Pita Sharples yesterday spat the dummy over the terrorism raids in Tuhoe.
Maori party co-leader Pita Sharples claims this week’s anti-terror raids have set race relations back 100 years.
He said the raids in Tuhoe land are reminiscent of the atrocities committed at Parihaka in the 19th Century.
Speaking at a conference in Queensland yesterday, Dr Sharples said he could hardly believe history was repeating itself.
In 1881, armed constabulary raided the non-violent settlement of Parihaka, arresting Maori prophets Te Whiti and Tohu and destroying the settlement.
In a statement released by the Maori Party, Dr Sharples was said to be disgusted by this week’s raids, which he said had set Maori and Pakeha race-relations back a hundred years.
Dr Sharples has here equated rounding up a few loose cannons with razing a settlement, and driving out it’s people.
His time would be far better spent flogging those who are stockpiling napalm, and trying to buy rocket launchers.
But instead, he engages in a reverse Winston, playing the anti-police card.
That is not to say that the police should not be criticised for raiding houses unrelated to charges, or that the police should not be publicly flogged if these raids turn out to be someone abusing their power and inventing evidence.
But no one died. Sure, a few windows were broken and people’s feeling hurt. Some were insulted that police tried to talk in their native language. (dammed if you do…) But if the police are right, then the lives of tens, hundreds or perhaps thousands of Maori and Pakeha have been saved. The costs of sparking an armed conflict like Tame Iti seems to want are incalculable, just look at Northern Ireland or Iraq. Once started, they become very hard to stop, and if Mr Iti thinks Tuhoe would just be able to shrug off the blowback, he’s another thing comming.
No, race relations have not been set back 100 years. That was the goal of Tame Iti, and he has now been stopped. Pity Mr Sharples chooses to ignore that.