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An End to Harawira-ism

16 September 2003 Media Statement

An End to Harawira-ism

The hijacking of the Northland foreshore and seabed hui by Titewhai Harawira and her associates today was an abuse of all of the North, MPs for Tamaki Makaurau and Te Tai Tokerau, John Tamihere and Dover Samuels said.

The Government delegation decided not to attend the hui, called to consult Maori on the Government proposals over the foreshore and seabed, after they were advised that marae elders could not control protestors, including Mrs Harawira, and it was impossible to continue, the MPs said.

Mr Tamihere and Mr Samuels said intolerable and inappropriate actions by Mrs Harawira and members of her family included attempts to ban Wira Gardiner, appointed to lead the nationwide series of hui, from the marae; a bid to have the MPs enter by the back door rather the front entrance to the marae, and insistence on discussing opposition to Ngawha Prison, rather than the foreshore and seabed.

"They breached every cultural custom under the sun," Mr Tamihere and Mr Samuels said.

"Under no circumstances will we continue to allow our people to be misused and abused by Mrs Harawira any further. This signals very clearly the lack of any ability on Mrs Harawira's part to contribute to the progress of Maori," they said.

"If Mrs Harawira showed as much concern about stopping our people going to prison in the first place, perhaps we would have more faith in her arguments. They know how to disrupt and destroy, but never how to develop."

ENDS

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