INDEPENDENT NEWS

Name Sex Offenders Before "Cutting It Off"

Published: Thu 17 Aug 2000 10:58 AM
Name Sex Offenders Before "Cutting It Off"
Before Titiwhai Harawira considers “cutting it off” she should name
perpetrators as one solution to dealing with the disturbing increase in the
number of Maori sex offenders, ACT Maori Affairs and Education spokesperson
Donna Awatere Huata said today.
“ I call on her to show the lead and indeed speak out and name the sex
offenders in her own community, which she threatened to do earlier in the
year,” Mrs Huata said.
Mrs Huata was commenting after Mrs Harawira said today that sex offenders like
Taffy Hotene should be dealt with the in the ancient Maori way: having flax
tied around their penis and pulled tight until the organ dropped off.
Mrs Huata said she had a lot of sympathy for the victims of sexual abuse and
dealing out traditional “cultural punishment” held “some attraction.”
“However, while I can understand Mrs Harawira’s point of view I can not support
such extreme measures,” Mrs Huata said.
“Last-resort measures are not the way to deal with this problem.
“Before we start sharpening the flax knives, we need to look closely at the
core of the problem and that is education, life skills and dialogue, “ Mrs
Huata said.
She said ACT’s education policy had as a priority, the mentoring of families
of children from birth who were unlikely to be prepared well for school and
later life.
“Education and speaking out is the key to getting the whole debate about
abusive behaviour among Maori once and for all out in the open and dealt with.
“And that starts with people who take a leadership role, such as Mrs Harawira,”
Mrs Huata said.
ENDS

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