After starting yesterday in attack mode Hone Harawira ended up with a different story which contradicted earlier statements.
This is what he has said on Facebook and via media, in time sequence, starting late on Wednesday night:
(as at 6am Friday so posted about 7am Thursday 6 September)
Next he was reported on NewstalkZB (after a radio interview):
Hone Harawira denies he called other Maori MPs ‘house niggers’.
But he now disputes the phrase was directed at other MPs saying journalists can’t make the assumption and name people that they think he is talking about.
Mr Harawira says he’s not going to play that game.
Instead he says his comment was a challenge to John Key.
Harawira said “he can tell his little house niggers what to do” and then only referred to Maori Party MPs Tariana Turia and Pita Sharples by name in his comments. When he says “journalists can’t make the assumption and name people that they think he is talking about” they don’t need to make assumptions, he made the comments.
And another report, in Stuff on Thursday afternoon:
Mana Party leader Hone Harawira was talking about National’s Maori MPs when he referred to Prime Minister John Key’s “little house niggers”, he says.
Harawira was responding to Key’s refusal to let National MPs attend a hui on water rights to be hosted by the Maori King, next week.
Harawira took to Facebook and said they would likely have to go, or at least send the party’s third MP Te Ururoa.
“What’s the bet that Tari and Pete cop so much flak from Maori for saying that they’re not going to the hui on water – that they find some reason to change their mind and say they’re gonna go now (or send Te Ururoa). Knowing how the Maori Party works, they’ll have to clear it with John Key first though,” he wrote.
“Time John Key realised a few home truths like (1) he can tell his little house niggers what to do, but (2) the rest of us don’t give a shit for him or his opinions!”
Harawira told Stuffthat the later comment was not a reference to Turia and Sharples.
“What’s that got to do with Tari and Pete?”
He said he was referring to National’s own Maori MPs; such as Paula Bennett, Tau Henare, Simon Bridges, Hekia Parata.
“You’ve got to be careful about trying to draw dots here… I made a very clear statement about John Key and the way that he treats his MPs.”
In his Facebook comments he did refer “his Maori MPs” but he then referred solely to Maori Party MPs, and no mention at all of National MPs. So his Stuff claim is very clearly at odds with this.
Then he was interviewed on Campbell Live and his story had changed some more.
Speaking on Campbell Live tonight, Mr Harawira denies his comments were directed at the pair.
“I didn’t call anyone a house n***er, I’m challenging John Key in the way in which he’s treating his Maori MPs. He’s treating them that way and I don’t think he should.”
Mr Harawira says Mr Sharples and Ms Turia should have been given a choice on attending the hui.
He clearly did refer to MPs as house niggers. He then refers to ‘his Maori MPs’ and then goes on to name Sharples and Turia again.
He says all Maori MPs have “mana in their own right” and should not have to follow the Government.
Mr Harawira says he doesn’t regret his choice of words.
“If people don’t want me to use a phrase from Alabama from back in the 1950s, maybe they should say to the prime minister ‘stop acting like a plantation owner from Alabama in the 1950s’.”
That’s a bizarre anology with no connection to the issue or to New Zealand.
Mr Sharples office told 3 News this afternoon he is now looking to attend the hui, a move Mr Harawira is claiming credit for.
“I’m glad that this has actually forced Pita to say he’s going to come, I’ll enjoy him being there. I’ll just say to Turi I never accused her of being that, and I don’t think she should read into it anymore then what was actually in the email.”
So again he claimed he wasn’t referring to Maori Party MPs, but claims credit for having “forced Pita to say he’s going to come”. That clearly indicates his intent to target the Maori Party MPs.
“It was a criticism of John Key’s actions and I think that he should resile from them”
John Key is out of the country so can’t respond, as Harawira knows.
Harawira made outlandish and inflammatory statements – his Facebook page is now available again minus the ‘house nigger’ comment. He then made a contradictory retreat, refusing to take responsibility for his abuse and diviseness.
UPDATE: Harawira on Frontline
Once again he referred to National’s Maori MPs and then immediately went on to talk about Sharples and Turia. He doesn’t seem to differentiate from both as John key’s MPs.
He acted surprised the ‘nigger’ would be viewed as offensive and tried to downplay it’s offensiveness by saying someone said fuck on ‘The Block’ last night.
He has to know how offensive and attention seeking the use of ‘nigger’ would be. His innocence must be feigned.
He said he may have chosen better words (saying he didn’t have much time to think it through) but doesn’t regret saying what he said.