Brian Edwards Media

The Urewera Six – the new face of terrorism.

Image created by Alison Withers

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69 Comments:

  1. chortle!! ;)

    They run the country! EEK.

  2. Crikey B.E – have you come back from prolonged illness with a vendetta gene implanted? Unlike you to be so nasty.

    And given that HC was in charge at the time, more than a little inaccurate, hmmm?

    JC: Brian did not post this. I did. Why? Because I think it’s funny. I would think it was funny if the culprits were members of Helen Clark’s Cabinet. Ho hum – why do we take party politics so seriously in this country?

  3. On the other hand, Paula does look good in camo – must be a westie thing

  4. 4

    Raymond A Francis

    And your point is?
    Can anyone remember which party was running this country when this hand grenade was dropped onto the publics lap

  5. Doubt that the Six would expose their true intent for such public gaze. They would dress in expensive suits and Old Boy ties to deflect and confuse and lull us.

  6. Serious questions should be asked about the Urewera case, but not like this – since none of those pictured had anything much to do with it.

    Paul Holmes makes some good points in today’s Herald. For me, some of the issues are:

    1. With such a well-known bunch of Walter Mittys, why didn’t the local cops just roll up and ask Tama Iti the usual, “Ullo, ullo, ullo. What’s going on here?” Seems to me that would have saved the best part of $5M worth of trouble.

    2. If people want to play silly buggers with guns, old stoves and bottles of petrol on their own private land that is their business. Leave them alone.

    3. Lefty nutters are always with us. As The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy reported: “Mostly Harmless”. Must we waste police resources watching them?

    4. I don’t understand the Court’s decision to allow the illegally obtained evidence to be used for the supposedly serious charge of participating in an organised criminal group. This charge seems to have exactly the same fatal flaw that led to the suppression of terrorism charge being dropped. How can you belong to a criminal group if it hasn’t committed a crime? Exactly the same problem of belonging to a terrorism group that hasn’t committed terrorism. There seems to have been no evidence whatever of a realistic plan actually to commit a crime – or terrorism for that matter. So what was the Court up to?

  7. David Shearer will have his hands full dealing with the unsavoury “show me the money’ gang. Just as well he’s been on active service in Somalia. Tame Iti took one look at them and ran across Lake Waikaremoana without touching the water.

  8. Ah! The greedy middle class unmasked.

    I think both PH and AW are being a little simplistic. We are unlikely to know the full story, but I doubt whether one would play inocently with guns and cans of petrol and then claim one is training to be a security guard. The excuse is so far fetched as to give grounds for suspicion as to the real intent.

    Hindsight is a wonderful thing. Had the police taken the avuncular approach suggested and acts of terrorism had come about these same people would now be blaming the police for not being firm enough.

  9. Ben, it’s not avuncular, it’s simply using local knowledge and relationships to get to the guts of things instead of sitting back in Wellington hatching paranoid fantasies.

    It’s just what rural cops all over the country do all the time.

    And I don’t think it was innocent, I think it was stupid fantasising and could easily have been nipped in the bud by good local policing.

  10. i do recall being told that the plan was to assasinate helen clark. i may of course be wrong but that’s what someone related to a policeman told me. when do you say – hah, it’s a joke or holy sh*t? because it’s nz, we all think is -it’s a joke. the drama does look a bit comic and naiive so they got off,
    it was a labour party time so putting national party people in the thread is out of the timewarp.

  11. 11

    bje, I don’t believe that “plan” has any credibility – even as a vague objective.

    My best guess is the whole police operation was driven from Wellington B.S. Castle from the start, perhaps as a result of monitoring the Lefty nutters involved there. Then Tuhoi got dragged into it as they provided the territory, firearms and gratuitous violence – the perfect storm of stupid ideas meeting stupid actions.

  12. Tama Iti might just be a dim-witted old oaf, but that doesn’t mean we must take his activities lightly. Alan says: “How can you belong to a criminal group if it hasn’t committed a crime? Exactly the same problem of belonging to a terrorism group that hasn’t committed terrorism.”

