Topic: Tūhoe

Rūātoki Family not prepared to accept NZ Police Commissioner’s apology

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

The family of Rameka Teepa who were raided by police during Operation 8, seven years ago in Rūātoki, is one of the families that will not accept the personal apology by the NZ Police Commissioner. The commissioner was in Rūātoki yesterday to make peace and apologise to a number of families.

The whānau of Rameka Teepa continue to mourn their loss and say the apology from police brings back bad memories.

According to Rameka Tuhaka 'The family and sub-tribes won't be accepting the police's apology.'

Rameka Raymond Teepa passed away last year. In 2007, there were 10 children in his home when the police raided the house in search of his son, Maraki. His older sister, Te Waiarani Harawira says that his hate for the police was strong.   

Te Waiarani Harawira says, “He couldn't let it go, not because pf what they did to him or his son Maraki but more so for what they did to his grandchildren and the impact this had on them.”

Police Commissioner Mike Bush yesterday met with several Tūhoe whānau to deliver a personal apology for the mistakes police made during Operation 8. The Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA) report deemed the raid to be unreasonable and that police have to review their policy around raids when children are present. Te Waiarani Harawira says that the police have done nothing to review that policy.

“In 2012, they forgot about what they'd outlined, they came to the home of my younger brother Tū, Matiu Eru, shooting up the house, early in the morning between 6am and 9am, and my grandchildren were still in the house,” says Te Waiarani Harawira.

Police have confirmed that a settlement has now been reached with Tūhoe iwi in relation to Operation 8. The terms of the settlement are confidential between the parties, but for the family of Rameka Teepa, the mistrust towards police will remain. The Police will make an apology to the community in two weeks time.

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