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Ed Sheeran

Harawira's Ngāpuhi parliament sideshow to economic empowerment

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Regional Economic Development Minister Shane Jones says while former MP Hone Harawira’s call for a Ngāpuhi parliament is well intentioned, it’s not the answer to the social and economic woes of the north.

He says there may well be a need for a central forum rather than allowing the iwi to fragment, and Mr Harawira’s idea seems to be based on the Kotahitanga movement of the 1890s.

That’s when leaders like Raniera Wharerau, Pene Taui and Hamiora Mangakahia took the Treaty of Waitangi around the country and got people to sign a kirihipi or parchment pledging unity.

"I accept the tradition he's basing it on, the kirihipi, is not unreasonable but I am a retail politician, 18 months to the next election, and I am driven to see economic empowerment and I don't have the mandate to run around finding money to establish a Ngāpuhi parliament," Mr Jones says.



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