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Human Rights Commission report into Operation 8 toothless

Human Rights Commission report into Operation 8 toothless

The Maori Party is bitterly disappointed with the Human Rights Commission’s report into Operation 8 saying the report is toothless, sidesteps important rights issues including institutional racism and discrimination, and fails to outline steps to redress and right the human rights violations that occurred.

Maori Party Co-Leader Te Ururoa Flavell said “my heart sank when I read the report. While it upheld the view that the human rights of the people of Ruatoki were trampled on, the analysis largely follows the IPCA report, the laws and policies of the police and does not at all reflect the experience, trauma and impact of the rights violations suffered by the children and adults of Ruatoki.”

“People laid their complaints with the Commission because they wanted justice and accountability for the trauma, terrorism and violations that took place. That was the whole point of the exercise, and the report failed to deliver on that.”

“The Human Rights Act 1993 sets out criteria for ‘unlawful discrimination’, and the complaints issued were measured against this criteria. If its unlawful, then where is the punishment? Where is the accountability? Where is the justice?”

“Instead of addressing those issues, the Human Rights Commission have acted like police apologists,” said Mr Flavell.

“After five years of waiting, we get a report which glosses over issues such as institutional racism, such as how the police came to violate and terrorise an entire low socio-economic primarily Maori community; the violation of the rights of children, like when Police raided school buses, and homes where children were present; the human rights of indigenous people; the rights of collectives and more. It acknowledges that violations happened, but makes no further practical comment about how to move forward and how to remedy the situation.”

“The report falls woefully short. It’s toothless, shameful, and apologist. It lacks any guts – and it makes me question what purpose the Human Rights Commission actually serves,” said Mr Flavell.

“How is New Zealand ever going to trust our institutions to uphold the rights of our citizens, when the laws and agencies put in place to do so, let us down. It’s not on. We need a review into institutional racism in the justice sector, and we need a review of our Human Rights legislation and agencies.”

“We also need justice for the people of Tuhoe and Ruatoki who, shamefully, have continued to suffer abuse by the State throughout this entire process of seeking justice,” said Mr Flavell.

ENDS

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