King calls crisis talks
Korotangi Paki in foul-mouthed rantDONNA-LEE BIDDLE AND LIBBY WILSON
The Maori King has called family crisis talks in Ngaruawahia after a new video of his potty-mouthed son emerged on social media.
King Tuheitia has called his second son, 19-year-old Korotangi Paki, home to deal with the fallout from the video.
The video appeared the week after Paki avoided conviction on charges of drink-driving, theft and burglary, and soon after racist slurs were found on his Facebook page.
In the video, posted on the "Send the Maori king's son to jail" Facebook page on Monday, Paki yells that he is the leader of a kapa haka group, as he staggers around and slaps his chest.
Others can be heard in the background of the 25-second film, applauding and cheering.
It's thought to have been shot two years ago after Paki was kicked out of a school kapa haka team for bad behaviour.
The Waikato Times was denied an interview with King Tuheitia or Paki after the video was posted but was told the king was dealing with his son through a family meeting.
"This has turned into a smear campaign," the communications adviser for the king's office, Kirk MacGibbon, said.
"The person who released it [the video] has done it for his own purposes . . . I question the motives of anyone who decides to release a two-year old video of someone who is clearly playing up for the camera. It is despicable and mischievous.
The video was posted when Paki was already hitting headlines after a court appearance.
Last Thursday, he avoided conviction for drink driving, two counts of burglary and one of theft at Auckland District Court.
The charges were from two separate incidents, one of which was early this year when Paki and three other men broke into a property and took surfboards belonging to Whakatane High School.
Judge Philippa Cunningham discharged Paki without conviction but imposed a special condition that he provide the court evidence he did not have an alcohol problem or if he did, that he had addressed it with counselling.
MacGibbon said Paki was trying to move on and was making good progress with a rehabilitation plan.
He was studying towards a degree in art at Gisborne's Tairawhiti Polytechnic and had an interest in carving.
Paki and his co-accused "presented a 3D art-work to Whakatane High School. They apologised to the school and to the teachers for what they did," MacGibbon said.
"These boys did not turn up to court having done nothing. They put in over 100 hours of community activities before the court appearance."
MacGibbon said the voluntary agreement, Mana Tangata Plan, was a way of restoring mana to themselves and their victims and was part of a tikanga Maori approach to "righting the wrongs".
The Labour MP for Hauraki-Waikato, Nanaia Mahuta, said Paki's recent behaviour was "pretty disappointing".
"I very much suspect that in hindsight Korotangi is very, very regretful of his actions" and now had to accept the consequences of some bad choices.
Mahuta was also concerned about reports that Paki's status in Maoridom was used as a defence in court.
"If Korotangi's defence lawyer used his inheritance of a leadership role as a defence, I just don't think that's a tenable defence for anybody."
Former Maori Affairs Minister Dover Samuels said he was concerned with consistency in the justice system.
Many Northland youth had committed lesser crimes than Paki yet received jail time, community service or a fine, he said.
Many Kiwis appear to think that would have been more fitting for Paki.
The "Send the Maori king's son to jail" Facebook page has gained more than 24,000 likes since it was launched six days ago.
Donna-Lee Biddle is a Wintec journalism student.
- Waikato Times