Christchurch Press journalist Martin Van Beynen has run several stories on left activists who have requested and received their security files from the SIS.
A few interesting facts have emerged including a possibly significant tit bit on recently retired Labour Cabinet Minister Marian Hobbs.
Ms Hobbs has described this connection as a mere “flirtation” in the 1970s but elsewhere has admitted joining the party in 1975 and leaving in 1982.
The Communist Party of New Zealand in 1975, was a tiny sect paying homage to the memory of Stalin and Mao. In 1977/78, the CPNZ broke with China and transferred its allegiance to Enver Hoxha’s Albania. Marian Hobbs was no moderate Eurocommunist, she was a Maoist, a Stalinist and a Hoxhaite.
Like all her comrades Ms Hobbs was very active in protests against the 1981 Springbok Tour. According to the Christchurch Press of the 14th July 2001, Ms Hobbs was a member of a secretive inner cell which spent months preparing the ground for the Springboks arrival.
Hobbs took on the role of Halt All Racist Tours medical aid team co-ordinator and as an official in Christchurch’s Coalition Against the Tour. She was arrested several times, including once for the occupation of the Christchurch National Party offices in Lichfield St. She was teaching my wife at Mairehau High School at the time.
Ms Hobbs credits the violence she saw in 1981 with her decision to leave the Communist Party the following year. She claims it brought home to her, the implications in human terms of a real revolution.
Soon after ostensibly leaving the Communist Party Hobbs returned to Labour, in which she had been active as a young Maoist university student in the late ’60s.
Labour’s constitution bans members of other parties belonging to the Labour Party. This was routinely violated by the Workers Communist League and especially the pro-Soviet Socialist Unity Party which infiltrated Labour at every level.
Usually however, the Communist Party (during its Hoxhaite stage) avoided Labour like the plague.
Martin Van Beynen reports in the Press of January 28th of an SIS informers report of a Christchurch Communist Party meeting. The “need to get Marian Lesley Hobbs to pledge $10” was allegedly discussed.
Significantly, Van Beynen claims that his meeting took place in 1986-four years after Ms Hobbs claims to have left the Communist Party and while I believe she was active in Labour.
“Pledging”, within communist parties usually refers to the weekly or monthly “tithe” that most party members pay to the organisation.
Was Marian Hobbs a Hoxhaite for longer than she has previously admitted?
When did Marian Hobbs stop being a communist-either in fact, or in philosophy?
Has Marian Hobbs been dishonest about a key part of her political history?
Perhaps one of my readers who knows Ms Hobbs personally could forward this post to her for comment.
I’m happy to publish her reply.