    Isn’t planning an act of crime or terrorism a crime in itself? Or do you have to blow the harbour bridge before there’s an offence committed?

    Alan also says: “I don’t understand the Court’s decision to allow the illegally obtained evidence to be used”. Would you feel the same way if the illegally obtained footage was of a rape or a murder? “Whe know where the body is and who did it but we can’t prosecute because the cameras were illegally placed”. Yeah, right.

    If those cretins want to play terrorists out in the bush that’s their affair, but when they get treated as such they can hardly claim to have been treated unfairly: rightly, if the police did nothing and some horrendous act had been perpetrated, the cops’d get it in the neck again.

    For me, it’s the same offence as holding up a bank with a fake firearm. Try getting on a plane with a pretend bomb and see where you spend the next week.

    Disclaimer: I actually like Tama Iti – he, along with Winston Peters, Kim Dotcom, Tim Shadbolt, the Christchurch Wizard and possibly Colin Meads is a national treasure and should be preserved as such. But he’s overstepped the mark this time, cost us all a fortune and should be treated like the terrorist he fantasises himself as.

    Stupid bugger.

  13. 13

    Zinc, the problem is there was no evidence, zilch, they were even planning a crime. What was the target? What even was the purpose?

    That was why I don’t understand the decision to prosecute and to allow the illegal evidence under the exceptional clause in the legislation. If the terrorism charge was ruled out, so should the criminal one have been on the same basis.

    Your comparison with a rape or murder is just silly – the difference between a serious crime having been committed or not. Can you detect the difference? I can.

    So is your comparison with holding up a bank or threatening to blow up a plane. Actually crimes were committed, real people were caused harm and loss. None of that happened here. How hard is that to understand?

    Frankly, all that needed to happen was for the local cops to go in and say to Tama and his mates: “What are you doing, what are you playing at? Better sort this out before you get into trouble.”

    An ounce of common sense is worth a pound of bureaucratic, paranoid nonsense.

  14. 14

    Actually, I do understand the decision to prosecute on a political level. Pulling out would have left police HQ exposed to the ridicule they fully deserve.

  15. I dislike anyone playing with Guns ,those pictured or the Urewera group.Guns are designed to kill and should never be taken lightly.

  16. 16

    Bugger, I’ve just seen the HoS editorial agrees with everything I’ve said. Despite that, I still think it’s absolutely right.

  17. 17

    pjr, the essence of liberty is that other people are allowed to do things you don’t like so that you are allowed to do things they don’t like.

    The test is only whether they cause real harm to others.

  18. Yep Alan. I waved away the Jehovah Witness couple before they could knock. They are welcome to their delusions as long as they don’t bother me.
    I have know many young men who love to blast away with guns. Too many action movies being relived in fantasy.
    What is surprising about the Six above is that every one of them has only one eye. “The One-eyed Six enjoy their Fantasies!”

  19. These guys don’t look like they’re part of the Urerewa gun club. They look more like the guys who featured on Marc Ellis’s interesting insight into New Zealand right wing gun clubs – How the Other Half Lives.
    “Marc Ellis heads into the Canterbury wilderness with a group of hardcore Survivalists who believe that the world, as we know it, is about to change forever as a result of wide scale civil unrest.”
    Kyle Chapman, ex National Front and racist white-power-type-guy shows Marc how to keep the country strong. They were quite happy to show Marc all they knew about guns, unarmed combat and other great ways of staying white.
    The police could have saved heaps of time if they just sent a TVNZ camera crew into the Ureweras with Marc Ellis. A fist fight between him and Tame Iti would have been priceless.
    Watch the sometimes hilarious show here:
    http://tvnz.co.nz/how-the-other-half-lives/other-half-lives-s2-e1-video-3763071

  20. It is easy to dismiss the the Urerewa four and others involved as fantisists. Probably Timothy McVeigh would have been regardless as a harmless nutter. The Al Quaeda guy in France was being monitored by the security forces who failed to act because they were not convinced a crime was about to be committed.

    Just because someone is a fantasist and a nutter does not mean they are harmless. This prosecution was absolutely correct and regardless of the cost the four should be retried on the matter of participating in a criminal group.

