The Labour Party kindly allowed Hone Harawira to use one of its allocated speaking spots in the second reading debate. Hone was the 9th of twelve speakers in the debate. And then a funny thing happened, as the Herald reports:
The second reading of the bill to replace the Foreshore and Seabed Act has passed through Parliament and former Maori Party MP Hone Harawira wasn't there to vote against it - despite the bill being the reason for him leaving his party.
Mr Harawira had an agreement with the Greens that they would vote for him when he was not in the house, but the party only put on record eight votes, and it has nine MPs.
The second reading of the bill passed 62 votes to 56.
Mr Harawira quit the Maori Party last month amid disciplinary action against him over his outspoken criticism of the legislation that replaces the Foreshore and Seabed Act and his complaints about the Maori Party's relationship with the Government.
Oh dear. Oh dear! Hone went for a hikoi after his speech, and wasn;t there for the vote against the legislation he some vehemently opposes. This was after he said this:
"With all my heart and soul I beg the Maori Party to recognise the fact that they have been sold down the river by the National Party and to accept the reality that they occupy a cold and lonely place in the hearts and minds of their people," he said.
"This is racist legislation and thousands will walk away from the Maori Party."
Unfortunately for Hone, the only person walking away today was Hone Harawira; walking away from his job; walking away from his chance to register a protest vote, and walking away from his principles. Hone Harawira is now the poor man's Gordon Copeland!