4 Apr 2011

Room for two Maori parties, says Harawira

8:29 pm on 4 April 2011

Independent MP Hone Harawira says there is room for two parties representing Maori in politics.

Mr Harawira's supporters in the Te Tai Tokerau electorate have given him the all clear to pursue a new Maori-focused party.

He intends to announce his political intentions at the end of April.

Mr Harawira says he does not want to go to the election being seen as fighting against the Maori Party.

He says there is room for two Maori voices in Parliament, particularly a party that is independent of the big powers such as the National Party.

MP unconcerned at 'nasty' comments

Mr Harawira has asked for feedback on a list of names for the party he is considering setting up and is laughing off comments left on his website that he describes as nasty.

In 2009, Mr Harawira found himself in trouble over a racially-charged and expletive-laden email he sent.

On Monday, many comments posted on his website recalled the words he used in that email.

Examples of suggestions left on the website are The Racist Party and the Anti-Pakeha Party, but many were more offensive.

Mr Harawira says he is not surprised and nasty comments are not unusual.

However, the MP says he chooses not to ban any comments from the website because he wants New Zealanders to see how some people think.