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Political Expediency Has Overtaken Principle, Says Email Target

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

Wellington, Nov 25 NZPA - Hone Harawira staying on with the Maori Party is a case of principle being sacrificed to political expediency, says the man who got the MP's expletive filled email.

Mr Harawira will have to apologise to the nation if he is stay in the Maori Party, co-leader Pita Sharples said yesterday.

Mr Harawira has spent nearly two weeks time in his Tai Tokerau electorate talking to elders and others about his future, after being asked to consider leaving by party leaders.

A decision on his future is to be made at a hui on Sunday.

The Maori Party took action following an abusive email he sent while defending an unauthorised trip to Paris while on parliamentary business last month.

In it he told former Waitangi Tribunal director Buddy Mikaere: "White motherf...kers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit?"

He invited him to go to the media with the email, which Mr Mikaere did.

Mr Mikaere told Radio New Zealand the issue had now gone far beyond the possible misuse of taxpayer funds, or the use of bad language, to what Maori and Pakeha feel about each other.

"There is a question of principle over political expediency, I think," he said.

"Keeping the door open is clearly less damaging than what they indicated earlier, which was that he should resign from the party and become an independent."

Unless Mr Harawira made a clear and unequivocal statement of apology, he should resign.

It would be hard for relationships between Maori and Pakeha to advance, when someone with such negative views held a political platform, Mr Mikaere said.

He has had no contact from Mr Harawira, since the email.

Dr Sharples said yesterday 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."

Mr Harawira admitted in his weekly column in the Northland Age yesterday he had made some major mistakes.

"I have got aways to go before I can get back on my horse and a lot of ground to cover to rebuild broken alliances. But these are the times when you really see who your friends are."

However, he also 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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