11 Feb 2011

Harawira begins road trip to meet with constituents

4:21 pm on 11 February 2011

Suspended Maori Party MP Hone Harawira has begun a series of meetings with constituents from Auckland to Kaitaia.

The MP for Te Tai Tokerau was the subject of a party disciplinary hearing on Wednesday after party whip Te Ururoa Flavell formally complained about the MP's criticism of the party's direction and its relationship with the National Government.

Mr Harawira started on Friday with a hui in Waitakere and another on Auckland's North Shore, before heading north for similar meetings in Whangarei, Kaikohe and Kaitaia.

The Maori Party has agreed to let the electorate committee reconsider its response to the complaint against Mr Harawira, after the committee initially dismissed it as baseless.

Te Tai Tokerau electorate chair Lisa McNabb says the aim of Mr Harawira's road trip is to report back to his constituents on what happened at the disciplinary hearing and get their feedback.

Ms McNab says Mr Harawira will address the final hui of the day at Te Patu marae near Kaitaia at 6pm.

Party clarifies MPs' presence at hearing

The Maori Party says it wants to clarify decisions made at a formal hearing in Wellington to look into the complaint.

The party's disputes committee chair, Te Orohi Paul, says none of the Maori Party MPs were present at the preliminary meeting and were instead in a separate room to support Mr Flavell.

Ms Paul says the committee approved a request by Mr Harawira and his wife Hilda Harawira for more time over the weekend to discuss matters with the Tai Tokerau electorate.

Ms Paul says that was approved on condition Mr Harawira report back to her on the outcome.

The disciplinary hearing will resume early next week.