    It is absurd to say that because no act of terrorism took place that no charges should have been laid. In future do we have to wait for the terrorism to take place before anything is done?

    Because of the decision of the Supreme Court we only know a fraction of what went on. I would love to see the suppressed evidence as well.

    Sorry, Alan, if the HoS agrees with you, you are most definitely wrong.

    JC, you must be regretting your decision to inject a little light relief into the blog!

  21. Sorry, I have to make it clear that I actually do know how to spell ‘fantasist’.

  22. @ Ben
    “Ah! The greedy middle class unmasked.”

    Yes we are all mostly middle class here in NZ Ben. I would argue that its the middle class that provides the bulk of the labor force as well as pay the bulk in tax and are the most educated and skilled. Some are greedy though, some are not. In my opinion the faces in the photo spoof overwhelmingly represent the greedy.

  23. okay – the way forward- we wait til there’s a body or two and then we accuse the police of incompetence because we like to make the police always get it wrong- no matter what.
    hey ianmac – what weaponry were the witnesses carrying when they ambushed you? did they put a bag over your head and shove you round the garden while dead-heading your roses with an automatic? oh, now there’s a picture.

  24. bje.“did they put a bag over your head and shove you round the garden while dead-heading your roses with an automatic? oh, now there’s a picture.”
    Nope. But if they were decent folk they could have offered to dead head – the roses. They did intend to pour a bag of biblical claptrap over my head but with earnest self preservation in mind. I did point them to my neighbour a devout Catholic, and told them that he was desperate for salvation.
    Mick hasn’t spoken to me since.

  25. 25

    Ben: “It is easy to dismiss the the Urerewa four and others involved as fantasists.”

    Of course it is, because it’s correct.

    “Just because someone is a fantasist and a nutter does not mean they are harmless.” Nope, as the Hitchhikers Guide pronounced: “Mostly harmless”. The job of the police is to keep them that way. Spending $5M on a prosecution that fails is not a sensible way to go about it when a bit of sensible local policing could have fixed the problem for about $100.

  26. 26

    bje: “okay – the way forward- we wait til there’s a body or two and then we accuse the police of incompetence because we like to make the police always get it wrong- no matter what.”

    I repeat:

    “Frankly, all that needed to happen was for the local cops to go in and say to Tama and his mates: “What are you doing, what are you playing at? Better sort this out before you get into trouble.”

    An ounce of common sense is worth a pound of bureaucratic, paranoid nonsense.

    Tama Iti is a performer. Of course he liked playing guerillas in the bush. But it was his bush and he is entitled to play there. And there is no indication anyone else was endangered.

  27. Pardon me, Judy. Senile dementia is getting the best of me. :-)

  28. ah, ianmac, what a picture. i usually take the pamphlet, smile whilst saying “good luck” and close the door.

  29. So, Alan; if police become aware that a group is plotting to kidnap Alan Wilkinson, torture him and extort large sums of money from Mrs Wilkinson for his return, you are comfortable that the police should just say, “tut, tut; don’t be naughty boys. Go and fantasise somewhere else.”

  30. Remember The Rainbow Warrior ,who can be sure what these people were thinking.

  31. 31

    pjr, the Rainbow Warrior was sunk by professional French Government agents. What on earth are you thinking?

  32. @ Alan
    “pjr, the Rainbow Warrior was sunk by professional French Government agents. What on earth are you thinking?”

    Probably the same non-thinking brought about largely by extreme left vs right ideologues. As an example, I don’t support ‘asset sales’ so therefore I am a socialist lefty nutter.

  33. In my opinion Tama is not a lover of US foreign policy and to think he would be involved in the training of security personnel who might be destined to support any US led invasion of another country is just ludicrous.
    It’s also amusing to read how some think the local police should have wandered over, “ullo, ullo, ullo”, and smacked a few heads together to sort out the situation. It’s clear the writers of those comments know little of the ways this part of the country. I believe Tama is a showman who thrives on being the centre of attention and in my opinion, because of his seemingly foolish behaviour, he owes the people of Ruatoki an apology for the terror he has wrought.

