October 16, 2012
Apology needed from Labour for Tuhoe raids
Maori Party co-leader Tariana Turia says members of the former Labour Government need to apologise for their role in the police raids in Te Urewera five years ago.
Mrs Turia says it's clear now that a great injustice was done, not just to jailed Tuhoe activist Tame Iti and his companions but to the community of Ruatoki and the iwi.
She says it highlights the need for proper oversight of the police, and is still cause for shame.
"The government of the day should definitely be hanging its head in shame rather than continuing to pretend that they have the answers to everything that is going on in our lives today. They made a diabolical mistake, the Labour government, and they need to own up and admit that," she says.
Mrs Turia says the way the police responded to the camps Iti was running in the Ruatoki valley, including their exclusion of iwi liaison officers from the investigation, was a prime example of institutional racism.
Annette King, Labour's police minister at the time, said in the Government of the day had absolutely no involvement in the operation, and it was only informed in advance because it was the first operation under the new suppression of terrorism act.