Former Northland MP Dover Samuels wants a public apology for Maori children who were beaten during the 1940s for speaking their own language at school – including himself.
He says the beatings were part of the Crown's organised alienation and disempowerment of Maori.
Mr Samuels made the submission to the Waitangi Tribunal on behalf of all Ngapuhi children caned in the 1940s for speaking their own language.
"It was the beginning of the disempowerment of Ngari Kura, which is my hapu, and of course later on we found out the whole of Ngapuhi children right throughout the north suffered exactly the same."
Mr Samuels wants the apology to come from the Prime Minister, and not as part of the Ngapuhi land settlement.
"I think that the Prime Minister on behalf of the Crown should come out quite distinctly in a quite separate announcement to make such an apology to the children of that era.
"It should be recognised by the Crown in terms of injustice, and in contradiction of the Treaty of Waitangi and the protection guaranteed by the Crown."
Mr Samuels was a Labour MP between 1996 and 2008.