Wednesday, 31 Oct 2007

Six new discrimination complaints over anti-terror raids

| Tuesday, 30 October 2007
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Six new discrimination complaints have been laid with the Human Rights Commission over the Ruatoki terrorism raids.
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The complaints follow nationwide protests over the raids, in which 17 people were arrested and charged with firearms offences.

Commission spokesman Gilbert Wong said 10 complaints have now been laid. Of those, three had been sent to the disputes resolution service.

"The disputes resolution service is a free and confidential mediation service offered by the commission."

None of the complainants "self-identified" as being from Tuhoe.

"But, that doesn't mean they aren't," Mr Wong said

Identity of the complainants was confidential.

Complaints to the commission are assessed to see if they fall into its terms of discrimination.

The remaining complaints were still being assessed, Mr Wong said.

"Hopefully it won't take too long. 90 per cent of complaints are resolved within three months."

Mr Wong confirmed all the complaints were about the police action in Ruatoki.

"Some of them just feel it is discrimination to be raided."

Complaints were from Maori and Pakeha.

Results of the mediation were usually confidential, but Mr Wong said the commission was assessing making them public in this case.

"We are aware of the public interest and think it's important people know what the results are.

"The individuals involved are always free to go public themselves."

More complaints may be laid.

"I suspect this story will not die soon," Mr Wong said.

A spokeswoman from the Police Complaints Authority said the authority was governed by a secrecy clause which meant it could not reveal whether it had received a compliant from the Tuhoe people or anyone else.


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