Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | Video | Questions Of the Day | Search


Ae Marika Column - Hone Harawira

Ae Marika Column - Hone Harawira


I spent most of last week hangin’ out at the Te Rarawa Festival. I missed the Korowai evening, but I heard some awesome stories about the histories of the various cloaks, the pride of the kuia who wore them. A magical night.

I went to the Youth Awards, and was hugely impressed with all the nominees. Confident, mature, intelligent and focused, it was a privilege to mix with young people who have the talent to go far in their world.

I spent a day watching the kapahaka festival with kohanga reo, schools and marae from all round the territory. Young Tuhirangi Ratana from Rangaunu Kohanga Reo was my star of the day, belting out his waiata with all his cousins warbling alongside. But all the groups were good, Te Hapua’s hangi went down a treat, and everyone had a ball.

And then of course, I went to the Ball, where Te Rarawa’s new chairman dignified his first public appearance with a “cheeky” little story from his protest days. It was a wonderful evening, primo kai, good music, and great company.


The other day one of my whanaunga asked me why the Maori Party was talking to National.

I told him that just because two political parties talk doesn’t mean they share the same ideology; in fact it doesn’t even mean that they like each other. I said politics was a numbers game and that if he wanted us to push through our Bill to get the Foreshore back, then he had to accept our getting support from right across the spectrum.

I told him how a few months back, Labour’s Bill to microchip dogs got defeated because the Maori Party opposed it, along with the Greens, the Nats, and a couple of others.

Then not long ago, we voted with the Greens and Labour to oppose National’s 90 day Slavery Bill. That’s the reality of MMP, and the value of building support for different ideas.

In the end, my cousin agreed that we had to do our best to reverse the legislation which took away our customary rights to the foreshore, and denied us our day in court. He also saw that if we wanted to get our Bill to Repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act passed, we would have to other parties, and patch together 61 votes.

And he also realised that if Labour had stolen the Foreshore and Seabed, then we would have to go elsewhere for support to get it back.

Life is about choices, and if you want to get the kutai, you got to get your hands wet.


And while we’re talking about the foreshore and seabed, oyster farmers in the Bay of Islands would have been gutted about losing their $12 million compensation claim against the Far North District Council over the sewerage spill they say contaminated their farms. But no more so than local Maori who have been devastated by the breakdown of the sewerage lines polluting their seashore and poisoning the kaimoana.

I’ve been working with the people of Waitangi for some time now to help get their lines fixed, and it was good to be able to sit down with them and engineers last week to talk about replacement of broken lines was going. The locals aren’t planning on any fireworks until they’re convinced that the pipe replacement will do the job, and that’s a way off yet, but things are looking positive.

“Don’t shit in your own nest” is a message the Council might want to put up in it’s chambers as a reminder of it’s narrow escapes in the Bay, and a notice to future Councils that voters in the North take their seafood and the seashores seriously indeed.


I got the opportunity to come back to Dargaville last week, when I attended a hui out at Ripia Marae, a beautiful spot overlooking the Northern Wairoa.

We got Transit NZ along to talk about the problems with the bridge at Matakohe. People said vehicle speed had increased hugely, traffic was ten times what it used to be, and trucks had gone from TK Bedfords to 45 tonne tankers, but nothing had been done to replace the bridge which was creaky, old, slippery in the wet, and downright dangerous.

Transit’s response was very disappointing “we are here to listen, participate, make contact and work through issues. The bridge is on a ten year plan for consideration to look at”. I’ll be talking to John Carter and Lockwood Smith to see if we can’t put some collective pressure on Transit to do something soon before somebody gets killed.

We also talked about the possible shift of coronary services to Auckland, the impact of the Treaty being taken out of schools, and a whole range of issues about seafood – licensing, permits, confiscation of Kaimoana, and our Bill to Repeal the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

Hone Harawira

Tai Tokerau MP


© Scoop Media

Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Supreme Court: Worksafe Decision On Whittall Pike River Prosecution Unlawful

The question in issue on the appeal was whether WorkSafe New Zealand acted to give effect to an unlawful agreement of this nature when it offered no evidence on charges against Peter William Whittall for breaches of the Health and Safety in Employment Act 1992...

The Supreme Court... has found that the decision to offer no evidence was made under an unlawful agreement to stifle prosecution. It has granted a declaration to that effect. More>>


Cullen To Chair: Tax Working Group Terms Of Reference Announced

Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Revenue Minister Stuart Nash today announced the Terms of Reference for the Tax Working Group and that the Group will be chaired by Sir Michael Cullen. More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The New Pike River Agency (And The Air Strike Wing)

Much of the sympathy the public still feels for the families of the Pike River miners has been sustained by the sense that the previous government – let alone the mining company and the processes of receivership and litigation – has never dealt honestly, or fairly, with them. More>>


Not Going Swimmingly: Contractor Cut, New Dates For Christchurch Sports Centre

“As an incoming Minister, I have been conducting a thorough review of progress on the Anchor projects and to learn of a $75 million budget blowout on this project was very disappointing..." More>>


Tertiary: Allowances, Loan Living Costs To Get Boost

“From 1 January, student allowance base rates and the maximum amount students can borrow for living costs will rise by a net $50 a week,” says Education Minister Chris Hipkins... further adjusted from 1 April 2018 in line with any increase in the CPI. More>>


Foreign Affairs: Patrick Gower Interviews Jacinda Ardern

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern says discussions have already begun on how to bring climate change refugees into New Zealand under a Pacific seasonal employment plan... More>>


Gordon Campbell: On The Centre Right’s Love Of ‘Nanny State’

You’d almost think it was 2005 again. That was a time when the rugged individualists of the centre-right were being beset by government regulations on the nature of light-bulbs, the size of shower heads, the junk food available at school tuck shops and other such essentials... More>>




Featured InfoPages

Opening the Election