Peace and goodwill? Not in the Maori Council’s Christmas message to the Police

The dearth of Beehive news suggests the ministers we  employ to serve us have packed up and headed for home for their Christmas holidays. 

The only statement posted on the beehive website this morning was another ministerial safety message, this time urging Kiwis to take care in the water.   

Political lobby groups around the country seems to have packed up too.

Our visit to the Scoop “politics” page found just three statements posted since Tuesday.

One of these was a Maori Council expression of no confidence in the Police and Independent Police Conduct Authority, an ominous hint that we should brace for demands that these public services  – like the state child welfare agency – be controlled by Maori . 

The headline was Call For Independent Inquiry Into Racial Profiling By Police – Maori Council Furious At Police And The IPCA

In the accompanying statement, council  executive director Matthew Tukaki commented on the illegal taking of photos of Maori youth in the Wairarapa by the Police.

He proceeded to “scold” the IPCA  – seriously? – “for saying they will take a hard look at the issue”.

Does he NOT want them to take a hard look?

He proceeded to say

” … I would not trust the IPCA to manage a rat out of a trap – exactly what have they ever done for Maori and to be frank after years of the sort of behaviour where the auditor investigates both itself and its mates its also time for the hoha to stop.”

Hoha?

That word has a Christmas ring to it, but Tukaki was in no mood for dispensing good will and season’s greetings.     

“The reality is the Police Commissioner stood before the National hui of the New Zealand Maori Council just a month ago and committed to us that change was happening.

A Newshub report which cites two incidents of apparent racial profiling says the most recent was last year. 

Unless we have missed reports of more recent transgressions, the reported incidents are not inconsistent with the commissioner’s claim that change is happening. 

But Tukaki’s dander was up and the matter of when something happened was immaterial.  

He said:

“Maori and our young people deserve better than to be targeted by a pack of idiots who should have more to do than swing around town taking photos of brown kids. And another thing those officers should be stood down pending an investigation and a commitment by the Police that any photos and data have been deleted. Furthermore an apology by those officers to the photos the kids and their whanau right now.” 

Media reports we read at Point of Order said the photos had been deleted. 

Tukaki went on:

“Those actions can be done ahead of any action by the IPCA – in actual fact we need an independent Inquiry into the actions of the Police and furthermore we should look at racial profiling and how policies of the Police are impacting negatively on Maori – and it should not be conducted by the IPCA – because all of the Maori I have spoken to simply do not trust them.”  

As we said earlier, Tukaki was not in a festive mood – at least, not when talking about the cops.

“I’ll be writing to both the Commissioner and the Minister in the coming days – and it wont be a Merry Christmas card I can assure you.” Tukaki said

Point of Order can report that Maori are getting a better deal from swimming programmes intended to keep them out of trouble.

The safety message posted on the Beehive website this morning mentioned a $63 million funding boost over four years for water safety initiatives from Budget 2020.  This this has helped secure the operational services Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand deliver to the New Zealand public to keep people safe in, on and around the water this summer. 

Initially, the statement from Community and Voluntary Sector Minister Priyanca Radhakrishnan expressed concern for all New Zealanders:

“Keeping all New Zealanders and visitors safe in, on and around the water is an essential service and a public expectation. The water safety sector is run almost entirely by passionate Kiwi volunteers and this funding will ensure Surf Life Saving New Zealand and Coastguard New Zealand have the necessary equipment, facilities, and maintenance, as well as addressing the key challenges of service delivery, recruitment and retention of volunteers.  

“It also enables Water Safety New Zealand as the umbrella leadership organisation for the sector to build capability within the organisation to support and lead the sector into the future.” 

Then she particularised the aims of Water Safety New Zealand’s summer water safety campaigns and interventions.

She said they will continue to focus on the ongoing implementation of Water Skills for Life for young people, water safety programmes for new migrants, regional water safety strategies in Auckland, Waikato and the Bay of Plenty, high-risk activities and target groups and Māori drowning prevention.

The programmes  will  continue Swim Reaper water safety campaigns this year, targeting young males who traditionally have made up one-third of our annual drowning fatalities.

Latest from the Beehive

24 DECEMBER 2020   

Keeping New Zealanders safe in the water this summer

   

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