Tame Iti is a good bloke

Auckland City Harbour News - - News -

“Will you apol­o­gise to Tame?” I asked Ron­nie Mark on Close Up last week when we de­bated whether Tame Iti should be al­lowed out of the coun­try while fac­ing firearm charges. “No way!” said Ron­nie. “Tame’s a dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent crim­i­nal who smacked one of his mates on the head with a ta­iaha a few years ago.”

Now while I can’t deny that, in my book it doesn’t make Tame a dan­ger­ous and vi­o­lent crim­i­nal.

The real story about Tame is that he is one of this coun­try’s true char­ac­ters.

He’s been called a ter­ror­ist, which is rub­bish. He’s a provo­ca­teur, stir­rer, en­ter­tainer – some­one who makes so­ci­ety think and pushes is­sues to the edge.

Okay he gets a lit­tle car­ried away some­times, like when he bared his back­side to the Wai­tangi Tri­bunal, and un­for­tu­nately for us that scene is re­peated far too of­ten on TV.

He also shot at a flag and spat at Labour MPs dur­ing the fore­shore protest march.

Sure those ac­tions shouldn’t be ap­plauded, al­though the flag ended up be­ing an Aussie one and the MPs he spat at had just sold out Maoridom over the fore­shore and seabed is­sue.

It prob­a­bly wasn’t right, but it cer­tainly doesn’t make Tame the Maori Osama bin Laden, as Ron­nie would have you be­lieve.

No, Ron­nie’s de­scrip­tions are based purely on get­ting his mates and him­self back into Par­lia­ment.

They’re down in the polls, so it’s race card time. They went af­ter the Asians to no avail so now it’s boot Maori, in the shape of Tame Iti.

Some might feel – not me of course – that Tame should se­ri­ously con­sider pulling out that ta­iaha again. • Lis­ten to Wil­lie Jack­son at 10am on Mon­day on Ra­dio Waatea 603AM.

Lis­ten to Wil­lie Jack­son on Mon­day at 10am on Ra­dio Waatea 603AM

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