Recommended NZ | Guide to Money | Gimme: Competitions - Giveaways

Davis: Harawira's Support Of Attack On Pm Is Appalling

Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media
Kelvin Davis
Kelvin Davis

17 March 2009 - Hone Harawira's attempt to defend the attack on Prime Minister John Key by his nephews is appalling and raises serious questions about his conduct as an MP and the type of role model he is to our rangatahi, says Labour MP Kelvin Davis.

"In a column published by Mr Harawira today, he defends the actions of the Popata brothers who have been charged with assaulting Mr Key at Waitangi and suggests the court should be lenient on the pair. He says 'they ain't angels - but then who is?' and then tries to compare their actions to other protests, such as the 2004 Foreshore and Seabed hikoi.

"There is no comparison whatsoever with the hikoi and what happened at Waitangi this year. One was a peaceful protest where people exercised their democratic rights and another involved an alleged assault on an individual, the Prime Minister no less," says Kelvin Davis.

"Hone's attempt to suggest there is any connection between the two events is both dishonest and sad. Is this what the Tai Tokerau MP is telling our rangatahi?

His column is entitled 'It's all about Whanau'. I doubt his Maori Party colleagues would agree this is what we should encourage our whanau to do. Pita Sharples was himself caught up in the brawl. Surely he doesn't condone such behaviour?

"What does Hone mean when he says 'these are not just any two young men and this was not just any assault' and 'I'm not sure what the ruling of the court will be, but I do hope common sense prevails'? It clearly seems to mean it is OK to assault the Prime Minister. Hone 'it's all about me' Harawira needs to take a serious reality check," said Kelvin Davis.

"His suggestion, reported in the media, that John Key should meet the pair is particularly farcical given what Hone has said. Does he expect John Key to tell them their actions were perfectly acceptable? What does Mr Key say to all this?"

"Hone can't have it both ways. On most days he lectures Pakeha on how they should respect the dignity of Maori protocol, yet at Waitangi he thinks it's cool that something akin to a street brawl involving the Prime Minister, who after all is his boss, takes place," says Kelvin Davis.

"Once again the Waitangi marae has been used as a vehicle for opportunistic, shameful behaviour and cannot assure visitors of safe passage. The Maori Party co-leaders need to make it clear they played no role in this trampling of its mana and they need to disown Hone's comments and behaviour."

All articles and comments on have been submitted by our community of users. Please notify us if you believe an item on this site breaches our community guidelines.