Maori Party should break with National over water rights, but won't – Harawira
The Maori Party should abandon its supply and supply agreement with National over water rights, but won't Hone Harawira says.
The Mana MP compared the situation to the Foreshore and Seabed issue which saw the Maori Party formed amid Maori discontent with Labour (and from which Mr Harawira later broke away).
The National-Maori Party accord has come under fire from both left and right recently. From the right, the water rights claim is seen as a threat to the partial privatisation programme; while critics on the left claim Maori Party MPs have let "the baubles of office" cloud their judgement.
"I think the Maori Party should have walked over the Marina Coastal Area Bill," Mr Harawira said on TVNZ's Q+A programme yesterday in a reference to to the legislation that replaced Labour's Foreshore and Seabed Act last year," Mr Harawira said.
"They should walk over this. They didn’t then; they won’t now."
He added, "Look, you can’t talk about the prime minster’s comments as being corrosive and insulting and inflaming and then stay at the table."
With his comments over the Maori Council's claim on water rights, Prime Minister John Key had insulted the judicial process and attacked the Waitangi Tribunal.
Maori have the opportunity to use the Treaty to provide a lead for New Zealanders to stop the asset sales, Mr Harawira said.
Speaking later on the same programme, fomer Reserve Bank Govenor and ACT leader Don Brash said, "I’m someone who has always supported Treaty settlements – the payment of compensation when property rights have been confiscated or expropriated in some ways, and I still believe that, no matter who’s had their property confiscated.
"But to claim that any one racial group owns the right to water in New Zealand I think is a nonsense."
Mr Key says he will meet with Maori Party co-leaders Pita Sharples and Tariana Turia on water rights this week at a time yet to be scheduled (or at least made public).
Watch Hone Harawira's full interview on Q+A here.