Statement from Dr Pita Sharples, Co-leader of the Maori Party
“The Maori Party acts with integrity, and honours undertakings we give. It disturbs me that Hone would outright lie about the circumstances surrounding his vote on the Taxation Bill in 2010 (the legislation which brought in a rise in GST)".
“I recall the events of that time very clearly. We undertook to give the National Party our support on matters of confidence and supply, as part of our post-election agreement.
“I made it quite clear to Hone Harawira that our undertaking bound all Maori Party MPs to support the budget legislation which included the rise in the rate of GST, even though we did not agree with the policy and spoke against it publicly.
“The morning the legislation was due in the House (20 May 2010) I went to his office and told Hone that if he wanted to vote against the legislation raising GST, he would have to do so in person when the vote was called in the House.
“Instead Hone chose to leave the Parliamentary complex, to make himself unavailable, so he did not vote on the legislation at all.
“Hone’s statement to Te Karere, that I advised him to leave the House, is completely untrue. It is also untrue that Hone voted against raising GST – he was not present to cast a vote,” said Dr Sharples.