Don't get me wrong,said Tamaki.
I have nothing against women. It is just that this is a reflection of what is happening in society - a lack of men in leadership and sky-high divorce rates.(Tamaki, 2000) This is a situation that had never happened before and hasn’t happened since, women leading the two most popular political parties. Neither of these parties at the time, before or since, have come close to a majority of women MPs (see here for historical parliamentary stats and here for 2008 party stats).
However, according to Tamaki,
God is very specific about the role and function of men(2006, More than meets the eye: Bishop Brian Tamaki), so maybe any women in parliament is too many. God must be stoked then that of the four political parties invited to speak at the Destiny Church political forum last night, not one sent a woman. Hone Harawira spoke for the Mana Party, Pita Sharples for the Maori Party, Shane Jones for the Labour Party, and Tau Henare for National ( RNZ) (Georgina Te Heuheu was scheduled to speak for National. I don’t know why she was replaced by Henare).
There are two possible reasons for the lack of women: either each political party chose their best Māori representative, and coincidentally they are all male; or, each party chose to send their best male, Māori representative, because it would play better. Either way, it says something really sad about party politics. In the first case, it suggests that Māori women are not getting the same opportunities as Māori men. In the second case, it says that parties are willing to support misogyny if it will buy them votes.
The Destiny vision of a uniformly heterosexual, masculine leadership was previewed for them at their forum last night. I haven’t heard if anyone spoke for those of us who are excluded from that vision (but please, if someone did, I want to hear about it). I know not to expect anything better from the other parties, but it disappointed me to see Mana playing to Destiny.
Seven years ago, parliament removed some legal discrimination against same-sex relationships. Thousands of Destinites marched to parliament in protest. I will not forget the righteous arrogance of those Destinites who threatened, pushed, hit, spat at, and generally abused those few who dared to stand for queer solidarity that day. Naively, I had hoped Mana would take the opportunity to stand with us last night. It would have shown more mana than a self-congratulatory, macho sound-bite about being no-one’s lapdog (RNZ: No lap dog status for Harawira).