MANA Movement leader and former Te Taitokerau MP Hone Harawira has accused the Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott of being a 'racist bastard.'
In 2007 as the sitting Te Taitokerau MP, Harawira used the same phrase to describe John Howard the Prime Minister of Australia at the time regarding the implementation of the Northern Territory Intervention. The statement he made in an interview with Māori Television's current affairs show Native Affairs hit international media and the outspoken MP refused to apologise for his comments.
In a statement issued by Harawira today he said he will be joining one of the numerous marches organised today protesting against the closure of Aboriginal communities.
According to Harawira, “Tony Abbot says living in remote communities is a lifestyle choice, but that’s a load of crap. John Key having a batch in Omaha is what you call a lifestyle choice."
Harawira says, "Tony Abbot is a racist bastard for supporting racist policies against a people who are not in a position to fight back."
The Premier of Western Australia, Colin Barnett announced last year that the State would no longer provide funding for a number of remote Aboriginal communities which was supported by Australian Prime Minister Tony Abbott.
The Minister of Māori Development, Te Ururoa Flavell will attend the 2nd Call To Action against the Closure of Aboriginal Communities event organised at Britomart station in Auckland with Tame Iti. Meanwhile the Māori Party co-leader, Marama Fox will be in Melbourne participating in events there. A number of Politicians are expected to attend gatherings around New Zealand.
Te Kāea has made numerous attempts to speak with Prime Minister John Key regarding the impending closure of remote communities and the protest over it, however he has refused to comment.
Requests to interview the Australian Prime MInister Tony Abbott on his visit to New Zealand last month were also declined.