  34. 34

    Kat: “socialist lefty nutter” – surely some redundancy there?

  35. Alan Wilkinson – Not often I find myself in agreement with you, but I concur fully with your March 24th, 2012 at 15:19 post.

    The local police would’ve known everyone in the area on a first-name basis. They could just as easily strolled up to Iti’s house; asked him what the hell he was playing at; and advised him to pull his head in – at least until the Wellington “big wigs” lost interest.

    There are several things we can take from this taxpayer-funded fiasco.

    One is that the odious “Terrorism Suppression Act” needs to be binned. ASAP. Like, gone by lunchtime.

    And on this issue, we on the Left need to take responsibility for what a Labour-led government got up to, in our name.

  36. 36

    Kay Dee: “It’s also amusing to read how some think the local police should have wandered over, “ullo, ullo, ullo”, and smacked a few heads together to sort out the situation. It’s clear the writers of those comments know little of the ways this part of the country.”

    Oh really? I suspect I’ve lived in remote Maori communities a lot longer than you.

  37. 37

    What a load of absolute b.s. from the Attorney-General. First, Annette King was criticising police tactics, not the evidence. Second, the Courts are far too precious about much-needed criticism anyway. It is hard to think of any other institution that delivers such appalling value for money. From the Herald:

    Ms King said she had no idea police would use the tactics they did when carrying out the operation, particularly around children and older people.

    “I think many of the Cabinet, probably most of the Cabinet and the caucus, was dismayed at the way people were upset in that community that had nothing to do with anything that had been going on in the area.

    In a statement, Mr Finlayson criticised Ms King for making allegations about the investigation, saying that the matter was still before the court and it was inappropriate for the Labour MP to comment publicly.

    Mr Finlayson said the group was yet to be sentenced, the defendants might yet appeal their guilty verdicts, and the Crown Solicitor was yet to make a decision on whether or not to seek a re-trial on the charges where no verdict was returned.

    “It is extremely disappointing a former minister of the police would make these comments on television when she knows full well the Court process must run its course.”

    “It is inappropriate for anyone, but particularly for politicians, to comment publicly on matters that are before the courts.”

  38. Banging heads together in Rural NZ is Police Policy supported by statute?

  39. 39

    pjr: “Banging heads together” Your words, not mine. But this is policy:

    http://www.police.govt.nz/about/maori-and-police.html:

    Community Approach
    Police have developed action plans to make the goal of improving relationships with Māori, particularly youth, a reality. These plans include maintaining a network of support for each Police district and close consultation with local iwi.

    Community Policing
    Community policing is both a community centred philosophy and an approach to dealing with community related crime and safety problems. It involves problem solving, working with government, non-government and community groups in a co-ordinated way to reduce crime and road trauma and increase community safety and reassurance.

  40. Tama Iti and his followers are hopefully down
    stream from Waikaremoana. If not the lake will rise by a metre, as Tama and his mates roll about giggling.

  41. Alan. You may well have lived in rural Maori communities a lot longer than me, so what, it’s not a competition.
    The idea that the “terror raids” could have been averted by a local copper wandering in and sorting it out is ridiculous. It just doesn’t work that way in Ruatoki. The District Council don’t even enforce building codes there.

  42. since that guy at aramoana shot all those people, including the local policeman, the constaularly have been nervy about gun complaints.
    we had a neighbour reportedly threaten someone with a firearm and next thing our road was blocked off and the ninjas were creeping along our hedgerow. they take it seriously.

  43. 43

    Kay Dee, well it certainly works that way up in the north here. The local cops, usually Maori themselves, work with the community, know who the trouble-makers are and sort stuff out on a common sense basis all the time.

    Building consents are another matter and frankly I’m with the Maori on that. Ridiculous moronic bureaucracy best ignored.

