"How many times in my lifetime am I going to get to Europe? So I thought, 'F*** it, I'm off. I'm off to Paris'," he said yesterday."Who can blame him for wanting to do "The Big OE", many Kiwis do it. But, at the tax payer's expense during these times of economic hardship, rising unemployment and wage freezes?
In the first six months of the year Mr Harawira's travelling expenses totalled $67,000 dollars (well above the median wage of around $41,000) He's been called "one of Parliament's most prolific travellers". He also advocated strongly the joys of hitch-hiking around his electorate in order to "cut costs".
The proverbial really hit the fan a few days later when Hone sent a racially charged email to Buddy Mikaere, a former director of the Waitangi Tribunal, a Maori historian and cultural consultant in reply to Mr Mikaere's question about who had paid for his wife Hilda:
""Gotta ask the question eh? who's paying for Hilda?"
Mr Harawira replied
"Gee Buddy, do you believe that white man bullsh** too do you?
"White motherfu**ers have been raping our lands and ripping us off for centuries and all of a sudden you want me to play along with their puritanical bullshit."
Mr Harawira then went on to say how much time and energy he put into fighting for Maori and what a big role his wife Hilda played in that.
"And quite frankly I don't give a shit what you or anyone else thinks about it. OK?"
Mr Harawira later apologised for the language used in his message, but not for the sentiment. He has been asked to pay back around $1,000 for the trip.
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