Maori Party MP Hone Harawira says serious charges his brother is facing, including indecent assault and kidnapping, will not damage the party's strong anti-violence campaign.
The Tai Tokerau representative has vowed to stand by 50-year-old Arthur Harawira, who was last week released from custody on charges of assault with intent to injure, wounding with intent to injure, indecent assault, kidnapping and avoiding arrest. Suppression orders have been imposed to protect the alleged victim's identity.
Harawira said last night he felt sorry for the person involved, but Arthur was his brother. "I can't condone his actions, but neither will I walk away from my family."
The Maori Party has campaigned strongly against violence.
Party co-leader Pita Sharples has spoken of his frustration at the fact Maori are over-represented at all levels of "the violence spectrum", and Harawira has talked about the damage violence causes to whanau and communities.
Last night Harawira said he accepted it wasn't a perfect world.
"We do not set ourselves up to be angels. I don't smoke, I don't drink, I don't do drugs and I don't muck around on my missus but that doesn't mean to say I don't recognise these sorts of things happen," he said.
"I have got a wife who is going to get a PhD. I have been in jail myself, my brother just got out of jail and my daughter is in her final year at law school. The whole world is sort of wrapped up in my family.
"That's just life and you have to deal with it. "
Harawira said his brother had been bailed to his mother Titewhai's Auckland address and she would be of great help.
"No matter how old a Maori fella gets, his mum is always his mum. She is always there for you."
He was confident his brother would regain his standing in the Ngapuhi community once the charges were dealt with.