Marae best place for TPPA debate says Harawira

By Ripeka Timutimu

Former MP for Te Tai Tokerau Hone Harawira says leave the marae gate at Te Tii open to PM John Key and the government, so the TPPA issue can be debated on their own turf.

Hone Harawira isn't one to shy away from conflict.  He says the marae is the best place for it, "I'm not saying I support them, but I don't think we should be scared to open the gates."

A familiar face at Te Tii, Harawira has challenged a decision to stop the government from going onto Te Tii Marae, if it signs the TPP.

"If you want to hear what someone has to say, then allow them to come and face him then you can respond and give your opinion," explains Harawira.

He says he expects the PM John Key in Waitangi after the signing of the TPP, and if they are allowed onto Te Tii, he isn't sure if his mother Titewhai Harawira will assume her role as caretaker of the Prime Minister once again.

"My mother is getting older, but she still thinks that the gates should remain open," he adds.

So could the job of holding Key's hand remain in the Harawira family?

When asked if he would take the role of his mother's, he replied, "To hold the PM's hand?  If he was thrown off the bridge, yes!  Coming onto the marae, I'll leave that to another."

In three weeks' time we will see if John Key and his colleagues will descend upon Te Tii.