Hone Harawira is defending his decision to leave a Parliamentary visit to Melbourne and "go walkabout" in the Australian Outback.
The Maori Party MP is under fire for leaving the justice and electoral select committee two days into its week-long trip to Victoria to study election finance law and victims' rights.
On Wednesday, he flew to northern Australia, where he described the Federal Government's intervention in Aboriginal communities as racist.
Mr Harawira told the Herald from Alice Springs yesterday he had gone to the Northern Territory to discuss indigenous issues with Aboriginal groups.
He met tribal authorities and was last night accompanying patrols to Aboriginal camps.
"I want to see the other side of the rabbit-proof fence," he said.
He has criticised the Australian Government's emergency legislation to intervene in Northern Territory Aboriginal communities to try to stop sexual abuse of children.
"I wanted to discuss the racist piece of legislation that no one out here has been consulted on," he said.
Mr Harawira told the ABC on Wednesday he wanted to highlight what he described as a racist military invasion by the Australian Government. He also accused the Labor opposition of political cowardice.
His comments came a month after he labelled Australian Prime Minister John Howard a "racist bastard" because of the radical policies.
He said on Australian radio yesterday that Mr Howard had introduced into the Northern Territory a level of racism previously unseen in the South Pacific.
Mr Harawira said he had been invited to the Northern Territory "at the last minute" by an Aboriginal council.
He had paid for the flights to Alice Springs, which were bought before he left New Zealand, but said he did not make up his mind to go until Wednesday.
Mr Harawira told the select committee members on Tuesday night.
"They said 'well, have a good think about it Hone'."
Mr Harawira said he based his decision on what he believed to be right and "not the politics of anyone in Wellington".
He thought it particularly appropriate because yesterday was the International Day of the World's Indigenous People.
Mr Harawira said he was not worried about how his trip was seen in New Zealand, and he had no regrets.
He said in television interviews last night he did not care if the Speaker Margaret Wilson "docks my pay".
Ms Wilson told Parliament yesterday the Clerk of the House's office would look into Mr Harawira's trip and once its report was completed "suitable action" would be taken.
New Zealand First MP Ron Marks had asked how Mr Harawira was able to "go AWOL" while on select committee business.
He said Mr Harawira had unleashed a "tirade of abuse" on Australian authorities while there were child abuse issues in New Zealand that needed to be addressed.
There were financial implications as his trip to Melbourne was paid for by Parliament, and it raised questions of how select committee members should operate, Mr Marks said.
The select committee chairwoman, Labour MP Lynne Pillay, said from Melbourne she asked Mr Harawira to stay with the group but he had felt strongly that he wanted to go.
Ms Pillay was disappointed to learn the return airfare to Alice Springs was bought before Mr Harawira left New Zealand.
But she said Mr Harawira had been "really constructive" and a good member of the committee in Melbourne.
The select committee was already down in numbers because three National MPs boycotted the trip, saying it was a junket.
Ms Pillay had had to explain to the Australians why those MPs were not present, which was "a little unfortunate".
She then had to tell them that Mr Harawira had "gone up north", which was "not a biggie".
Prime Minister Helen Clark declined to comment on Mr Harawira's actions despite his first outburst against Mr Howard prompting her to last month warn New Zealand politicians against commenting on Australia's domestic affairs.
Labour MPs Dover Samuels and Shane Jones yesterday criticised Mr Harawira for making a scene in Australia when Maori had social problems in New Zealand.
Mr Samuels accused Mr Harawira of hypocrisy.
"He wants to come home instead of going over there badmouthing what Australia is doing," he said. "He should be worrying about his own back yard and how Maori are treating their mokopuna."
Maori Party co-leaders Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples declined to comment.