Tariana Turia — the boss lady
“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.