BIG NEWS

Friday, November 13, 2009

Split in the Maori Party

updated

WIth reference to this, Maori Party bosses decided several days ago to ask Hone Harawira to leave the Maori Party.This is not just about one trip or the occasional swear word. He will be expelled from the Maori Party unless something changes drastically. He may well resign before he is pushed, and it will be interesting if a decision is made before Parliament resumes on Tuesday, if he resigns from Parliament - and most importantly, how the grass-roots will react.

Roll on the by-election?

Yet the chair of the Maori Party's Te Tai Tokerau electorate committee Rahui Kapa has said she believes Hone Harawira has done nothing wrong. She is on record as saying she thinks it was fine for Harawira to play hookie and go to Paris, because he " did the job". She is alone in the Maori Party leadership on this. When asked on Morning Report if she was " happy that Harawira lied to the party leader and went sightseeing in Paris...when he was paid to do something else", she said "I'm not unhappy". When specifically asked about the lie to Turia in pulling a sickie to go to Paris, she said that Harawira did not lie; instead saying that Turia was "misinformed".

She later said her loyalty was to the Maori Party, adding she did not know if she would follow Harawira if he was to become an independent. There is to be a series of meetings to discuss the proposal for Harawira to stand as an independent MP.

But saying your leader is misinformed is hardly the way to show loyalty to your party. There's kaupapa and tikanga to uphold, here, and Harawira's electorate committee, in supporting Harawira's actions and attitude, is in contrast to the national leadership, who oppose his actions. You can't run a political party effectively when a sizeable proportion has a public stance against party leadership, while defending and denying wrongdoing of their own MP.

The Human Rights Commission has received 721 complaints about Harawira, the most about any issue ever, and nearly twice as many as all complaints recieved last year.

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