Mana Party leader Hone Harawira is defending his reaction and use of robust language at a political forum in Auckland this week.[image:2004:third:right]
Mr Harawira accused the Maori Party of "bullshit tactics" after finding it had put up the MP Te Ururoa Flavell to speak at the meeting instead of its by-election candidate for Te Tai Tokerau, Solomon Tipene.
The forum was organised for the three main Te Tai Tokerau candidates to talk about their education policies.
Mr Tipene pulled out after being admitted to hospital.
Mr Harawira says he was given no notice of the switch, and did not know Mr Tipene was in hospital.[image:2295:third:right]
He says that when he found out he sent him a text message and spoke to him the next morning.
Mr Harawira says the word "bullshit" is so commonly used it can't be seriously considered swearing.
However Mr Tipene says he is disgusted at the incident and believes Mr Harawira should apologise to the meeting organisers and guests.
He says he could not appear because he had been admitted to Whangarei Hospital overnight with a stomach bug he has been battling for about a week.
Mr Tipene says he has been treated with intravenous antibiotics and is now feeling better.
On Thursday, Hone Harawira, Solomon Tipene and Labour candidate Kelvin Davis spoke at a forum on leadership in a sometimes jovial debate in Whangarei.
The polls open at 9am on Saturday.