July 07, 2021
Iti coaches Tuhoe protest
Tame Iti says he’s taking a mentoring role with Tūhoe kaumātua opposing the tribal government because he believes in the right to protest and free speech.
The activist turned artist was involved in an incident outside the Taneatua headquarters of Te Uru Taumatua last week when security tried to turn away a group of kaumātua protesting what they say is a top-down approach to governance.
He says with 50 years of protest experience, his brief intervention was aimed at helping them achieve their goals safely while upholding their mana.
"We're not going to roll over just because they say jump, and say to them 'how high you want me to jump.' We've got to think about that. My role there is just to support those kaumātua. I have different opinions than some of those kaumātua we have some common ground we need to work together on. I mean I've got bigger tasks and bigger mahi ahead of me than spending my time protesting in front of our own," Mr Iti says.
The group was calling for new elections for Te Uru Taumatua.
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