Monday, October 15, 2007, during the 5th Labour Government, the Police Armed offenders and the Police special tactics group invaded the township of Ruatoki in the Urewera forest. The New Zealand Police had invoked the Terrorism Suppression Act and turned a small New Zealand township into a war zone. The Police arrested 17 people under the Act.Of the 13 arrested the Supreme Court threw out the charges. The alleged Terrorist cell turned out to be a paranoid conspiracy theory trumped up by Police and many years later Police Commissioner Mike Bush made a formal apology in person to the victims of the raids.
The Urewera forest has been attacked twice prior to 2007 . The first invasion was on 4th May 1880 when 100 Armed Constabulary invaded to hunt down the prophet Te Kooti conducting a scorched earth campaign destroying crops and burning down homes. The second invasion was on 2nd April 1916, Police Commissioner John Cullen attacked the Urewera to arrest Prophet Rua Kenana on trumped up charges of sedition for this comment during WW1 “The Germans will win. Any money I have I will give to the Germans. The English are no good. They have two laws. One for the Māori and one for the Pākehā. When the Germans win I am going to be king here. I will be king of the Māori and of the Pākehā.” Rua Kenana received 1-year imprisonment.
Recently in a facebook discussion I accused Ms. Clark of being an incompetent Prime Minister for being complicit in the invasion of Ruatoki and Ms. Clark responded.
Ms. Clark has avoided blame that she didn’t sign any order to invade but failed to mention briefings from Police before the invasion, that would have taken some political willpower on her behalf to proceed . Although the Police have constabulary independence from government, the fact the New Zealand Police conducted military operations and lay siege to a New Zealand township armed with high-powered assault rifles and didn’t consult the Prime Minister of the day seems far-fetched.
The 5th Labour government introduced the Terrorism suppression Act 2002 and Prime Minister Helen Clark could have requested Police commissioner Howard Broad use discretion and prosecute under the Arms Act 1983. Instead, Ms. Clark stood by while Police conducted a paranoid anti-terrorism raid that lead New Zealanders to suspect their fellow countrymen of being terrorists.
Ms. Clark was also the minister of the Government Communications Security Bureau (GCSB) and the New Zealand Security Intelligence Service (NZSIS ) that would have provided the Prime Minister with intelligence reports on any domestic terrorist threats to national security.
The 2007 invasion being the 3rd military raid into the Urewera by the New Zealand Police or its predecessor the Armed Constabulary it seems unrealistic the 2007 invasion was not influenced by Government when previous invasions were at the request of the Government.
If Helen Clark wants Māori to take her bid for the Secretary-General for the United Nations seriously she should avoid doubling down and make a genuine apology over the foreshore and seabed and the Terror raids of 2007 before continuing her bid to become the next secretary-general of the United Nations and one of the most powerful people on earth.
Documentary on the 2007 terrorist raids here