The climax came when Whina led around 5,000 marchers into Parliament grounds on 13 October. She presented a memorial of rights from 200 Maori elders and a petition supporting the objectives of the march signed by 60,000 people to the prime minister, Bill Rowling
On 16 January 2005 during a powhiri (greeting ceremony) which formed part of a Waitangi Tribunal hearing, Iti fired a shotgun into a New Zealand flag in close proximity to a large number of people, which he explained was an attempt to recreate the 1860s East Cape War: "We wanted them to feel the heat and smoke, and Tūhoe outrage and disgust at the way we have been treated for 200 years." The incident was filmed by television crews but initially ignored by police
This changed in 1975 when a coalition of Māori groups asked her to lead them in a protest against the loss of Māori land. She agreed, proposing a hikoi (a symbolic march) from the northern tip of the North Island to Parliament in Wellington at the other end of the island
Dame Whina Cooper ONZ DBE (9 December 1895 – 26 March 1994) was a respected kuia (Māori leader), who worked for many years for the rights of her people, and particularly to improve the lot of Māori women. Her wide influence and nationally recognised activity led her to be acknowledged with awards in both the British (Imperial) and New Zealand Royal Honours Systems, and by her own people, who bestowed the title Te Whaea o te Motu ("Mother of the Nation") upon her.
His ability to court controversy and his full tā moko make him well-recognised. With three others he was tried on charges of "illegal possession of firearms and participation in an organised criminal group" in 2012. The jury could not reach a verdict on the charge of belonging to a criminal group, but found all four guilty of firearms charges – and in May 2012, Iti was sentenced to jail for two-and-a-half years for these
Tame Wairere Iti (born c. 1952) is a Tūhoe Māori activist in New Zealand. He grew up in the Urewera area, and in the late 1960s and 1970s he was involved in protests against the Vietnam War and apartheid in South Africa, and in many Māori protest actions.