Harawira remaining 'tight-lipped' over political alliance with Destiny

By Raniera Harrison

Mana Party leader, Hone Harawira's former electoral billboard is still standing loud and proud outside his Kaitāia offices today.

However, the former MP for Te Tai Tokerau wasn't saying whether or not he would be forming a political alliance with the newly announced Coalition NZ, led by Pastor Hannah Tamaki.

Instead, taking a shot at the Minister of Corrections, Kelvin Davis.

"[He's} slandering the Bishop [Brian Tamaki], disrespecting him. But if he [Kelvin Davis] stopped the attacks and looked at the work that Tū Tangata has done - he'd applaud" says Harawira.

Harawira is no stranger to controversy and is standing resolute alongside the Māori prisoner rehabilitation scheme, ManUp run in conjunction with Destiny Church.

The Northland regional coordinator of the initiative says even though Harawira is remaining tight-lipped today, Davis should not get comfortable.

"[Davis] wou'd be naive to think that he's already there. There's a lot of issues especially  in Te Tai Tokerau - they're handing out money left right and centre - but is it the answer?" asks Jay Hepi, Northland regional coordinator of the ManUp programme.

Despite the new party already attracting political jousts, the undeniable fact is that the seat of Te Tai Tokerau will be one hotly contested at next year's General Election.

"Let the people decide who the main man up north will be - other then myself of course" joked Shane Jones, of NZ First today from Parliament over the matter.

Corrections Minister, Kelvin Davis did not take questions from political reporters this afternoon. However, Harawira says his sights are set on more then a return to the Beehive.

"My job here isn't to scare Kelvin, it's to work for my people. Regardless of who the Member of Parliament here is, if it's Kelvin or whoever else for that matter" says Harawira.

It's an interesting time for those involved in ManUp in Northland, who say they have been ignored by Minister Davis - adding that if he chooses so - Harawira might just get another shot through Coalition NZ.

"If he's apart of that Coalition/Mana - he'll get a lot of support from a lot of people" says Hepi.

Whether or not that support is enough to meet the 5% threshold this time around for Harawira, that remains solely with the Te Tai Tokerau constituency.