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Message To The Police Commissioner

MESSAGE TO THE POLICE COMMISSIONER
Hone Harawira, Maori Party MP, Tai Tokerau
Te Renga Paraoa Marae, Whangarei
Friday 30 November 2007

Over the past few days, there has been a flurry of emails between various tribal leaders within the Tai Tokerau, which I intend to read here. I ask that you bear with me while I present these views, for they represent the feelings of those who have been chosen by their iwi to lead.

Commissioner's Panui

A few days ago this Panui was circulated in Te Arawa for their particular hui with the Police Commissioner. Te Arawa refused to meet with Commissioner until such time as the Tuhoe terrorist kafuffle has been sorted. I see by this Panui that the Commissioner wants to meet in Ngapuhi with our people.

Two questions arise; Do we support this hui? or do we ask him to stay away from Ngapuhi until the Tuhoe issue has been settled? Your feedback is important.

1. I support the idea that we ask him to stay away from Ngapuhi until the Tuhoe issue has been settled

2. Tautoko

3. Meina koia tena ko te kaupapa a te Ture, ki te whakararata ia taua mo o ratou raru ki waenganui ia Tuhoe, ka aroha ake kia Tuhoe e noho tahanga mai nei. Ko te korero, kei a taua te Waka nei a Mataatua, tena pea me noho puku, ko te kaupapa e tautoko, e tatari ia Tuhoe. Noho ora mai.

4. I'd like to say to the police commissioner what Te Arawa said to him but if the hui goes ahead it needs to be stated loud and clear Ngapuhi’s position in regards to Tuhoe.

5. Wouldn’t it be preferable for Ngapuhi to make a clear statement regards Ngapuhi and issues within the Taitokerau which we are confronted with on a daily basis such as domestic violence, drink driving with our babies in the vehicles etc. I expect that our position regards Tuhoe is to not own what happened to them but to wait for their lead for us to tautoko. We have many issues of our own such as to ensure support of our own police, especially our iwi liaisons. He whakaaro noiho enei mo te korero kanohi kite kanohi. I have no doubt that Howard Broad will give a police perspective whether we want to hear it or not the opportunity will be there, kite pukana atu tika ki aiaia.

6. I concur. If and when we meet with him we will have specific written issues requiring a written response not just a shake hands. I can’t understand why he is still in the job because this isn’t a Tuhoe thing anymore; it’s a national Maori issue.

7. I remember the whakatauki, 'keep your friends close, keep your enemies closer', perhaps there is merit in meeting with the Commissioner to voice the feelings of Ngapuhi, in support of those innocents terrorised by Police action in Tuhoe, and our concern to ensure that it never happens in our rohe.

8. I am of the opinion that this hui is premature and that the Commissioner is looking for a way to extricate himself from the mire which he himself caused as a result of his ineptness in dealing with the "Terrorism" issue in Tūhoe.

His comment made on national television in response to the Solicitor General's ruling that none of the people who were arrested could be charged under the Suppression of Terrorism Act, was flippant on the one hand, and heinous on the other. What he said was that he was deeply disappointed that they could not be charged under that act. He should have been celebrating that no terrorism under this ruling was instigated in Aotearoa. The damage has already been made to our reputation as Māori overseas when we are represented as terrorists because of his act, which I suspect was to fuel his own ultra-ego. The question that I ask is why now,when all the tutai has hit the fan, that he wants to come to talk to Māori about the plans for the police to have good relationships with the Māori community.

All the mechanisms are already available to him with our Iwi liaison officers to have input into issues that impact upon the general public,especially Māori communities. He missed the bus by not involving the very people who have been put into place for these kinds of issues.

The Iwi liaison officers were brought in to deal with the aftermath of his discriminatory blunder imposed on Tūhoe. The so called "Pākehā Terrorists" weren't put through the same police terrorism when they were arrested. None of their communities were closed down, none their communities weren't terrorised by police dressed up as "ninjas".

The programme as I see it on the agenda doesn't allow for these issues to be addressed. He just wants us to forget about what has happened, and that in time we will say that no such thing happened, and then we can all live together as one big happy amnesic family.

For him, it is just business as usual. So in brief my answer is an emphatic NO! and not until he has made representations and public apologies to Tūhoe.

• I can see absolutely no benefit in meeting with him unless we have a plan and an idea of what sort of response we expect. It’s not a Tuhoe issue anymore. It is a national Maori issue.

CONCLUSION

Clearly the Tuhoe issue is important to the people of Ngapuhi Nui Tonu, for they are the descendants of Mataatua, and therefore close cousins to the people of the north.

Clearly the manner in which your units terrorised the Tuhoe community is as unacceptable to the people of Ngapuhi, as it has been to the people of Tuhoe, as indeed it has been to the majority of Maori people throughout the country (75% of whom called the police terror raids in Tuhoe an ‘unnecessary over-reaction’).

