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Harawira welcomed back by Maori Party

Published: 9:32AM Wednesday December 02, 2009 Source: ONE News/NZPA

Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is staying with the party despite weeks of speculation he would be ditched.

The rebel MP apologised again on Wednesday for his expletive-laden email but still refuses to say sorry for the sentiment behind it or accept it was racist.

Harawira got into trouble with his party because of an unauthorised trip to Paris while on a parliamentary trip and his racially abusive email in defence of it where he referred to white people as motherf...ers. He has since paid back part of the cost of the trip at the request of Speaker Lockwood Smith.
 
His punishment is an apology and a ticket back North to cool off for the rest of the year.

Read his full apology here. 
 
"I apologise also to those New Zealanders both Maori and Pakeha and particularly women who have been offended by my comments," Harawira says.
 
But there was no apology for saying Phil Goff should be shot for Labour's foreshore and seabed act.
 
"There are a whole range of things people might like me to apologise for ever since I was a child," Harawira says.

And he still does not accept his comments were racist in fact he questions whether Maori can be racist. 

"Racism is based upon the power to impose your racial views on the rest of society, given that I don't have that power as an individual member of parliament it's kind of difficult to assume that my comments are racist," Harawira says.

Goff and Harawira do not see eye to eye on this issue.
 
"Well I'm sorry, racial offence is caused by people of all colours against all groups and all who engage in that sort of treatment need to be treated equally," says Goff.

Party leaders asked Harawira to consider leaving and becoming an independent MP, but he said he was determined to stay in the ranks.

After a series of hui in his electorate, the party caucus met late into Tuesday night to consider what to do. The meeting was not attended by co-leader Tariana Turia, who is recovering from gastric bypass surgery, but the decision to allow Harawira to stay was unanimous, the other co-leader Pita Sharples said.

Allowing Harawira to stay is something of a turn around from the leadership who two weeks ago said he had placed himself outside of the caucus and outside of the party.

On Wednesday Sharples had a change in attitude saying: "What we said is if you are going to keep saying you represent only Tai Tokerau then perhaps that gives you more freedom, and you should look at that option, no one ever kicked him out."

Sharples denied the leadership had backed down in the face of Harawira's refusal to go.

"I think we've handled it our way. We're distinct from any other party in Parliament and I think people have got to realise that," he told reporters in Auckland.

The Maori Party are promising New Zealand will not be seeing anymore of this behaviour from Harawira and he has been sent to cool off in his electorate.

While Harawira will not return to Parliament this year he will be paid as normal.

"It's good value because we listened to our elders and he had two weeks there to talk to and work with his elders and that's got to be great for anybody," says Sharples.

The time out period was not a suspension and the apology was the end of the matter.

"He's a full part of the party, he's back," Sharples says. 
 
Sharples admits that should Harawira's behaviour continue it would make it hard for the party to get gains and it had already caused damage.

"There has been damage, and we will repair this damage, because we've spent four years building bridges and creating goodwill amongst Maori and Pakeha. We will continue doing that."

 Sharples says the process has been difficult.

"It's been quite a traumatic experience for us, too long, it went on a bit long, we admit it could have been handled differently, but nevertheless, it has been handled and we're all pretty happy with it."

To read Hone Harawira's full apology click here.

Do you think the Maori Party has done the right thing is allowing Hone Harawira to return?

 

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  • Expat in Oz said on 2010-01-15 @ 20:46 NZDT: Report abusive post

    Thsi is not aserious question. Of course Hone Harawira's comments were divisive. We have moved on from th days when the Tiriti wasn't honoured. Go anywhere else in the world and you'll fidn out what racism and predjudice really means. It's time Hone was kicked out. He lacks wisdom, man and even commonsense. He's a liability to Maori.

  • Zanziabar said on 2010-01-14 @ 09:39 NZDT: Report abusive post

    @Tipster, If your going to quote history, do it properly. The first settlers here were whalers which are considerably different to convicts My family came from England, But I don't see myself as european, I see myself as a new-zealander, a kiwi and to hear/read his blatant inflammatory remarks is insulting to my family and the families all over new-zealand exactly like myself, that somehow we're not entitled the same rights to this land as the maori. NZ is our home as well.

  • slumbergod said on 2010-01-14 @ 08:05 NZDT: Report abusive post

    How much will it take before people in power realise this clown needs to be removed? You simply cannot have someone so hateful in a govt position. Hitler hated Jews. Hone hates Whites. Get rid of him.

  • WhyILeft said on 2009-12-28 @ 16:25 NZDT: Report abusive post

    He was voted in because he is a racist and an activist. Any white NZer would have been thrown out years ago for such offensive and racist behaviour. He's just another useless ignorant schemer who has been cunning enough to promote his own future at the taxpayers expense.

  • johnharris said on 2009-12-26 @ 17:33 NZDT: Report abusive post

    is the email from pita sharples to carol herchfield real? wea he ways the maoris will never get there land back because they are hori?

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