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'Goff should be shot' - Harawira's latest gaffe

Tuesday 10 Nov 2009 2:20 p.m.

Hone Harawira called Labour Leader Phil Goff a 'bastard' and said he should be 'shot' (NZPA)

Hone Harawira called Labour Leader Phil Goff a 'bastard' and said he should be 'shot' (NZPA)

Labour Leader Phil Goff has brushed off comments from Maori Party MP Hone Harawira, in which the beleaguered politician said Mr Goff should be "shot" for his party's foreshore and seabed legislation.
 
Mr Harawira had just apologised on Radio Waatea for calling white people motherf...ers this morning, when he called Mr Goff a bastard.
 

"Actually I am about to hammer Labour again about Phil Goff telling me I should be suspended from politics. The cheek of the bastard," he said.

"If I should be suspended for swearing, him and his mates should be lined up against a wall and shot," he said.

"I'm saying to Phil Goff `beware mate, beware before you start throwing stones'."
 
Mr Goff has dismissed the criticism - and says the New Zealand public deserve contrition for his trip to Paris - when he should have been at a Brussels meeting.
 
"It is a silly comment. I can't take that sort of thing seriously, but what the public of New Zealand are looking for was an apology, an apology for ripping off the taxpayer, an apology for abusing people in racist and obscene language," Mr Goff said.
 
"There is no contrition there, he is proud of ripping the taxpayer off and he genuinely believes that white people are to blame for all of his problems."
 
Mr Goff said he did not think his father would appreciate him being called a bastard, but the shooting comment was stupid.
 
"I have been abused by better people than Hone."

Mr Harawira’s remarks followed an apology in which Mr Harawira said sorry for his language, but not his message, in a controversial email sent to former Waitangi Tribunal director Buddy Mikaere.

Mr Mikaere wrote to Mr Harawira over his decision to leave Brussels, where he was visiting as part of a parliamentary delegation, and take his wife to Paris for the day.

Mr Harawira responded: "White motherf...ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit."

The Maori Party leadership, Prime Minister John Key, and Race Relations Commissioner Joris de Bres were among those who have called for an apology.

A spokesman for Mr Key said; "he accepts he has apologised and in the end it's for New Zealanders to judge the issue".

He was not going to critique the apology.

Regarding the new attack on Mr Goff he said; "that's a debating matter he might wish to take up with the Labour Party".

Mr Harawira said sorry for his "poor choice of words" and the offence they caused.

He should have instead referred to what European colonisers had done, the MP for Te Tai Tokerau said.

He accepted his language had damaged his party, Maori-Pakeha relations and he apologised for demeaning women.

The controversy had damaged his credibility and he would be doing "serious bridge building" with his caucus, who he also apologised to.

Mr Harawira was "pissed off" by the email and reacted.

"I suspect if I had said something like `European colonisers have been responsible for the loss of more than 63 million acres of Maori land over the past 150 years, and it is inappropriate that you should be holding me to standards set by people with such little regard for Maori land and Maori custom,' it wouldn't have rated a mention at all in the media."

However the language had caused an unwanted reaction; "and for that I do apologise".

The comments were not an attack against all Pakeha, he said, but had been taken that way.

"... and that's caused a lot of damage to my own credibility throughout the Te Tai Tokerau and throughout Aotearoa as well."

The MP said he was not a racist "Hone doesn't hate Pakehas. Hone's part Pakeha," he said.

He said had received racist taunts over his comments.

"Others just ring up and say `wish you were dead you black bastard' and `you black mofo' and the rest of it really just goes on the shelf."

Mr Harawira admitted he could have handled the decision to go to Paris better but had been open about what he had done and had not tried to hide the trip.

He denied telling party co-leader Tariana Turia the reason he missed the meeting was because he was ill, he was ill on his return and that had caused confusion.

Mr Harawira was asked about his party leadership which he said he was comfortable with and said he had no aspirations in that direction.

"One of the reasons why is I am a flashpoint kind of guy, leadership requires a measure of diplomacy and a measure of tact, and a willingness to negotiate, grinding your teeth even while you are negotiating, and I just don't think I am suited."

The party had achieved things that an individual could not, including securing a repeal of the foreshore and seabed legislation.

But he admitted having problems being in a support arrangement with the Government.

"I am uncomfortable with it. I am uncomfortable with it because I think they are going really really hard on some things which I think are impacting adversely on our people."

NZPA / RadioLIVE

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