Tame Iti artwork stirs concern among locals

By Mere McLean
  • Waikato/Bay of Plenty

Is it art or vandalism? That's the question from some locals in the Eastern BOP township of Taneātua regarding Tame Iti's new work of art.

Nikapuru Takuta (Ngāi Tūhoe) says, “I don't think it should come off, it's part of the look, it gives Taneatua a new direction in art shows everybody that there is art here and it's there for everyone.”

Tame Iti began his painting after obtaining permission from the owners of the building, Ram Lubhaia.  Ram's nephew Gagan says there were no problems until the local post lady complained.

Police say no complaints have been received. However, they have spoken to Tame Iti and the owner of the building to rectify the situation with NZ Post.  The artwork is a commemoration of the terrorism raids of 2007.

“It stands out, you can tell Tame's work, like I say it's about the ngahere, the people the colours represent the whenua you know the blood,” said Takuta.

NZ Post is currently investigating the issue. Tame Iti says he's happy to debate the matter with them.

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