Topic: Crime

Children woken and interrogated by police plan kapa haka performance to lift spirits

By Wepiha Te Kanawa

Members of the Ngā Tipuranga o Waewaeroa kapa haka will put on a performance for kaumātua and the wider community in Ngāmotu today in an effort to help boost their spirits after a daunting experience with police at the weekend.

While participating in a wananga at Whakaahurangi Marae in Stratford, It is believed between 25-30 children were awoken by police at around 2am in a search for a suspect after the assault of a 61 year old man earlier in the same area.
The children were aged between 4 and 17 and the tutor of the group, Maioha Tokotaua told Te Kāea today, the boys were lined up and made to show their hands to police. 
Maioha says the children he mentors already had strained relationships and perceptions of police and the initiative they were participating in at the time was created to help get them get back on track.  
The Police have now apologised in regards to the matter and they hope to meet with local iwi on Monday.  Despite the unfortunate incident, the students are now focusing on preparing for the kapa haka competition at the Taranaki Festival in four months time. 
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