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At long last - justice for some of the Urewera accused

MEDIA STATEMENT

Te Ururoa Flavell
Maori Party WHIP | MP for Waiariki
Tuesday 6th September

At long last - justice for some of the Urewera accused

Te Ururoa Flavell is pleased that a long drawn-out court case has come to an end for eleven of the fifteen accused over the Urewera police raids, but he says the entire battle could have been avoided.

“This is a shameful indictment on successive Governments, which has attracted international critique and domestic shame. It is too late now to learn that their secret evidence has been ruled inadmissible. That fact was obvious some four years ago.

“The Maori Party will be writing to the Attorney-General, seeking advice about the next steps that should be taken to ensure due consideration is given to reviewing every step of this sorry situation”.

“We will be demanding answers as to what was the motivation for the Labour Government to authorise the secret surveillance under the Terrorism Act in the first place”.

“We want the police to be held accountable for decisions they took against many innocent children who were taken from their homes, searched in the streets in their nightwear, causing significant trauma in the process”.

“We want to know whether the number of search warrants was required, and whether the levels of intimidation experienced had any justification. And we are particularly keen to learn why the Police iwi liaison officers – who could have brought some valuable local knowledge to bear – were overlooked”.

"I applaud the Supreme Court’s decision to drop the majority of charges and I'm sure that the people are happy that a weight has been lifted off the shoulders of their whanau, hapu and iwi”.

"But we cannot underestimate the impact on Tuhoe as having been branded as terrorists and criminals, and there must be significant thought given about an appropriate remedy for the harm caused on 15 October 2007”.

Ends

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