Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has broken his silence and stuck to his guns, saying there is nothing wrong with his not feeling comfortable with the idea of his children dating Pakeha.

The comments of the Te Tai Tokerau MP caused widespread criticism and prompted calls to the Human Rights Commission.

Prime Minister John Key called them "ridiculous" and even said he would be fine with his children dating Mr Harawira's children, as long as they were happy.

In his regular column in the Northland Age this week, Mr Harawira says it seems "some boorish redneck wants to shove his boot right down my throat" every time he speaks.

"And so it was again last week when I made a comment about how I wouldn't feel comfortable if one of my kids came home with a Pakeha for a date. But what was wrong with that?

"I didn't say I wouldn't let them into my house. Neither did I say I'd stop my kids going out with them.

"All I said was that I wouldn't feel comfortable.

"Truth be known, I've felt uncomfortable with a couple of the Maori guys that my daughters have come home with as well."

Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres, who had previously described Mr Harawira's comments as a reflection of an "unwelcome prejudice", had only one thing to say about the article.

"It would be good if Mr Harawira realised that not everyone who disagrees with him is a 'boorish redneck'."

The commission has received 21 "expressions of concern" about the MP's original comments, including two callers supporting them.

In his article, Mr Harawira says it is perfectly natural for fathers to worry about who their children date.

"How many [dads] haven't raised their eyebrows when their daughters have come home with somebody from a different race? Now be honest here guys."

He says he always knew he would marry a Maori woman, and other Maori were even more selective, marrying someone from their own iwi.

He says Pakeha often feel out of place if they come into contact with Maori or Pacific Island families.

"Maori families have for generations consciously and unconsciously been trying to arrange marriages for their children and their grandchildren with people who 'fit' into their world, and in most cases those arrangements are with people from their own culture. It's not a biggie, and it's not uncommon.

"Enjoy life, folks ... and to all of those who still don't feel comfortable with the partners your kids brought home and ended up marrying and having kids with, just be thankful for the mokopunas."

FAMILY TIES
* Hone Harawira says there is nothing wrong with feeling uncomfortable about his children dating Pakeha.
* The Human Rights Commission has had 21 "expressions of concern" about Mr Harawira's original comments, including two callers supporting Mr Harawira.
* Full article: www.hone.co.nz/?p=515Joris de Bres