Audrey Young is the New Zealand Herald’s political editor.

Sharples may be in dog box

Photo / NZPA
Photo / NZPA

Maori Affairs Minister and Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples may be in the dog box with his party over internal wars over the leadership.

But he is part of a high-powered Maori contingent in the Prime Minister's trade mission to China and expects to continue his work later this month with a Maori-China hui at Orakei Marae.

The delegation had barely stepped out of their hotel yesterday when Dr Sharples re-opened wounds over his refusal to retire.

He took a broadside at the party council saying it should have sorted it.

Dr Sharples led a Maori trade delegation to China last year and in 2010 for the Shanghai Expo.'

He said there would a Maori-China hui at Orakei later this month aimed at enhancing bonds between Maori and Chinese, especially recent arrivals.

"It's really consumating the fact that China's people have been contributing to New Zealand for 200 years and the new wave has come over.

"We want them to be accepted by the tangata whenua as bona fide New Zealanders.

Dr Sharples said that,Jiang Zhaobai, the president of Shanghai Pengxin, which brought the failed Crafar farms, could well be coming.

Dr Sharples said he had spoken the China Development Bank about the opposition by many in New Zealand to the sale.

"Once we established our credentials and talked about papa tuanuku being your mother - and you don't sell your mother - they clicked."

Among the Maori on the delegation is the Maori Trustee Jamie Tuuta, Ngai Tahu leader Sir Mark Solomon, Sir Wira Gardiner, and the chief executive of Te Puni Kokiri, Michelle Hippolite.

- NZ Herald

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