Long captures the slightly surreal quality of proceedings quite well - the idea that the rather laughable (sans shotgun) Tame Iti might be a dangerous guerilla with pretentions to being Che Guevara simply seems odd.
The final paragraphs provide food for thought for the more hysterical voices on the left, if they can stop fulminating about race war long enough to read them:
The raids followed a two-year investigation by the police Special Investigations Group. Police HQ would have been aware of the sensitivities and historical grievances of the Tuhoe and of the likely reaction by civil libertarians to any action taken under the counter terrorism legislation.
Even so, the vehement outburst by Maori Party co-leader Pita Sharples caused
surprise when he condemned the raids as storm-trooper tactics that had set
Maori-Pakeha relations back 100 years.
These raids were not an assault on Maoridom in general or the Tuhoe in particular. A number of those arrested were Pakeha. The police must not feel compelled by some form of political correctness to pussyfoot around when faced with evidence of clandestine paramilitary training and an expressed intention to kill.
When the dust has settled around these raids and the consequent court action, we also need a thorough review of the taxpayer-funded Urewera camps for disaffected youth that Iti has been running.
Iti's supporters are full of praise for his achievements, but at least one of the graduates of these camps has gone on to kill. (2)
1 - 'Bell tolls for loopy eccentrics,' by Richard Long, in the Dominion Post, 23rd of October, 2007. (http://www.stuff.co.nz/4247677a1861.html)
2 - ibid.