The actions of two police officers who walked into a marae's wharenui in the early hours of the morning to search and photograph a group of children in their pyjamas are deeply concerning, Labour’s Associate Police spokesperson Kelvin Davis says.
"There are ways and means to do things that maintain dignity and do not cause offence. Unfortunately in this case they seem to have been were ignored.
“It is not just the people of this particular marae that have been aggrieved, but all Maori and no doubt parents everywhere.
"People have the right to be treated with dignity, especially children. Instead in this case the police reportedly walked into a sacred house in their boots, and searched and photographed children as if they were all criminals.
"This was the law trampling on Maori lore.
"A far more appropriate approach would have been to talk to parents and elders, and wait until morning to question the children. They were asleep and weren't going anywhere.
“In this instance a bit of respect and common sense would have achieved the desired outcome.
“The police are doing the right thing in meeting with marae representatives to hear their concerns,” Kelvin Davis said.