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Minister calls for considered reflection

28 October, 2007

Minister calls for a period of considered reflection

Māori Affairs Minister Parekura Horomia has reiterated the need for cool heads to prevail over the police raids, saying he’s disappointed with the irresponsible statements being made by some politicians.

Mr Horomia said he was annoyed the Māori Party was trying to link the raids to the government and were suggesting it was some type of government conspiracy.

“The police acted independently and we do not direct them on operational matters. It would be a dangerous state of affairs if politicians were able to tell the police who to arrest and who not to – and the Māori Party would be the first to jump up and down if that were the case.”

“I’ve repeatedly said that if the police have over-reacted, they will be held accountable to the public. But until all the evidence is presented, none of us is able to judge.”

“I’m concerned that the Māori Party is rushing to judgement. They are playing the race card and tapping into hurts from the past. Those hurts from the past are real and they have to be acknowledged. But they shouldn’t be exploited and that is what the Māori Party has done,” Mr Horomia said.

“The party’s statement that “we reject the branding of tangata whenua as terrorists” is ridiculous. No one is branding all tangata whenua as terrorists – except perhaps perversely the Māori Party, which seems determined to imprint the notion in the minds of our rangatahi.”

Race relations in this country aren’t perfect, but they are pretty good and we need to acknowledge that times have changed. We can’t look at the world through the eyes of the past. We can’t keep singing the songs of the past, Mr Horomia said.

“The experiences of our rangatahi are quite different to those of some of some of our tupuna – and even quite different to the experiences of some of the old activists like myself.”

And as we enter a new era we need to acknowledge the bonds that have been forged, sometimes painstakingly, between Māori and non-Māori.

We also need to acknowledge that there is no one Māori voice, but a range of different voices. That no one individual and no one political party speaks for Māori. Despite claims to the contrary, there is no one “authentic” Māori voice.”


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