Monday, October 27, 2014
Mike Butler: Harawira’s murky past
The link between Harawira and Patrick Rivers, who goes by the name Mangu Awarau, one of Mr Harawira's closest friends, is the latest in a line of murky links with the former politician ousted in the September 20 general election.
Awarau spoke at Mr Harawira's election night function, just days after being charged with raping a girl younger than 12. Awarau has pleaded not guilty to three sex offences.
Leaked parliamentary documents show Awarau is one of three men hired by Harawira who have either been convicted of, or ended up accused of sexual offence charges.
The records show Daniel Taylor, a Kaitaia businessman and a Child, Youth and Family caregiver who is in jail for grooming young boys for sex, was hired by Mana in December 2010 and was jailed in November 2013.
Harawira also employed his brother Arthur who spent time in jail for violent offences, including a sexual attack charge laid in 2008, through Parliamentary Services.
Three News noted that because Harawira didn't respond to repeated requests for comment, there's no way of knowing what he knew about the charges, when he knew, or what he did about it.
In 1979 Harawira was part of He Taua, which confronted drunken University of Auckland engineering students who performed a parody of the "Ka Mate" haka. The group including Harawira assaulted them with baseball bats and hoses, resulting in several broken bones.(2)
Hone Harawira stood in the 2005 general election as the Maori Party candidate for the seat of Te Tai Tokerau and was elected to Parliament.
On a parliamentary trip to Europe in 2009, Hawawira did a bit of personal sightseeing in Paris. Upon his return was asked to repay some travel costs after skipping a conference in Brussels to go. In a subsequent email exchange with Buddy Mikaere (a former director of the Waitangi Tribunal), who had criticised Harawira's actions, Harawira lashed out, saying "Gee Buddy, do you believe that white man bull**** too do you? White motherf***ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit....And, quite frankly, I don't give a shit what you or anyone else thinks about it. OK?". Mikaere released the email. (3)
Harawira has caused a controversy in 2010 by saying in a weekend newspaper interview he would not feel comfortable if one of his children had a Pakeha partner. (4)
This prompted Harawira's relative, Ngapuhi elder David Rankin, who said "Remember Hone, your grandfather was a Pakeha", adding that Harawira's original name was Hone Hatfield.
Harawira left the Maori Party on February 23, 2011, after a complaint by colleague Te Ururoa Flavell and after the party's disciplinary committee recommended Harawira’s expulsion.
His resignation followed the Maori Party's support for the National Party over the Foreshore and Seabed issue. Harawira missed the vote for the crucial second reading of the legislation which replaced the Foreshore and Seabed Act.
Harawira told Te Karere that the actions of Al Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden were those of "a man who fought for the rights, the land and the freedom of his people" and that people should not be damning him but mourn him. United States forces killed bin Laden on May 2, 2011.(5)
Harawira announced the formation of the Mana Party on April 30, 2011. He resigned from Parliament and won the resulting by-election with a majority of 1117.
Harawira returned to Parliament on July 14, 2011, but was removed by Speaker Lockwood Smith for not pledging the required oath of allegiance. He returned on August 2, affirming the oath in Maori.
Hone Harawira was returned to Parliament as the Member for Te Tai Tokerau at the November 2011 general election. One year later his private member's bill to provide free breakfast and lunches for all children in decile 1 and 2 schools was drawn from the ballot.
Harawira made the mistake of his life in the run-up to the 2014 general election, by joining forces with German internet millionaire Kim Dotcom's Internet Party. A moment of truth left him blinking at the camera on the night of September 20, 2014, when Labour’s Kelvin Davis took Te Tai Tokerau and Internet Mana attracted only 26,539 votes, a share of 1.26 percent.
A recount requested by Harawira left him further behind, with Dais winning by 743 votes. (6)
Harawira racked up expense claims of $54,000 in the three months before he lost his seat, at the top of the list for claims filed between July 1 and September 30. Second was Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell on $35,277. Independent MP Brendan Horan, who lost his seat, spent more than $25,000.(7)
His mother Titewhai is an activist with a long history of turning February 6 each year into race-hate day. In 1998, Mrs Turia was at Te Tii marae at Waitangi with then Labour leader Helen Clark on Waitangi Day when Mrs Harawira reduced the then Labour leader to tears over her being allowed to speak. (8)
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia said she was sickened by "psychological abuse" meted out to her and others by MP Hone Harawira's mother and sister Mrs Turia at a hui at Te Tii Marae in 2011. Turia said the entire meeting was disrupted from 10am to 2pm. "It was just terrible. It was the whole hui. It wasn't just two minutes. It was shouting, abusing, swearing, singing loud over the top of people." (9)
Titewhai Harawira's most infamous moment was a nine-month jail sentence for assaulting patients at her Whare Paia Maori mental health unit in Auckland in 1989. (10)
Other Harawira rellies have been in trouble with the law. A nephew of Hone Harawira was on bail for a home invasion in which a 12-year-old boy was bashed and robbed when he took part in an aggravated robbery. (11)
Following a four-day jury trial at Auckland District Court, Enesi Zane Brooks Taito and his brother Tohara Harawira were convicted of aggravated robbery and a third man was convicted of assaulting two witnesses.
Taito, 26, was on bail at the time for a home invasion after he and his brother, Mau Harawira, attacked a boy in his Auckland home. Taito was convicted for injuring with intent to injure in that case.
1. Harawira hired sex offenders with taxpayer money, http://www.3news.co.nz/nznews/harawira-hired-sex-offenders-with-taxpayer-money-2014102318#ixzz3Gwvj6Ad2
2. Tahana, Yvonne (2 May 2009). "Haka brawl rivals unite to remember". The New Zealand Herald.
3. Harawira's white tirade 'deeply offensive'. Stuff.co.nz. 6 November 2009.
4. Harawira scolded by Ngapuhi elder, http://www.nbr.co.nz/article/harawira-scolded-ngapuhi-elder-127449
5. "NZ MP hails Osama as freedom fighter". Geo Television Network. 2011-05-05.
6. Electoral Commission, http://www.electionresults.govt.nz/electionresults_2014/electorate-69.html
7. Harawira's last big spend-up, http://www.msn.com/en-nz/news/other/harawiras-last-big-spend-up/ar-BBaFATm
8. Titewhai Harawira Educates A Nation, http://www.scoop.co.nz/stories/HL0001/S00045.htm
9. Harawira pair's abuse sickens Turia, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=10724322
10. Maori mental health unit shuts door to new patients, http://www.nzherald.co.nz/nz/news/article.cfm?c_id=1&objectid=232971
11. Can someone do a family tree, http://www.kiwiblog.co.nz/2013/07/can_someone_do_a_family_tree.html
at 9:12 AM