Thursday, November 26, 2009

The Harawira Legacy

That's my boy! GO, son! Stick it to dem honkeys!You may/may not be aware, but Hone Harawira (subject of recent NZ political controversy) is the son of veteran maori activist Titewhai Harawira, regarded by some as one of the most vicious women in New Zealand.
Harawira's notoriety stems from 1989 when she assaulted a psychiatric patient while heading Carrington Hospital's Maori Health Unit: she was convicted and jailed. In 1998 she reduced then-Labour Party leader (future Prime Minister) Helen Clark to tears at the Waitangi small feat! In 2000, she urged a traditional maori punishment for sex criminals - tying flax around the penis and pulling until the appendage was torn off. Two years later, she demanded pakeha (ie: all non-maori) pay rent to live in NZ: presumably she wanted the rent to go to maori.
Ex-MP John Tamihere wrote this piece in February 2004 following yet another Waitangi Day fracas...note how the Harawira clan features actively throughout. Google her name - you'll find all this and more out there in the 'public domain'. She's even mentioned somewhat derisively several times in Hansard (the offical record of the NZ Parliament).
For some interesting background on the family militancy, have a read of this Herald article.
One wonders what's in the Harawira heart, that has raised children to be as radical in their views as their mother. Figure this out, and maybe understand why Hone behaves the way he does.
Recently on Radio New Zealand's Morning Report, Titewhai Harawira said it was ironic her son's email scandal occured on November 5th, the anniversary of the destruction of Te Whiti's Parihaka settlement. She claimed that at Parihaka in 1881, colonial troops "raped the women, cut off their breasts and turned them into tobacco pouches, and murdered their children and men". Refuting this on Maori News, historian Dick Scott - author of Ask That Mountain: The Story of Parihaka (1975) that popularised Te Whiti's story - said her wild atrocity stories had no factual basis. He says Titewhai Harawira knows this, but continues to propagate her fictional version of events. (Interesting to note that two of her warrior chief ancestors fought on the side of the British against another chief, Hone Heke! How does she reconcile that..?)
Now, son, the next stage in the plan is this...In this enlightened age, with more opportunities for all, why do the Harawiras continue to wage a '70s-style campaign, using fabricated propaganda, demanding a return of all land to maori, an expulsion of all white people, control of every beach in the country, and seemingly not giving a damn about simple basic mainstream guidelines for living in and being an effective part of a modern society...?
Hone Harawira seems to have been raised by a woman with warped methodologies and beliefs, who leaves no opportunity untaken to push her radical point. This does not excuse his behaviour or outbursts, but it is little wonder he is such an angry man!
PS - See also my 10 Nov.2009 post about Hone's actions.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So true! So we shouldn't be surprised that three of her grandsons have followed in her footsteps and used violence to cover up their own inadequacies. Hopefully there are still some maori who believe in a more realistic approach to solving their problems.