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Harawira Likely To Come Back, But Face Suspension From Caucus

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Hone Harawira
Hone Harawira

by Maggie Tait of NZPA

Wellington, Nov 24 NZPA - Maori Party MP Hone Harawira is likely to remain in the party but may face a period of suspension from caucus, party co-leader Pita Sharples says.

Mr Harawira has spent time in his Tai Tokerau electorate talking to elders and others about his future after being asked to consider leaving by party leadership following his abusive defence of an unauthorised trip to Paris while on parliamentary business last month.

Dr Sharples said the party would not push out Mr Harawira if he refused to leave and continued to be backed by his electorate.

`No (we would not push him). Quite clearly he's said that he wants to stay."

Dr Sharples denied the party had tried to oust him and had thought he could have remained in Parliament as an effective independent MP.

He said it was likely Mr Harawira would stay.

"It's looking that way. The way his iwi is talking, he's talking and the meetings I've been too."

However, conditions would be imposed.

"Given what's happened of course an apology to New Zealand, (for his) various statements and behaviour would be the minimum," Dr Sharples said.

"If he's going to come back in the party eventually we'd have to be working together as a caucus. We need his expertise and so on."

But there was likely to be a period of suspension.

"That's certainly got to be a possibility that we are going to think about."

Earlier today Mr Harawira issued his weekly newspaper column in which he referred to the "rather astonishing statements from my party's leadership" during his enforced time out.

Dr Sharples said if he meant remarks he and co-leader Tariana Turia made about his behaviour, "he knows he's hard to control, so does his iwi."

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