(Source | NZ Herald) Maori Party MP Te Ururoa Flavell’s responds to Hone Harawira’s public comments on the party.
* On the Marine and Coastal Area Bill.
Harawira: “The Marine and Coastal Area Bill does not reflect the hopes and dreams of the Maori people of the Maori Party.
Flavell: Said Harawira was closely involved in forming the bill but had contributed little and had not raised concerns before pulling his support the night it was introduced to Parliament. Hone had also admitted he had not read the bill: “When something is wrong you know it because you can feel it in your bones.”
* On the coalition with the National Party:
Harawira: “We have been swallowed up by the National juggernaut, we are seen as merely the Maori face of a government that is hurting Maori people.”
Flavell: E kii kii [is that so?]. This is the same Hone who agreed to go into the agreement, was willing to accept a ministerial [place] next to that same group, has worked with those people for the last two years, acknowledges the gains made.
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* On the suppression of Hone:
Harawira: “I think what they are trying to do is crush dissent on the foreshore and seabed, I think that what they are trying to do is demand that all members of the Maori Party nod when the leaders speak.” Radio NZ
Flavell: “Hone’s views have never been suppressed. How could they be? He has taken every advantage to ensure his views are not suppressed. The leadership have never in the current term censured any of Hone’s releases. But that’s not what Hone says.”
* On a voice for Maori:
Harawira: “If I go quiet who carries the Maori flag in Parliament, who takes those Maori issues to the edge, who speaks from the hearts and minds of the ordinary Maori? I’m not trying to bignote myself here, but that’s just how it is, that’s my role.” (Parliament)
Flavell: This looks like bignoting to me. What have I been doing here for the last four years with him, Tariana, Pita and Rahui at my side? It is Team Hone alone that works for our people: there is the put down. I reject that absolutely.”
* On the direction of the Maori Party:
Harawira: “No matter where I go, I am told that the Maori Party is coming off the rails, usually accompanied with a comment I should keep speaking out because none of my mates are.” (Sunday Star Times)
Flavell: Hone has been a part of the movement from the start…If the party is in fact off the rails, then that surely is a reflection of his lack of input or a rejection of his input. That is not the picture Hone paints.
* On the disciplinary process:
Harawira: Maori is supposed to be the basis of our party, but it seems that some people will happily ditch the kaupapa for a Pakeha process whenever a problem crops up. (to media).
Flavell: Hone developed this process, so we should assume it has a kaupapa Maori feel to it. But even if he has a part in it, if it does not suit him, we apparently do not follow kaupapa Maori.”