When police carried out their infamous terror raids against Tuhoe eight years ago, children were among the most affected.
In one incident, armed police surrounded a school bus. Police have already apologised for the hurt they caused and today a group of Tuhoe children came to Wellington as guests of the police.
Many Tuhoe children were scared of the police after the raids eight years ago. Today they walked into the police college welcomed by police. The group travelled to Wellington from Ruatoki yesterday, and will spend three nights in the capital.
The visit was organised by the police who last year formally apologised to Tuhoe for the raids."It doesn't just end with an apology," says Commissioner Mike Bush.He says police need to "rebuild a relationship between Tuhoe and the New Zealand Police".
Mr Bush admits the youngest in the community were the among the worst affected by the raids. In one incident armed police stopped a bus carrying children to school. "These people are the future of Tuhoe," says Mr Bush. "It has to start with young people."
He hopes the trip will rebuild faith in the police to the point where some of the students consider becoming police officers themselves. Tomorrow the group will come to Parliament for a formal welcome and tour before visiting the wharf, police and Te Papa.
The police have already hailed the trip a success, with repeat trips already being considered.