Now it is claimed that Iti was preparing to mount an IRA style armed campaign in support of the planned “independent” Tuhoe nation.
From the Dominion Post
Tame Iti was preparing to declare an IRA-style war on New Zealand in a bid to establish his long-standing dream of an independent Tuhoe nation, according to police documents.
A source close to The Dominion Post said the documents disclosed by police to legal parties for the accused showed police had been monitoring Iti’s movements for 18 months, videoing and photographing his Urewera commando training camps and intercepting text messages sent by Iti to his co-conspirators.
Iti christened the group “Rama“, the Maori word for enlightenment, and is alleged to have stated three months ago that he had stopped all his other activities in order to “make war on New Zealand”.
The source described the movement as “comical” and “amateurish“, with the group purchasing military uniforms from an Auckland army surplus store.
Numbering about 20, the participants were predominantly based in Auckland. Many were in their late teens, the youngest a 15-year-old girl.
During the training camps members were required to wear balaclavas in order to hide their identities from each other, and many of their methods were based on a “green book IRA manual“.
It is understood several of the group are former New Zealand Army soldiers, some of whom fought in the Vietnam War.
Iti is alleged to have purchased shotgun ammunition from an Auckland gun shop and tried to obtain grenade launchers. It is not clear from the documents whether he succeeded.
But a document does suggest the arms dealer was willing to obtain grenade launchers.
No mention of targets is made in the documents, but it is believed the only explosives to which the group had access were Molotov cocktails. The group was allegedly trained in ambushes and “IRA-style attacks“, with a “key camp” being held in the Ureweras last November.
Much of the police evidence is based on text messages sent between group members. The police documents show the group had been under continuous electronic and visual surveillance.
Iti is to appear in Rotorua District Court this morning to find out whether his application for bail has been successful.
Iti and a woman, who was granted name suppression, appeared in court yesterday charged with firearms offences.
The woman has been remanded in custody till October 29.
A man, 53, was remanded in custody in Palmerston North after appearing in court on two charges of unlawful possession of a firearm.
Hat Tip Kiwiblog