7 Sep 2011

Treated differently in Urewera raids says Pakeha woman

7:40 pm on 7 September 2011

A Pakeha woman arrested in connection with the Urewera police raids says the police treated her better than they did the Ruatoki people.

Marama Mayrick is one of 13 people arrested in the 2007 operation who have now had charges against them dropped by the police.

She says she was arrested at her parents' home in Whakatane but the police were polite, and she suspects that's because she's Pakeha.

Ms Mayrick says she was treated differently to those charged in Ruatoki and didn't have to endure kneeling down in the cold for hours, or have the police terrorise her family members.

She says it's great to no longer have criminal charges hanging over her, but the downside is, she now has a debt of about $30,000 in lawyers' fees.

The Maori MP for Bay of Plenty is talking to the Tuhoe tribe about taking a new claim to the Waitangi Tribunal, arguing the police 2007 raids in Ruatoki breached the Treaty of Waitangi.

The member for Waiariki, Te Ururoa Flavell, says the Crown should be answerable, particularly for the way people were innocently caught up in the actions - and for those who've now had charges against them dropped.

The Maori Party MP says his caucus and Tuhoe are looking for more than an apology.

He says he and his colleagues have talked about compensation, given some people have had to bear the brunt of criticism and the stigma associated with the raids.

Mr Flavell says the issue is so big his party is looking into asking for a commission of inquiry of some kind.

Four of the 17 people arrested in the raids are expected to go to trial next February.