Titewhai Harawira faces a possible ban from Te Tii Marae after being accused of "rancidification of Maori protocols" at a recent Maori Party hui.
In an email to the Herald, seven board members from the lower marae at Waitangi said they were disappointed protocols such as manaakitanga (looking after people and agreeing to disagree), whanaungatanga (strengthening families) and kaitiakitanga (caring for resources or people) were becoming meaningless to "a pocket of Maori people".
Board chairman Te Hapae Ashby and his deputy, Eruera Taurua, were among the board members who wrote:
"Te Tii Waitangi has been the springboard of Maori politics since the year dot and boards of trustees have for a long time accepted that.
"But the behaviour of Titewhai Harawira during a Taitokerau Maori Party hui ... her blatant breach of Maori protocol as a Maori person, the hate tactics being used to create dissension within the Ngapuhi tribe and division with the subtribes, and the taint of her foul language in our house of ancestors, on a marae which is significant to both Maori and Pakeha, is not acceptable."
Titewhai Harawira by all reports behaved abominably at the recent hui at Te Tii, where she, her daughter and others launched a sustained tirade of abuse towards Maori Party members attending the hui, including the party's co-leader Tariana Turia. It's great to see that other elders from the marae have drawn a line in the sand.
And the e-mail comes up with a wonderful new word; at least it's one that we've not heard before - read on:
The Te Tii email said the marae would not be a "dumping ground for personal agendas" any longer.
"The political poncing and resultant rancidification of Maori protocols by bullies who want everything their own way by whatever foul means, are not traits that this particular board would wish to have our children and young adults perceive as being the Ngapuhi way forward.
"The board's priority is to preserve the dignity of the marae and trespass notices will be issued where the board considers it necessary to do so," the trustees wrote.
Korero on marae is often robust, but it is patently obvious to everyone except Titewhai Harawira and her supporters that she stepped over the line at this hui. Congratulations to those who administer Te Tii marae for standing up to Harawira, and for condemning her behaviour.
Will anything change though? Highly unlikely.