Friday, 19 October 2007

News-New Zealand Anti-Terror Raids Spark Protests

Source:NZ Herald

On Monday New Zealand Police raided a number of ‘alternative’ lifestyle camps, in the Bay of Plenty on the North Island on suspicion of activities relating to terrorism as defined under the new Terrorism Suppression Act.

Seventeen people were arrested in initial raids around the country on Monday, and further raids have taken place throughout the week.

Dawn raids were executed at several properties in the Ruatoki Valley, including a tin shack where Tuhoe (A Maori Tribe) activist Tame Iti, a militant Maori Nationalist, was staying.

Police remained at the shack on Tuesday, conducting searches in tall grass outside, after earlier arresting Iti in relation to the suspected nationwide terror plot.

Police became aware of the group's activities last year, before they began their weapons training camps. Investigations began in earnest at the end of last year, said Acting Deputy Commissioner Operations, Jon White. "There have been several training camps over that passage of time. It is of considerable concern to us that people were attending training camps and engaging in what we believe to be unlawful activities, training and using firearms and other weapons as part of that training. That seemed to us to step over the line in terms of what would be acceptable”.

However this has caused a storm of protests with some sections in New Zealand-including some in the Maori Community.Dr Pita Sharples of the Maori Party was quoted as saying this would send Maori and Pakeha (white) relations back 100 years.

And trouble continued on Friday when an approximately 1000 protestors gathered in Whakatane with further smaller demonstrations taking place in Auckland and Wellington.

No comments: