The Commissioner of Police has defended the police lock down of Ruatoki in October 2007, while admitting they got aspects of the operation wrong.
The Independent Police Complaints Authority has found police acted illegally in detaining people at road blocks and at four houses in the eastern Bay of Plenty settlement during the arrest of people connected with military-style camps in Te Urewera.
Peter Marshall, who was out of the New Zealand police at the time, says the police have accepted and acted on the IPCA’s criticism.
But he says the conduct of the raid was an operational matter.
"The chemistry, the dynamics, the atmospherics of the time, it's very difficult for me to appreciate six years after the event, but they were there because they wanted to carry out the search warrants in a safe manner. There is no question they got it wrong. If I was able to look at it now with fresh eyes and something was happening, we would approach the tactics in a totally different manner. We got it wrong," he says.
Mr Marshall says despite the IPCA endorsing the decision to exclude iwi liaison officers for the operation, in retrospect, he would have involved them in some way.
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