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Hapu leader to Harawira: ‘Stay away from Waitangi'

Hapu leader tell Harawiras: ‘Stay away from Waitangi’

In a shock announcement just before Waitangi Day, the leader of the Matarahurahu hapu, David Rankin, has insisted that Hone Harawira, and his mother Titewhai, stay away from Waitangi Day commemorations at Waitangi this year.

‘These people have disgraced the marae, disgraced Waitangi Day, and disgraced New Zealand’, says Mr. Rankin, who is senior to the Harawiras in the hapu. ‘If they are unable to behave themselves, then they are not welcome at Waitangi’, suggests Mr. Rankin, whose ancestor, Hone Heke, was the first chief to sign the Treaty.

Hone Harawira has come in for particular criticism from his hapu leader. ‘Hone needs to understand’, says Mr. Rankin, ‘that he cannot trample on the tikanga of our hapu for petty political gain. If he wants attention, he can get it elsewhere. We are tired of the protests, tired of people being reduced to tears, and tired of how our annual celebrations have been hijacked in this way’.

Asked what will happen if Hone or Titewhai Harawira do turn up at the commemorations this year, Mr. Rankin replied that his electorate will judge him accordingly.


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