31 Oct 2010

Apology by Turia to Harawira for insufficient support

7:06 am on 31 October 2010

Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia has apologised for not giving MP Hone Harawira enough support when he made controversial statements about white people last year.

But Mrs Turia also told this weekend's annual meeting at Omahu marae, near Hastings, that the differences with Mr Harawira have damaged the party in the past year.

She says too often the debate has focused on what divides the party, rather than what unites it.

But she says MPs continue to talk and meet as they work to maintain good relationships.

Mr Harawira says he does not have significant differences with his fellow Maori Party MPs.

He says he has opposed them only on three major pieces of legislation - the 90-day bill, GST and the foreshore and seabed bill.

Mr Harawira says he remains opposed to the Marine and Coastal Areas Bill, the replacement legislation for the Foreshore and Seabed Act, and believes most Maori agree with him.