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Harawira as Independent would acknowledge reality

Thursday, 12 November 2009 5:51 pm
Independent Status would acknowledge reality - Maori Party
Professor Whatarangi Winiata, President 12 November 2009

The Maori Party says its request to Hone Harawira that he take up the opportunity to be an Independent MP simply acknowledges the reality of Mr Harawira's stance as an independent MP for Te Tai Tokerau.

"Hone has said a number of times that he does not give a toss what anyone thinks except the people of Te Taitokerau, and his behaviour over the past couple of weeks has underlined that position," said Party President Professor Whatarangi Winiata.

"If Hone believes he is not accountable to the Maori Party or its leadership, or the Party caucus in Parliament, then clearly he has placed himself outside the party," said Professor Winiata.

"Membership of the Maori Party involves certain disciplines and obligations. Resignation from the party would free Hone from those constraints and allow him to act with the independence which he claims.

"We expect our people to act in accordance with the kaupapa and tikanga of the party, with integrity, respect and consideration for others," said Professor Winiata.

"We require our MPs to work as a team, and Hone clearly has difficulty with this, given his words and deeds, which have had a devastating effect on his colleagues and the party as a whole.

"However Hone has made a significant contribution to the Maori Party over the years. We obviously agree on many policy positions, and we expect to continue to work co-operatively with Hone in the House.

"This situation will cause upset and anxiety for Maori Party supporters in Te Tai Tokerau, who may feel their loyalties to the party and their MP are now conflicted. We assure them that the Party will maintain a presence in the electorate, and we will be in contact in due course.

"This recent time has been profoundly distressing for the Maori Party, for many New Zealanders and inevitably for the wider Harawira whanau.

We are looking for closure to bring with it an opportunity for us all to restore a sense of dignity and to rebuild relationships of trust and mutual respect," said Professor Winiata.


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