Labour MP Paul Eagle is leading the charge to have Matariki recognised as a public holiday and it could be possible given the review of the Holidays Act.
As the leader of the Mana Party, Hone Harawira has realigned himself with the Māori Party this year to contest the Māori Electorates and will go up against Labour’s incumbent MP and newly elected Deputy Leader Kelvin Davis and Green Party’s Godfrey Rudolph.
Harawira first entered parliament in 2005 under the Māori Party banner until his fall out with the party in 2011.
He went on to establish the Mana Party and won the Te Tai Tokerau by-election in the same year. However his alliance with the Internet Party didn’t sit well with some voters and he lost the Tai Tokerau seat in 2014.
Born in Whangarei and raised in West Auckland, Harawira was educated at St Stephens and lives in the Far North, he also affiliates to Ngāti Hau, Ngāti Wai, Ngāti Hine, Te Aupōuri, Ngāpuhi and Ngāti Whātua.
Over the past 25 years he has run a number of Māori organisations in the North.
He has been involved in the Māori rights movement for the past 40 years, as a member of Nga Tamatoa, during the occupation of Bastion Point and as leader of the Waitangi Action Committee, He Taua, the Patu Squad the Kawariki, and the Foreshore & Seabed Hikoi.
Harawira is married to Hilda Halkyard-Harawira and together they were part of the movement that established Te Kura Kaupapa Māori o Te Rangi Aniwaniwa.
Harawira has seven children and many mokopuna.