Police under fire over 'slaughter Māori' YouTube video

By Rukuwai Tipene-Allen

Police are under fire following a YouTube video of a masked man expressing his desire to slaughter Māori people.

Police say the video has been passed on to intelligence staff for assessment and has been taken down from YouTube.

The Māori Party has since made a complaint to the Independent Police Conduct Authority (IPCA), saying the police failed to properly investigate racist threats to the party's co-leaders.

The video featured a masked man who at various times said Māori would be slaughtered in a "civil war," bragged about his killing skills and of training other white supremacists, made threats on marae and homes of Māori, and said he had a plan by "white, brave, patriot men" to "hit" 150 marae, and his wish to take as many Māori out as he could before he "goes."

Māori Party response

Māori Party co-leader Debbie Ngarewa-Packer says, “We are more than disappointed by the lack of Police response to our complaint. Communication and response time was inadequate, the police have continued to minimise the nature of the threat against us and our people.”

Packer also draws attention to the way police have responded to death threats against National MP Simeon Brown.

“We understand the perpetrator of the video threat against us is a white supremacist who admitted to creating and uploading the video. He was spoken to but not seen as a threat due to mental health issues," Ngarewa Packer says.

“In the Simeon Brown case on the other hand, we understand that two Māori have already appeared in court and charged for threatening to kill. It reeks of racial injustice and white privilege.” 

Police minister response 

In the Beehive yesterday, Te Ao Mārama political reporter Rukuwai Tipene-Allen questioned Police Minister Poto Williams, asking if the response to the YouTube threat against Māori was being policed fairly.

Williams said, "I think investigating those matters is absolutely appropriate. There's a process that everybody needs to go through and that is to investigate what is going on here.

And then whatever needs to happen after that point, whether that is charging this individual or not."

National's Simeon Brown says he knew nothing about the YouTube video threat.

He said: "If there's any calling for a massacre of Māori, I think that's completely unacceptable and should be taken very seriously."

Māori Party co-leader Rawiri Waitit said it was the responsibility of the government and its ministries to ensure the protection of its indigenous peoples by adopting policy, systems and processes that eliminate the ability for hate speech.

A review of the Intelligence and Security Act set will begin after July 1. 

Police reply

Police say they acknowledge the concerns raised by the Māori Party.

The police received multiple complaints regarding the YouTube video and say they are taking the matter "very seriously."

They have been actively investigating the video since the initial complaints were received last week, including conducting a search warrant.

As this is an active investigation, there is no further comment police will make at this time.