Mana Party leader Hone Harawira says his “house ni***r” comment on Facebook yesterday led to the Maori Party’s u-turn on attending a hui on water ownership.
Despite admitting his choice of words was questionable, Mr Harawira is claiming victory for convincing Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples to attend.
Dr Sharples’ office confirmed he is likely to attend the Maori King’s hui on water ownership being held next Thursday.
This is despite fellow co-leader Tariana Turia previously saying she didn’t see any point in her party going because it's for iwi.
Mr Harawira says his “nigger” comment got the ball rolling which led to the change.
“Not my [Facebook] post but certainly the reaction to my post,” he told Firstline’s Rachel Smalley.
“After my criticism, the very next morning, Pita Sharples says ‘we haven’t met to decide yet’ and by yesterday afternoon, he’d decided he was coming.”
He says another commentator has called the Maori Party ‘stupid’ for not going to the hui.
“The criticism has been overwhelming against the Maori Party for refusing [to go].”
Mr Harawira says his choice of words was questionable and he should have given it more thought.
“But I wanted to get the message out there in a way that anybody could understand it.”
“We have to be a lot more mature about the words we use in society,” he says.