15 Feb 2011

Kapa haka competition takes precedence over complaint

9:10 am on 15 February 2011

The chair of the Maori Party's disciplinary committee says it will be next week at the earliest before the committee will be able to deliberate on a complaint against Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira.

Te Orihi Paul, who is also the party's co-vice president, told Waatea news that the national Te Matatini kapa haka competition must take precedence over the complaint by party whip Te Ururoa Flavell.

The event starts on Thursday. Up to 40,000 people are expected at the three day cultural showcase at the Waiohika Estate, near Gisborne.

Ms Paul says the committee must refer any recommendations to the full council of the Maori Party.

She also believes relations between the party and MP Hone Harawira's Te Tai Tokerau electorate are on the mend.

Ms Paul says party leaders learned to tread warily in the north after their efforts in 2009 to discipline him over an unauthorised trip to Paris and an abusive email exchange with a former Waitangi Tribunal head.

She says the leadership was subjected to a torrent of abuse on the marae in that case.