Harawira bin Laden remarks go global

In a statement today, Hone Harawira compared the passing of Osama bin Laden to the demise of Rodney Hide's political career. Photo / Mark Mitchell
In a statement today, Hone Harawira compared the passing of Osama bin Laden to the demise of Rodney Hide's political career. Photo / Mark Mitchell

Hone Harawira's comments hailing Osama bin Laden as a "freedom fighter" have not gone unnoticed overseas, with the story picked up by foreign media.

The former Maori Party MP attracted outrage for comments on Te Karere and Native Affairs, in which he said bin Laden had "pursued independence for his people, his family and his tribe" and he should be mourned, rather than damned.

Harawira has since apologised "for how I expressed myself".

"Using terror for political reasons is never acceptable," Harawira wrote.

The comments, which have been slammed in New Zealand, have now gained traction in media across the world.

Pakistani television Geo World was quick to pick up the story, with the broadcaster's website carrying the headline "NZ MP hails Osama as freedom fighter".

Radio Netherland carried the same story, which was provided by news agency AFP.

Britain's Daily Telegraph reported on Harawira's subsequent apology, as did The Australian.

"A hard-line New Zealand Maori MP has been forced to apologise after provoking outrage by praising Osama bin Laden as a freedom fighter," the Telegraph story began.

- NZ Herald staff

- NZ Herald

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