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They Put Maori Centre Stage

They Put Maori Centre Stage

MANA Leader and Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira

24 July 2014

"I’m sorry I can’t be at parliament for the valedictory speeches of Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples" said Hone Harawira, MANA Leader and MP for Tai Tokerau, "but I’d like to add my own best wishes as they reach the end of their parliamentary careers."

Harawira said that he’d wanted to be there for the ‘end of an era’ in Maori politics, but he’d been called home to attend the funeral of Whakahoro ‘Sol’ Te Whata, the last serving member of the 28th Maori Battalion’s A Company.

"Coming into Parliament with Pete and Tari in 2005, off the back of the passion and the energy generated from the foreshore and seabed hikoi was an awesome experience, and they were the right pair to lead the Maori Party at that time.”

“Tariana had taken a very strong stand in opposing Labour’s theft of the foreshore and seabed, and I know intimately the stress, anxiety, and deep personal sacrifice she went through before resigning from the Labour Party on a matter of principle.”

“Pete came from a background of positive and innovative urban Maori development and a pioneering role in kapahaka and kura kaupapa, and brought a sense of enthusiasm and joy that is not common in the House.”

“With their different styles they led the Maori Party through some very exhilarating and challenging times, and although the party’s spark has clearly dimmed of late, their leadership has been consistently strong throughout.”

“I will always feel privileged and proud to have stood with them in the formation of the Maori Party."

"I hope they enjoy their new found freedom. Their whanau will welcome it, and they certainly deserve it.”

ENDS

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