Who guards the guards? Experts call for oversight of New Zealand’s terror laws

Who guards the guards? Experts call for oversight of New Zealand’s terror laws

The Guardian

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The fiasco of the Operation 8 counter-terror operation in 2007 looms over new laws and how police judge who or what poses a threat

In the early hours of an October morning in 2007, teams of armed police stormed Rūātoki, a lush green valley in the North Island of New Zealand. Equipped with new anti-terrorism powers, they stopped school buses, set up roadblocks, raided houses, arrested 18 people across the country, and detained many more in their homes for hours.

“I was only 7 at the time,” Kunere Timoti, one of the children caught up in the raids told the New Zealand Herald. “I remember the bus stopping and then looking out my window… What I saw then will stay with me forever,” he said. Outside, a balaclava-clad man had a gun pointed at the bus. Whetumarama Purewa, who was six years old at the time, told The Hui that 10 years on from the raids, she still hasn’t forgotten. “I still feel hurt, I think all of us still feel hurt, we all still feel that trauma that they did to us. Not just to us – the things like they pointed guns at them and they didn’t even do anything wrong.”

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