  44. I’m inclined to side with the police in this case. The Urewera group may well be grand standing morons or half wits but I cannot condone their actions. Groups of camouflaged idiots, with illegally acquired automatic weapons, and throwing molotov cocktails can only end up as bad news. More worrying is the effect on the young and bored ‘associates’. The recent ‘terrorist’ incident in France being an example of an impressionable young guy, who the police were aware of, but who was given the benefit of the doubt. And what about the Swiss guy, and the hard boiled American spokesperson telling us how to run our own country. What’s their game? Go back to Switzerland and start shooting guns and throwing petrol bombs and see how tolerant your compatriots are.

  45. @ Alan
    “socialist lefty nutter” – surely some redundancy there?

    Ha, never really had the position!

  46. 46

    rick: “I cannot condone their actions”.

    So what? Who cares? You probably do things I wouldn’t condone either. However and fortunately, unless you do something illegal you are entitled to do it.

    So far the only thing illegal they have been proven to do is violate some fire arms charges – and that using evidence the police obtained illegally by trespass and which was ruled to be invalid except for the most serious charge which in fact they have not been convicted on.

    Annette Sykes is quite correct that the minor convictions are legally unsound failing a conviction on the major charge.

  47. @ Alan. ‘minor convictions are legally unsound failing a conviction on the major charge’. What a load of rubbish. Are you saying If I convict you for driving at 150km/h, but fail to convict you on the more serious charge of dangerous driving, that makes the speeding offence unsound. Of course not. Because this is another ‘delicate’ maori issue we give the benefit of the doubt time and again. If they were Christchurch white supremacists they’d be jailed and Annette Sykes would not consider the convictions unsound.

  48. @Alan “Unless you do something illegal you are entitled to do it”.
    An ethically bankrupt statement.

  49. 49

    @pjr, simply true. Value choices come later.

    @rick, you seem to have missed the point, perhaps deliberately. The Supreme Court ruled the illegally-obtained police evidence could only be used to support the serious charge. However, it appears to have been used to support the minor charges whereas that was explicitly forbidden against all the other defendants who did not face the serious charge. Nothing to do with being Maori.

  50. yes -to what rick has posted – and i believe the american and swiss individuals make any thought of it being a maori issue null and void.
    did the american woman coin the phrase, as used in the media,”the tuhoe nation.”
    the americanisation of the tangata whenua- ugh.

  51. @ Alan. I think the real point here is that when dealing with illegally obtained automatic weapons, molotov cocktails, and potentially terrorist type planning, it should not matter if the evidence was gained legally or illegally. I don’t advocate a police state, but when faced with an ostensibly serious criminal activity being planned, police must be given adequate means of surveillance. Driving up to Ruatoki and asking politely if they minded some discrete hidden cameras really doesn’t cut it.

  52. 52

    rick: ” it should not matter if the evidence was gained legally or illegally”.

    But it does. That’s why we have laws to control both the police and the public. Both are obliged to comply with them.

    “when faced with an ostensibly serious criminal activity being planned”

    Except they weren’t – as shown by the failure to convict even when the illegally-obtained video evidence was allowed.

  53. To my mind there are two circumstances where evidence should be able to be gathered by whatever means.

    !/. Anarchist/ Terrorist planning, training and communication where the likely outcome threatens to de stabilise the country or injure/ kill citizens.

    2/. Production, importation and distribution of Class A drugs.

    A decision to initiate surveillance should reside with the Commissioner of Police and/or the Director SIS. The Prime Minister is the only politician that needs to be advised. These three will be held accountable for any untoward outcome.

    Jury trials in these cases are inappropriate. There is too much emotional and misplaced trust awarded to the accused, by well meaning amateur jurors, who can apparently tell if people are guilty by just looking at them. I have been on such a jury. If you must have a jury, it should be a panel trained in the specifics of these often complex and boring cases. A panel comprising three senior judges would be preferable.

  54. Alan, re my earlier comment I would imagine Mrs Wilkinson would be relieved if someone did kidnap you, just to stop you arguing. I would feel sorry for the kidnappers though; they would be the ones suffering from the Stockholm Syndrome I think :)

  55. 55

    Ben, I wouldn’t care to be my kidnapper since Mrs Wilkinson is formidable when angered even if they survived my argumentation.

  56. @ Alan. “Mrs Wilkinson is formidable when angered” I fear Ben means that there would be a high likelihood that Mrs Wilkinson would not be angered should you be kidnapped. Heaven forbid.

