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Raid compensation 'unlikely' - Key

Wednesday 22 May 2013 4:31 p.m.

John Key talks to reporters, coincidently in front of a boat named 'Tuhoe' (photo: Hamish Clark/3 News)

John Key talks to reporters, coincidently in front of a boat named 'Tuhoe' (photo: Hamish Clark/3 News)

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Prime Minister John Key says it's unlikely those who were unlawfully detained and searched by police during the Urewera terror raids will get compensation.

A report released today by the Independent Police Conduct Authority found police were unlawful in a number of aspects, including roadblocks and property searches.

Numerous Ruatoki residents were illegally detained by police in the saga, including children, and Mr Key says that is a serious matter.

But the issue of compensation for those residents is something he's had no advice on.

"I would have thought it was unlikely but we'll see," he says.

"The police got that a little bit wrong and that's a serious matter in terms of the stress they put on those communities".

Mr Key says the findings of the report are "important and right" and it was appropriate for police to apologise for those particular errors.

He hasn't ruled out an apology from the Crown, but says he's taking advice on the matter.

"This was a significant operation, people were charged and went to jail on the back of firearm charges laid against them.

"Some of the activities undertaken by police, notwithstanding the seriousness of the operation and the potential risks, were unlawful and police have apologised for that," he says. 

Mr Key visited Ruatoki as leader of the Opposition two months before the raids took place in 2007, as a guest of Tuhoe. His diplomatic protection squad, which is an arm of police, deemed the area low risk.

But police had been investigating the area for two years prior and were in the process of planning a raid on a number of properties.

"You'd have to say it is a little odd given that one of the potential people who the threats were against was myself […] It does seem to contradict some of the other aspects of the overall operation," he says.

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