I read about the ‘lone’ protestor at Waitangi today on stuff.co.nz this afternoon. He is Wikitana Popata, nephew of MP Hone Harawira. I read that he took to a megaphone and claimed that John Key is the author of all that is wrong in Maoridom, here is what he said of John Key in a post protest interview…
“Many of my people still live off our rivers in Aotearoa, he is the one responsible for murdering and killing a lot of our people.”
“He is the one responsible for mining throughout Aotearoa.”
“He is the one responsible for stealing our foreshore, for stealing our land.”
“He is the one responsible for the injustice to my people.”
For video you can visit stuff.co.nz
Of course NZ knows that this is not the case, however we live in a free and democratic society where we have the right to air and voice our opinions even if most of us would disagree with them. In fact we probably should be encouraged to voice our opinions more often. Most of us would be more comfortable with a more ‘sanitary’ version perhaps than what we saw today…however I think that is the point of today’s protest.
I then read that Hone Harawira has told reporters that he was proud of his nephew for standing up for what they believe in and voicing their beliefs in the only way young people know how to do.
Fair enough, I thought, he hasn’t gone as far as to back the content of the protest in full, he has just said that he was proud that his nephew was passionate enough about a topic to make his views known.
Then I was watching OneNews tonight and I saw that they spun this story to imply that Hone Harawira is fully in support of what was said.
Jessica Mutch on voiceover “Hone Harawira’s chances of uniting with Labour or National are slim when he says things like this about Wikitana Popata protesting against the Prime Minister, “I was quite proud of the protest actually”
I think TVNZ has stitched up Hone Harawira, but is it an innocent mistake, or is there some malice here? Either way they portrayed Hone Harawira’s statement without the context that I read on stuff.co.nz this afternoon.
Now the truth is that Hone Harawira may agree entirely with what his nephew was saying, but that’s not how it has been reported (except by TVNZ). He picked his words carefully, even to the point of not wanting to comment on what was said because he wasn’t there and, according to numerous media sources including the ODT, didn’t hear everything that was said.
So why did TVNZ imply that he supported what his nephew had said?
Was it poor journalism? Was it a genuine mistake? Was it context that wasn’t shown in the Stuff article?
Or is it that we are wanting a villain in this election year? Winston Peters turned out to be the villain last time around with the debacle around Owen Glen, and you have to admit, Hone fits that mould pretty easily.
For me I think that Hone Harawira is not playing a smart hand right now, I don’t mean to offend or incite by that comment, I just think when you’re on the inside you can make a difference without losing your mana or compromising your principles. The people of Te Tai Tokerau love Hone, and if he chooses to run in the upcoming election he will be there next term. I just wonder how he will forward the cause of his constituents by standing on the outside throwing stones at those on the inside.