School torched in Maori land row
Friday 22 September 1995
New Zealand's Prime Minister, Jim Bolger, spoke of his outrage at the behaviour of the demonstrators, who resisted up to 100 police when they moved in to enforce an eviction order, and said he would not allow "a few hotheads" to set the political agenda. Maoris criticised the government for its handling of the dispute, the latest in a series of confrontations which have highlighted racial tensions in New Zealand.
An Auckland University lecturer, Margaret Mutu, said Maoris, about 13 per cent of the 3.5 million population, were increasingly frustrated with the failure to resolve historic grievances over the loss of ancestral land. "I know there is a very strong mood in Maoridom now. We have waited patiently for the Crown to settle our claims," she said.
A radio reporter at the scene said protesters, including children, used torches to light a series of fires. Thick black smoke billowed from car tyres stacked outside the old school near Kaitaia, on the North Island.
Police said they arrested nine men and six women on charges of assault, trespass, obstruction and dangerous driving, and also detained two youths, aged 10 and 13, who were caught lighting diesel-soaked tyres.
One Maori opposition politician, Tau Henare, said ministers were partly to blame because of their refusal to tackle the dispute, which had rumbled on for more than six months.
Maoris have more than 500 claims outstanding for the return of lands they argue were confiscated by European settlers in breach of an 1840 treaty with the British. The government is struggling to win acceptance of a proposed NZ$1bn (pounds 430m) settlement package but refuses to discuss growing Maori demands for sovereignty, saying there can be only one state and one parliament.
- 2 Moscow voted the world's unfriendliest city
- 3 The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
- 4 I'm pansexual – here are the five biggest misconceptions about my sexuality
- 5 More than 11,000 Icelanders offer to house Syrian refugees to help European crisis
The one chart that shows how George Osborne is almost certainly going to be our next Prime Minister
The excuses your boss is most likely to believe when you call in sick
Bono's group has made more money from Facebook investment than from all his music
Three-year-old ultra-Orthodox Jewish children told 'the non-Jews' are 'evil' in worksheet produced by London school
Wikipedia rocked by 'rogue editors' blackmail scam targeting small businesses and celebrities
Climate change: 2015 will be the hottest year on record 'by a mile', experts say
Jeremy Corbyn calls Osama bin Laden's killing a 'tragedy' - but was it taken out of context?
If these extraordinarily powerful images of a dead Syrian child washed up on a beach don’t change Europe’s attitude to refugees, what will?
If you're not already angry about the refugee crisis, here's a history lesson to remind you why you really should be
Tony Blair attacks Jeremy Corbyn's 'Alice In Wonderland' politics
Theresa May says migrants should be banned from entering the UK unless they have jobs lined up
£40000 - £42000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an exciting opportunity...
£35000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This IT support company has a n...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A works engineer is required in a progressive ...
£21000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Our client is seeking someone w...