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Hone's Buddy not expecting a call

Published: 10:15PM Tuesday November 10, 2009 Source: TVNZ News at 8

The man on the receiving end of an offensive email from Hone Harawira says he is not expecting  a phone call from him any time soon.

But Buddy Mikaere told TVNZ News at 8 the Maori Party MP's partial apology is a step forward.

Mikaere, a former director of the Waitangi Tribunal, a Maori historian and cultural consultant, is concerned Harawira still hasn't explained what he meant when he said he doesn't resile from the sentiments he expressed. However he says he is pleased Harawira has apologised for the language he used as well as offering to repay the money used to fund his trip.

Mikaere has not had a personal apology from Harawira, who he describes as a fairly aggressive politician, and he says he doesn't expect to get one.

Most Maori find it hard to say sorry in circumstances such as this, says Mikaere who has had no contact with Harawira since the original exchange of emails.

Mikaere says the apology leaves uncertainty about what Harawira stands for and uncertainty about what the Maori Party stands for at a time when other Maori leaders are calling for proper  leadership rather than a divisive approach.

While saying the issue has been harmful to race relations in New Zealand, Mikaere says Harawira does appear to be contrite and is attempting to repair some of that damage.

"He needs to go further than he has so far," says Mikaere who defends his decision to go public with the email, saying Harawira had all his contact details if he wanted to address the issue privately.

Mikarere believes Harawira's membership of the Maori Party will be endorsed at a hui and "there will be a new political scandal on the front page next week".