17 Sep 2010

Titewhai Harawira calls on Turia, Sharples to quit

10:01 am on 17 September 2010

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira's mother is calling for the resignation of his Maori Party co-leaders, Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia.

Titewhai Harawira says that under the party's rules, the parliamentary arm should have come back to the membership before agreeing to allow the Marine and Coastal Area Takutai Moana Bill to go before Parliament.

Mrs Harawira told Waatea News that her phone has run hot with support since she made the call on her urban Maori radio show this week.

Former Alliance MP Willie Jackson, now a broadcaster and head of the Manukau Urban Maori Authority, says the Maori Party's support for the bill could come back to bite it.

Mr Jackson told Waatea News Hone Harawira should be congratulated for standing by the party's principles and saying the bill is not the right replacement for the Foreshore and Seabed Act.

He says the party should also heed long-term advisers like Moana Jackson and Annette Sykes, who say it extinguishes customary rights.

Way to go yet, says Sharples

Meanwhile, Dr Sharples is hedging his bets, saying he doesn't think the bill he supported will resolve Maori claims to the foreshore and seabed.

The bill, which was referred to the Maori Affairs Select Committee this week, includes a six-year deadline for lodging claims for customary rights over parts of the coast.

Dr Sharples told Waatea News that his National Government partners are being optimistic if they think that will be the end of it.