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Harawira Suspended from Maori Party Caucus

Statement to media
Tariana Turia and Dr Pita Sharples, Maori Party Co-leaders
Monday 7 February 2011


The Maori Party co-leadership has today suspended Hone Harawira from the parliamentary caucus.

Mr Harawira has failed to show the restraint and discipline expected of a caucus member and the Caucus now has no faith or confidence in him. The suspension remains in force until further notice.

The suspension from caucus comes as a result of Mr Harawira’s behaviour stretching back over the past five years.

It is really unfortunate in the political environment when conflict arises such as we have experienced. In the past we have attempted to follow a kaupapa and tikanga process to no avail. It is for that reason that we looked to the constitution, that Hone helped to shape, to assist us.

Having no regard for the constitution is one thing. It is quite another to have no regard for the kaupapa and tikanga of the party, and that is really what has brought us to this point.

Factions within parties are not new. We are, however, the only party that comprises membership from one end of the spectrum to the other, and that is why we have relied on our tikanga and kaupapa, the foundation principles of the Maori world, as a guide to our behaviour.

Kaupapa Maori place a high value on unity and working together as a collective. We must ensure that “members agree to work together, treat each other with respect and act with integrity in their party work” (manaakitanga).

Differences of opinion are fine, but they should be addressed within the group.
We have always respected the right, and made provision for caucus colleagues to speak out on issues which their constituency presents. We do this, however, always guided by the principle of unity of purpose and direction (kotahitanga).

Ultimately, however, no political movement, divided within itself, can survive.

We have made this decision with heavy hearts. We are especially mindful of the position of Maori Party supporters in Te Tai Tokerau, who will obviously feel loyal to Mr Harawira; but who are also supportive of our kaupapa Maori and the achievements of the Maori Party in Parliament. We want them to know that we have huge respect for the people of Te Tai Tokerau and our commitment to our people remains unwavering.


ENDS

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