Today’s allegation by the Maori Council that holding young alleged offenders in police cells breaches the Treaty of Waitangi is the height of nonsense, Hobson’s Pledge spokesman Don Brash said today.
Maori Council executive member Matthew Tukaki said holding a young person in a police cell would be a direct breach of Te Tiriti o Waitangi because it failed to honour the partnership between the Crown and Maori.
“It is clearly undesirable for any young person to be held in prison longer than is absolutely necessary, whatever the ethnicity of that young person,” Dr Brash said.
“But to suggest that doing so is somehow contrary to a simple one-page document signed 179 years ago involving Maori chiefs ceding sovereignty to the Queen and being guaranteed in return both the ownership of their own property and the rights of British citizenship is, of course, the height of nonsense”, he said.
“It is long past time for this kind of gross distortion of our history to stop,” Dr Brash said.
“New Zealand First MP Clayton Mitchell’s suggestion that those members of the Maori Council concerned about the issue should volunteer to accommodate the young offenders in their own homes is surely appropriate,” he said.
Don Brash 021 420 144