Political activist Tame Iti had a traditional moko tattooed onto his face last year, and encourages others to do so as well, but only after taking a vow to take no drugs, alcohol, tobacco, or commit acts of domestic violence. During 1995 Waitangi Day he caused a public relations disaster for the New Zealand government by spitting and bearing his buttocks at the Prime Minister of New Zealand. Waitangi Day commemorates the 1840 signing of the Treaty of Waitangi, which is the founding document of New Zealand. Considered one of the most creative of Maori protesters, he first gained notoriety by setting up a tent in front of the Parliament building and declaring it the Maori Embassy. Widely traveled in the international circles of the ÒFirst NationÓ movement, he seeks Òde-colonizationÓ and return of Maori lands. He has recently been knocking on doors of local white ranchers and handing out eviction notices to shocked ÒPakehaÓ (New Zealanders of European ancestry), demanding return of their land that was stolen from his people. He expects them to ignore his eviction notices, and plans to start tearing down their fences soon. 

This photo was taken as part of a story for GEO Magazine on the Maori Independence Movement that is trying to regain rights given to the Maori under the treaty of Waitangi. These rights to land and fishery, among others, have since been usurped during hundreds of years of British and now New Zealand rule.

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These photos were taken as part of a story for GEO Magazine on the Maori Independence Movement that is trying to regain rights given to the Maori under the treaty of Waitangi. These rights to land and fishery, among others, have since been usurped during hundreds of years of British and now New Zealand rule.

 

View Story