Hone says sorry for outburst at hui

By Yvonne Tahana

Hone Harawira. Photo / Herald on Sunday
Hone Harawira. Photo / Herald on Sunday

Mana candidate Hone Harawira says he's met with Solomon Tipene to clear the air after he accused Mr Solomon's Maori Party of "bulls*** tactics" last night.

Mr Harawira said he came face to face with his fellow Te Tai Tokerau byelection candidate in Whangarei on the campaign trail this morning.

"I told him, look your health is more important than anything else. It was good to see him and for me to have an opportunity to clear away some of the nastiness that comes in when you don't speak kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face)."

Mr Harawira had made the comments at a hui organised by the primary teacher's union NZEI Te Rui Roa, after Mr Tipene sent an apology to say he was in hospital.

Mr Harawira was himself late arriving at the West Auckland venue.

He then he let rip to the audience that he was up against two former teachers - his former Maori Party colleague, Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell who was filling in for Mr Tipene, and Mr Davis.

Mr Tipene was in Whangarei Hospital on antibiotics for a stomach ailment, according to party co-president Ken Mair.

To a stunned crowd, Mr Harawira said Mr Flavell and co-president Pem Bird could have called him to let him know the change of plans.

"I don't like these sort of bulls*** tactics ... It's supposed to be a debate for the candidates... but now I am up against a teacher and a teacher.

Earlier today Maori Party president Ken Mair had called on Mr Harawira to apologise, saying his behaviour was abusive.

"Hone lost the plot and lost sight of last night's kaupapa, which was education, by running down Solomon for not being present.

"Once again, that's the style of Hone," he said. "I was taken back by his rather aggressive style, his swearing. I don't think it's appropriate in this type of forum; in particular in front of children and some of our kuia [senior women]."

Mr Mair was optimistic Mr Tipene would be back on the campaign trail today.

EDUCATION PLANS

What the candidates want:

Labour's Kelvin Davis:
Scrap National Standards. Every Maori child to leave school with NCEA Level 3 or trade training equivalent. Review kohanga reo.

Mana's Hone Harawira:
Sack Kohanga Reo National Trust. Scrap National Standards - they don't work for Maori or Pakeha.

Maori (Solomon Tipene absent):
Devolve kohanga reo to iwi to run. Support National Standards but give teachers support, resources.

- NZ Herald

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