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Harawira accused of Mugabe-style politics

Published: 9:58PM Tuesday August 03, 2010 Source: ONE News

Outspoken MP Hone Harawira has reignited the race debate but this time his comments have landed him in hot water with his own tribe.

Harawira has made some bold statements in the past but now a relative is calling for him focus on things that matter.
 
Ngapuhi elder David Rankin is a cousin of Harawira, from the same tribe and hapu, but told TV ONE's Close Up programme he is disgusted at Harawira's latest statement.

Harawira said over the weekend he would not feel comfortable with one of his seven children dating a Pakeha.

The MP claims Pakeha would have exactly the same view if their child walked in the front door with someone who was Maori.

"I wouldn't feel comfortable. Like all Pakehas would be happy with their daughters coming home with a Maori boy? The answer is they wouldn't," he said.

"I'd like to talk to my cousin and say 'Hone pull your head in, we sent you to parliament to speak on our behalf but not to behave like an idiot," said Rankin. "Get rid of that chip on your shoulder because you must remember, Hone, your grandfather was a Pakeha'."

Rankin said he is sick of Harawira playing the race card every time he wants to "create a smoke screen for other issues".

This month is an important month with the introduction of the Foreshore and Seabed Bill and Rankin said Maoridom is looking closely to Harawira to see where he stands.

He also said he would like to take up his issues with him but "every time I open my mouth Hone seems to disappear".

He accused the Te Tai Tokerau MP of practising a style of  "Robert Mugabe politics, what good does it do to Maori?"

Rankin said if a Pakeha said they were uncomfortable with their children dating Maori there would be a "hikoi down on Queen Street" but "Hone can say whatever he likes and no one gives a stuff".

He said Harawira needs to follow examples like Pita Sharples, who behaves and acts like a statesman.

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