Sex offenders working for Harawira at taxpayers' expense
Thursday 23 Oct 2014 6:28 p.m.
As Northland faces its latest high-profile sex case, 3 News can reveal the alleged offender had been working for Hone Harawira and paid by the taxpayer.
Leaked Parliamentary documents show he's one of three men hired by Mr Harawira who have either been convicted of, or ended up accused of sexual offence charges.
Patrick Rivers, who goes by the name Mangu Awarau, is one of Mr Harawira's closest friends. He was part of the Internet Mana campaign and spoke at Mr Harawira's election night function, just days after being charged with raping a girl younger than the age of 12.
"There he was on election night standing as the pillar of society giving a mihi, and yet everybody there – the whole community knew – a couple of weeks in advance that he was facing these charges," says Te Tai Tokerau MP Kelvin Davis.
Neither Mr Harawira nor Awarau would talk to 3 News today – they did not reply to questions via email or phone.
Awarau has pleaded not guilty to three sex offences.
The records show Daniel Taylor was also a casual Mana Party staffer. Taylor was a Kaitaia businessman and a Child, Youth and Family caregiver who is in jail for grooming young boys for sex.
The records show he was hired by Mana in December 2010 and was jailed in November 2013.
Again, Mr Harawira refused to confirm when Taylor finished working for the party.
"It's gutless," says Mr Davis. "He needs to man up on this."
Mr Harawira employed his brother Arthur through Parliamentary Services – again with public funds. He's spent time in jail for violent offences, including a sexual attack charge laid in 2008.
"To go and hire people regardless of whether they're family or not who have got a history of sexual or domestic violence is just unacceptable – it's unforgivable," says Mr Davis.
Parliamentary Services and the Speaker are responsible for staff, but they refused to comment.
And because Mr Harawira didn't respond to repeated requests from 3 News, there's no way of knowing what he knew about the charges, when he knew, or what he did about it.