21 Nov 2009

Harawira retains QC over Maori Party request

12:24 pm on 21 November 2009

High-profile lawyer Peter Williams, QC, has confirmed he has taken up the case of controversial Maori Party MP Hone Harawira.

Mr Harawira has been under fire for skipping a day of a 12-day taxpayer-funded trip in Europe to go sightseeing with his wife in Paris, and also used swear words in an email exchange about the trip with a former Waitangi Tribunal director.

On 12 November, the member for Te Tai Tokerau was given a fortnight to consider the Maori Party's request for him to become an independent MP.

Mr Harawira stayed away from the Maori Party's caucus meeting this week, but in his regular newspaper column he restated his intention to stay with the party.

Mr Williams says he has written a letter to the Maori Party outlining his client's situation.

Though reluctant to give further details, Mr Williams says he hopes the matter will defuse and end in a complete reconciliation.

Radio New Zealand understands the issue was discussed at the Maori Party's national council meeting at Otaki, near Wellington, on Saturday.