Raids set Maori-Pakeha relations back 100 years - Sharples
This raid by the New Zealand police appears to be indeed over the top, with many politicians asking what on earth is going on. It is widely seen as some kind of out of control operation targeting Maori. In my view Dr Pita Sharples is right in saying that this has done relations between white New Zealanders (Pakeha) and Maori no good. I am a great admirer of Pita Sharples and the other members of the "Maori Party". These are highly educated and articulate Maori people within our New Zealand government system - a formidable force.
Updated 11:10AM Thursday October 18, 2007
Pita Sharples. Photo / Glenn Jeffrey
Maori party co-leader Dr Pita Sharples claims this week's anti-terror raids have set race relations back 100 years.
He said the raids in Tuhoe land are reminiscent of the atrocities committed at Parihaka in the 19th Century.
Speaking at a conference in Queensland yesterday, Dr Sharples said he could hardly believe history was repeating itself.
In 1881, armed constabulary raided the non-violent settlement of Parihaka, arresting Maori prophets Te Whiti and Tohu and destroying the settlement.
In a statement released by the Maori Party, Dr Sharples was said to be disgusted by this week's raids, which he said had set Maori and Pakeha race-relations back a hundred years.
Dr Sharples said it was ironic that New Zealand chose to invoke the rulings of the United Nations but not to support the rights of Maori.
"When it suits this country, it invokes the rulings of the United Nations - such as Terrorism Suppression Act - but when it comes to supporting the rights of indigenous people as passed by the UN then it turns its butt."
Mr Sharples said the action violated the trust that has been developing between Maori and Pakeha.
Seventeen people were arrested in Monday's raids on Maori and environmental activists throughout the country which also resulted in the seizure of weapons.
Police had been investigating suspected weapons training camps....