The Maori Party is staggered at Labour and National's decision to put a stop to a proposed inquiry into how the 2007 Urewera raids affected local communities.
Waiariki MP Te Ururoa Flavell says the parties gave no explanation about why they don't want an inquiry into the aftermath of Operation Eight.
Shane Jones offered an explanation to Waatea:
Labour’s Māori Affairs spokesperson, Shane Jones, says getting the commissioner of police in front of the Māori Affairs Select Committee will be more useful than an all out inquiry into the Operation Eight Urewera raids.
A Maori Affairs Select Committee inquiry would reflect poorly on the last Labour government (and taint the current Labour opposition). An inquiry would reveal the human cost of the raids and the trials. Labour has to oppose the inquiry out of self-interest.
National’s motives aren't noble either. An inquiry is an opportunity to “terrorise [their] political opponents”, but an inquiry that revealed the extent of the suffering and injustice would strengthen the moral and legal claim to compensation. Compensation – if it happens – must be given on the government’s terms.
Te Ururoa has taken a principled stand. Credit where it’s due. Labour’s solution - an interrogation of the Police Commissioner - is not the same as investigating the effects the raids and trials had on the affected communities. It's a weak excuse. The Independent Police Conduct Authority released a damning report into the legality of the raids, but if the Police are to be held properly accountable against their actions the extend of the human suffering must be revealed.