7 Sep 2011

Parties want independent inquiry into police raids

5:59 pm on 7 September 2011

The Maori and Green parties are calling for an inquiry into the 2007 police raids in the Ureweras after charges were dropped against all but four of those arrested.

The Maori Party is calling for a Royal Commission after discussing the matter with Tuhoe, the Bay of Plenty iwi at the centre of the raids.


The charges relating to alleged military-style training camps were dropped following a suppressed Supreme Court judgement.

The Crown says there is no longer sufficient evidence to charge 13 of the 17 people arrested over the raids.

Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says an inquiry is needed to get to the bottom of the raids, including finding out which other government agencies were involved.

Dr Sharples says the Government's refusal to apologise is also problem.

"It's not a smack in the face for me - it's a smack in the face for Tuhoe, because I know way back in 2007 we were actually talking with the police about compensation and about an apology.

"Four years have gone by and it's not Tuhoe's fault. People have been charged that long and nothing's happened. So we'd be looking for some action on behalf of the Government."

Dr Sharples says he will write to Prime Minister John Key asking for an inquiry be set up.

Green Party MP Keith Locke is another who believes an independent inquiry is needed.