We've had the radio on RadioLive since midday, when the sentences of Tame Iti and Te Rangikaiwhiria Kemara announced. Willie Jackson was present at the sentencing, and is unsurprisingly upset that his friend Tame Iti has been banged up for two-and-a-half years.
In the first hour of the programme, there were plenty of callers who shared his view, and plenty who disagreed with him. But several commented that it's all John Key's fault, or that the National government is to blame. Interestingly, Willie Jackson hasn't tried to correct anyone.
So let's have a quick history lesson. The arrests of the Urewera Four and a number of others took place on 15 October 2007; more than a year before the General Election in 2008 that took John Key and National to power. Helen Clark was the Prime Minister at the time, and Howard Broad was the Police Commissioner.
Originally the Urewera defendants were charged under the Terrorism Supression Act, but the Solicitor-General ruled in November 2007 that charges could not be sustained. The Terrorism Suppression Act was passed in 2002 during the first term of Helen Clark's Labour-led government.