The revelation on Friday that police officers used illegal methods to gather evidence, while conducting their 2007 raids in Te Urewera, will impact on the public confidence in the police says Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell.
“Chief Justice Sian Elias’s findings are bound to have an adverse impact on the reputation of the police” said Mr Flavell.
“Her view that the police trespassed on Tuhoe land to obtain the evidence; and that the covert filming on private land could also be seen to breach the Bill of Rights is cold comfort to the whanau and friends of the original 18 who faced charges related to the raids”.
”Frankly, I’m concerned for the wellbeing of those families. Right now they will be dealing with the fact that for ten months they were filmed by the police using hidden cameras, in an activity which Chief Justice Elias has concluded was both illegal and a serious intrusion on rights”.
“These families will want someone to be held to account – and as the local MP I am determined to track it through, to uncover how the necessary legal authority was obtained for charges which could not stand up under scrutiny”.
“When retiring Police Commissioner Howard Broad intimated that he would “stand and explain to Tuhoe what the police did, if it comes to any apology” we thought at last someone was prepared to take responsibility for the grievous harm incurred to reputations and community wellbeing”.
“But more recent statements by the new Commissioner Peter Marshall indicate the police are backtracking from this position”.
“It’s not good enough. For the peace of mind of Tuhoe, the Ruatoki Valley and the others charged in the 2007 raids, we hope there will be an appropriate recompense made in the light of the Chief Justice’s findings”.