A sorry, sorry, sorry state of affairs

By Yvonne Tahana

It was a sorry, sorry, sorry day for Hone Harawira.

The Maori Party MP apologised three times yesterday - first on Willie Jackson's Waatea programme, then mid-afternoon on Radio Live for language used in the email reply to former party supporter Buddy Mikaere, who questioned who had paid for Mr Harawira's wife's trip to Paris.

By the time Mr Harawira arrived at Auckland University's Waipapa Marae in the afternoon, where he fronted a media conference, he had contrition - Hone-style - down pat.

First apologise "unreservedly" and sincerely for the harm caused by the expletive-ridden email, singling out women who were demeaned by the use of the word "motherf***ers," the damage done to his party, and Pakeha people with whom he'd worked.

But don't give an inch for calls to apologise to Phil Goff who he'd called a "bastard" earlier and who he reckoned should be lined up and shot with the rest of the Labour Party for passage of the Foreshore and Seabed law.

"I think it's important to realise that while I'm prepared to acknowledge the things I've done wrong, I'm not prepared to sit down and shut up and take that kind of rubbish from another politician."

Mr Mikaere shouldn't expect any special apology from the Te Tai Tokerau MP either.

"For what? Buddy's taken whatever step he's needed to take and good on him."

He only paused when asked what his wife Hilda, a formidable Maori activist in her own right, thought of the email. Was she angry?

"Ah. We love one another, love conquers all."

Mum Titewhai Harawira was also there, looked after by Mr Harawira's sister Raina, and his daughter Ngahuia.

Mrs Harawira called the day a "sideshow" which detracted from other work the Maori Party had going on.

Did she accept that this particular circus was caused by her son?

"He was responsible for pressing the button and sending it to someone. But he said nothing that was any different from what academics have said, aside from the language."

At the back of the marae, a supporter called out that he wanted to hear about Paris. It was "great", Mr Harawira reckoned, but it's a city and an issue you can bet co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples can't wait to see the back of.

- NZ Herald

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