It’s disappointing to see Hinewhare Harawira stepping down from an anti-violence campaign following allegations her three sons beat a 12-year-old boy.
These are just allegations, after all, and even if it turns out they can be substantiated – well, that simply will show Hinewhare’s family knows a thing or two about the behaviour she is intending to discourage.
Fair to say, it’s not a permanent stepping down, as we learn here.
Ms Harawira announced her temporary resignation from Te Pataka Ki Waitangi late yesterday.
It is understood she wants to focus on the matter involving her three sons, Mau Harawira, 30, Enesi Zane Taito, 25, and Tohora Harawira, 22.
The men have been charged with the assault of a boy at a Blockhouse Bay property last August.
Mind you, the family are prone to being accused of violent acts, which strongly suggests they are being picked on by people with nothing better to do.
Alf recalls the time (see here) when Hone Harawira was a Maori Party MP who was saying serious charges his brother Arthur was facing, including indecent assault and kidnapping, would not damage the party’s strong anti-violence campaign.
The Tai Tokerau representative has vowed to stand by 50-year-old Arthur Harawira, who was last week released from custody on charges of assault with intent to injure, wounding with intent to injure, indecent assault, kidnapping and avoiding arrest. Suppression orders have been imposed to protect the alleged victim’s identity.
Harawira said last night he felt sorry for the person involved, but Arthur was his brother. “I can’t condone his actions, but neither will I walk away from my …
Obviously Arthur would be in good hands.
Harawira said his brother had been bailed to his mother Titewhai’s Auckland address and she would be of great help.
“No matter how old a Maori fella gets, his mum is always his mum. She is always there for you.”
He was confident his brother would regain his standing in the Ngapuhi community once the charges were dealt with.
Alf must confess he does not know what happened to those charges.
But he does know Arthur popped up not so long ago (see here) as a member of a newly formed group called Fathers against Suicide.
Arthur Harawira of Kaikohe lost his son to suicide in 1996. He aims to reach out to fathers in pain and to work towards suicide prevention.
“I thought 16 years would be long enough. But you never get over it. There are always answers when someone dies in an accident or from an illness but with suicide you don’t get the answers.”
Arthur said the formation of the new group would be worthwhile, even if it can save just one family from the pain that suicide brings.
So does anyone have an unkind thing to say about the Harawiras?
John Tamihere might care to put up his hand at this juncture.
A few years ago, when he was Minister of Maori Affairs in the Clark gang, he had some very unkind things to say (here) in a Dominion Post column.
He was saying Maori get special treatment, or more specifically, the mob up at Te Tii Marae do.
Who else would be allowed to abuse, shove, spit at and throw mud at visitors, (whether or not the prime minister is among the visitors)? From what other group in what place and circumstance would that be OK? Quite frankly it is not OK; it is mob rule.
Why anybody, including politicians, should line up year after year in some bizarre ritual of flagellation at the hands of this mob is beyond me.
Yes, he was banging on about Waitangi Day and the way his boss had been somewhat rudely treated.
Of course the whole undignified spectacle on Thursday was orchestrated from go to whoa. Titewhai Harawira can pretend to be graciously escorting the prime minister on to the marae, but she made damn sure that the prime minister’s party was halted at the door long enough to be exposed to a good long dose of pushing and jostling and threats.
Inside, Titehwai’s son Hone Harawira said he could have stopped the rabble if he wanted to, but told the prime minister and her party (his own guests) that he was “glad you got the bash”. Another son, Arthur Harawira, and daughter Hinewhai Harawira also participated in the intimidation outside.
Tamihere wrapped up his piece by saying personally he had better things to do than to up to Waitangi and there was a fantastic range of Waitangi Day events around the country whose organisers know how to treat guests with the dignity that good manners and protocol demand.
Alf is bound to agree.
But he also trusts that the Harawiras get on with this anti-violence thing. And if they can’t persuade their whanau to give up fisticuffs – well, may he respectfully suggest some people might need good behaviour beaten into them.