The cops will turn up real fast if you ding a car – but where were they when Hone’s office was shot at?

"I suppose it will be like this all the time if I lose my driving licence."

“I suppose it will be like this all the time if I lose my driving licence.”

Some ungracious bastards will think it’s a shame Hone Harawira has survived unscathed after losing control of his car south of the Mangamuka Gorge.

Alf does not share this uncharitable view because he has been deeply steeped in the teachings of The Bible and has been conditioned by his religious upbringing to love his fellow man, although he might yield to temptation on occasion and say unkind things about lefties and greenies who don’t have to do too much to provoke him.

Alf further recognises that Hone is an indigenous person and therefore is entitled to special treatment, which should include special treatment from law-enforcement officers.

It seems he has been given special treatment, but not the sort that makes him happy.

Or rather, Hone reckons enforcement officers’ response rates differ, depending on whether he is a complainant or the driver of a crashed car.

The cops have been diligent – and quick – to talk to Hone about how he and a rental car finished up wrapped around a tree.

They have been somewhat tardy, however, in contacting him after he alerted them to some gun-happy going-on in the Far North.

And so according to this report:

Te Tai Tokerau MP Hone Harawira survived unscathed when he lost control of his car south of the Mangamuka Gorge, but he was more upset by the police response, saying they weren’t as swift at getting in touch with him when his office was shot at six weeks ago.

First, the accident:

Mr Harawira, the Te Tai Tokerau MP and Mana Movement leader, crashed on Thursday evening and was still waiting to see if he would be facing any charges.

And:

According to police the rental car driven by Mr Harawira left the road, hit a small metal dump, was “propelled” over some trees and landed on its roof, about a metre from the river. The car, which was described by police as damaged beyond repair, was still there when the police arrived but there was no sign of Mr Harawira or anyone else.

Mr Harawira said he accepted that he had been fortunate. The car had finally been stopped by a tree, he said, adding that it would otherwise have ended up in the river, which was running high.

And:

Normal practice for police is to visit the parties involved in a crash as soon as practicable, so police went to his home yesterday morning. Inquiries were continuing.

Now let’s look at the matter of Hone’s office being shot at.

“I took that very seriously. I reported it to the police, and you know what? I haven’t seen one cop. I haven’t even had a phone call, although a couple of messages were left,” he said.

“Then I have an accident and the police are all over me. They’re ringing me and my wife, making arrangements with my wife, while I’m asleep, to talk to me. Now (Friday morning) they’re coming to see me.

“Apparently I’m likely to be charged with careless driving. So what’s going on here? My office gets shot up and no one comes to see me, no one tells me what’s going on. Then I crash a car and they’re rushing to talk to me. Where have they been for the last six weeks?”

A Police spokeswoman has said that, in hindsight, the cops should have contacted Mr Harawira directly at the time.

But does he seriously have a genuine grouch?

Police said on June 27 police received a phone call from a staff member at Mr Harawira’s electorate office stating that an office window had been damaged.

Within an hour of that call local police visited the office and found three small shatter holes that appeared to have come from a slug gun fired from the road.

“There was no one at the office at the time, so police visited the staff member at her home address and spoke to her. The next day police went back to the office to conduct a full scene examination,” the spokeswoman said.

“The police received advice from Mr Harawira’s office that the best way to get hold of him was to text him and he would respond. Police have done so and are awaiting a response.”

They now have a response.

Delivered through the news media.

That’s Hone’s fascinating way of handling this sort of thing.

As to whether he will be prosecuted over the matter of the pranged car, he might take some comfort from the experience of that splendid exemplar for Maori leaders, the King in Waiting (who has a flair for getting into a bit of mischief while he waits, in much the same fashion as his British royal equivalents have done over the centuries).

Young Korotangi Paki got off without a stain on his reputation – not according to court records, anyway – after appearing before a kindly judge who was anxious a bit of burglarly and boozed driving should not be an impediment to any ambition he might harbouor to be the next Maori king.

He was discharged without conviction.

This leniency got the media in something of a tizz, but hey.

They don’t understand what it’s like, being a Maori prince, and anyway he did not get special treatment.

Check this out in the Waikato Times:

The Maori King Tuheitia took aim at sensationalist news and his son’s trial by social media in his annual state of the Maori nation speech as Koroneihana celebrations came to a close.

The king spoke publicly about the treatment his second eldest son, Korotangi Paki, received after he was discharged without conviction on charges including burglary and drink driving in the Auckland District Court in July.

Speaking in te reo Maori in front of more than 2000 people, including 26 international diplomats who crammed into Turangawaewae Marae in Ngaruawahia, Tuheitia said the media circus that followed Judge Philippa Cunningham’s ruling dogged his family.

In a written translation provided to media, Tuheitia said reports were ”sensational and factually wrong”.

”Most think that I used a false excuse to get him off or that because he was my son, he was treated differently. This is not true.”

The king’s spokesman, Tukoroirangi Morgan, has been earning his keep too by complaining that the outraged expressed on on social media and personal abuse were a direct attack on the Kingitanga movement.

But:

”There are thousands of Pakeha students and students from other races who get off every week,” he said. ”Those who attend premier universities around the country, those who are sons and daughter of doctors and lawyers who are discharged without conviction and yet when it comes to the son of the king, there is a polarisation. It is unjust.”

Hone is sure to take heart from this.

If students can get off, and if the offspring of doctors and lawywers can get off, there’s got to be a damned good chance an MP can get off.

Mind you, being an MP didn’t do Banksie any favours when it came to the crunch.

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