21 Mar 2012

Legal action won't mend Tuhoe wounds - kaumatua

7:05 am on 21 March 2012

A Maori elder says any legal action against the Crown over the 2007 Te Urewera police raids is unlikely to fix the damage inflicted on the people of Tuhoe.

A jury in the Auckland High Court on Tuesday found Tame Iti, Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara, Urs Signer and Emily Bailey guilty on a number of firearms charges.

But the jury was not able to reach a verdict on a charge that the four were part of a criminal group that took part in alleged military-style training camps in Te Urewera National Park in 2007.

Nearly five years on, residents of the eastern Bay of Plenty rural settlement say they have not recovered and that an armed offenders callout in late February this year re-opened the wounds, sparking fear, hurt, anger and distrust.

Ruatoki kaumatua Paki Nikora says the Tuhoe iwi needs a genuine apology from the Government.