National | Kelvin Davis

The intention was to give marae the greatest protection that we could - Minister Kelvin Davis

"The intention was to give marae the greatest protection that we could," Minister Kelvin Davis addresses the confusion over clause allowing Police to enter marae premises without a warrant.

Davis says the confusion was caused by people thinking the Government was specifically targeting marae.

"What we've done," he says, "Is listen to the concerns of Māoridom, we've heard from the Māori council, we've spoken to a number of people in our Māori community, we've seen the reaction to 'marae' being in here specifically, so what we're doing is removing that."

However, the change comes with caution.

"Māoridom has to be careful what they wish for, that's the problem." Davis continues to explain, "What is does is reduce the protections that were being afforded to marae."

He says, "Our intention was to give marae the best protection that we possibly could, we have heard the concerns, we have listened to Māori who think that they, that marae particularly have been targeted, and we've made the changes and listened to what Māoridom are saying.

"Unfortunately it reduces the protections were afforded to marae but that is what Māoridom has asked for."

The clause was highlighted last night by Opposition MP Alfred Ngaro who challenged raised concerns over 'marae' being highlighted in the clause.

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