Hone Harawira dismisses 'freedom of choice' as 'white people bullsh*t'

Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has dismissed the concept of "reverse racism" and says the idea of freedom of choice is just "white people bullshit".

The comments came up during a Facebook Live with Newshub's Ryan Bridge, where they discussed the smokefree by 2025 commitment brought in by Mr Harawira.

"I did it to try and help Māori achieve better health," he said.

Mr Harawira denied smoking was an issue of free choice, instead pointing out, as an ex-smoker, that it was an addiction.

"Addiction isn't about choice, addiction is about death... That freedom of choice you're talking about? That's white people bullshit mate," he said.

"Cigarettes has nothing to do with freedom of choice... I used to be a smoker, I tried 10 times to try and stop, but I couldn't do it.

"You fellas always going on about freedom of choice stuff but really, tobacco is an addiction. It's an addiction to make somebody a lot of money while half of my folks are gonna f*cking die from it."

As a Māori Party MP in 2010, Mr Harawira chaired a committee which recommended the Government should aim to eliminate smoking rates by 2025.

But despite Mr Harawira's points, Bridge was unshaken.

"Well I'm full of white people bullshit, so what do I know," Bridge said dryly.

In the interview Mr Harawira also gave a thumbs up to "white people" before appearing perplexed at Bridges' description of "reverse racism" as Māori people receiving "special privileges" over white people.

"Special privileges like a greater level of poverty than anybody else, greater level of unemployment, more incarceration than anybody else, lower level of education, and eviction from state houses. Those kind of privileges you're talking about?" Mr Harawira fired back.

"Without me even talking about it, you've just got to look at the statistics to know that we are in deep shit as a people.

"The fact remains that we are in a bad way in our homeland and we have to do something about that. I want to focus on, I want to do good stuff for our people."

He also gave a thumbs up to both Labour leader Jacinda Ardern and deputy leader Kelvin Davis, despite Bridge pointing out they were competitors in Parliament.

"After all this is over, [Mr Davis]'s still going to be my cousin. That doesn't change," he said.

Watch the full Facebook Live interview below - app and mobile users, click here.