for immediate release: 10am, Thursday 22 May 2008
“When you’re wrong son, you’re wrong. Say sorry and move on.”
“That’s what my mum always told me,” said Maori Party rebel MP Hone Harawira, “so I’m apologising to Judge Adeane, because I was wrong to say what I said about him over his decision to send that tagger to jail.”
“His comments about how defacing public property was culturally offensive, reminded me of an incident from my own past, which had gone on for years.”
“People had lodged complaints of cultural offense, through letters to the management, approaches to Race Relations, and even direct representation to the group concerned. But nothing got done until we put an end to it ourselves. And we nearly ended up in jail for actually doing something about it.”
“So I was really bummed out that society could turn a blind eye for so long to something that had been hurting a lot of people for a long, long time,” said Harawira, “and then applaud when some poor kid gets chucked in jail just for tagging.”
“In hindsight, I should have been clearer about what I said, and directed my comments at the remarks rather than at the judge.”
“So I apologise for my comments, and I do so unconditionally,” said Harawira.
“The Party didn’t tell me to say sorry, and I’m not particularly fussed that my comments may have been in breach of parliament’s rules. My apology is because what I said was wrong.”
“If I get the chance, I’ll pop up to Hawkes Bay and apologise in person, and hopefully have a chat to him about tagging, and what I might be able to do to help solve the problem.