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Harawira Blames Media For Uproar Over Racist Comments

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Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira

Wellington, Jan 31 NZPA - Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is blaming the media for the uproar last year over his racially offensive comments, and says he wasn't close to being expelled from caucus because of it.

Mr Harawira referred to "white motherf.....s" in an email defending his trip to Paris while on a parliamentary visit to Europe.

At one point party leaders asked him to quit but relented after Mr Harawira received strong support from his electorate.

Interviewed by Paul Holmes today on TV One's Q&A programme, Mr Harawira said it had been "hell to go through" but as a politician he had to live with the media.

"It was the media...you and I know that people say those kinds of things," he told Holmes.

"I know a person who spent five years and 100,000 words and got a PhD for saying basically what I said in 10 words."

Mr Harawira said he had apologised for the language he used in the email and it was time to move on.

Asked how close he came to being kicked out of the caucus, which would have forced him to become an independent MP, he replied: "Not very close at all, actually. "When it all came out at the end of the day, when they took it to the party, the party said `we want that man in'."

Mr Harawira said party leaders now accepted him for the activist he was always going to be.

"We have to try and manage the differences we have within our caucus...we certainly aren't in a position just to only speak with one voice all of the time."

Asked whether he believed white people had caused all Maori's problems, Mr Harawira said that in 1810 Maori had 66 million acres and in 1910 they had three million.

"Something's gone wrong there, we didn't just give it all away."

Mr Harawira said his party disagreed with some of the Government's policies but he thought John Key was doing "a wonderful job" as prime minister.

Asked whether he liked being in bed with National, he replied: "I wake up a lot."

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