Police-Maori dance one step forward, two steps back
8 November 2007
A leading Maori lawyer says the police anti terror raid on Ruatoki will set back relations between police and Maori for years.
Moana Jackson this week quit as a patron of this year’s Police College intake because of what he calls flagrant abuses of police power during the arrests of activists in the eastern Bay of Plenty and other parts of the country.
He took on the role to support Maori officers who were trying to change police culture, but says it's clear from the way the anti-terror arrests were carried out that the police don't value or trust Maori staff.
"Maori officers with considerable experience were not even consulted. The senior Maori advisory group to the commissioner was not consulted and so a lot of the artifice which had been established to try and shift the culture to work on relationships was simply sidelined and ignored," Mr Jackson says.
He says the Suppression of Terrorism Act has eerie similarities with the 1863 Suppression of Rebellion Act, which was used to justify attacks on Tuhoe during the land wars.