May 9, 2021

Maori News & Indigenous Views

Maori Party Relieved at Urewera Decision

2 min read

Waiariki MP, Te Ururoa Flavell, has described the Crowns intention to file a stay of proceedings (meaning the retrial will not go ahead) as an extremely positive step in the right direction for the people of Tuhoe.

Tuhoe are a proud people; a people who will always stand up for what they believe in, determined that justice should be seen to be done for those affected and the Tuhoe nation, said Mr Flavell.

But the trial of the Urewera Four has been an exhausting and depressing affair drawn out for far too long. The events of 15 October 2007 will not be forgotten easily, but with this particular Court action concluded, hopefully it means they can all move on, and get on with their lives.

The charges outstanding for Tame Iti, Urs Signer, Emily Bailey and Te Rangikaiwhiria have been hanging over everyones heads. While we understand the firearms charges are still current, it is very good news that the Crown has decided that it was not in the public interest to proceed with the other charges.

The Maori Party had taken up the call not to pursue the retrial with the Attorney General and the Prime Minister. While the decisions were of course outside of our jurisdiction, we felt morally obliged to point out the massive costs that have already been felt in the public purse as well as the heart and soul of a small rural community like Ruatoki.

In time, historians, researchers, political analysts and whanau alike, will reflect over these last five years and bring their own interpretations to bear about the New Zealand Polices efforts to lay charges under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Hopefully the release of the Independent Police Authoritys report and the Human Rights Commission report will put all of the pieces of the jigsaw puzzle together to find out what happened and why, and then perhaps we can address the issue and move on.

That story must be written but for today, the Maori Party celebrates with the Urewera Four; with Tuhoe – and with taxpayers alike that we are spared the ordeal of a retrial.

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