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Thursday, April 28, 2011

MPs cashing in on quake - Harawira

MPs cashing in on quake - Harawira

Last updated 05:00 28/04/2011
Politicians have been "cashing in" on Christchurch since the February earthquake, Hone Harawira says.

The independent MP met about 10 supporters at the Rehua marae in St Albans last night as part of a South Island trip.

He has held similar meetings in Invercargill and Dunedin ahead of an expected party launch this weekend.

It was Harawira's first visit to Christchurch since the quake. "I got a call to come down and have a chat to some of the people, just a private korero, so I'm happy to come down," he said.

"If there's anything they think I can do to help I'm happy to do so, rather than just sit up in the North Island and make a fuss about it."

The former Maori Party MP was surprised at the level of support for him in the South Island.

"I'm getting huge support actually, quite surprising, from non-Maori, and a lot of it's because I just don't think that they buy [Labour leader] Phil Goff as the champion of the poor and the champion of the oppressed and they're looking for somebody who will stand up and fight for their rights as well."

He was coy on competing with the Maori Party, despite rumours his former colleagues were sounding out candidates for his Te Tai Tokerau seat.

"I would find that difficult because I don't believe that Maori want to see us fighting against one another."

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