The NZ Herald reports:
Deputy Prime Minister Michael Cullen had to be protected from an angry mob of screaming protesters after being verbally abused and jostled before the signing of a historic Maori land claim agreement between the Crown and a small Far North iwi.
The event became so heated that the meeting was hastily transferred to another location.
This is disgraceful behaviour, and seriously undermines the goodwill necessary for historic grievances to be settled. As Shane Jones say:
Mr Jones said the incident was bizarre. “Here we are trying to give back 3000ha to people. Anyone else would give their eye teeth for that and be green with envy.”
Now this is not to say that members of an Iwi or Hapu who do not agree with a proposed settlement can not protest against it. But it seems obvious the nature of the protest went well beyond what is acceptable.
The deadline for filing historic claims is next year. The good thing about this is that the number of unresolved claims can only then start to reduce.