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Location: Auckland, New Zealand

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Marae disruption alarms Turia

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says Tai Taokerau MP Hone Harawira's mother and sister put on the worst display she has ever seen on a marae.

Titewhai and Hinewhare Harawira kept up a barrage of interjections and insults as the full Maori Party caucus met with about 50 party members and Tai Tokerau elders at Waitangi yesterday to discuss rebuilding the party's infrastructure in the north.

Mrs Turia says it was distressing for many of those at the hui, both old and young.

“When you come from whanau, hapu and iwi where kaupapa and tikanga are incredibly important, it does throw you when you see that sort of behaviour and I was very disappointed because there was no need to try to disrupt the hui. I mean if you believe in your kaupapa, if you believe in what you are doing, you don’t need to try to disrupt someone else's,” she says.

Mrs Turia says she made a mistake to take Hone Harawira's word that he had total support of the branches in Te Taitokerau.

APOLOGY TO MANUHIRI FOR TE TII CHAOS

Meanwhile, Waitangi kaumatua Kingi Taurua is apologising for how visitors at the hui at Te Tii marae were treated.

Mr Taurua says he had considered having Titewhai and Hinewhare Harawira removed for their behaviour, but feared it could lead to greater problems.

“The tikanga was actually blurred. It’s always been our policy, Maori policy, to recognise that any manuhiri come onto the marae, they should be cared for and looked after, and therer was manuhiri there from all over the country to support the Maori Party and I felt sorry for them because they were supposed to be looked after and cared for,” Mr Taurua says.

He says the relatively low turn-out for the hui indicates the Maori Party could struggle to put a dent in Hone Harawira's majority in the seat.

TRIBAL RUGBY TAONGA LOANED FOR WORLD CUP SHOW

Taonga which have been hotly contested for generations by Taranaki Maori rugby players will go on display at New Plymouth's Puke Ariki Museum during the Rugby World Cup.

Coordinator Thomas Katene of Ngati Ruanui says the exhibition is part to the region's celebration of 125 years of rugby.

He says items like the Parihaka Shield, which were handed to curators yesterday, will allow the museum to tell about the flair and strength of the Maori game.

The Rugby World Cup pool games in the province in September will be preceded by a tribal rugby tournament.

TAI TOKERAU RUN A SUICIDE MISSION

Hone Harawira's campaign manager says the Maori Party is on a suicide mission if it contests a election in Te Tai Tokerau.
Matt McCarten says the accord he negotiated when Mr Harawira left the Maori Party was supposed to be mutually beneficial.

He says the Maori Party has more to lose in November's general election by breaking it than does Mr Harawira's new Mana roopu.

“If there was a competitive relationship between Mana and the Maori Party, Hone would keep his seat, Tariana (Turia) would probably keep her seat and everyone else would go down so they’re certainly on a suicide mission in their decision of last night, that’s for sure,” Mr McCarten says.

He says Labour will be the beneficiary of a split Maori vote.

FAULT WITH HARAWIRA FOR DEAL BREAKING

But Maori Party president Pem Bird says it's Hone Harawira who will break the agreement if he forces a by-election.

Mr Bird says it's clear from yesterday's hui in Waitangi and west Auckland that members want the Maori Party to rebuild in the electorate ... and they want the option of standing a candidate.

“The context for the relationship with Hone was for the 2011 general elections. A by-election is not a general election. The p[arty machine is ready to move as soon as Tai Tokerau signal their aspirations, we will be here to support that,” Mr Bird says.

RAUKUMARA RUCKUS BEST STRATEGY FOR DRILLERS

Greens co-leader Meteria Turia is welcoming news Petrobras has ended its seismic survey in the Raukumara Basin.

A spokesperson for the Brazilian oil giant confirmed the company wound up activities on Friday after completing the full survey it intended.

Ms Turei says Te Whanau a Apanui, Ngati Porou and Greenpeace did a great job of letting the company know it was not welcome in East Coast waters.

“The idea of making this country a very unpalatable and hostile environment for these guys to operate is I think the right strategy. Protesting when they‘re here, causing this ruckus when they’re here for the public to see and hear makes it very difficult for the company to feel like they’ve got a social contract to mine,” she says.

Ms Turei says the fight now shifts to the Canturbury coast where US explorer Anadarko wants to drill in deep water.

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