The man best known to some for his activism, his imprisonment on firearms charges and his participation in military-style training camps and to others for his fight for Maori sovereignty, his art and his work with youth, has revealed his intentions to Fairfax Media.
Speaking in the home he built himself in Ruatoki, Iti said he had always supported the Maori Party and had decided to stand to boost the party’s support and because he endorsed the work it had done in government.
“Not very long ago I wouldn’t have thought about it but I see there’s more achievement… with National in terms of the treaty settlements so we have come a long way,” he said.
Having a Maori voice in power had led to gains in areas such as health and social services for Maori and it was important for Maori “to be sitting on the table rather than across the road throwing rocks at each other”.
My first reaction was that I am not sure that having Tame Iti praise the National Government is a good thing.
But actually it is. I’d much rather those with radical views become moderate and work within the system, than run around the bush playing war games.
And his words about how it is better to be around the table rather than throwing rocks, are sentiments I agree with.