Hone Harawira has escaped being expelled from the Maori Party, but is likely to be told to publicly apologise for the inflammatory words he used in an email and for visiting Paris instead of staying with an official delegation in Brussels.

The MP is also unlikely to be given any more official international travel assignments by his party this parliamentary term.

His final fate will not be known until after senior Maori Party figures go to Kaitaia this week to meet his electorate organisation.

But Mr Harawira has told party president Whatarangi Winiata he wishes to remain with the party. And after meeting him over the weekend, Professor Winiata said there was also no question of the party ejecting him.

"It would be foolish to go that way, and we won't be booting him out."

Professor Winiata said the party was not focusing on punishment. But it is likely to expect Mr Harawira to publicly account for his actions.

Professor Winiata said the MP's "angry response" to an email from Buddy Mikaere questioning the Paris trip was not justified and was contrary to Maori Party principles.

"We acknowledge the severity of this situation - the hurt that has been caused by Mr Harawira's outburst - and we seek to remedy this, relying on the expression of kaupapa tuku iho [inherited values] as a foundation for all that the party does," he said.

In the email, Mr Harawira questioned whether Mr Mikaere was buying into "that white man bullshit" and said "white motherf***ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries."

Professor Winiata said Mr Harawira's hot-headedness was a recurring problem.

"There isn't any doubt about his intellectual ability, it's just his ability to express ideas well and his energy.

"I don't think punishment is where we should focus. He has so much talent, and we have to shape the politician out of that."

He said the party had asked Mr Harawira to "consider a number of actions which we hope will address the offence that has been caused".

Mr Harawira would not comment yesterday.

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres has ruled out investigating the email, saying Mr Harawira was exercising his freedom of opinion.

It is understood the Maori Party received at least 150 emails complaining about his comments and that co-leader Tariana Turia has responded to each one with an apology

Mrs Turia has criticised Mr Harawira for going sightseeing in Paris. The incident follows one in 2007 when he left an official visit to Melbourne and went to Alice Springs.

He appears now to have ruined his chances for further overseas travel on behalf of the party.

Prime Minister John Key said on TVNZ's Q+A programme yesterday that Mr Harawira's email comments were offensive, and he believed there was "a tinge" of racism in them.

He said Mr Harawira had always been a "shock-jock MP".

"He says things which are sometimes completely outrageous. People generally speaking don't mind that, except when they sort of cross the line, and this one - it got over the line."

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres also called for an apology, and suggested on Radio New Zealand this morning that Mr Harawira deliver that in Parliament.

The Maori Party leaders are also likely to take into account the work Mr Harawira has done since the party entered its support arrangement with National.

Despite Mr Harawira's discomfort with the arrangement, he has involved himself in it, including holding hui nationwide on the Maori flag and the Foreshore and Seabed Act.