Your refusal to use your Iwi Liaison Officers to deal with the Tuhoe situation in the first instance, is aninsult to them as professional police officers, aninsult to the Maori communities from which they have been drawn, and aninsult to the Maori communities that they have been chosen to serve.

Iwi Liaison Officers have had to work hard to try to build their credibility within police-shy Maori communities over a number of years, and that credibility was enhanced when those very officers were the buffer between the tens of thousands who marched on the Foreshore and Seabed Hikoi, and some of your other command-and-control types who were itching to get a shot on some of the marchers.

Indeed it was those very Iwi Liaison Officers who enabled me to be able to say when we got to parliament, “1000 kilometres, 40,000 people, and not one arrest”. And I commend those men and women for their work today.

But Commissioner, your actions in Tuhoe signal clearly to the whole of Maoridom that the mana of those Iwi Liaison Officers is no longer to be valued, because when you have shown that when you want to ignore them, to bypass them, and to deliberately shut them out of police action, you will.

And the panui for this hui says you have come to the north, seeking to build upon a relationship between iwi and the police, as if none of what has happened in this country over the past couple of months, has even occurred.

But those events raise major questions for us.

• Can your advice on Maori relationships be so poor that you think it possible to hold meetings in Ngapuhi, without the terrorism raids into Tuhoe coming up?

2. You talk about a relationship between the Police and Iwi, but can you be trusted to stand by your commitment to that relationship, when your actions in Tuhoe suggest you cannot?

3. You talk about a relationship between the Police and Iwi, but can you be trusted to stand by your commitment to that relationship, when your treatment of your own officers, suggests that what you say about iwi liaison is more for the press than for the people?

4. Yes there are major issues that the Maori community face here in Tai Tokerau that require a positive working relationship between Maori and the Police, but how can you be trusted to honour any commitments your staff make to that relationship, when your actions in Tuhoe clearly show a willingness to betray those very staff in pursuit of other objectives?

Mr Commissioner, your actions of the past couple of months have done irreparable damage to the relationship between police and iwi, such that it is still unclear that that relationship can be rebuilt with you at the helm.

Mr Commissioner, on behalf of those iwi leaders here in the Tai Tokerau, I challenge you to apologise to, to make reparation to, and to take steps to redeem yourself in Tuhoe, before you can have any expectation of a wide response to your call for a positive relationship between the police and Maori anywhere in this country.

Mr Commissioner, on behalf of those iwi leaders here in the Tai Tokerau, I challenge you to apologise to, to make reparation to, and to take steps to redeem yourself with your own Iwi Liaison Officers, before you can have any expectation that anything you might say about police iwi relations, will ever be trusted by iwi, again.

And finally Mr Commissioner, if you are unable or unwilling to take the steps that I have outlined above, I challenge you to stand by your reputation, and resign your position as Police Commissioner forthwith.

HE PANUI

Te toka tumoana

Ka tu ka tu ka tu
Ahakoa te awha
Ahakoa te pokaka o te rā
Tū tonu tū tonu tū tonu te toka
E ngā iwi o Te Taitokerau
Nau mai, haere mai, whakatau mai

PŌWHIRI
E ngā mana, e ngā reo, rau rangatira ma tēnā koutou katoa.
Ngā mihi ki a rātou kua takahia te Ara whānui o te mate, moe mai koutou I roto I te Ariki. Tātou te hunga ora tīhei mauri ora.

YOU ARE INVITED TO ATTEND A HUI

DATE: Friday, 30 November 2007

TIME: 09:30 am Pōwhiri
10:00 am Police Commissioner Howard Broad,
MPES Superintendent Wallace Haumaha arrive

VENUE: Terenga Paraoa Marae

Porowini Avenue, Whangārei
KAUPAPA: Police Commissioner's follow up visit
Police/Iwi partnerships & Effective Interventions within Northland.

AGENDA

1. - Commissioner's Focus Forum representative Kaumatua, Wiremu Wiremu, mihi to Police Commissioner

-Northland District Commander, Superintendent Mike Rusbatch

-Northland Area Commanders (Inspector Paul Dimery, Area Commander Whangarei Kaipara, and Inspector Chris Scahill, Area Commander Far North)

1. Discussion session:

Iwi participation in close partnership with Police:

- Is there a partnership?

- What does the picture look like?

- What have we achieved and what is working?

- Are Police / Iwi working together on key issues?

Increased demands/expectations on ILOs:

- Are ILOs being supported / developed / utilised?

Support and assist joint problem solving initiatives.

5. Police Commissioner Howard Broad:'Vision of the New Zealand Police'

6. MPES Superintendent Wallace Haumaha

Hui facilitator: ILO Willie More

ENDS

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