Don Brash accused of 'trying to destroy Maori'

MAKING HEADLINES: Hone Harawira's comments have reached Pakistan.
MAKING HEADLINES: Hone Harawira's comments have reached Pakistan.

MP and Mana Party leader Hone Harawira has accused new ACT leader Don Brash of aiming to destroy Maori in a testy television debate.

Harawira again compared Brash to Hitler, echoing comments he first made six years ago.

"The politics you talk about are very much like Hitler's, Don. You target Maori very much like Hitler targetted the Jews. You are aiming to destroy us the same way that others haved done.”

Brash he was "absolutely not" a racist.

"I am not trying to destroy Maori at all," he said.

The two came head to head this evening on TVNZ's Close Up, with the match-up chaired by host Mark Sainsbury.

Harawira launched his new Mana Party at the weekend, while Brash is making a comeback to New Zealand politics.

Brash and Harawira have clashed in the past.

Harawira first compared Brash in 2005 to Hitler, saying: "Hitler had plans for the Jews. Pauline Hanson had similar plans for the Aboriginal people of Australia. Don Brash wants Maori to be subsumed within the larger culture of this country and to become one people."

At the time Brash said he found the comparison "really offensive".

Brash said he would "probably" stand in a seat but hadn't picked one yet.

The Dominion Post