Waatea News Column: Why Hone’s Road Blocks are righteous and should be supported


One of the things I as a Pākeāa have learned to understand about a Māori worldview is that the past is present in every step of today to guide tomorrow.

In a shallow 24-hour hyper consumer culture constantly binging on the ever sold current moment, it’s sometimes tough for Pakeha culture to appreciate Māori cultures wider view.

For many Māori, the grievance of yesterday has never faded and the memory of forebearers is constantly with them. Māori remembers the mass graves caused by the 1918 Influenza pandemic.

They remember 2500 Māori dying from the pandemic.

They remember how entire communities were wiped out, they remember it hit Māori 8 times worse than Pakeha.

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They remember it was their own self-sufficiency that saved the most lives.

Māori remembers how the almost 100 years since then has seen their health care consistently put second.

So when Hone Harawira and Tai Tokerau border control stopped people flooding into the North as questions remained over whether or not Covid had escaped quarantine, the rest of us need to add the context of that memory and world view before we start criticising.

I for one support and celebrate his leadership on this.

What is most amusing about this entire situation is the amount of Pakeha who consider being stopped by an Indigenous checkpoint at the height of a global pandemic to be the greatest intrusion on their civil liberties Western Civilization has ever witnessed!

Thanks to the climate crisis, we are going to see more national emergencies and local resilience will be tested, we need Māori communities flexing now because there is more to come.

How many times do Pakeha need to fail Māori before we will allow Māori to protect themselves from our ‘help’?


First published on Waatea News.


  1. As a long time resident of the Far North and a Pakeha, I am in total agreement with the roadblocks.
    I am quite sure it would surprise Hone how many Pakeha support him.

  2. Brilliant comment. I support Hone all the way in this. Keep it up Hone, there are many of us right behind you.

  3. I think calling out this rahui bullshit is as important now considering its another Property Right and Maori Customary Right been removed by wealthy pakeha, local councils in cahoots with DoC, MPI, Takutai Coastal Marine Act and the ill-informed Maori who’re jumping on the eco-environment wagon that the Crown, Government are pumping 10’s of millions of dollars of funding into eco-warriors who give up their right to fish and collect kaimoana. ffs!

  4. Shameless name drop dept: I worked with Hone in the late 70s in Sth Auckland Car assembly industry, when he drank Lion Red!, and marched with him (he was Patu Squad and I was in Biko Squad) in ’81 Springbok tour protests, and various other actions over the years, he turned up while an MP a few years back at one of the first occupations Far North Māori and pākehā ever did together at Cable Bay to stop a developer bridging a state highway to the foreshore from a luxury condo. He has played a role in the North for a long time.

    Hone and TBC have done a good job and many Pākehā did and do support the protection of their small communities during Level 4 last year, they are often just subject to the decades of tory redneckism that is assumed and enforced among white people from expressing this publicly.

  5. The word “righteous” says it all. Though you forgot to claim to be “on the right side of history”.

    I’m relieved that the police have found the courage to stop iwi taking the law into their own hands. Hone and co. are using covid as a pretext to flex their muscles.

    Iwi roadblocks are not a smart idea, especially when members of criminal gangs appear to have been involved in some cases. Unless of course you want to see a Seymour-led government in 2023, or unless you want to give impetus to the development of a Trump-like phenomenon in NZ. If that’s what you want, then iwi roadblocks are a great idea!

  6. Hone has no right to prevent the freedom of movement in NZ period, that is the domain of the elected government not a self appoinetd vigilante pushing his old wheelbarrow, that all whites are shit.

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