NZ "terrorism" in perspective   |   Indigenous peoples' rights

Maori Party criticises government for raids

23 October 2007

The Maori Party has ramped up its criticism of the police raids on guerrilla style training camps in the Ureweras, with MP Hone Harawira saying the police, as an arm of government, have terrorised and brutalised the Tuhoe people.

"Maori people are being hunted down and arrested as we speak, not because of any life-threatening actions, but because of this government's sycophantic attitude to the American demand ... we accept unreservedly their version of terrorism," says Harawira.

The veteran activist is accusing the government of intimate involvement in the raids saying "the actions of the New Zealand police ... are not separate from the government, they are an arm of the government."

Harawira says the police have terrorised the Tuhoe people and he is dismissive of the motive behind the raids.

"Is this whole terrorism thing overblown, hell yes."

The government is not happy either, saying the raids were an operational matter for the police.

"Flinging around wild accusations and making a fraught situation more difficult with torrid outbursts does not advance our situation," says Labour Party MP Shane Jones of Harawira's claims.

The Maori Party says the fraught situation was created by the police and the government, and they will have to bear the consequences.

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