News release from Maori Party
On the day of the first reading of Tuhoe’s Treaty Settlement Bill, Te Ururoa Flavell, Maori Party Co-Leader and Waiariki MP, is calling on the Government to take responsibility for the harm caused by the Ruatoki raids six years ago.
“Our tamariki are the forgotten faces in this state led assault on the small community of Ruatoki. On Marae Investigates last weekend a leading paediatric specialist, Professor Innes Asher, said the Ruatoki Raids were among the worst cases of child abuse by the State seen in recent years. Why has the Government not taken responsibility for these issues?” said Mr Flavell.
“Tuhoe have been through inquiry after inquiry, and six years on from this traumatic incident, the iwi are still left waiting for response, resolution and accountability.”
Mr Flavell said “It’s about time the Police Commissioner owned up. It’s about time that the National Party and Labour Party put their support behind an inquiry into the raids so the truth can be heard. And now is the time for the Government to stop sweeping the issues under the carpet and front up.”
“Today, this House celebrated the passage of the first reading of the Tuhoe Settlement Bill. It was a proud day for the Tuhoe Nation, but also one filled with sadness because the Government will not take responsibility and address the trauma caused by the Ruatoki raids.”
“Where is the justice in this system? Where is the true reconciliation between the Crown and the iwi? That is my question to the Government, and to Parliament on this day. Where is the accountability?”
“We will wait for the report of the Human Rights Commission, but in all honesty – we don’t need a report to tell us that an injustice was done, and that the effects of that injustice will be long lasting. What we want to know is how will those who caused the injustice now address the serious damage they have caused our tamariki.”
“If we continue in our failure to act on this issue, then we send the message that our tamariki don’t matter – and that is a travesty.”