Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says his ‘N-word’ slur was never directed at his former Maori Party colleagues.
The outspoken MP made headlines for a Facebook post inferring the Maori Party were the Prime Minister’s “house n***ers”.
"Time John Key realised a few home truths like (1) he can tell his little house n****rs what to do, but (2) the rest of us don't give a shit for him or his opinions!" he wrote.
The comments came after Maori Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia initially said they were unlikely to attend a nationwide hui on water rights.
Speaking on Campbell Live tonight, Mr Harawira denies his comments were directed at the pair.
“I didn’t call anyone a house n***er, I’m challenging John Key in the way in which he’s treating his Maori MPs. He’s treating them that way and I don’t think he should.”
Mr Harawira says Mr Shaples and Ms Turia should have been given a choice on attending the hui.
He says all Maori MPs have “mana in their own right” and should not have to follow the Government.
Mr Harawira says he doesn’t regret his choice of words.
“If people don’t want me to use a phrase from Alabama from back in the 1950s, maybe they should say to the prime minister ‘stop acting like a plantation owner from Alabama in the 1950s’.”
Mr Sharples office told 3 News this afternoon he is now looking to attend the hui, a move Mr Harawira is claiming credit for.
“I’m glad that this has actually forced Pita to say he’s going to come, I’ll enjoy him being there. I’ll just say to Turi I never accused her of being that, and I don’t think she should read into it anymore then what was actually in the email.”
“It was a criticism of John Key’s actions and I think that he should resile from them”
Watch the full interview.