MANA Leader Hone Harawira

Kia ora ra

Below is a press statement I tried to post last week but nobody was interested.

This morning I was on The NATION and I said that we should take the importation of “P” more seriously by introducing legislation to either (1) jail Chinese convicted of importing P or the chemicals to make it, for life, or (2) send them back to China with a life ban on their ever returning to this country, or as a last resort (3) execute the bastards for the damage that they are wreaking on our society.

Naturally the media are only interested sensationalising the “Harawira wants to execute Chinese Drug Dealers” line and now the story’s gone viral.

So here’s a little backgrounder to explain where I’m coming from …

When I first went to parliament I wanted to stop tobacco from killing Maori people. I said then that I’d like to put all the Big Tobacco Executives up against the wall and shoot them. That got a lot of airplay but it also put a marker down. From there I lobbied the Health Select Committee (unsuccessfully – too many National MPs in Big Tobacco’s pocket back then). So I refocussed the issue to be an “investigation into the impact of tobacco on MAORI”. We got the proposal shifted across to the Maori Affairs Select Committee, I used all my contacts to build a huge public campaign against tobacco, we got people to turn up at our hearings all around the country, and by the time we got the issue into the house, every MP spoke in favour of Aotearoa becoming Smokefree by 2025 except ACT.

I’ll take the flak about the executing Chinese drug dealers, but if you really want to know where I’m going with all this, read the press release below and then text me. I’m happy to talk, but I’m happier talking to people who understand what I’m on about.


Dear Winston

Sorry for not inviting you to our Fight the ‘P’ Fight Night in Kaitaia.

Maybe if you’d come you’d have understood what we’re trying to do.

You see Winston, over the past couple of years I’ve been to hui and tangi where P has been at the centre of the chaos – people who’d been killed for it, or who’d bashed some poor prick while they were on it, or were on the run from P debts, you name it.

P is a vicious and nasty drug Winston – you know that. It destroys people’s ability to think rationally, it causes massive friction within whanau and it breaks down trust in communities when addicts start lying, stealing, borrowing, bullying, bashing and bludging off those closest to them to feed their habit. And it shows no respect whatsoever for whanaungatanga, or any of the other principles of Maoridom that help keep people safe during tough times.

And even though government splashed out some bucks to deal with the problem, I think you already know that Health Boards hiring more counsellors and Police chiefs hiring more cops won’t change things – I think even they know it’s going to take something different. And as for rehabilitation – well, we got more than 1,000 P heads in the north and we only got 5 rehab beds.

Doing the same thing we’ve always done and expecting a different result is dumb. So we have to do something different Winston. We have to think outside the square – to get the message to different audiences in a different way. We have to change the game plan. And that’s where the idea of a Fight Night came from. It’s not the magic bullet and it isn’t the only game in town, but mate – it sure got noticed – and awareness is the first step in the journey to recovery.

Yeah … I hear your gripe about the Chinese and the gangs being involved in the meth trade. And that’s true. But just saying so won’t stop it.

Making laws to stop the importation of meth from China and the chemicals to make it, is parliament’s job, your job. But nobody down there wants to do anything about it because they’d rather people died here than lose a trade deal with China. Bullshit eh? So what say when I get back, me and you promote a law to execute Chinese convicted of bringing meth or its precursors into Aotearoa? Be a great start mate and your people would love you for it.

And as for gangs, yeah we had gangs there but so what? We had doctors there too, and lawyers, and hospital administrators, and unemployed mums, and high-achievers, and serving army personnel, and criminology students, and teachers, and social workers and campaigners against domestic violence, and community activists, and Pakeha, and Maori, and Pasifika. Hell, we even had politicians there!

Our judges at ringside were the Bishop of the local Mormon Church, a Senior Sergeant from the Kaitaia Police Station and a District Court Judge, and we had a full blown Police Inspector there watching over the whole gig and he seemed quite supportive of what we were trying to do.

The venue was at our local kura Te Rangi Aniwaniwa, the biggest gym in the whole of your electorate Winston. Mind you, Niwa is alcohol and smoke free so you mightn’t have liked it but everybody was really well-behaved.

And as for the fighters – well let me tell you, the president of the local chapter of the Mongrel Mob took the big fight because nobody else wanted to get in the ring with an ex-heavyweight boxer. But he did it, he copped some bombs but he fought hard and he fought to the end. Much respect.

And guess what else Winston? Kaitaia Hospital sponsored all the P test kits and Dr Joel Pirini conducted the tests before the fights, and ALL of our fighters tested 100% P free.

Our fighters were champions for stepping into the ring Winston and we’re proud of them for that. But they are also heroes to a community that has seen its fair share of the damage caused by P and I thank Jason Reti, the Open the Curtain crew, the fighters and everybody else who contributed to making it a great night.

Oh yeah – and the $15,000 that we raised on the night? It’s all going to help develop a park for our kids in Kaitaia West. They deserve it and we aim to make sure they get it.

So I’m sorry you weren’t there Winston, but I ain’t sorry we did it.

Thank you Kaitaia. You were awesome – as usual.