Online extra: Tame Iti interview

By Regan Paranihi

Tame Iti has been the face of many protests in the past, but now his activism resides closer to home.

“I have pride right here in my own backyard.  Here is the home of pride, here is my world.”

In 1972, Iti was a part of activist group Ngā Tama Toa, who went to Waitangi to cause disruption at the hui.

“I went there to protest at Waitangi as well as to protest all over the country to support other tribes because of the bad things the Crown were doing to other tribes as well as my tribe, Tuhoe.” he says.

Iti has been a wel-known figure in the decades since, famously baring his buttocks and shooting a New Zealand flag in front of Crown representatives at a Waitangi Tribunal hearing in Ruatoki in 2005.

However, Iti believes that times are changing and the front lines of the battle have shifted, even with respect to Waitangi Day.

“Nowadays we’ve lifted the standards. The Waitangi we see and talk about today has grown to a whole other level because the Crown is starting to mend what they did in the past.”

Iti says that sovereignty does not lie within the government, does not lie at Waitangi, but lies within the places closest to the marae.