  57. 57

    rick, I’m very confident I know Mrs Wilkinson better than Ben does.

  58. Has anyone actually asked Mrs Wilkinson her reaction should you be kidnapped?

    At least she would be comforted by the police telling the perpetrators what naughty boys they were.

  59. 59

    Ben, why would you think I would marry anyone as silly as you are pretending to be?

  60. “serious criminal activity?” It was us who stole their land.

  61. Get real Gerard.

    They sold it for a slack handful of beads and blankets but that was way back then. As far as I am told Maori weren’t on track to develope the internal combustion engine, currency, tarmac, Penicillin, grog, dope, heart transplants, democracy and the dole back in 1820, so it’s a case of we Pakeha enhancing their lives, not detracting from it. Yea they may have lost a few acres of unfarmable scrub but Jeeeezzzzz……look at the rewards! What a deal!

    Comments like yours confine Maori to the underbelly of society and will keep them there forever. That they consider themselves less equal than Pakeha is sad, unfortunate and factually inaccurate (they have as much intellectual chance as anyone) but while the grievance profession is a viable alternative to actually earning a living, who can blame them? The problem is simply motovation.

  62. 62

    Gerard, speak for yourself – especially when it is twaddle. For a start, Maori were lucky. Most of our ancestors didn’t own any land to be stolen. That’s why they emigrated.

    Neither did they steal any land from anyone. They worked hard, saved and bought what they could from willing sellers. There are still willing sellers and it still takes hard work and saving to buy land.

    Or you can exploit your ancestors’ grievances and try to get something for nothing. Yes, some of the grievances were real, justified and caused hardship. However none of that excuses the present lazy segment of a generation trying to get a free ride on their genes.

    And if you stole their land, give it back and go to jail.

  63. The only fair way to address these issues is to become a socialist nation

  64. You are both teasing me arn’t you. But just in case you are not can I suggest you read a little history Zinc and Alan. Try ‘Ask that Mountain’ by Dick Scott. It chronicles some of the confiscation of Maori land. Either it records nonsense or you both write it.

    Try this even.
    http://october15thsolidarity.info/node/221

  65. 65

    Gerard, I don’t have to read anything additional to know that your “us” was twaddle.

    “Yes, some of the grievances were real, justified and caused hardship.” – as I already said.

    But not caused by “us”.

  66. Alan by “us” I am referring to the voice of a dominant culture. The rules that we all live with are the same rules that allowed our ancestors to steal land belonging to others.

    You speak of, “the present lazy segment of a generation trying to get a free ride on their genes.” Isn’t this defining an action as belonging to a race? I assume you are not speaking of “us”, but “them”.

    Those who were not the “willing sellers” you speak of, had their land confiscated and their way of being outlawed. Their descendants you describe as lazy. I reckon sadness and depression is still relevant.

    And I don’t understand why these New Zealanders are considered criminals because they want to live on their own land in their own way.

    It is “us” who is branding “them” criminals.

  67. 67

    Gerard, first, I am not branding them as criminals. I defend their right to play games on their own land undisturbed and unspied on (legally or illegally) so long as they do not harm others in any significant way.

    Second, I was careful to say “lazy segment” when criticising those trying to get a free ride on their genes. That is explicit, clear and precise in my opinion. In no way does it include “all Maori”.

    Completely different to your categorising most everyone else as “us” to blame for unspecified actions before we were born. You continue to talk about “our ancestors”. They were not mine.

    “Those who were not the “willing sellers” you speak of, had their land confiscated and their way of being outlawed. Their descendants you describe as lazy.”

    No. SOME of their descendants are lazy. Big difference.

    And the “dominant culture” has changed with time. We do NOT live with the same rules (or interpretations) that allowed historic abuses. As Zinc rightly pointed out, the “dominant culture” has brought vast benefits of civilisation, culture, religion, peace and security that did not exist before. That, of course, was why so many chiefs signed the Treaty.

  68. I have a question; Is Bill about to pull that trigger?

    Just pondering.