and ridicule when they need to research Maori history a little more before passing any judgement.

  12. Why is it that Mumbo Jumbo[a nod to Edmund Blackadder here]rears its head with undeserved confidence with any mention of the Maori or Mana Parties?

    BE: The ‘mumbo jumbo’ in my post referred specifically to “all religious dogma”, not to the Maori or Mana parties.

  13. Contrary to what a number of your correspondents say, HH is not being designated as a prophet. He is said to be a fulfilment of a prophecy, and to be fair to HH he has publicy said that he does not believe it.

    “It would certainly be unfortunate if this nonsense were, as Mr Pene hopes, to influence the outcome of the Te Tai Tokerau by-election.”

    Regarding your last point Matthew Hooton in this week’s NBR has written an excellent article putting into words what some have been thinking “Hone Harawira safer in or out of the House?” The article is worth reading in the whole but the last two sentences say:

    “Without the outlet of Parliament, what would an unemployed Mr Harawira and his mum get up to instead? It might be better just to let the donkey bray.”

  14. “Prophet” or Prince of Darkness?

    A picture is worth a thousand words. Take a good gander at the one, above. Both wearing dark shades, indoors.

    I’ve learned to never, ever — trust those who wear shades when not needed. And, never, trust those who don’t bother to remove them, when being introduced to someone for the first time.

    Lurking, Unholy, Untrustworthy, Conniving and Devious. Even worse than someone who offers his lifeless, clammy hand as a sickly excuse for a handshake. Unnerving and slightly repellent.

    There’s this ‘Specter of Seething Malignancy’ that hangs over the mother, casting its own sinister pall over the son. Rasputin’s progeny, so to speak.

    Hone may have a lighter side to him, but it won’t come through; not while he remains under the toxic spell of his mother.

    • Honestly, Merv! You write these mindless, vituperative raves and then have the gall to whine ‘hurt feelings’ when we take exception to them. These are real people you’re lashing out at, people who also have feelings – and families and children who may read this website. It isn’t funny, it isn’t witty, and it’s starting to become unacceptable. If you have something worthwhile to say, you’re welcome to express it here, but I’ve had quite enough of these hate-filled little missives.

  15. JC, interesting you should respond as you did, since i was thinking that in some ways Merv is cut from the same cloth as HH, albeit with differing political ideologies. Both are given to mindless abuse.

    However in defence of HH in spite of his shortcomings, I believe he is someone who cares passionately about his people. It is a pity that a few more of our politicians do not show similar passion. If only Hone could harness his passion in a more constructive way pehaps he could be the one to fulfill the prophecy, mumbo jumbo or not.

    If I were a member of Northland Maori I would vote for him without hesitation. I know that he would care about me and my interests and years of representation by the Labour Party have shown that they do not care at all.

  16. I think Merv’s got half a point, JC: wearing sunnies indoors sends out the same puerile message as wearing a baseball hat on backwards. Remember how we all laughed when Tau Henare and his mates shaved their heads and minced around Parliament trying to look like Chicago thugs?

  17. JC: It’s meant to be neither vituperative raves nor witty.

    Mrs. Harawira is well known for her boiling resentment, intolerance, bitterness and anger. Just look how she conducts herself at meetings; forever, threatening attendees — expressing divergent views to hers — with the ominous, “We know who you are, we’re noting your names”. And then proceeds to jot them down.

    It’s about time she got called out on her standover tactics. And just, maybe, Hone will learn to keep his ulcerated mouth, shut. And we all might not get to hear his “white “muthaf***er’ rants”. Oh, are Hone’s “rants” acceptable, because of long-standing injustices and grievances, that have resulted in oppression of Maori?

    I’m truly sick to death of Mrs Harawira and her Little Boy. She has a pervasive, overbearing presence in Maoridom — and it is all hate-filled. Everything she does is counter-productive, divisive and alienating; when it comes to furthering Maori interests.

    If you want to lay into someone for “mindless, vituperative raves”, your vectors of reproach should be heading in a direction other than mine.

  18. Quite right Merv, just like all the Ultra Lefties I delighted in taunting on the Pravda site till I was blocked.

  19. Mmm…that pic is worthy as an entrant for the Herald caption competition.

    Titewhai: Remember, Son, use a .45 — with a silencer.

    Hone: You worry too much, Ma. This time tomorrow, Tariana and Pita sleep with the fishes.

  20. I have to give it to Hone, he handled his stint on “7 Days” very well recently…

  21. All power to Merv, for telling it like it is.

    There should be no place, anywhere, for someone with the amount of hate that Titewhai Harawira has, and Hone is his mother’s son.

    I despair at New Zealand, with its institutionalised racism. I despair that anyone can say “if I were a Northland Maori I’d vote for Hone”…. I mean, he epitomises institutionalised racism, for goodness’ sake!

  22. Caption:
    “I can’t see a thing either, but no way the roots would be showing yet.”

  23. caption (2)

    the world through tinted glasses

  24. caption 3, leave your glasses on hone,it makes everyone you see look more maori.

  25. caption 4, thanks ma.the coolest kuia there is.