Peaceful Waitangi celebrations a sign of progress - Tame Iti

By Regan Paranihi

A prominent figure regularly associated with protest believes the shift to peaceful celebrations at Waitangi is a sign of progress between Māori and Pākeha.

Tame Iti (Tūhoe) says great strides have been made since he first joined protests at Te Tii Marae in Waitangi alongside his Tama Toa comrades in 1972.

He says at the time there was a distinct need for fierce confrontations due to the Crown ignoring and belittling the mana of Māori across the country.

Iti firmly believes the Crown still has a long way to go in acknowledging the mana of Māori but there has been a distinct shift from protest to conversation and listening to anyone and everyone.

Tame Iti spoke exclusively to Te Kāea about his memories and his new outlook of Waitangi celebrations.