Adam Bennett

Adam is a political reporter for the New Zealand Herald.

Henare: Surveillance log 'nothing to worry about'

Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo / Mark Mitchell
Maori Party co-leader Te Ururoa Flavell. Photo / Mark Mitchell

There is little to be worried about in an Operation 8-related police surveillance log obtained by Te Ururoa Flavell says National MP Tau Henare, who says he has seen the document.

Maori Party Co-leader Mr Flavell says he has a police log, which shows surveillance associated with Operation 8 ran from 2005 to 2009, rather than the 18 month period leading up to the 2007 Ruatoki raid as previously thought. He also says the documents reveal high profile Maori and Pakeha, and people outside the Ruatoki and Whakatane areas were watched.

Mr Flavell has given the log to Police for verification, but Mr Henare this morning told reporters he had seen the document.

"I'm quite satisfied that it is just a surveillance log. I think there may be some people making more out of what is just a normal surveillance log."

Mr Henare said the high profile Maori mentioned in the log and referred to by Mr Flavell, were mentioned incidentally rather than being surveillance targets.

"I don't think there's a lot to be worried about."

Mr Henare confirmed the log does contain references to a minister, who "just happens to be at Waitangi at Waitangi day and bumps into these two people under surveillance".

"That's why they get captured in that net so to speak."

"It has a log in it where a couple of people approach a politician at a race day for goodness sake."

Mr Henare said he couldn't verify that people were under surveillance long after the Ruatoki raid, `"but I can verify it's over a long period which is normal for surveillance".

During a closed hearing of Parliament's Maori affairs committee last week Mr Flavell questioned Police Commissioner Peter Marshall on the documents.

Mr Flavell has not so far made the documents public, telling Maori Television's Te Kaea they "could cause all sorts of damage".

But Labour's Shane Jones has called on Mr Flavell to table the documents in Parliament.

"I construed his allegations to be so grievous that unless he's a scaremonger, he should just put up or shut up."

"You don't make such grievous allegation without having done a fair bit of due diligence."
If Mr Flavell had checked the documents' veracity, "he should lay them in the House".

If the documents proved genuine, "than that's an extraordinarily dangerous development", particularly at a time when Mr Marshall was working to repair the Police relationship with Tuhoe.

- NZ Herald

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