TJ Perenara visits Ihumātao after writing "Ihumātao" on his wristband against Wallabies

Headlines 19/08/2019

Just one day after the All Blacks delivered their most convincing performance of the year, TJ Perenara was spending his Sunday with occupants at Ihumātao, speaking to crowds and media.

During the test against Australia, the 27-year-old halfback had the words "Ihumātao" written on his wristband, an obvious nod to the controversial housing development in Ōtuataua Stonefields in Māngere.

Perenara arrived on site with members of his whanau to meet the occupants, where he was also given an opportunity to address the crowds, thanking all those involved for their work thus far.

Speaking to Māori Television's Te Ao News, Perenara was initially spectical and nervous about coming to the grounds:

"[But] I just had this fire in my stomach about needing to be here and then coming here, I was at peace."

He said wearing "Ihumātao" on his wrist was a sign of solidarity.

"It's me showing my support and where my heart lies with it - and that's what I can do from afar,'' he told the station.

The All Blacks halfback also urged others to visit the site, regardless of their views or beliefs on the matter:

"Just come. Just come and experience it, come and be a part of it.

"I know people sit in different camps - I know people have different views - but come and experience it for yourself,'' Perenara said.

"Come and be a part of it and see what the message is, what the kaupapa is here."