Friday, September 01, 2017

About bloody time

Over a hundred years ago, armed police stormed Maungapohatu in an effort to arrest Tuhoe Prophet, Rua Kenana. In the process, they murdered his son. In the aftermath, desperate for something to justify their violence, the police prosecuted Kenana for sedition. That failed, so they convicted him of "moral resistance" instead, and sentenced him to a grossly disproportionate 12 months hard labour followed by 18 months imprisonment. But now, he's going to be pardoned:

The Crown will officially pardon a Tuhoe prophet and leader was arrested in 1916 during a raid in which his son was killed.

Maori Development Minister Te Ururoa Flavell announced today that the Crown will sign the historic agreement at the site where Rua Kenana was arrested on April 2 1916.


Flavell said the Waitangi Tribunal in 2012 determined excessive force was used in the police raid and it was unlawful.

"It has been over a century since this happened and it is time to right that wrong.

"I am proud to announce the Crown intends to bring in legislation to pardon Rua Kenana and this agreement with his whanau and followers of the Iharaira faith is another step on that journey.

Good. Kenana's conviction was unjust, an exercise in pure tyranny. I am glad that it will be overturned. But while we're at it, how about pardoning all the others the government has convicted for opposing it as well?