Tar­i­ana Turia — the boss lady

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

“I’m look­ing for­ward to that day of co-lead­er­ship!” was the sur­pris­ing re­sponse from Pita Sharples when I con­grat­u­lated him and Tar­i­ana Turia on how well they’ve shared the lead­er­ship of the Maori Party.

Pita was jok­ing when he im­plied Tar­i­ana was the sole leader and boss and that he, Hone Harawira and Te Ururoa Flavell are the sup­port cast. But it might not be far from the truth.

I in­ter­viewed Tar­i­ana, Pita and Hone this week on Ra­dio Waatea and there’s no doubt in my mind that the lady is the boss.

Sure Pita and Hone are the party’s me­dia stars, but when it comes to the crunch, it’s Tar­i­ana who makes the call.

When I asked Hone, the party’s strate­gist, if they would con­sider for­feit­ing their party vote for a deal with the Greens, the Boss Lady in­ter­vened and stated un­equiv­o­cally that the Maori Party would do no such deals.

There wouldn’t be too many women, let alone men, who could shut Hone Harawira up, apart from his mother and wife!

But to his credit Hone had no prob­lem with Tar­i­ana stat­ing the party line.

It’s a trib­ute to her that she’s able to man­age the likes of Hone, Pita and Te Ururoa – lead­ers in their own right.

What’s even more fas­ci­nat­ing is that she’s a Maori wo­man and if you know any­thing about our world, it’s not ex­actly the bas­tion of women’s rights.

She is one of this coun­try’s finest lead­ers, rank­ing right up there with He­len Clark in terms of bull de­ter­mi­na­tion, but in my book she’s got a lit­tle more style.

When I sug­gested to her that she was be­ing naive for telling Maori to give their party vote to the Maori Party, I was told in no un­cer­tain terms, but with a smile, that I wasn’t the party’s strate­gist. In other words, mind my own busi­ness.

That’s Tar­i­ana Turia, co-leader and boss of the Maori Party.

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