7 Sep 2011

Ruatoki elder demands apology over police raids

6:41 am on 7 September 2011

A kuia caught up in police raids in the Urewera says the town of Ruatoki deserves an apology but the Government's still treating it like a doormat.

Police Minister Judith Collins is dismissing calls for the police to apologise after firearms charges were dropped against 13 of 17 people arrested in Ruatoki and other centres in 2007.

Four of the 17, including activist Tame Iti, are still facing charges and are expected to go to trial next February.

A Ruatoki elder who doesn't want to be named, says her husband was pulled over by police as he was driving children to school.

She says she's disgusted Ms Collins won't apologise to those who no longer face charges, and feels it shows Maori are still being trampled.

She says Prime Minister John Key and Ms Collins should hold a television conference and say sorry to all involved in the police raids.

Meanwhile, a Tuhoe leader, Tamati Kruger, says an apology from the Government now would be premature.

Mr Kruger says five of the 13 are of Tuhoe descent.

He expects Ms Collins will offer an apology to Tuhoe once the whole case is over, after the final four facing charges go to trial next year.