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Te Pāti Māori Renew Call For Royal Commission Inquiry Into Racial Profiling Of Māori

Te Pāti Māori are renewing their call for a Royal Commission Inquiry into racial profiling of Māori by the police, after an investigation by the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) and the Office of the Privacy Commissioner (OPC) confirmed the police have racially profiled rangatahi Māori, and illegally photographed them without consent.

“This is as unacceptable as it is unsurprising. The police have targeted and racially profiled Māori for as long as they have been in this country. When this was first brought to light last year, The Ministry categorically denied that there is any form of racial profiling of Māori in Aotearoa” said Te Pāti Māori co-leader and Justice Spokesperson Rawiri Waititi

“When the Ministry is willing to outright lie it’s no surprise the police are willing to break the law.

“Children as young as 15 are being approached in broad daylight and threatened with arrest if they refuse to have their photo taken. That is not ‘policing with consent’. That is bullying, predatory behaviour and a total abuse of power” said Waititi.

“How can we expect a fair justice system with a Government that continues to deny the problem, and a police force that perpetuates it?

“It is not right that the whakamā and trauma of these incidents should be carried by the rangatahi and their whānau instead of the police. If the police want to rebuild their relationship with our communities, this criminalisation and surveillance of our young people needs to stop” Waititi said.

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“Politicians and the media need to look at their roles in fuelling racism as well. Youth crime is headline news every day, and is the only time these young people receive from any attention from our politicians and media.

“When our young people are intentionally targeted just because they are brown and our Government continues to turn a blind eye to it, we are setting our rangatahi up to fail.

“We demand answers. We deserve to know who has allowed this racial profiling to occur, and what the consequences will be for them. Because we already know what the consequences are for Māori: over-incarceration and the continued intimidation of our young people by the state” said Waititi.

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