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'Scars Run Deep for Tuhoe' - The Maori Party

'Scars Run Deep for Tuhoe' The Maori Party Members of Parliament Thursday 8 November 2007

The Maori Party has expressed relief that the horrific experience of the last 25 days has now abated following the decision of the Solicitor General, David Collins QC, not to proceed with laying any charges under the Terrorism Suppression legislation.

"The nation has experienced a level of fear and uncertainty which has been unprecedented in modern times" said Dr Sharples.

The concern of the Maori Party remains with the people of Ruatoki and Tuhoe, and indeed wider across tangata whenua, and other people who have been targeted by the raids of terror.

"We sat with people from Tuhoe today, and have been profoundly moved by their experience" said Tariana Turia, co-leader of the Maori Party. "We have heard their pain, felt their state of shock; they have been irrevocably changed by the events of Black Monday" said Mrs Turia.

"The people have told us that their ability to speak openly with people, their ways of communicating have been affected by the impact of these raids" said Mrs Turia. "They spoke about children not wanting to learn, adults feeling as if they were in a state of delayed concussion, as they recall the events of the past three and a half weeks" said Mrs Turia.

"I would suggest that the result of this experience is akin to post-traumatic stress disorder" said Mrs Turia.

"Only those people who know what it is like to have communities traumatised can really understand what it is like to be the men, women and children of Ruatoki" said Te Ururoa Flavell, Member of Parliament for Waiariki. "How can healing take place, when we have had no living memory of a reality such as took place in the dawn of 15th October 2007?" said Flavell.

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"We continue to be concerned about this legislation, and who might be next" said Dr Sharples.

What next? "The expectation that we have, is that all of the twelve people who have been detained must be released forthwith" said Hone Harawira. "We also expect that discussions should be carried out with the people of Ruatoki to determine the level of resourcing necessary to enable healing to occur for those traumatised; and to repair the physical, mental and structural damage on their community".

"We also expect to see some major changes in how the police manage operations involving Maori communities. It is our belief that clear guidelines need to be developed to ensure the involvement of the kaitakawaenga, the police iwi liaison officers at all stages" said Dr Sharples.


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