'Storm trooper' tactics harmed race relations - Sharples

Last updated 00:00 17/10/2007

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Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples says Monday's police raids have destroyed trust and set race relations back a hundred years.

Dr Sharples is attending a justice conference in Queensland, and a statement he issued today was the first comment he has made on the raids.

"I can hardly believe that negative history is repeating itself," he said.

"These storm trooper tactics violating the cultural sanctity of kainga, kura, kohanga reo, let alone the whenua and papakainga within Tuhoe remind me of the atrocities committed at Pariihaka, and of the pursuit of Te Kooti Rikirangi."

Dr Sharples said he was disgusted.

"What is the real reason for the use of the Terrorism Suppression act in this orchestrated campaign against so-called activists?

"No charges have been laid under that Act since it was introduced in 2002 so what next – are we going to see charges and trumped up evidence to justify this very extreme police action?

"This action has violated the trust that has been developing between Maori and Pakeha and sets our race relations back a hundred years."

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